Red Bean Cake Recipe

Rich Man’s Red Bean Cake Recipe

The red bean cake is one of my favorite Chinese snacks. The sticky rice cake exterior has a tantalizing smell of toasted sesame seeds, and the gooey spongy interior is filled with a sweet and moist red bean paste.

This combination just sends me over the edge! Oh, just writing that description has my mouth watering!

Although the red bean cake is one of my favorite desserts, it isn’t a traditionally popular choice in Chinese restaurants. You may only find this beautiful flat cake on the odd occasion, which is why it is so important to me to bring it back into the limelight!

Usually, the red bean cake is cooked in deep-frying oil, but to make the dessert more healthy, I have chosen to create a skillet recipe for you instead.

Why has the Red Bean Cake Become Less Popular?

Chinese desserts are not particularly sweet, which means American and European restaurant-goers often avoid some of the more traditional dessert options on the menu.

This isn’t just a western decline, though, as the Chinese popular has started to grow a sweet tooth in the last couple of decades.

This means that traditional sweets, like the red bean cake, are starting to fall into the history books. But I’m not going to let that happen!

If anything, I should be appealing to the health nuts who have a snacking problem. A lot of Chinese desserts (this tasty Chinese Birthday Cake Recipe is one of them) are made from fruit pastes and rice flour, which means they are healthier than a chocolate bar and more filling than a health bar. 

If you ate two rounds of this rice cake (our yummy chinese rice cake recipe is a must for you) after a sweat-inducing workout, you wouldn’t even feel guilty!

Red Bean Cake Recipe

Some tips before we start! 

Rice flour doesn’t contain gluten which means that it doesn’t hold very well when it has been stretched, so try to be gentle with the dough as you knead it.

Rice flour is usually a lot easier to knead than wheat flour, and it doesn’t need time to rest. This means you should be aware of a quicker preparation time than you might have expected, and you should avoid over-kneading.

Let’s get to it!

Serving SizeServes 6 Cakes
Total Cooking Time40 Minutes


  • Glutinous Rice Flour – 9 oz or 250 g – Have extra for dusting your working surface
  • Red Bean Paste – 1 ½ cups
  • Vegetable Oil – 1 Tbsp
  • Roasted Sesame Seeds – ½ cup
  • Water – 1 cup


  1. Add the flour into a large bowl and slowly start adding the water. Stir with a fork until the water is combined with the flour.
  2. You will be ready when there is no dry flour left and the combination has the texture of dough. If the dough is too runny and is hard to shape, add more flour one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Using your hands, knead the dough. It should only need a couple of presses. You want the texture to be consistent.
  4. Lift the dough from the bowl. You should notice that the dough is slightly sticky.
  5. Dust your work surface with flour and place the dough down.
  6. Dive the dough by half, and keep one half to the side.
  7. Roll the remaining dough with your hands, and create a long and even rod shape.
  8. Divide the rod into 6 equal pieces.
  9. Shape each piece into a round ball, and set them to one side.
  10. With each ball, press them until they create a flat piece.

To make this shape, you want to place one piece into your palm and use the other hand to press it into a flat piece. Each piece should be around 2.5 inches in diameter and ¼ inch thick.

  1. With the reserved dough, repeat steps 7 to 10.
  2. Take one of the flat pieces and spoon 2 tablespoons of red bean paste into the center. Spread it around the base, leaving room at the edge.
  3. Take another flat piece and place it over the red bean paste.
  4. Pinch the clear edges of dough together, enclosing the paste inside to create the raw cake. 
  5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds onto a non-dusted work surface.
  6. Place the cake on the seeds and gently press. Be careful not to force the paste out.
  7. Shake off the excess sesame seeds, and place this raw cake to one side.
  8. Repeat steps 12-17 with the remaining flat pieces.
  9. Put the non-stick skillet over a medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
  10. When the oil has gotten hot, turn the heat to medium-low.
  11. Place around 4 cakes in the skillet. Don’t overcrowd them. Depending on the size of your skillet, add more or fewer cakes as needed.
  12. Cook for 2 minutes.
  13. When the bottom side has turned a golden brown, flip the cake over.
  14. Cook for 2 minutes.
  15. When the flipped side has turned golden brown, transfer the cakes onto a cooling rack or kitchen paper towel.
  16. Repeat steps 19 to 25 for the remaining raw cakes.
  17. Serve the red bean cakes warm, and enjoy!

If you want to cook the red bean cakes in the traditional way, all you have to do is substitute the skillet for a wok or large pan. 

At step 19, instead of using just 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, you will need around 6 cups of vegetable oil or enough to create a deep space of liquid. 

Once the oil reaches around 375 degrees Fahrenheit, you can cook each raw cake for approximately 4 minutes, making sure they are evenly cooked.

You might also want to check out our red bean mooncake recipe which is as yummy as this red bean cake.

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