Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕


Chinese Name: 桂花糕

English Name: Osmanthus cake

Category: Snack小吃

Main Ingredients: Glutinous rice flour; Osmanthus fragrans

Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕
Osmanthus cake

Osmanthus Cake桂花糕 is a traditional snack with Chinese characteristics made of glutinous rice flour, sugar and sweet scented osmanthus honey with a history of more than 300 years. Osmanthus cake has a long history and various kinds.

Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕
Soft Glutinous Osmanthus Cake

According to legend, the osmanthus of Guihu Lake was picked by Yang Sheng’an from the Moon Palace. One night, Yang Sheng’an杨升庵 fell asleep in his study. Kuixing entered his dream and asked Yang Sheng’an if he wanted to go to the Moon Palace to win the laurel. Yang Sheng’an said yes. Therefore, Kuixing ordered the Dragon King of the West Sea to fly Yang Sheng’an to the Moon Palace to pick the laurels.

Arriving at the Moon Palace, Yang Sheng’an saw a palace and a very tall osmanthus tree. He climbed up and picked off the branches of osmanthus and returned to his study. Later, Yang Sheng’an won the first prize in the imperial examination in Beijing.

Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕
Beautiful Osmanthus Cake

At the end of the Ming Dynasty明朝, there was a peddler named Liu Jixiang刘吉祥 in Xindu新都. He got inspiration from Yang Sheng’an’s sweet osmanthus study. Collect fresh osmanthus flowers, squeeze away the bitter water, soak them with sugar, mix them with steamed rice flour, glutinous rice flour, cooked oil and sugar, and then put them into boxes for sale, named osmanthus cake.

Once the osmanthus cake was sold, people rushed to buy it. Later, the local “Tianshun Rong天顺荣” and “Wulingxuan武灵轩” candy shops passed down the production of this cake, and constantly improved the quality, making the osmanthus cake a famous Xianning specialty.

Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕
Osmanthus cake shot at close range

Xindu County is known as the “Fragrant City香城”, which is named after the beautiful artificial lake in the city. According to the county annals, in the Ming Dynasty, Yang Shen杨慎, a famous scholar and writer, planted osmanthus trees all over the lakeside of his home and wrote the famous poem “Guihu Qu桂湖曲”. Since then, the local people have called it “Sheng’an Guihu Lake升庵桂湖”. In the early years of the Republic of China民国, it was renamed “Guihu Park桂湖公园”, which has been upgraded to a cultural relic protection unit in Sichuan Province. It has a rather awkward garden name, “Yangsheng Temple and Guihu Lake杨升庵祠及桂湖”.

Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕
Triangular osmanthus cake

There are many osmanthus flowers in Nanjing, not only in Zhongshan Mausoleum, but also in the streets and lanes. Osmanthus fragrans fragrance in October. Now, Nanjing南京 is filled with the fragrance of Osmanthus fragrans. The sweet scented osmanthus in full bloom reminds us of the sweet scented osmanthus cake. The sweet scented osmanthus cake in Nanjing is not only beautiful in style and soft in taste, but also has a special fragrance. Even after eating it, the fragrance will last for a long time.

The traditional sweet scented osmanthus cake will never add any spices. Before the 1980s, when osmanthus flowers were in full bloom, there was always a notice of “purchasing fresh osmanthus flowers in large quantities” on the streets of Xindu County. Cooked glutinous rice flour, fresh sweet osmanthus and crushed rock candy are the three basic elements of sweet osmanthus cake, which can be pressed into small rectangles with molds and put into cartons for sale.

How to make Osmanthus Cake?


  • 16 kilos of white sugar
  • Extract 4 kg of sugar
  • Glutinous rice flour 4kg
  • Cooked oil 4 kg
  • Sweet osmanthus 2.5 kg
  • Cooked flour 20kg
Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕
Triangular osmanthus cake


  • Step 1, Making flour: put the flour into a steamer and steam it (for 20 minutes), take it out and cool it down, then beat it with a pulverizer to fine it, which is the mature flour.
  • Step 2, Cake making powder: wash the glutinous rice in warm water at 50~60 ℃ for 4~5 minutes, pick it up and spread it in a dustpan to drain the water, fry it with river sand (river sand made with vegetable oil) the next day (it cannot be fried yellow), and then grind it into powder with an electric mill, that is, cake powder (also known as male powder雄粉). Then spread the cake powder on the dustpan to expose it for 2~3 days, and knead the powder into a ball by hand.
  • Step 3, Sugar extraction: add 2~2.5 kg malt sugar and 7.5 kg water in the proportion of 50 kg white sugar. Boil it and add 1 kg oil to boil it to about 120 ℃. When the sugar drops into the water and can be lumped, ladle it up and put it into an ice pot to stir it until it turns to sand.
  • Step 4, Heart making: Mix white sugar, cooked flour, cooked oil cake flour and osmanthus according to the ingredients, sift and remove the impurities to form the heart filling.
  • Step 5, Potting and molding: First, put 1/5 of the mixed bottom and fabric into the box, boil a thin layer as the bottom, put filling in the middle, then spread 4/5 of the bottom and fabric as the dough, roll it flat, press it tight, cut it into rectangular strips with a thin knife, and then pack it.
Osmanthus Cake 桂花糕
Sweet scented osmanthus cake stacked together

Video Guide

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