Chinese desserts are markedly different from over the world. Delectable hot and cold dishes with various tastes and flavors are served in numerous ways. Furthermore, it has a gorgeous appearance, pleasant fragrances, and wealthy nutrition that has impressed everyone.
Table of Contents
Chinese Sweet Cuisine
The sweet treat is a vital part of Chinese culture with a long history, generated from different cooking techniques, exotic ingredients, and distinctive features.
Compared to the US or Europe, the Chinese goodie is less sweet. Glutinous rice appears in many regular Chinese recipes. Chinese usually use bean, sesame, or date paste to sweeten food instead of cream frosting.
As well, steaming and frying are the two main cooking methods. All of them contribute a vast diversity to the world’s most populous country.
There are tremendous cuisines worldwide, from Swedish dishes, Colombian meals, and vegetable side recipes from Japanese to Greek. Today, you will know more about this Asia color – the desserts from China, and add a wide selection to your daily menu.
- 35+ 3-Ingredient Desserts For Effortless Entertaining
- 24 Luscious Pear Desserts For Your Exclusive Autumn Party
- Top 36 Red Velvet Dessert That You Should Try In 2022
- 25+ Worth Devouring Desserts That Originated From Italy
- 30+ Gourmet Flourless Desserts You Will Love In 2022
- Savor 44 Turkish Desserts By Local Cuisine Eyes
- Top 30+ Best Puff Pastry Desserts – Stunning Treat Ideas 2022
- 23 Popular Persian Desserts That Will Make You Drool 2022
Below are lots of my favorites! Take a tour to visit all the gourmet Chinese traditional sweet dishes below!
Top 42 Popular Chinese Sweets
Which sweet recipe in China do you want to make at home? In this marvelous collection, I’ll show the best treats in the Chinese culinary world! Whether you’re a fan of Chinese food or not, you’ll certainly love these delightful desserts.
- Put Chai Ko
- Ma Lai Go
- Nian Gao
- Osmanthus Cake
- Fa Go
Pie & Pastries
- Lo Mai Chi
- Sticky Rice Cake
- Red Tortoise Cake
- Sesame Balls
- Egg Tarts
- Moon Cake
- Pineapple Bun
- Sweetheart Cakes
- Hong Kong Egg Waffles
- Almond Cookie
- Fortune Cookies
- Pineapple Tarts
Gelatins & Puddings
- Grass Jelly
- Almond Tofu
- Beijing Yogurt
- Double Skin Milk Pudding
- Ginger Milk Curd
- Tapioca Pudding
- Coconut Milk Melon with Sago Dessert
- Mango Pudding
- Coconut Pudding
- Eight Treasure Rice
- Dragon’s Beard Candy
- Sesame Peanut Brittle
- Laba Congee
- Red Bean Soup
- Sweet Potato Ginger Soup
- Black Sesame Soup
- Tang Yuan Black Sesame
- Fried Bananas
- Bubble Tea
- Fried Milk
- Chinese Dough Twist
Chinese Cakes are available across China and even throughout the world. The cakes are commonly served with coffee, tea, or other tasty beverages from China. Now, just whip up as many Chinese-style cakes as you can by following my recipes.
1. Put Chai Ko
The dessert is also known as red bean pudding, a traditional dish originating from Hong Kong. The main components of this sweet treat don’t contain any butter, but white or brown sugar, rice flour, wheat starch, or cornstarch. Of course, red beans are also necessary.
This cake is steamed in bowls and molded with bamboo skewers. The taste of red beans is earthy, naturally sweet, and mellow flavor.
In addition, the red beans make their way into Put Chai Ko; without a heavy texture, it is incredibly yummy, smooth, and superadditive.
2. Ma Lai Go
Mai Lai Go is a soft, fluffy, springy, and sweet sponge cake. It is created with a few standard products, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, evaporated milk, custard powder. Allow the batter to ferment before steaming in the steamer. Later, mix everything thoroughly.
Remember to line parchment paper before pouring the batter into the steamers made from bamboo, preventing the cake from sticking to the surface. The cake has a deep honey color and deliciously subtle caramel aroma from the brown sugars when finished.
Head it up, give Ma Lai Go a try, and enjoy this fluffy goodness!
3. Nian Gao
Based on the religion of China, Nian Gao can look moderately different. Most commonly, Nian Gao is a steamed rice cake eaten during Chinese New Year, and it has an auspicious meaning like other desserts.
The main element is glutinous rice flour, which imparts a soft and stretchy texture to the cake. Also, since this dessert contains few slices of ginger, it has an intense and spicy aroma that blends well with other ingredients without being overpowering.
Also, if you cannot find any kansui to darken food color, 1 or 2 tablespoons of molasses is a good substitute.
Osmanthus is a stunning flower and has a distinct sweet and floral aroma packed with many health benefits. As a result, the Chinese have utilized superbly dried osmanthus flowers in multiple ways, including making flower tea, jams, cakes, and other foods.
Osmanthus cake is another example, and you mostly find it with other sweets on Chinese Lunar New Year. Combine glutinous rice flour, dried osmanthus, and honey. The next step is steaming, and then the luxurious cake is ready to go!
5. Fa Gao
Fa Gao, also renowned as fortune cake, is commonly used for ancestor worship or Chinese New Year. This recipe is quite simple to prepare, requiring only a few essential components and a straightforward steaming process.
The cakes’ signature is to have a “smile” at the top, bringing good luck and happiness, so the Chinese usually eat it on Lunar New Year.
Another recipe is made with glutinous rice and sweet or savory fillings wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves. When covered, all elements hang together and remain in a specific shape.
Zongzi is sticky, delectable, and melts in the mouth quickly. Hence it is worth trying.
10 Pie And Pastries
Which Chinese sweet will you find? The cake comes with dozens of fillings, many types, baked and steamed. The subtle sweetness of red bean paste is highlighted as soft, sticky glutinous rice.
Sometimes, you can also try miso pastes for a fun change. There are many kinds of pastries out there. The whole rundown is below; keep reading!
7. Lo Mai Chi
Lo Mai Chi is a dessert with such a small size that makes people keep on eating forever. People often use glutinous rice flour, peanuts, and shredded coconut to make it. The outside is softly sweet, chewy, and bouncy, while the sweetness of filling is entirely up to you.
Chinese comfortably selects different fillings consisting of purple potato puree, ice cream, peanut butter, pumpkin paste. Furthermore, you can customize the outside layer with sesame or coconut.
It is super effortless to make sticky rice cake with red bean paste, only four ingredients, and in less than an hour, you can get a savory supper for your kids.
Glutinous rice flour makes the outside crispy, while red bean paste allows the gooey inside. The aroma of rice cake and the sweetness of red bean paste melt in your mouth so quickly that you cannot stop yourself from devouring the entire cake.
Moreover, you can create innovative filling made from the seeds or other beans such as black sesame seeds, mung beans, or lotus seeds. Regardless of your choices, all steps will be the same with red bean paste. Just explore and find your destiny filling.
Trust me! This dessert is incredible. Now I really cannot stop thinking about how delicious this sticky rice cake is.
Red tortoise cake, a traditional Chinese celebratory pastry with a delightful taste you will never forget—small dark orange tortoise-shaped cake made with glutinous rice flour and mung bean filling.
According to Chinese culture, the dark orange represents joy and happiness, while the tortoise shape embodies longevity, power, and prosperity. Indeed, the cake is commonly served during prayer, the baby’s first birthday, or other special occasions.
The red tortoise cake has a sticky sweet, but somehow it pairs well with a cup of tea.
10. Sesame Balls
The small sweet ball is truly a traditional candidate, eaten year-round, especially during the lunar New Year, since the Chinese believe that eating sesame extends one’s fortunes.
The exterior is golden in color and covered in sesame seeds. The surface has gratifying crispiness to it from frying. The crispy, gooey and nutty dessert is a delicious Chinese New Year treat that should not be missed.
In this recipe, when adding pumpkin into the dough, the sesame ball tastes even better. I am a sucker for these sesame balls. Gosh, look at how gooey pumpkin is. Now your turn, go to the pantry and prepare a yummy dish anyway.
11. Egg Tarts
Have you ever tried Chinese egg tarts? It tastes amazingly delicious, doesn’t it! Today, you can easily make one at home. Follow me!
All you need are to get the right ingredients, sugar, water, eggs, and vanilla. Bake the batter in the oven for around 20 -30 minutes, and be ready to eat right away.
The tart crust is exquisitely layered and immensely thin. It also has the right amount of crispness on the outside while remaining tender and moist.
And the deliciousness of a dessert with crust pie comes from not only the crust but also the filling.The egg filling insideis light, creamy, and delicately sweet. This tart cake is delicious when enjoyed fresh and subtly warm.
12. Moon Cake
Moon cake is a crucial staple, and traditionally it shows up in the mid-autumn festival. In Chinese culture, the moon cake reflects fulfillment, prosperity, happiness, and family reunion.
Nowadays, moon cakes are available with a diverse selection of sweet and savory filling, such as red bean paste, five kernels, roast pork, lotus seed, green tea, cream cheese or fruit and vegetables, etc.
No matter the filling you choose, you can figure out how to get tasty mooncakes at ease.
13. Pineapple Bun
Pineapple Bun is another classic Chinese bun, and you can make this dessert in Hong Kong-style at home in no time. All elements are effortlessly accessible at any grocery store.
Regardless of its name, pineapple does not show up in the bun. Pineapple bun is a soft, sweet, and crusty topping that is pretty delicious after baking.
I adore this bun, and I believe you will love it as well. Enjoy!
14. Sweetheart Cakes
Sweetheart cakes, also called wife cakes, are traditional cakes made from rice flour, candied winter melon, sesame seed, coconut oil, cake flour, and other items.
The skin has been baked into an appealing golden yellow, whereas the filling is smooth and moist, and the flavor is sweet but not greasy.
Sachima is a sweet treat made up of flour that has been egg tossed before being deep-fried until puffy. You can sprinkle with additional ingredients like sesame or nuts for extra flavor before putting in the molten sugar.
Press mixture into the square pan and then slice into the squares to serve. A bite of Sachima as a luminous dessert will indulge your sweet craving for the day. Let’s give it a shot!
Egg waffles are another famous Hong Kong-style delicacy consisting of milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. The egg waffles have a crispy golden-colored honeycomb shape outside and a light, tender inside.
They are usually eaten plain or paired well with fruit such as coconut and strawberries. Or you can use them with chocolate.
The crispy and crunchy cookies fulfill your children well. But you wonder how hard it is to make a batch of cookies with the same taste as the restaurant you used to eat. Don’t worry, go ahead. Following China’s sweet recipe will not disappoint you.
17. Almond Cookie
Almond is a versatile seed and can be utilized in myriad ways. You can choose your beloved almond forms to savor, ranging from almond flour, almond milk to almond seed.
Almond cookies are an excellent solution for those who want to indulge in an almond dessert. They are thin and flat that could perform to be crunchy and chewy at the same time. They are highly addictive.
I hope you can bake these crunchy pieces for your children. I am confident your kids will fall in love with them right away!
18. Fortune Cookies
Fortune cookies are small and have a golden color that fits into your palm easily. The cookies are notable for their one-of-the-kind shape.
Remove the flat circles from the oven, fold them while the cookies are still soft and warm. And then set them aside to cool; it only takes a few seconds for them to harden into shape.
You can put your friendly messages inside the cookies and give them to your family, friends, coworkers, colleagues to express your gratitude.
19. Pineapple Tarts
The next item on this great list is pineapple tart. The golden ball and sunny-side-up pieces are simply delicious and bring back many childhood memories for the Chinese.
The crusts are crumbly and melt in the mouth easily still but hold their shape. And the golden pineapple jam is soft, juicy, and not so sweet.
It also has a lightly spiced flavor of clove and cinnamon. As a result, the cookies are heavenly delicious and do not stick to the mouth and teeth as imagined.
10 Gelatins And Pudding
Making a tasty dessert full of milk and gelatins is undoubtedly one of the most compelling ways. Furthermore, there are so many delicious milk pudding and gelatins out there. Why not give it a chance?
20. Grass Jelly
Grass jelly is a typical summer dessert in China and offers health and wellness benefits. For a simple chilled dessert, cut the smooth glassy jelly into cubes and serve with honey, mango, ice cream, crushed ice, or whatever you want.
Make this light jelly at home by following this simple recipe. Just feel free to customize your version.
21. Almond Tofu
The next dish is simple almond tofu. If you’re finding an excellent Chinese tofu treat to put on the dessert menu, you have a great option.
Boil almond milk (480ml), agar powder (4g), one tablespoon almond extract, two tablespoons of cane sugar, and water (240ml) in a pot. Whisk about 5 minutes before pouring into a bowl or baking tray, and then place it in the refrigerator to chill.
This treat is fruity and not too sweet, just a splendid touch to wrap up your meal.
22. Beijing Yogurt
Beijing yogurt is prevalent in China, usually served in a ceramic bottle, and appears in many local stores. It is sweet and mildly flavored with milk scents. Beijing yogurt is nutritious and contains many lactic acids, which assist the digestive system after drinking.
To keep the yogurt warm, utilize the oven, blankets, yogurt maker, and leave bacteria in prepared milk to be left alone. The longer yogurt is incubated, the more time the bacteria consume lactose well. And the final product turns out perfectly.
Double Skin Milk Pudding is made of fresh milk (400ml) and two egg whites. The dish is soothing because of its soft texture and gently sweet milk flavor, dramatically comforting everyone.
Just make them one by one, enjoy them after dinner and let me know how it works.
24. Ginger Milk Curd
The following recipe has a unique taste and silky texture to make the perfect product. I loved ginger milk curd “at first taste” years ago, so I tried to test and make a magical dessert for myself.
You can make this dessert effortlessly with a detailed guide in the recipe, just a few essential elements, soy milk, fresh ginger juice, and pure cane sugar.
25. Tapioca Pudding
Have you ever attempted to try tapioca pudding at home? If not, it is time to do it, a light and refreshing version. It is beautiful with any meal!
There are various ways to cook tapioca, and the pudding recipe is pretty straightforward to prepare. Simply follow the instructions to generate an utterly delicious not too sweet and has a creamy texture.
Add several slices of fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and even mango are all tasty paired well with this pudding) on top before eating to enjoy
A glass of coconut milk melon with sago dessert could blow up your mind on hot summer days. The dessert is simple to prepare and is an excellent finish to any meal. You can customize the types of fruit used, depending on your favorite or the season.
27. Mango Pudding
This dessert will impress any mango lover. It immensely brings out the best of mango’s flavor. It takes about an hour and only some simple ingredients to make.
The puddings have a smooth, velvety texture and get the touch of creamy all the time. To make it more appealing, garnish with fresh cube mango and mint leaves before consuming.
28. Coconut Pudding
I am a big fan of dessert; hence I try to find as much as possible for my sweet menu. Coconut milk pudding is an exceptional solution for hot days because the coconut’s flavor stands out, and I cannot resist the temptation of the small beautiful square of pudding.
I love to enjoy coconut pudding with green tea. The light and refreshing fragrance complement the tropical flavors superbly in this creamy recipe.
Eight treasure rice is a sparkling dish of sweet, sticky rice filled with red bean paste, adorned with eight different kinds of dried fruit, such as raisin, lotus, cherries, and apricot.
Like other rice sweets with a long history, this dish has a lucky meaning. In Chinese culture, the number eight sounds like another Chinese word: rich, blessed, and prosperous in business.
Never take much time. The candy in China is easy to make and doesn’t require complex cooking techniques. Grab the necessary things and head into the kitchen to make your yummy Chinese candies at home! They will be a real hit, I am sure.
Dragon’s beard candy is a delicious dessert in China. If you are searching for a new yummy dish, consider giving it a try. Many thin strands wrap around chopped peanuts, shredded coconut, and extra sesame seeds to produce a terrific local sweet treat everyone will cherish.
And remember to eat as soon as possible after it’s done since the sweet candy is extremely sensitive to excessive moisture so that it can melt speedily.
Bite into a piece of sesame peanut brittle; it is crunchy and nutty. The perfect combination of peanuts, sesame seeds, and the sweet flavor of caramel is crazily addicting. The brittles can be stored in an airtight container in a dry area so that you can savor them for a while.
6 Sweet Soups
Typically, it is not surprising that seed, bean, and rice are prominent in sweet soups since they are naturally sweet and beneficial for human health. Hurry up; it’s time to find out the answer to why the ingredients make an excellent addition to these sweet treats.
32. Laba Congee
Many desserts demonstrate how much the Chinese love glutinous rice. The main ingredient in this yummy Laba Congee recipe is adding stickiness, making it more appetizing, and keeping grains and beans from sinking to the bottom.
Laba congee is the next runner on the menu. There are tremendous ingredients mixed with glutinous rice (or brown rice) to make the delicious Laba congee, such as lotus seeds, chestnuts, raisins, and so on.
Summer is an ideal time for all fermentation experiments. Jiuniang, also known as fermented sweet rice, is often made in both savory and sweet dishes. The hearty dish has a markedly different scent not presented in most US or Western desserts.
Jiuniang is frequently served warmly, accompanied by sticky rice dumplings or sweet tang yuan. Are you curious about how it tastes? Why don’t you give it a try?
34. Red Bean Soup
Red bean soup is prevalent and typically served cold in the summer and hot in the winter. Simply combine rock sugar, red bean, orange peel, and the tasty soup in one hour.
The presence of tapioca pearls changes the soup’s texture, adding a crunchy and chewy flavor to the dish. Plus, before serving, swirl a tablespoon of coconut milk on the top to deliver the thick, pleasant scent and slightly sweet layer to the soup.
Yeah, warm up your soul with the right touches, sweet potato ginger soup, and just take around 20 minutes to make.
You only need four ingredients: 2 medium sweet potatoes, 2 inches fresh ginger root, 3½ cups water, eight dried red dates, and 60g brown sugar. First, peel all the ingredients, then simmer, and then relish it hot or cold.
No matter how full you are, I am sure that there are always spaces for dessert. Scroll down to find the next sweet course.
The black sesame soup is pleasingly dense, aromatic, and creamy smooth, nourishing your taste buds excellently. It is softly simmered to form a great paste wholly balanced with a gentle, sweet flavor.
Serve instantly or chill in the refrigerator to relish the cold.
During the lantern festival (the last day of Lunar New Year), the Chinese make tang yuan, balls of glutinous rice with black sesame filling boiled in a sweet ginger soup.
Tang Yuan is classically white. Nevertheless, dessert has become more popular recently. It now comes in many different colors and fillings. To create distinct colors, use matcha, beetroot powder, or even pumpkin, etc. Such a nice sweet treat, right?
5 Other Desserts
Today, grains are mainly eternal centerpieces of China’s sweet recipes. The following is a list of using products you might already have on hand! Keep going!
Chinese dough twist, also called Mahua, is a tasty traditional dessert of China and is well-known for its exceptional and crisp taste. Across China, Mahua can come in various shapes and flavors, from sweet, savory, to spicy.
You can make the mahua at home, twist dough sticks together, and deep fry into peanut oil until golden and crispy.
39. Fried Bananas
In Chinese, the word for bananas is “Xiangjiao”. So next time someone asks you to name a fruit or vegetable with “X” as the first letter, hit them with “Xiangjiao”.
In China, Xiangjiao is suitable for both eating raw and making desserts. And of the most common dessert featuring Xiangjiao in China is Zha Xiangjiao – fried bananas. It’s a light treat with crisp, golden exterior that can satisfy your sweet tooth while being low in calories.
Simply pour some maple syrup or honey before eating to bring a delicately mellow sweetness and depth to the banana flavor.
Tanghulu is a traditional dessert that has gained popularity very quickly. Dip candied fruit in thick simple syrup, the hardened sugar layer forms a crunchy shell around the fruit, and they are served on a long bamboo skewer.
Instead of using hawthorn, you can replace it with berries, grapes, oranges, and more.
41. Bubble Tea
Bubble tea is my favorite drink to sip during the summer. Use the oolong tea (or other teas), afterward apply sweetener and flavors before shaking it with tapioca pearls.
All products lead to a frothy drink with a nice and chewy texture from the bubble. Today, there are countless versions—everything from chocolate, coffee, or tea you can utilize to flavor drinks.
If you try this Chinese sweet, creamy drink, leave a comment below. I am always willing to know your thoughts.
42. Fried Milk
The fried milk has a golden exterior as well as a soft and sweet interior. The nutritional value of milk is crucial, and fried milk is a new way to relish delicious milk without spending too much time.
This dish is a massive hit for everyone who loves novelty. Simply serve it with ice cream; the taste is even better.
Now, I believe you can get some well-known Chinese sweet recipes to optimize your menu. As you can see, things can be a bit different in China, where deserts are usually not a big part of the meals.
Although Chinese cultures encourage healthier food like fresh fruit, it does not mean that sweet dishes are absent. Occasionally, you can serve desserts between meals or during special events.
Thanks so much for passing by. I hope you soon try the masterpieces mentioned in my post and share them with your beloved family. Finally, in the comment, let me know the outcome and thoughts of over 40 signature desserts from China! My dear!