CNY Recipe: French Toast with Nian Gao

Nian gao, the sticky glutinous rice cake that is ubiquitous during Chinese New Year is symbol of good luck because its name is a homonym for higher year. Some people eat it as is, while other families prefer to coat the cake in egg and then frying it up before serving.

This recipe from pastry chef Daniel Tay, founder of Old Seng Choong however, takes a more unique approach to nian gao-eating by combining it with French Toast. Simple, yet child-friendly and tasty, this is the perfect way to introduce the traditional snack to a wider audience, even after Chinese New Year is over.

French Toast with Nian Gao (Makes 12)

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250g nian gao, cut into 4mm-thick slices
3 eggs
100ml milk
80g sugar
Butter, for frying
1 loaf of sliced white bread
Icing sugar


  1. Whisk together eggs, milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Sandwich each piece of nian gao between 2 slices of bread.
  3. Trim away all the edges of the bread and cut each sandwich into half.
  4. Melt some butter in a frying pan over medium heat.Brush the surfaces of each sandwich with egg mixture and pan-fry on each side for about 3min until golden-brown.
  5. Sprinkle some icing sugar over the French toast sandwiches before serving.

For a more savoury Chinese New Year recipe, click here for Yan Ting’s braised king prawn with shrimp oil.

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