Thursday 7 February 2013

Osmanthus Chestnut Cake - 桂花马蹄糕

A few days back during our trip to Chinatown, I saw a stall selling Osmanthus Chestnut Cake (桂花马蹄糕) at a price of S$8.50 per box which gave me a shock. The price that they are selling per box is more than enough to replicate 3 similar boxes if you know how to make it at home. Although my recipe here might not be as authentic when compared to those sold outside in the shop but at least this is not a difficult dessert which you could do it at home for your guests or as a New Year gifts.


According to the stall owner, Osmanthus Chestnut Cake is good to help cool down the body, detox as well as abdominal discomfort, toothaches, and bad breath. So a homemade gift like this for your guests, friends or loved ones this coming New Year would definitely made your effort worth it.

(Make: 4 (11 x 8cm  rectangle) or 3 (12 cm round) tins | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 20 minutes)

1000ml Water
90g Brown Cane Sugar (冰片糖)
2 Tablespoons Of Caster Sugar, optional
2 Tablespoons Osmanthus Flower ( 桂花)
8 - 10 Water Chestnut, skin removed sliced into strips
Knot of Pandan Leave

Chestnut Flour Mixture
230g Chestnut Powder
500ml Water

1. Bring 1000ml water to boil together with pandan leaves and cane sugar (add caster sugar if using for a sweeter taste), lower the heat and simmer till sugar completely dissolved.

2.Turn off the heat, add in Osmanthus flower and infuse for about 2 minutes.  Set aside.

3. Using a whisk, slowly mix chestnut powder with 500ml water until no lumps are found.

4. Pour Osmanthus liquid to the chestnut flour mixture.

5. Return the pot to stove on medium heat, add in water chestnut and keep on stirring the mixture until thicken and change to greyish colour. (refer to the photo above, row 2, column 1)

6. Scoop mixture into prepared pan(s), steamed over Medium High heat for 10 minutes, lower the heat to Medium and steamed for another 10 minutes.

7. Remove and cool completely, store in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight before serving.

~ Chestnut flour is available in most supermarket, baking shops like phoon huat or some grocery stalls at the wet market. I bought mine for S$2.00 per box (250g)

~ If you cannot get hold of Osamanthus Flower, you can just ignore and use only Chestnut Flour and Fresh Water Chestnut to make Chestnut Cake (马蹄糕).

For us, there are two ways that you could enjoy this delicious dessert by either eat it cold on it's own from the fridge like any cold dessert. Or lightly dust the slices with with some cornflour (optional) and pan-fry it with a greased pan till both sides are slightly golden brown in colour. Personally I prefer the pan-fry version more but if on a hot day, the cold version will be a more refreshing after meal dessert. 

To go along with the Osmanthus Chestnut Cake, I often brewed some Chrysanthemums Honey Tea with a teaspoon Osmanthus plus a few wolfberries which helps to cool down the body from the humid weather. But this drink could also be served as your daily after meal drink to ease digestion as well as refresh your mind and body system.


With Chinese New Year just 3 days away, I would be sharing my final new year recipe, Braised Duck with Sea Cucumber hopefully by Friday. I hope with all the current and existing Chinese New Year recipes, you might able to find some inspirations to cook some home cooked dishes for your family to enjoy this festive season.


  1. Hi Ellena, I just bought a few packets of osmanthus flowers from my trip to Guilin and so happy to find this recipe:D Thanks for sharing and gong xi fa cai (still not too late):D

  2. hi where can i buy water chestnut flour? and also osmanthus flower?


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