Chinese New Year Steamed prosperity cakes or often called fa gao in Mandarin. Likewise, we also call fatt koh in Cantonese and Huat Kueh in Hokkien. Besides, prosperity cakes closely resemble cupcakes or muffins. But we steam prosperity cakes instead of baking them. The main ingredients used for steamed prosperity cakes are normally rice flour, yeast, sugar and bright colourful food colouring. Then they pour the cake mixture into Chinese tea cups to make it into cupcake or muffin like molds.
Characteristics of Chinese Steamed Prosperity Cakes (Fa Gao)
Traditionally, most common colours for prosperity cakes are white or pink and sometimes brown in colour from palm sugar added. We typically steam them on high heat. Until the top of the cake splits into 4 sections or sometimes 3 sections. Because of the split top of the cake. Moreover, we often referred to them as Chinese smiling steamed cakes or even blooming flowers. The name “fa” means prosperity, so fa gao literally means prosperity cake. Furthermore, we often consume prosperity cakes during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations which symbolizes good fortune.
Gluten Free Chinese Steamed Prosperity Cakes (Fa Gao)
Up until today, I still have very fond memories of eating Chinese steamed prosperity cakes or fa gao. Throughout my childhood days during every Chinese New Year celebrations. For my gluten free fa gao recipe, I am using gluten free all-purpose flour, rice flour and coconut milk. Plus coconut sugar and vanilla extract. This Chinese steamed prosperity cakes or fa gao recipe is not only gluten free. But also dairy free, vegan, soy free, nut free, corn free, egg free and refined sugar free.
Check out my other gluten free cake recipes:
- Chinese Egg Cakes (Paper Wrapped Cakes);
- Ma Lai Gao (Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake); and
- Chinese Black Sesame Cake.
Happy Chinese Luna New Year 2016 to everyone who is celebrating the year of the monkey this festive season!
Wishing everyone joy, good health, prosperity and good fortune for the year of the monkey 2016.
Chinese New Year Steamed Prosperity Cakes (Fa Gao)
- Sift the gluten free all-purpose flour, rice flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and whisk and mix well. Then sift in all the coconut sugar and whisk and incorporate well.
- Add in all the coconut milk and vanilla extract into another large mixing bowl, whisk and mix well.
- Slowly, add the mixed dry ingredients gradually into the wet ingredients (coconut milk and vanilla extract only) and adding water gradually at the same time. Whisk and mix well until you get the right consistency.
For steaming the cakes:
- Heat up a large wok filled with half full of water, place a rack onto the wok and place the non-stick mini pudding moulds onto the steaming rack. (You can also use any small muffin pans or tart pans or Chinese tea cups or any small bowls)
- Add cupcake patty pans or muffin liners into the mini pudding moulds. Fill the patty pans or muffin liners with the batter up until nearly reaching the edges of the patty pans or muffin liners.
- Cover the wok with wok lid and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, steam the cakes for around 25 minutes on high heat. You can also use any other preferred steamer. Do not open the lid until end of cooking time.
- Remove cakes from the steamer and allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack before serving them warm or at room temperature.