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24 Traditional Chinese Desserts

Whether you’re reminiscing from your childhood, impressing some loved ones, or just looking for something a little different to treat yourself, these Chinese dessert recipes will have everything you are looking for and more!

Chinese Dessert Recipes

From traditional Chinese treats to dessert soups to perfectly light and fluffy mouthfuls of heaven, you really can’t go wrong with these Chinese desserts.

And the best part? A lot of the ingredients even have health benefits! So you can enjoy these tasty treats in the knowledge that really you’re just doing yourself a favor! So, let’s dive in…

1. Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies are a classic in Chinese-American cooking and an absolute must-have for Chinese New Year!

Similar to sugar cookies, these delightful treats are made with almond flour for a unique, nutty flavor that will keep you coming back for more.

Their round shape symbolizes coins and good luck so they make for a great dessert for any special occasion.

For the best results, make sure that you use the exact ingredients in the recipe as they don’t take substitutions well.

2. Grass Jelly Dessert

We know what you might be thinking. While grass jelly on its own might not seem the most appealing, when combined with fresh mango, sweet condensed milk, coconut milk, and green tea ice cream, this dessert is one you won’t want to miss.

The best part about a grass jelly dessert is you can create it using whatever ingredients you like, based on your personal diet and preferences. Other toppings might include strawberries, bananas, honey, or even sweet potato.

3. Easy Chinese Mango Pudding

This mango pudding is one of the Chinese dessert recipes that you’ll no doubt make again and again. Creamy, delicious, and naturally sweet, this recipe is also vegan as it substitutes the often-used gelatin with agar agar powder.

Only containing 4 ingredients: mango, water, evaporated coconut milk, and agar agar powder, this Chinese mango pudding couldn’t be easier to impress your guests after some Dim Sum.

4. Chinese Sponge Cake

Soft and fluffy are the main words to describe this Chinese sponge cake. You may have heard of Chiffon cake and, if you’ve ever made one of those, it’s basically the same thing.

This cake is a popular Asian family favorite and is best served up with some fresh fruit and whipped cream. But beware, this cake is so light it’s even harder not to devour the whole thing!

Unlike other cakes, don’t grease the baking tin as it helps the sponge to rise. If the sides get stuck to the tin, run an offset spatula around the edges before taking the cake out.

5. Hong Kong Egg Tarts

Are you a fan of custard tarts? Then you’ll love these Hong Kong-style egg tarts or dan tat in Cantonese.

These delicious tarts are small mouthfuls of custard-filled flaky pastry and are often served in Chinese restaurants and bakeries.

But the best part about making them at home? You’ll always get to try them at their best – fresh out of the oven!

Measurements are important for this recipe, so we recommend weighing your ingredients rather than using a measuring cup. You can also prepare these ahead by refrigerating the pastry dough overnight and finishing them off the next day.

6. Chinese Custard Tarts

Custard tarts are one of those traditional Chinese desserts you just can’t have enough of.

They are the perfect addition to a Cantonese-style buffet or the perfect finish to a delicious dinner of Dim Sum.

This Chinese custard tart recipe can be prepped and cooked in less than an hour, using ready-made pastry for ease and efficiency.

These sweet, custard-filled treats will top off any gathering nicely, or serve as a lovely treat at the end of a long day.

7. Chinese Fried Sesame Dessert Balls

This popular Chinese dessert is often served at Lunar New Year and will be sure to satisfy those sweet cravings.

While this recipe fills the sesame balls with red bean filling, you can fill them with whatever takes your fancy, from peanut butter to banana and cinnamon!

Make sure there are no cracks in your balls of dough to avoid them bursting as they fry; if you do spot some cracks, add a drop of water to the dough to help seal them up!

Also be sure to eat these little balls of goodness while they’re hot, as they won’t reheat very well.

8. Snow Fungus Dessert Soup

We know what you’re thinking. Snow fungus? Dessert soup?! But trust us, this Chinese herbal soup makes for a soothing and refreshing dessert.

Snow fungus dessert soup, or tong sui, can be cooked long and slow for a delightfully soft, melt-in-your-mouth dish or straight out of the pot for a bit more crunch.

Not only is this recipe super easy and delicious, it is also said to have health benefits such as boosting the immune system, assisting in digestive health, and maintaining a youthful skin complexion. So, who’s cooking?!

9. Chinese Banana Fritters

Who doesn’t love a bit of fried banana? These banana fritters are one of the most popular and easy desserts to make at home, exceptionally moreish topped with some syrup or icing sugar!

We love these fritters as they’re lighter than the doughnut-like American version, simply coating the banana with a thin batter and frying them until crispy.

For extra crispiness and crunch, be sure to use a mix of all-purpose flour and corn starch rather than 100% flour!

10. Red Bean Dessert Soup

Red bean dessert soup is the classic finale at every Chinese banquet. This light sweet soup is made with only 5 ingredients that will melt in your mouth, complemented by an earthy, grainy texture that you get from mashing the beans.

The combination of the brown and rock sugar gives a mix of both toffee sweetness and gentle sweetness, but they can be swapped out for regular granulated sugar; just make sure you adjust to taste.

To speed up the cooking process, soak the adzuki beans overnight and freeze them in a zip lock bag with the soaking liquid. When you’re ready to cook, just thaw everything in hot water!

11. Sago Soup with Taro

This sweet, creamy soup is loaded with flavor and is a decadent dessert choice. Taro gives off a rich, nutty taste and is packed with fiber, antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins.

Deliciousness AND health benefits – you can’t go wrong! If you don’t have any Taro to hand, you can substitute it for sweet potato and it still works just as well!

This recipe offers up two variations – a lighter Chinese version and a richer Vietnamese version, and both are perfect for a cozy night in.

12. Deep Fried Milk

Have you ever tried deep-fried milk? This is one of those easy Chinese desserts that will be an absolute game-changer in your household!

Made with only 3 simple ingredients – milk, corn starch, and sugar – this traditional Chinese dessert is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Perfect for a light dessert with friends or afternoon tea snack, you’ll have everyone talking with these delicious bites!

To make the outside extra crispy, coat the deep-fried milk with panko before frying. Great drizzled with jam or condensed milk and a sprinkle of icing sugar!

13. Chinese Five Spice Cake with Ginger Frosting

Are you wondering what are some Chinese desserts that are a bit more adventurous? Look no further than this five-spice cake with a rich ginger buttercream to get those taste buds tingling!

Chinese five-spice is made up of cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves, and peppercorns, and it makes for a unique taste experience that you won’t be able to get enough of.

To make the process easier, prepare all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add them to the wet ingredients altogether.

14. Mung Bean Cake

Mung Bean Cake is a popular Chinese dessert in the summer as in Chinese medicine, mung beans have cooling properties which can help protect the body from warmer temperatures.

Mung beans are a common ingredient in Chinese cooking and this mung bean cake recipe is perfect to create a great sharing dessert for a family get-together in the warmer months!

15. Douhua (Tofu Pudding)

Douhua, or Tofu pudding, is a type of uncurdled tofu that is extra soft – so much so that it’s usually served with a ladle.

While in northern China it is usually served with a savory sauce or gravy, it can also make for a great sweet dessert served with a ginger syrup.

The measurements are important when making Douhua, so make sure you use kitchen scales when making this recipe. Once you have understood the method and measurements, this tofu pudding is a super simple dessert to make at home.

16. Taiwanese/Chinese Pineapple Cakes

Chinese pineapple cakes are a famous pastry in Taiwan, popular around Lunar New Year. A bite into this delicious dessert will give you a mouthful of a buttery, shortbread-like biscuit filled with a sweet, pineapple filling, similar to a thick jam.

You can create these small cakes with either fresh pineapple or tinned pineapple, and be sure to use the square pastry molds for the best results.

17. Peanut Cookies

Is there anything better than a bite of peanut buttery goodness? These crumbly peanut cookies will fulfill all those sweet cravings and are super easy to make with just 6 ingredients.

These treats are perfect to bring out at a Lunar New Year gathering and enjoy with a cup of Chinese tea. But be careful – once you’ve had one, it’s hard to stop!

18. Chinese Raspberry Snowflake Cake

This raspberry snowflake cake is one of the easy, best, ideas for a summertime dessert. Super easy to make using raspberries, milk, cream, potato starch, gelatine, and desiccated coconut, this cake is best served cold on a hot summer’s day.

The sweetness of the cake works well with the acidity of the raspberries, but you can use any kind of fruit from mango to strawberries to blueberries.

If you’re preparing for a party, you can easily make this cake ahead of time and simply top it with the desiccated coconut just before serving.

19. Sachima

Deep-fried noodles? Yes, please! This traditional Chinese egg pasty is pretty much made from egg noodles which are fried and mixed in syrup into fluffy bites of yumminess.

While the process to make these requires a bit more work, it’s definitely worth it! Plus, once you’ve got it down, you can keep on whipping them up at home whenever you fancy a treat.

For your first go, we recommend practicing with a small batch until you’ve understood the state of the syrup.

20. Chinese Walnut Cookies

For a sweet treat that’s perfect to indulge with a cup of hot tea or coffee, look no further than these Chinese walnut cookies.

Packed with walnuts, these bite-sized desserts are great for sharing but if you want to keep them all to yourself, that’s fine too!

Most recipes for authentic Chinese walnut cookies use lard, but butter is a fine substitute as well as more widely available.

For the best texture, crush your walnuts under a rolling pin after toasting them for that perfect crunch!

21. Chinese Egg Cake

Made with only eggs, flour, sugar, oil, and water, these simple cakes are so delicious you’ll eat them for breakfast. No, really, you can!

These fluffy egg cakes are yummy and comforting and great as cupcakes, but can also be baked as a larger standalone cake if you increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.

The most important thing in this recipe is the whipping of the eggs – whip the egg mixture until it is really white and has no bubbles. On colder days, you can use warm water to speed up the process.

22. Fortune Cookies

It’s always fun getting a fortune cookie at the end of a meal and cracking it open to see what’s inside. How about making them yourself to hand good fortunes out to your family and friends?!

While they may not be the easiest cookies to make, this Chinese tradition is super fun to do at home, and worth it to see your friends’ faces when they see what’s in store!

23. Chinese Marble Cookies

These Chinese marble cookies are essentially sugar cookies swirled with chocolate, and this recipe offers up a thin, chewy cookie that you won’t be able to get enough of.

The combination of vanilla and almond in these cookies works perfectly and they make for a delicious accompaniment to any gathering. If you bring these out at your next tea party, we bet you’ll be giving out the recipe!

24. Chinese Swiss Roll

This lighter-than-air Swiss roll is a Chinese dessert you absolutely must try at home. Lighter than a traditional Swiss roll, the Chinese Swiss roll is made of a very light and fluffy sponge cake that is only slightly sweet, with a thin layer of sweet whipped cream.

Plain sponge and cream work a treat, but you can fill it with whatever variations you like – from chocolate whipped cream to fresh fruit to jam – they all work!

Chinese Dessert Recipes

24 Traditional Chinese Desserts

Yield: 5 dozen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds
  • 1/2 tsp water


  1. For these classic Chinese almond cookies, start by preheating the oven to 325° before beating the sugar and butter together. Make sure you give it a few minutes to ensure it’s super light and fluffy before beating in the egg and almond extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the salt and baking powder before adding it gradually to the beaten
  2. Once everything is mixed together nicely, roll the cookie dough (if you can stop yourself from eating it raw!) into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Flatten them slightly with a fork and sprinkle with crunchy almonds before brushing the tops with the egg white and water mix.
  4. Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms are lightly brown. Make sure to cool them for 2 minutes before transferring them over to the cooling rack. Let them cool down for as long as you can wait before enjoying a nice cup of tea or with friends.

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So, there you have it. 24 delicious Chinese dessert recipes to try at home and treat yourself. Which are you going to try first?

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Monday 8th of January 2024

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