Chinese Fa Gao

Fortune Cake
Fortune Cake
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½ cup Muscovado sugar dark
130 ml Hot Water
1 cup All-purpose flour
2 tsp Baking powder
For tart molds:
Vegetable oil

Nutritional information

  • For tart molds:

Chinese Fa Gao


This Chinese Fa Gao, aka Fortune Cake or Prosperity Cake, is a delicious traditional Chinese steamed cake. Fa is a Chinese word for “leavened”, and gao means “cake”. However, fa also sounds like “prosperity” or “wealth” – hence the name Prosperity Cake. This sweet cake is usually served during Chinese New Year. A staple in Chinese cuisine, it is believed to bring wealth and prosperity in the year ahead. When properly cooked, the top of the cake splits open into segments. These splits are crucial – the more defined they are, the more success they will bring. 

Start making this Fortune Cake by dissolving the brown sugar in hot water. Mix flour and baking powder and stir in the sugar syrup. Whisk until well combined and completely smooth. Pour the batter into molds and steam over high heat. Remember not to remove the lid during the process. Make sure the water is at a rolling boil with lots of steam when cooking the cake. The steam works with the leavening agent to form those signature splits. Unmold the cakes when ready to serve and enjoy warm or at room temperature. 

To make the Chinese Fa Gao, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for Chinese Fa Gao

Steps to make Chinese Fa Gao


Dissolve brown sugar


In a small bowl, add ½ cup brown sugar and 130 milliliters hot water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.


Combine dry ingredients


In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder.


Mix dry and wet ingredients


Add in the sugar syrup and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth, about 3-5 minutes.


Pour batter into molds


Lightly coat 4 egg tart molds with vegetable oil. Divide the batter evenly between the molds.


Steam cakes


Fill the bottom of a large wok or stock pot with water deep enough to not run dry during the cooking period and set up the steamer. Once the water is boiling, place the molds in. Cover with a tight fitting lid and steam over high heat for about 20-25 minutes. Don’t remove the lid during the process.



Unmold when ready to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This Chinese Fa Gao, aka Fortune Cake, is typically eaten during the Lunar New Year to bring luck and prosperity for the 12 months ahead. Give this recipe a go soon, and leave us a comment below with your thoughts.

Bethany is very passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and clean diet. She’s trying to cut meat out of her diet as much as possible and focuses on cooking vegetarian food and fish. Bethany gets a kick from finding ways to add new twists to classic dishes. What’s more, thanks to her Asian roots, she’s great at combining different cuisines to come up with something extraordinary. Bethany’s recipes will inspire you to add new colors and flavors to your everyday meals.

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