There is no denying that Chinese cuisine is some of the healthiest and most delicious food in the world. Not only is Chinese food delicious and nutritious, but it is also incredibly quick and easy to make.
There are only a few ingredients involved in most dishes and cooking at high temperatures helps reduce cooking time.
However, an aspect of Chinese cooking that can often be overlooked, especially in Western countries, is the range of gorgeous desserts that are part of Chinese cuisine.
I have compiled a list of 15 tasty Chinese dessert recipes that are simple enough to try at home and satisfy a sweet craving.
1. Chinese Egg Tarts
There is a high chance that you have had some form of an egg custard tart at some point in your life, but these Chinese egg tarts take the dessert pastry to another level.
The puff pastry that is used for these egg tarts is slightly different from the puff pastry that is commonly used in Western cooking.
The flour that is mixed into the oil or butter creates a distinctive texture that is unique to these Chinese egg tarts.
2. Chinese Steamed Custard Buns
Another popular sweet dessert that is common at Dim Sum restaurants is Chinese steamed custard buns. The steamed dough of these buns is light, fluffy, and impossibly soft.
The texture of the buns combined with the sweetness of the warm custard filling will make you want to make this dessert every week.
Adding a small red dot to the top of these buns gives them an authentic look. This can also be useful for differentiating between bun fillings if you are also having savory ones.
3. Chinese Almond Cookies
You may have tasted Chinese almond cookies before if you frequent Chinese restaurants. Although this is not something that would be served at a restaurant in China, restaurants in the US understand that having a dessert from a restaurant is customary here.
Therefore, these cookies are often offered. They are the perfect dessert option to make at home if you like something crunchy for dessert and don’t want a dessert that is going to be overly sweet.
These cookies also work great as a delicious snack.
4. Mooncake Recipe
Strictly speaking, this is a dessert or sweet treat that is saved exclusively for the Mid-Autumn festival in China. That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid making it at home until the festival rolls around.
In fact, I would say that it is a good idea to practice making it a few times before trying it as a treat for the holiday. Aside from the stunning flavor that is provided by the golden syrup in this recipe, the pattern on the outside of the mooncake really steals the show.
5. Chinese Fried Dough
The most interesting thing about this Chinese dessert for me is that it is simultaneously incredibly simple and decadent. Although this recipe is actually often eaten as a breakfast item in China, it works brilliantly as a dessert item.
This dessert is very similar to American crullers. Chinese fried dough is often served alongside sweet porridge, milk, pancakes, or sticky rice.
6. Chinese Raspberry Snowflake Cake
Chinese snowflake cake is a delicious, sweet dessert that is served cold. The consistency of this cake is very gelatinous rather than fluffy and crumbly like most Western cakes. The consistency is caused by the amount of gelatin that is used in this cake.
Although this recipe uses raspberry to add flavor and stunning color, snowflake cake can be made with almost any type of fruit. Mango and blueberries are popular variations.
7. Traditional Chinese Sweet Potato And Ginger Dessert Soup
This recipe might seem like one of the more unusual options on this list but desserts made from typically savory ingredients are very popular in Chinese cuisine.
When you think of sweet potato and ginger soup, you might expect it to be an appetizer or side dish rather than a dessert.
However, the addition of sugar to this recipe turns the broth into a syrup-like consistency and flavor. You can also add some red dates to the recipe to make it taste even sweeter.
8. Chinese Mung Bean Cake
Mung bean cakes are a traditional and popular dessert option in China. Mung beans are used in a lot of Chinese dishes both savory and sweet. These delicate, beautiful cakes are made in detailed cake molds like mooncakes.
As with many Chinese desserts, the sweetness comes from adding a significant amount of sugar. Adding matcha to the recipe helps give the cakes a stunning green color.
You can also add some red bean paste to the center of your cakes to add an extra treat.
9. Creamy Red Bean Paste Popsicles
I’ve mentioned red bean paste a couple of times in this article. That is because it is a popular ingredient in many Chinese desserts and sweet recipes. For a lot of these recipes, however, the red bean paste has been an addition to a recipe that doesn’t need it.
These delicious popsicles make the red bean paste the main event. Not only are the popsicles incredibly creamy and sweet, but they also contain delicious pieces of chewy beans.
The best thing about this recipe is that you only need three ingredients and they are incredibly simple to make.
10. Soy Milk Pudding
This soy milk pudding is one of the more gentle flavors on this list. Much like the almond cookies I mentioned above, this dessert is less sweet than some of the others that have been mentioned.
Because this dessert is also soft and smooth, it is a great option if you need a pick-me-up when you are feeling under the weather. This is another cold dessert like the snowflake cake which makes it a perfect choice for the summer months.
It also makes it a great home remedy for a sore throat. The best thing is that you only need five ingredients to make this simple but delicious dessert.
11. Fried Bananas
Another super simple dessert option is simply fried bananas. The natural sugar in the bananas helps to create a caramelized effect that makes them even sweeter than before.
They are most commonly served with maple syrup or chocolate sauce dip, although you can serve them with any kind of sweet sauce or whipped cream that you like.
If you want to try these deep fried bananas but are conscious of how unhealthy the recipe might be, it is also possible to prepare these bananas in an air fryer to help make them a little healthier.
12. Red Bean Cakes
Another cake option for Chinese desserts is red bean cakes. These adorable round cakes are crunchy and golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside with a delicious sweet red bean paste filling.
These tiny cakes are really easy to make and can be done in any pan with round holes in it. The addition of an adorable cat face is completely optional but it does add an extra layer of sweetness to the desert.
13. Chinese Mango Pudding
A classic Chinese dessert that you may have heard of before is mango pudding. This is yet another dessert that works really well in the summer months because it is served cold.
However, for some people, the taste is very comforting so the dessert works well all year round. This recipe has to be one of the simplest on this list with the most tricky part being the process of dissolving the gelatin in water.
Mango pudding is a great last-minute dessert that can be made quickly and left to chill for 2-4 hours while you prepare and enjoy your main course.
14. Chinese Sesame Seed Dessert Balls
Sesame seed is a very common ingredient in all aspects of Chinese cooking. The flavor that is produced by sesame seeds is unique but not overpowering which is what makes it such a good option.
The general flavor of sesame is warming and comforting making it a great option for dessert recipes. It is for these reasons that sesame seed dessert balls are so popular in China.
One of the best things about this dessert is that the paste that you use for the filling can be different every time. From sesame paste to red bean paste to mung bean paste.
15. Almond Jelly
You will have noticed by now that Chinese desserts seem to feature either some kind of bean paste or gelatin. This simple almond jelly recipe is another common and popular dessert item in China. It is often served with a fruit salad or other fruit desserts.
It is very simple to make almond jelly using just ground almonds, milk, and gelatin. It is commonly cut into cubes before being added to other dishes and is sometimes called almond tofu because it looks similar.
This jelly can also be made with other nuts such as walnuts and chestnuts.
There are so many delicious and simple Chinese dessert options that are difficult to get in Chinese restaurants. Luckily, most of these recipes are easy to make at home and require very little specialist equipment.