Nian Gao or Chinese Sticky Cake

Makes three small cakes.

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel
  • honey, for pouring

Bring water to boil. Then, in a mixing bowl, add brown sugar and stir to make a light syrup. Leave it to cool. Add flour, egg and milk and stir to blend. Mix the batter until smooth, then add the chopped cherries and candied orange peel. Pour batter into three lightly-greased ramekins. Place ramekins into a bamboo steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Cool and remove cakes from ramekins. Slice thinly and serve drizzled in honey.

Altydgedacht Chatelaine 2009 complements this dish.

To shop from a selection of South Africa’s best wines, go to

Recipe by Malu Lambert • Photography C&D Heierli