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Welcome to a world of sweetness and joy as we explore the top 12 most popular Chinese sweets. These treats are favorites among people in China, bringing smiles and delight to young and old alike. From classic flavors to exciting new creations, these popular Chinese candies represent the heart and soul of Chinese sweets culture. Let’s embark on a delightful journey and discover the delicious and colorful world of these popular Chinese sweets that have captured the taste buds and hearts of millions.
White Rabbit Milk Flavored Candy
White Rabbit Milk Candy, often simply referred to as White Rabbit Candy, is one of the most popular Chinese candy known for its creamy and milky taste. The candy is a small, individually wrapped, chewy sweet that comes in a distinct white wax paper wrapper with a red image of a rabbit. It has a unique and nostalgic flavor that brings back fond memories for many Chinese people.
The candy’s smooth and soft texture makes it easy to savor, and it dissolves slowly in the mouth, releasing its milky sweetness. White Rabbit Candy is made from a blend of milk, sugar, and other ingredients, which contribute to its distinct creamy taste. Some variations also include fillings like chocolate, red bean, or peanut, adding an extra layer of flavor and surprise.
White Rabbit Candy holds a special place in Chinese culture, as it has been a beloved treat for generations. Its popularity extends beyond China’s borders, and it has become an internationally recognized symbol of Chinese confectionery. Whether enjoyed by children or adults, White Rabbit Milk Candy continues to bring joy and sweetness to people of all ages.
Yida Haw Flakes
Haw flakes, also known as Shan Zha Bing, are a unique and traditional Chinese sweet treat. These delightful confections are made from the fruit of the Chinese hawthorn tree (Crataegus pinnatifida). The process involves boiling the hawthorn fruit to create a thick paste, which is then spread out and dried to form thin, round disks.
Haw flakes have a distinctive deep red color and a slightly tangy taste with a subtle sweetness. Their texture is crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth, making them a delightful and light snack. Each haw flake is individually wrapped in a thin transparent paper, making them easy to carry and enjoy on the go.
These unique candies are not only cherished for their delightful taste but also hold cultural significance in China. Haw flakes are often associated with traditional herbal remedies and are believed to aid digestion, making them a popular choice for both a tasty treat and potential health benefits.
Haw flakes have been enjoyed for generations in China and are still a favorite among people of all ages. Their nostalgic appeal and unique flavor make them a cherished part of Chinese confectionery culture, symbolizing the charm of time-honored treats that continue to sweeten life’s moments.
Hsu Fu Chi Crispy Candy
Hsu Fu Chi Peanut Crispy Candy is a popular Chinese candy known for its delectable blend of crunchy peanuts and sweet caramelized sugar. This candy is made by combining high-quality peanuts with a caramel syrup, which is then cooked to perfection to create a crisp and delightful candy.
The Hsu Fu Chi Peanut Crispy Candy comes in small, bite-sized pieces that are individually wrapped in colorful and attractive packaging. Its sweet and nutty taste, combined with the satisfying crunch of the peanuts, makes it a favorite among candy enthusiasts in China and beyond.
The brand “Hsu Fu Chi” is a well-established confectionery company in China, known for producing a variety of delicious snacks and candies. Their Peanut Crispy Candy is one of their signature offerings and has gained popularity for its addictive flavor and texture.
Whether enjoyed as a quick snack or shared as a delightful treat with friends and family, Hsu Fu Chi Peanut Crispy Candy has become a cherished part of Chinese confectionery culture, exemplifying the irresistible allure of sweet and nutty indulgence.
Wowo Milk Flavored Candy
Wowo Milk Candy, a very popular Chinese candy that was popular throughout China in the 1990s. In terms of taste, Wowo milk candy has a taste of rich and pure milk flavor with good chewiness and it’s not sticky to the teeth. From the moment you put it in your mouth, the strong aroma of Wowo Milk Candy begins to spread.
“Qiegao” (切糕) is a traditional Chinese dessert that can be found in various regions of China. It is a type of steamed rice cake made from rice flour, sugar, and water. Qiegao is known for its soft and chewy texture, with a mildly sweet taste.
The preparation of qiegao involves mixing rice flour and sugar with water to form a smooth batter. The batter is then poured into a shallow pan or tray and steamed until it solidifies and becomes a cohesive cake. Once cooked, it is usually cut into small, square or rectangular pieces, which is where the name “qiegao” comes from, as “qie” (切) means “to cut” in Chinese.
In some variations, qiegao may be enriched with additional ingredients like red bean paste, sesame seeds, or dried fruit to enhance the flavor and add some variation to the texture. It is a popular street food and snack, enjoyed by both children and adults.
Since Chinese cuisine varies significantly by region, the taste and appearance of qiegao can also differ slightly based on the local ingredients and preparation methods. However, the essence of qiegao remains a delightful and simple treat made from rice and sugar, offering a delightful experience for those with a sweet tooth.
Mung Bean Cake
Mung bean cake is a traditional and popular Chinese sweet made from mung beans, sugar, and sometimes other ingredients like coconut milk, butter, or sesame seeds. It is a popular sweet treat in various Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
The preparation of mung bean cake typically involves soaking and grinding mung beans to create a smooth and fine paste. Sugar is added to the paste to sweeten it, and other flavorings or ingredients are mixed in, depending on regional variations. The mixture is then steamed or baked until it solidifies and takes on a cake-like texture.
Mung bean cakes are known for their slightly dense and chewy texture, with a subtly sweet taste from the mung beans and sugar. They often have a delicate and earthy flavor, which makes them a delightful dessert or snack option.
In different regions, the appearance, taste, and ingredients of mung bean cakes may vary. For example, in some places, they may be shaped into small, round cakes, while in others, they could be made into larger rectangular or square pieces. Some variations might incorporate coconut milk to add a creamy coconut flavor, while others might use black sesame seeds for added nuttiness.
Mung bean cakes are enjoyed as a traditional treat during festivals, celebrations, or as an everyday dessert. They are not only tasty but also considered a healthier sweet option due to the nutritious properties of mung beans.
Sesame Crispy Candy
Chinese sesame crispy candy, also known as “Zhima Tang” (芝麻糖) in Mandarin, is a popular traditional Chinese sweet treat made primarily from sesame seeds, sugar, and maltose syrup. It is a common snack that can be found in many regions of China and is enjoyed by people of all ages.
The preparation of sesame crispy candy involves toasting white sesame seeds until they are fragrant and slightly golden. Then, a mixture of sugar and maltose syrup is heated until it reaches the desired caramelized consistency. The toasted sesame seeds are quickly stirred into the hot syrup, ensuring they are evenly coated. The mixture is then spread onto a flat surface and pressed into a thin layer before it cools and hardens.
The result is a crispy and brittle candy with a rich and nutty flavor from the toasted sesame seeds, complemented by the sweetness of the caramelized sugar and maltose syrup. The candy is typically cut into small pieces or bars for easy snacking.
Sesame crispy candy is often enjoyed during festive occasions, offered as a gift, or simply as a delightful treat to satisfy sweet cravings. It’s a delightful combination of textures and flavors that make it a beloved part of Chinese culinary traditions.
“Doumiangao” (豆面糕) is a traditional Chinese dessert made from mung bean starch and glutinous rice flour. It is also known as “Doufugao”, “Douzhihui”, or “Ludagun” in different regions of China. This sweet treat is particularly popular in northern China and is enjoyed for its soft and chewy texture, along with its mildly sweet taste.
The preparation of doumiangao involves mixing mung bean starch and glutinous rice flour with water to create a smooth batter. This batter is then steamed until it solidifies into a jelly-like consistency. Once cooked, the doumiangao is cut into squares or rectangular pieces and served.
Doumiangao is often enjoyed with a sweet syrup, typically made from maltose or brown sugar, drizzled over the top. This adds an extra layer of sweetness and flavor to the dessert. Some variations of doumiangao might also include ingredients like red bean paste, fruit, or nuts for added texture and taste.
The dessert has a delicate and pleasant flavor profile, making it a favorite among those who enjoy subtle and not overly sugary desserts. It’s a wonderful example of the diversity of Chinese sweets, showcasing the use of mung beans and glutinous rice flour to create a unique and enjoyable treat.
Dragon's Beard Candy
Dragon’s Beard Candy (龙须糖) is a traditional Chinese sweet, boasting delicate, thread-like strands resembling a dragon’s beard. Crafted from sugar, malt syrup, and glutinous rice flour, it undergoes an intricate process of stretching, folding, and pulling, creating its unique texture. Peanut powder dusting prevents entanglement, while fillings like peanuts or sesame seeds offer a delightful crunch. A symbol of Chinese culinary art, Dragon’s Beard Candy’s labor-intensive creation culminates in a visual and gastronomic delight. Celebrated at special occasions, it’s a cultural treasure, combining craftsmanship and flavor to offer a sweet, nutty sensation that transcends taste to represent China’s rich heritage.
Tanghulu (糖葫芦) is a traditional Chinese sweet treat that consists of skewered and glazed fruits, usually hawthorns (shan zha), but also other fruits like strawberries, grapes, or kiwi. It is a popular street food often enjoyed during festivals, holidays, or as a sweet treat.
The preparation of tanghulu involves dipping the fruits, typically hawthorns, into a hot sugar syrup. The syrup quickly hardens upon contact with the cold fruit, creating a shiny and crisp shell around the fruit. The process may be repeated to create multiple layers of the sweet glaze, adding to the texture and sweetness of the snack.
The result is a visually appealing snack with a delightful combination of flavors and textures – the tartness of the hawthorn or other fruit is balanced by the sweetness of the sugary coating. Tanghulu is usually served on a stick or skewer, making it convenient to eat while strolling.
Beyond its delicious taste, tanghulu holds cultural significance as a nostalgic and beloved treat in China. Its name, “tanghulu,” literally translates to “candy gourd” or “sugar bottle gourd,” and it is often associated with festive occasions and celebrations. The treat is not only enjoyed for its taste but also for its colorful appearance and the sense of joy it brings to those who savor its flavors.
Qingtuan (青团) is a traditional Chinese sweet treat originating from Jiangnan. This small green bun is commonly seen throughout China, especially during the Qingming Festival. It is made of sticky rice, mugwort, and few other herbal ingredients with quite complex processes. Speaking of the taste, Qingtuan is mildly sweet and has a refreshing grass aroma. It has a tender and chewy exterior, filled with sweet red or black bean paste.
Lotus Flower Crisp
Lotus Flower Crisp is a traditional Chinese dessert, from Suhang. This pastry was used by the imperial court in ancient times, and has been passed down to this day. Because of its elegant appearance and delightful flavor and texture, it is still one of the most common pastries for banquets in Suzhou and Hangzhou.
White Rabbit Cream Plum Candy
White Rabbit Cream Plum Candy is a classic Chinese candy since 1972. It is a plum flavored candy that has perfect balance of sweet and sour. According to my mother, the flavor and the paper wrap of the candy hasn’t changed at all since her childhood. It’s a must try Chinese candy if you’re in the mood of having some sour sweet treats.
The most popular Chinese candy in 2024 is Hsu Fu Chi crispy candy, according to the statistics of the top 3 Chinese online shopping platforms (Taobao, JD, PDD).
Hsu Fu Chi crispy candies are often sold in mixed packs with more than 10 flavors. Each flavor is made with quite distinguished ingredients which is great to share with friends and family.
White Rabbit, Hsu Fu Chi, Dragon Beard Candy, Cream Plum Candy, Haw Flakes, Longan Candy, etc.
About the Author
Hello, I’m Lilith Wong. Welcome to my blog where I share authentic Chinese food and drink recipes.