Chinese New Year cake is known in Mandarin as nian gao (“higher year”), and eating a piece of it is supposed to improve your luck in the coming year. Similar in texture to mochi, our nontraditional version is a baked coconut cake that has a moist, almost bouncy quality.
For the more traditional recipe, try our Steamed Chinese New Year Cake.
What to buy: Sweet rice flour, also known as glutinous rice flour or mochiko, is produced from sticky rice grains and is actually gluten-free. It’s available at Asian markets in the starch section. Regular rice flour, which is produced from long-grain rice, will not yield the same results.
We prefer to use organic coconut extract, such as this one from Flavorganics, rather than imitation extract, which has a chemical aftertaste.
This recipe was featured as part of our Chinese New Year Dishes recipe slideshow.