11 Chinese Desserts and Cakes to Try

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Want to try some Chinese desserts during your next trip to China?

China is a country that’s full of surprises when it comes to desserts. Bean popsicles, mooncakes, black sesame soup, and grass jelly, are just to name a few interesting Chinese desserts.

There are so many delicious things to eat and new flavors to discover. Down below you can read more about Chinese desserts:


Tangyuan are small balls made from glutinous rice flour mixed with water.

These balls can be unfilled or filled – normally with ground black sesame seeds mixed with sugar. They’re served in boiling water with fermented glutinous rice or in sweet syrup, but can be fried as well.

This is a popular Chinese dessert that’s traditionally eaten during the Winter Solstice Festival, Lantern Festival, and during Chinese weddings.


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Mooncakes is one of my favorite Chinese desserts. It’s a round pastry that’s made from lotus seed paste, red beans, and egg yolks.

It’s a delicious Chinese dessert that’s traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

It’s a must to eat when you’re in China. But be careful, they contain lots of calories so don’t eat too many.


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Candied hawthorn (Tanghulu)

Tanghulu (shanzha in Mandarin Chinese) is a popular sweet of Northern China. It’s basically fruits covered in hard candy on bamboo skewers, with a sweet and sour flavor.

Chinese hawthorn is the traditional fruit for these sweets, but nowadays you can find all different kinds of fruits used. When using the hawthorn, they’re emptied out and filled with a sweet red bean paste before being dipped in the sugar coating.

This is one of the Chinese desserts that you have to try when you’re in the northern part of the country.

Candied hawthorn

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Mung bean popsicle

The Mung bean popsicle is a popular dessert during the hot summer months in China.

It’s made from mung beans, which might not sound that delicious – but they’re actually not that bad.

In addition, they’re not very expensive to buy, so it can be worth paying 1-2 yuan just to taste it.

chinese desserts

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Deep-fried mantou

Deep-fried mantou is a plain unfilled bun that has been deep-fried and dipped in condensed milk. It’s like a Chinese version of an American doughnut.

They’re simple and delicious, and a must to try when you’re in China.

mantou chinese

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Egg tarts

Egg tarts is one of the Chinese desserts that you can find all over the country – you can find them at most bakeries and cafés.

They’re made with a pastry crust and filled with a delicious egg custard – then baked in the oven.

It’s one of the most popular desserts in China – among both locals and tourists.

egg tarts

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Ginger milk curd

This dessert originated in the Shunde District in Guangzhou, China. It’s a hot dessert made from ginger, milk (buffalo milk originally), and sugar.

This is one of the Chinese desserts that you have to try if you’re planning to visit the Shunde District in China.

chinese desserts

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Mango Pomelo Sago

Mango Pomelo Sago is a popular Hong Kong dessert. It was invented by Lei Garden in 1984, and can today be found at many Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong.

It’s made from mango, pomelo, sago, coconut milk, evaporated milk, and milk.

When in Hong Kong, make sure to visit Lei Garden to taste their signature dish. It’s simply delicious!

Mango Pomelo Sago

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Grass Jelly

Grass jelly is a popular dessert on the mainland of China, Hong Kong, and Macau. It’s made by using the platostoma palustre plant, which is a plant from the mint family.

It is served cold with toppings of fruits or in drinks such as bubble tea. It has a mild but bitter taste.

grass jelly

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Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese almond cookies is one of the most delicious cookies in China. They’re sweet and crunchy and is a popular snack among both kids and adults.

They’re made with almond flour, almond extract, and fresh almonds – often eaten during festivals, such as Chinese New Year for example.

chinese desserts

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Black Sesame Soup

The black sesame soup is a popular dessert in China. It’s made from black sesame seeds, rice, water, and sugar for sweetness. It’s typically served hot, but can also be served cold.

Some restaurants add tangyuan to the black sesame soup as well.

black sesame soup

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More about Chinese desserts

The Chinese desserts are typically served with tea along with- or at the end of meals. Many of the desserts uses ingredients such as glutinous rice, sweet bean pastes, sesame, and agar, etc.

Due to its long history and many cultures, today you can try several unique desserts with interesting ingredients and flavors.

Other Chinese desserts

  • Banana roll
  • Chongyang cake
  • Douhua
  • Dragon’s beard candy
  • Fried ice cream
  • Hasma
  • Huangqiao sesame cake
  • Nian gao
  • Nuomici
  • Red tortoise cake
  • Sachima
  • Zongzi

Do you have any other questions about Chinese desserts? Leave a comment below!

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