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Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeCookbookFa Gao (Chinese language Prosperity Cake, 发糕)

Fa Gao (Chinese language Prosperity Cake, 发糕)

Fa Gao, or Chinese language prosperity cake, is a lightweight and fluffy steamed candy cake topped with jujubes. Make this celebratory cake for Chinese language New 12 months to usher in luck!  {Vegetarian}

Fa Gao (发糕), or Fats Goh in Cantonese, symbolizes prosperity. The character 发 (Fa) is similar one within the phrase 发财, which implies “bringing in luck”. It’s a dish that’s typically made throughout Lunar New 12 months. 

Northern style Fat Goh

Totally different variations of Fa Gao

There are alternative ways to make Fa Gao relying on the area. In southern China, you may see muffin-sized desserts with a flower-like prime. The feel is comfortable with a lightweight brown coloration. In northern China, we make Fa Gao fairly otherwise. We normally use a cake mildew to make a bigger cake, with dried fruit on prime and inside. 

Totally different from the southern model Fa Gao, Northern Fa Gao usually solely makes use of all-purpose flour and yeast (as an alternative of starches and baking soda) to make a bread-like texture. The cake is evenly seasoned with sugar, and generally with added coloration from brown sugar. As soon as steamed, the northern Fa Gao is spongy and evenly candy. It’s a excellent aspect dish for dinner, or a wholesome snack to serve with tea.

Once I was little, we regularly noticed road distributors promoting Fa Gao on the road. The road model of Fa Gao is sort of completely different as effectively – it’s a very giant steamed sheet cake crammed with varied dried fruits comparable to apricots, raisins, candied ginger, and many others. To buy, you possibly can ask the seller for a slice and they might lower it for you. Our selfmade model is way smaller and crammed solely with jujubes. 

Because the title Fa Gao symbolizes prosperity, it’s typically made throughout Chinese language New 12 months as a celebratory cake. However my household really makes this cake very often and serves it as a aspect for lunch or dinner. 

At this time I wish to share my favourite homestyle Northern Chinese language Fa Gao recipe with you!

Sliced Fa Gao served with tea

Fa Gao components

Dried jujubes

Dried jujubes are a staple in Northern China and we use them to make all types of dishes, comparable to Rice Pudding, Eight Treasure Congee, and Jujube Tea. They’ve a spongy texture and a pink pores and skin. As soon as cooked, the feel turns into very tender and it tastes fruity and mildly candy. 

Jujubes are additionally fairly essential in Conventional Chinese language Drugs (TCM). It’s a heat (Yang) ingredient that helps construct power, in addition to scale back irritation, nervousness, and insomnia. 

You should buy jujubes in giant Asian grocery shops, Chinese language grocery shops, or on Amazon. Once you buy jujubes, attempt to discover the smaller kind (about 1” / 1.5 cm lengthy) with pink pores and skin that’s not very wrinkly. The great high quality jujubes aren’t tremendous dry and style higher.   

Mise en place

Northern Chinese language Fa Gao makes use of quite simple components:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Dried jujubes
  • Egg
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Yeast 
  • Water
Ingredients for making Fa Gao
Northern Chinese prosperity cake with jujubes

The white sugar within the cake provides sweetness, and the brown sugar provides coloration. Should you want to make a sweeter Fa Gao, you must barely improve the quantity of white sugar.

My model of Fa Gao is just mildly candy, so the sweetness of the jujubes comes via. I additionally wish to cube some jujubes to place within the batter as a pure technique to sweeten it and add a pleasant texture. 

By conserving the cake much less candy, I can serve it both as a aspect for dinner or as a dessert with a contact of maple syrup. 

The way to make Fa Gao

Making Fa Gao is sort of simple:

  1. Dissolve the sugar in heat water.
  2. Sift the flour.
  3. Combine yeast into the flour.
  4. Add the moist components (sugar water and egg).
  5. Combine it right into a thick batter.
  6. Run the batter via a colander to dissolve any flour clumps.
  7. Add the chopped jujubes.
  8. Pour the batter right into a 6” cake mildew and unfold the halved jujubes on prime.
  9. Let the batter relaxation till the scale doubles.
  10. Steam for half-hour.
How to make Fa Gao Step-by-step

As soon as steamed, the cake will likely be fluffy and spongy, with a evenly candy style and a few fruitiness from the jujubes. 

Fa Gao with jujubes close up

The way to serve Fa Gao

As soon as the cake cools off a bit, you possibly can slice it into wedges. I take pleasure in a freshly made Fa Gao when it’s nonetheless a bit lukewarm, nevertheless it’s fairly good served at room temperature.

Since Fa Gao isn’t very candy, you possibly can serve it like bread along with your dinner. 

You may also serve it as a dessert by drizzling some honey or maple syrup over it, accompanied with inexperienced tea.

Retailer your leftover Fa Gao within the fridge. You’ll be able to both steam it once more to heat it up, or cowl it with a moist paper towel and heat it up within the microwave. 

Drizzle honey over sliced Fa Gao

Extra Chinese language New 12 months recipes

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Fa Gao, or Chinese prosperity cake, is a light and fluffy steamed sweet cake topped with jujubes. Make this celebratory cake for Chinese New Year to bring in good fortune! {Vegetarian}

Fa Gao (Chinese language Prosperity Cake, 发糕)

Fa Gao, or Chinese language prosperity cake, is a lightweight and fluffy steamed candy cake topped with jujubes. Make this celebratory cake for Chinese language New 12 months to usher in luck! {Vegetarian}

Writer: Maggie Zhu

Course: Facet, Snack

Delicacies: Chinese language

Key phrase: homestyle

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Prepare dinner Time: 30 minutes

Inactive time: 1 hour

Whole Time: 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 50 g (1/3 cup) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (*Footnote 1)
  • 160 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 4 g (1 teaspoon) immediate yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 16 jujubes , pitted, 10 halved, and the remaining 6 chopped


  • Add the brown sugar, white sugar, and water right into a small bowl. Microwave to warmth up for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve fully. Let the water cool off whereas getting ready the remainder of the components.

  • Sift the flour right into a medium-sized bowl. Add the yeast and stir to combine effectively.

  • As soon as the combination of sugar water cools to pores and skin temperature, pour it into the flour. Add the egg. Stir every little thing collectively to combine effectively till it varieties a easy batter, however don’t over combine. Run the batter via a colander into an enormous bowl, urgent down any remaining bits that aren’t blended evenly. Add the chopped jujubes. Stir once more to combine effectively.

  • Grease a 6” cake pan with a skinny layer of oil. Pour within the batter. Shake the pan to easy out the batter. Organize the halved jujubes on prime. Let rise in a heat spot till the scale doubles, 1 hour or so.

  • Put together a steamer by including 2” (5 cm) water into the pot. Warmth coated over medium-high warmth till boiling. Place the cake pan onto the steamer rack, and place the rack over the steamer. Steam for half-hour over medium-high warmth. Then flip off the warmth and let it relaxation for five minutes (don’t take away the duvet).

  • As soon as carried out, switch the cake pan onto a rack to chill off barely. Then flip it the wrong way up to take away the cake. As soon as it’s cooled sufficient to deal with by hand, or to room temperature, slice it into wedges and serve.


  1. The brown sugar provides coloration and the white sugar provides extra sweetness. In order for you a sweeter tasting Fa Gao, use 2 to three tablespoons of white sugar.


Serving: 1serving, Energy: 158kcal, Carbohydrates: 32.5g, Protein: 4.3g, Fats: 1.6g, Saturated Fats: 0.4g, Ldl cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 21mg, Potassium: 123mg, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugar: 7.8g, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 2mg


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