Easy and healthy Chinese steamed rice cake recipe (Rice Fa gao) that you will love once you tried. I have planned quite a long time ago to make the two types of Chinese steamed rice cake with videos. And finally I bring the two on the blog.

There are two types of Chinese steamed rice cake– one is made from pure rice flour (with large spongy like holes) and the other one is made with rice flour and plain flour (with small holes). Although the ingredients are similar, the two types of steamed rice cakes are different. Pure rice flour rice cake, also known as Bai Tang Gao in mandarin and Bak Tong Gao in Cantonese, is fluffy and chewy. Usually Bai Tang Gao is served after cooling down. However rice fa gao should be served when still warm. This post introduces steamed rice fa gao firstly and then Bai tang gao recipe will come later in next recipe.

steamed rice cake- Rice Fa gao

In China, this is usually served as a dessert as breakfast or between meals. My favorite serving way is with tea as those rice cakes are a little bit too sweet for me.

The batter for this one is quick thick, something similar to chiffon cake batter. The final steamed rice cake is not middle  fluffy and dry. We have another steamed rice cake with a thin batter, which is moist and more fluffy.

steamed rice cake-rice fa gao

Steamed Rice Cake

Steamed Chinese rice cake-- Rice Fa Gao
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Breakfast, staple
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Rice, steamed
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 24 Making 24 middle size steamed rice cake
Calories: 69kcal



  • Dissolve sugar in hot water and set aside to cool down to warm or room temperature (under 38 degree C)
  • Mix rice flour, flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl and stir in sugar liquid. Combine and mix well.
  • Set aside to ferment for 2-4 hours based on the temperature. It takes me 2.5 hours in room temperature around 25-28 degree C until there are lots of small bubbles on the surface and the batter rises twice.
  • Brush the moulds with oil and scoop the liquid to full 80% full. Bring water to boil in wok and then steam the cakes for 20 minutes over high fire.
  • Wait for 5 minutes, transfer out, cool down slightly and de-mould when still warm.
  • This cake should be served warm. Reheat before serving if necessary.


The left rice cakes should be covered with a wet cloth or plastic wrapper to avoid drying out. Reheat before next serving.
The Nutrition Facts is based on each single Fa Gao.


Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Potassium: 12mg | Sugar: 5g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg

steamed rice cake- rice fa gao

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  1. Can you use cake flour or glutinous rice flour instead of rice flour? Will the results be the same? If so, do I use the same amount?

    1. Hi Baili,
      I have never used cake flour or glutinous rice flour actually for the steamed rice cake. I will figure out soon and update the recipe when the test is done.

    1. Hi Burce,
      What type of rice flour are you using? I get failure report form some readers because of the wrong type of flour.

    1. Yeah.Baking powder can work but never tried with baking soda. However the taste might be slightly different.

      1. Thanks for the receipe, I’ve tried to find rice flour in some malls , but they aren’t import rice flours, so what kind of fluor should I use, is it good to use potato starch, or corn flour?

        Thank you.

        1. Hi Thimwemwe,
          If you want the exact taste, using other flour is not a good choice. However we make steamed cake with corn flour and wheat flour.

    1. Hi Elisabeth,
      Water milled rice flour is different from directly grounded rice flour. Usually, the rice is soaked with water and then milled. After that, we will use large gauze to remove the water. The last step is to dry the wet rice flour. Water milled rice flour will be finer.

  2. This recipe is NOT correct!!!!! What a waste of money, time and energy I put into making these today!!!!!!! I have been eating steamed rice cakes for many, many years and now of them are like the result of this recipe!!!!! They turned brown during the steaming process, they are heavy, pastey and the longer they cooked the more that stuck to the toothpick during the doneness test! Advise to others….use a different recipe! Even with the additional water they still were a HUGE failure!!!

  3. Hi Elaine

    Can I cut down the sugar from this recipe.. significantly? Only adding 20g of sugar for example, I do not want a sweet rice cake and would like to have this dipped in savory curry instead. Looking forward to you reply, 10Q.

      1. Hi Lulu,
        I understand that cups and tbsp measurement is much easier than gram if you do not have a kitchen scale in kitchen. But weight measurement is the most accurate method. I will try to give out the volume measurement in future recipes.