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Chinese Pumpkin Cake

Chinese pumpkin cake, fall snack, pumpkin food, fall food
Pumpkin Cakes

Pumpkin cake, "nan gua bing" (南瓜饼) in Mandarin, is a fall snack in China when pumpkins are in abundance. Chinese pumpkin cake is traditionally made with sweet rice flour, sugar, and sometimes red bean paste. They are coated with white sesame seeds or coconut flakes.

I usually use freshly steamed pumpkin, but this year I'm using canned pumpkin puree for a shortcut.


Ingredients - 10 Pumpkin Cakes

  • ½ can of pumpkin puree. About 1 cup or 7 ½ oz.

  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cup of sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour)

  • ¼ cup of powdered or granulated sugar

  • ½ cup of red bean paste (optional)

  • ¼ cup of white sesame seeds (or panko bread crumbs or coconut flakes)


If you prefer not to use red bean paste, skip step 4.

1. Add pumpkin puree and sugar in a mixing bowl. Slowly add sweet rice flour to pumpkin puree while mixing. Knead with a hand when it becomes difficult to mix with chopsticks or a spatula.

2. Add more flour if the dough is too soft and damp. The dough should resemble play dough but softer and less stretchy.

3. Make 10 portions of the dough and roll them into a ball shape.

4. Portion out the red bean paste. You can also store the bean paste in the refrigerator before wrapping so it is more solid.

5. Press a pumpkin dough with fingers into a 2 or 3-inch wrapper, add the bean paste filling, and fold and seal the cake. Roll into a smooth ball, then flatten the ball into a 2-inch patty.

6. Put white sesame seeds on a plate. Gently press each cake and coat both sides with sesame seeds. Dust off excessive seeds.

7. Add ¼ cup of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan (10 or 12 inches). Heat oil over medium-high heat. Test the oil temperature with one pumpkin. The oil is ready when it's sizzling.

8. Fry each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.

Serve warm.

Sesame seeds pumpkin cake, sweet rice cake, autumn food, fall seasonal food.
Pumpkin Cakes Coated with White Sesame Seeds

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