Osmanthus Rice Cake Recipe (Gui Hua Nian Gao)
Osmanthus Rice Cake Recipe (Gui Hua Nian Gao)
Posted in: Tea Culture

Osmanthus Rice Cake Recipe (Gui Hua Nian Gao)

Osmanthus flowers (gui hua, 桂花) are the blossoms of the popular osmanthus shrubs that are native to East Asia. These tiny flowers are famous for their soothing yet intoxicating fragrance. In China, osmanthus flowers have been used in food and beverages such as desserts, wine and tea. Although they are small in size, their aroma is surprisingly powerful. That’s why there is a saying in Chinese:

“When the osmanthus flowers blossom, the fragrance spreads to ten miles.”

Imagine a delicious rice cake with a sweet lingering aroma of osmanthus – it’s the taste of Southern China. We have here the perfect recipe for osmanthus rice cake (gui hua nian gao, 桂花年糕). It can be served anytime as a tasty treat. Best of all, it’s very easy to make!


Visit a local Chinese supermarket or buy the below ingredients online:


While you might not feel comfortable with making such an exotic dish, it’s in fact really simple. Follow the preparation steps below:

  • Soak the osmanthus for 30 minutes, then mix with honey. Let the mixture sit overnight.
  • Cut the rice cake into 1 cm thick slices.
  • Heat the lard in a pan, put rice cake slices in and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • Pour 100 ml of water in the pan, simmer till there’s just little water left and the rice cake is soft.
  • Place the rice cake slices in a plate, pour the osmanthus and honey mixture on top.
  • Enjoy the dessert while it’s hot!

Tip: Also make some osmanthus tea by steeping the osmanthus flowers with hot water for 2 minutes.

November 24, 2017