32 Traditional Chinese Desserts

Traditional Chinese Desserts
Image credit: foodrepublic.com

Desserts are always a hit with any meal, but traditional Chinese desserts have something special that makes them extra special.

Traditional Chinese desserts have been around since the Ming Dynasty, many centuries ago. This was when they were more of an appetizer to go along with other dishes than the sweet dessert they are now.

But if you’re looking for delicious desserts to add to your next meal, you are at the right blog.

Here’s our list of must-try Traditional Chinese desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth and taste buds!

1. Eight Treasures Rice Pudding

The first on this list of traditional Chinese desserts, Eight Treasures Rice Pudding, is a luxurious dessert. It consists of egg yolks, sugar, rice, and various nuts. One variation includes the addition of dried fruit such as raisins or currants. 

Furthermore, the ingredients are slowly cooked together in milk or water until it becomes thick. It is then served either hot or cold with whipped cream on top.

2. Ginger Milk Curd

Ginger milk curd, or Jinjiang tang in Mandarin, one of the traditional Chinese desserts, is made by heating fresh milk with ginger and sugar.

The dish comes from the Cantonese word for milk, jin, and from the Jiangxi province of China, where it originated. 

Typically, Ginger milk curd was served as a breakfast dish back in the day but has since become more popular as a dessert item.

The dish is usually served cold and pairs well with rice porridge or congee. It can be enjoyed on its own as an appetizer or as part of a larger meal.

3. Coconut Bar

Coconut bars are often called coconut snowballs in English and are popular Traditional Chinese desserts.

The outside shell is made of sugar syrup mixed with egg white to form a hard candy shell that’s then rolled into coconut flakes. The inside is soft ice cream. 

Coconut ice cream can be found at many Asian grocery stores in the freezer section. Also, you can make your own by using canned coconut milk as the base for your favorite flavor of the ice cream mix.

4. Fried Ice Cream

Fried ice cream is a traditional dessert that originated in Taiwan. The dessert consists of a scoop of vanilla ice cream coated in sweet honey batter. It is deep-fried until the exterior becomes golden brown and crispy. 

Then, it’s served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on top. If you’re looking for something sweet to satisfy your craving for traditional Chinese desserts, this is the perfect dessert to enjoy!

5. Sachima

Sachimas are traditional Chinese desserts that can be eaten as a snack or dessert. Sachima is made from glutinous rice flour (known as sweet rice) and sugar and has a similar consistency to Japanese mochi.

The sweet rice balls are prepared by forming small pieces of dough with the hands. Next, you place them into boiling water, where they soften before being removed with chopsticks or tongs.

The cooked sachima is then dipped in sweetened condensed milk and served cold. It is often garnished with fresh fruit such as lychees, dragon fruit, or mangoes.

The main ingredient in sachima is sticky rice flour which makes it chewy and soft when cooked.

6. Lo Mai Chi

Lo Mai Chi is a dessert made of glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and pandan leaves. Many people think Lo Mai Chi is the most traditional Chinese dessert because they have been around for thousands of years.

This dessert is usually served hot and can be eaten with a spoon or rolled into balls and dipped in condensed milk.

Additionally, there are many variations on this recipe, but they all have the same general ingredients, which makes it easy to find recipes online.

I like to use an immersion blender to ensure the coconut milk mixes thoroughly with the other ingredients for a smooth texture.

7. Mooncake

Throughout the year, people celebrate their birthdays by eating delicious desserts. In China, mooncakes are one of the most popular and traditional Chinese desserts because they are eaten to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and honor Change, the goddess of the moon.

These cakes can be filled with different types of fillings like lotus seed paste, egg yolk jam, or chocolate. Also, they may have a filling between two cake layers called paste.

Often, Mooncakes are given as gifts for family members and friends during this time of year. The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on September 15th.

This is when people eat these delicious treats that come in different shapes, like circles or crescents.

8. Chinese Milk Tea

Milk tea is one of the traditional Chinese desserts that’s served hot or cold. The drink is usually made from black tea mixed with milk. Then, it is served with evaporated milk or condensed milk on top. 

Moreso, it can be served either over ice in the summer or heated in the winter. Milk tea is often mixed with other ingredients, such as tapioca pearls, lychee fruit, red bean paste, and honeydew.

9. Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Pots De Crème

Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Pots De Crème is a traditional Asian dessert that is perfect for this time of year. The recipe has five spices: cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel, and pepper.

These are combined with dark chocolate, cream, and eggs to make a rich custard. Further, the pot de crème cups is baked until they are set into a light, creamy pudding consistency.

It is so easy to prepare that you can make it in just 20 minutes! This is certainly not left out of the list of traditional Chinese desserts.

10. Green Tea Coconut Milk Ice-Cream

Speaking of several traditional Chinese desserts, Green tea coconut milk ice cream is popular in China and Taiwan.

In China, it is typically served with shaved ice and various toppings. The most common toppings are grass jelly, taro balls, red bean paste, peanuts, and cornflakes.

11. Red Bean Soup

Check out the red bean soup if you want to indulge in traditional Chinese desserts but don’t know where to start. Red bean soup is a popular dessert in China, Japan, and Korea. It is made by boiling azuki beans with sugar or honey until they form a thick paste. 

The consistency is then mixed with water or milk to create a cold soup which has been likened to ice cream because it’s so sweet and rich.

This dessert can be served as a dish on its own or paired with other dishes. Dishes like shaved ice and taro balls can be paired for maximum enjoyment.

12. Hot Candied Sweet Potato

Hot Candied Sweet Potatoes are traditional Chinese desserts that consist of candied sweet potatoes in syrup.

This dish is popular at night markets, providing visitors warmth and comfort. The ingredients for this dish are sweet potatoes, sugar, water, and spices (cinnamon and nutmeg). 

There are many variations to this recipe, with some adding ginger or honey. The process of making Hot Candied Sweet Potatoes begins by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into small pieces. These pieces are then boiled in water until they become soft. 

Once cooked, they are drained and mixed with a sugar syrup solution from boiling the sugar water. This syrup has caramelized to an amber color while stirring constantly.

13. Chinese Fruit Salad

Chinese fruit salad is a traditional dessert in China. It is made with various fruits and vegetables, such as pineapple, watermelon, apple, tomato, pear, and persimmon.

The salad is seasoned with ginger juice and soy sauce. This dish, one of the traditional Chinese desserts, is often served as a side dish to other dishes or as a light dessert. 

For example, it might be served alongside hot pot or fried rice. Though this dish is traditionally eaten cold, many modern variations are cooked by simmering the mixture on the stovetop.

They do this until they thicken into a syrup before cooling completely. To sum up, they are likewise on this list of traditional Chinese desserts.

14. Tang Yuan- Glutinous Rice Balls

Similarly, Tang Yuan is one of the traditional Chinese desserts. It is made from glutinous rice flour, which gives it a chewy texture.

The dough is filled with sweet ingredients such as black sesame paste, brown sugar, and lotus seed paste. 

After the dough has been filled with sweet filling, it is boiled in water until its texture becomes soft and sticky. Tang yuan can be eaten by itself, or it can be served in soup. They are traditionally eaten during the Tang Dynasty, hence the name Tang Yuan.

15. Hong Kong Egg Tart

Hong Kong egg tarts are a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The flaky crust is layered with a rich, buttery filling that is then baked to perfection.

There are plenty of options on where you can find these delectable sweet treats. However,  one particular place stands out: Mak’s Noodle Shop. 

This restaurant has served traditional Hong Kong food for over 30 years in Hong Kong’s Central district.

And as if their menu of noodles and rice dishes wasn’t delicious enough, they also have an extensive selection of traditional Chinese desserts from which to choose.

One of the more popular offerings on the dessert menu is their egg tart. These little pastries are served piping hot and filled with a light custard that melts in your mouth with every bite.

16. Bing Tang Hu Lu

Bing tang hu lu is a traditional dessert found in the northeastern region of China. It consists of a thick, glutinous rice cake flavored with ginger, five-spice powder, and honey. It is similar to but denser than the Cantonese yam paste dessert, daikon cake, or zhongtang. 

Surging, the ginger flavor in the bing tang hu lu dish gives it a spicy kick that contrasts nicely with its sweet honey taste.

Bing tang hu lu is traditionally served cold as it can be stored in the fridge for up to a month. It is often cut into small squares and topped with sesame seeds for an extra crunchy texture before serving.

If you want to wow your guests with traditional Chinese desserts, Bing tang hu lu will deliver just as you ask!

17. Chinese Fortune Cookies

Looking to try one of the most amazingly delicious traditional Chinese desserts?  Chinese fortune cookies are at your beck and call.

Not only are they delicious treats, but they are also a unique way to give someone an unforgettable gift. 

In addition, they can be given at any time of the year, whether for a birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or just to say thank you.

You can personalize them by writing your message outside the wrapper. And best of all? They’re so easy to make at home! 

To make these Chocolate Fortune Cookies with Caramel and Chocolate Ganache Filling: Use your favorite chocolate cookie recipe.

Fill it with cream cheese filling flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. Refrigerate for one hour before adding the ganache topping. 

Next, pour melted caramel into a disposable pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Place the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out until very thin, about 3/8 inch thick.

After that, cut into 3×3 inch squares and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Going further, remove from the refrigerator and cut each square diagonally in half.

This will create 4 triangles per square (a total of 24). Finally, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes or until the edges turn light brown.

18. Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese almond cookies are also traditional Chinese desserts that can be found in almost every part of China.

It is made by blending ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites with other ingredients such as sesame oil, ginger, or rosewater. 

Then, the dough is rolled out into long strips that are cut into small pieces to create the cookie shape. This extremely popular dessert can be served at any mealtime or event. Besides, it is often enjoyed for breakfast alongside tea or coffee as well.

19. Coconut And Osmanthus Jelly

Coconut and osmanthus jelly is a traditional dessert in China. It has a sweet taste of coconut milk, with a hint of the fragrance of osmanthus flowers. This dish is often eaten as an accompaniment to rice congee or gruel with tea. 

Also, compared to other traditional Chinese desserts, Coconut and osmanthus jelly is popular with hot water or iced coffee.

In Taiwan, this dish is called luo buo (螺肉). The texture is similar to tapioca balls but softer. In Thailand, it’s called lua pla (ลาบแป้ง) and many variants use different toppings like chocolate sauce or whipped cream.

20. Annin Tofu Jelly

Annin Tofu Jelly is a traditional Chinese dessert that is served at the end of most meals. It’s made from tofu, water, and agar.

The mixture is boiled over low heat for about 10 minutes before being poured into small cups or bowls. It is left to sit in the fridge for about five hours. 

Once it has set, it can be garnished with whatever you like – such as mango, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, or even chocolate sauce! If you’re not a fan of tofu, then this might not be the dish for you.

But if you love soybean desserts, why not try this one? Overall. There are all traditional Chinese desserts, and your satisfaction is assured!

21. Chinese Doughnuts Stick-Youtiao

The Chinese doughnut stick is a traditional doughnut that has been pan-fried. Called youtiao in China, the dish is usually eaten as a breakfast food and can be served plain or with various toppings.

This doughnut is made from flour, oil, and water, which are mixed to form a dough ball. The ball of dough is then cut into small pieces and deep-fried in hot oil until golden brown.

Youtiao can be served plain or with different toppings, including sugar, sesame seeds, soy sauce, vinegar, or Asian sauce.

So, if you are looking for traditional Chinese desserts that make your taste buds tingle, this might just be for you! 

22. Pineapple Bun

Pineapple buns are not left out of the roll of traditional Chinese desserts. They are popular worldwide but are especially loved in China because of their light sweetness and tender texture. Pineapple buns can be eaten plain or with condensed milk on top. 

Basically, the bread itself is usually made from white flour and yeast, and the filling is typically a mix of pineapple chunks, sugar, eggs, and canned pineapple juice.

It’s important to note that not all pineapple buns have their fillings inside them- some have them on top as a topping!

23. Jian Dui Or Sesame Balls – Dessert Roll

A dessert roll (Jian Dui or Sesame Balls) is one of the popular traditional Chinese desserts that dates back to the Song Dynasty.

It is made of flour, water, and sugar. The dough is first fried and then wrapped around sesame seeds before being deep-fried again. 

The texture of the pastry is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Meanwhile, Jian Duis is usually served hot with rock candy syrup or lotus seed paste, but you can also buy them cold in some stores. 

24. Fantan – Candied Fruits

Fantan (candied fruits) is one of the most popular types of traditional Chinese desserts. It dates back to Emperor Qianlong’s reign in 1750 during the Qing dynasty.

While other candies only use sugar as their main ingredient, Fantans use sugar mixed with molasses and honey for a more intense flavor.

25. Chinese Steamed Rice Cake

Still, on our list of traditional Chinese desserts, we have the Chinese steamed rice cake. It is a traditional dessert that is usually served at the end of a family meal in China.

It can be eaten by itself or with tea to balance the sweetness. Like others, there are many different varieties.

But the most common one is made from rice flour and filled with sweet red bean paste. The red bean paste is often tinted yellow, giving it an attractive appearance. 

Usually, the outer layer is a thin dough made from rice flour, giving it a distinct chewy texture. To make this dish, all you need to do is prepare all of the ingredients beforehand.

Then mix them in a large bowl and afterward steam them for about 15 minutes. Lastly, you can serve it warm or cold with fresh cream.

26. Chinese New Year Cake- Nian Gao

We cannot but include the Nian Gao when discussing the various traditional Chinese desserts. Also known as New Year Cake, it is served on the first day of the Lunar New Year.

This cake is made of glutinous rice and tastes sweet with a delicate fragrance and chewy texture. 

Moving on, the cake is often served in three pieces; one piece for family members (or one’s self), one for friends, and one for the poor.

Nian Gao also symbolizes family reunion during this time when people gather together to enjoy food and each other’s company.

Nian Gao originated in China over 500 years ago when it was cooked by the imperial palace chefs for the Emperors’ family members on New Year’s Day. It was then adopted by commoners, who began to make it from their kitchens.

27. Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake – Ji Dan Gao

Ji Dan Gao is on our list of traditional Chinese desserts made of layers of steamed glutinous rice flour batter. It is then cut into square pieces and served with sweetened condensed milk.

The cake has a light and fluffy texture with a fine, tender crust on the outside. Ji Dan Gao can be served as breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Mostly, it’s topped with crushed walnuts for added flavor and crunch. There are many variations of this dessert.

But the most common one contains six layers of dough alternating between plain (nongqian) and sticky (niangqian) dough.

28. Ma Lai Go Chinese Steamed Cake

Next to be discussed on this list of traditional Chinese desserts is Ma Lai Go which is often eaten during the winter months. It’s made of water, cake flour, cornstarch, and sugar. 

Moreso, the batter for Ma Lai Go is poured into a special pan with an octagon shape in the middle and circular shapes around the outside edge.

This pan is then placed over boiling water to steam it. When it’s finished cooking, you’ll see a golden crust on top of the fluffy white inside.

29. Coconut Tapioca Pudding

Coconut Tapioca Pudding is a traditional dessert in China and other parts of Southeast Asia. This pudding is made from tapioca pearls, coconut milk, sugar, and pandan extract. 

It’s often served chilled with shaved ice or red bean soup. If you’re in the mood for something sweeter, add some condensed milk to give it an extra kick of sweetness! Of all the traditional Chinese desserts, this one, in particular, will give you maximum satisfaction.

30. Coconut Milk And Rockmelon Sago

Coconut milk and rockmelon sago are popular desserts in Malaysia. It’s made from coconut milk, rockmelon, and sago. The recipe for this particular one of traditional Chinese desserts is simple to make at home. 

You’ll need a can of coconut milk, rockmelon chunks, water, vanilla extract or powder (to taste), sugar (to taste), and crushed ice.

First, combine the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Next, pour the mixture into glasses or bowls and top with more crushed ice before serving. I hope you try this delicious dessert soon!

31. Chinese Mango Pudding

Traditional Chinese desserts?  Mango pudding is included! It is made from boiled meringue and a mixture of eggs, sugar, and cornstarch. The mixture is then cooked over low heat until it reaches the desired consistency. 

Once the meringue has cooled down, it is cut into cubes and mixed with mango puree. The final step in making this popular dessert involves adding vanilla extract to the mix before serving it chilled.

32. Homemade Tau Foo Faa-Soybean Pudding

As expected, Tau foo faa is on the list of traditional Chinese desserts that are typically served as an accompaniment to other desserts.

It’s made from soybeans, brown sugar, and tapioca balls, and it has a light, chewy texture with a hint of sweetness. It also has a very earthy flavor that’s not too overpowering. 

Furthermore, there are many different ways to enjoy tau foo faa. You can eat it on its own as a snack or dessert; add it to ice cream for an extra layer of flavor. Or try mixing it with some condensed milk for a sweet and savory beverage!


There’s no doubt that traditional Chinese desserts have an excellent reputation worldwide. And it’s no wonder why so many people are drawn to the complexity and variety of this cuisine. However, there’s more to Chinese food than just noodles and stir-fries.

In fact, you might be surprised to find that dessert is actually a very popular part of Chinese cuisine! If you’re planning on eating out at your local Chinese restaurant, make sure to try some of these delicious traditional Chinese desserts. You won’t regret it!

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