Steamed Tapioca Red Bean Cakes | Christine's Recipes: Easy Chinese Recipes | Delicious Recipes

Steamed Tapioca Red Bean Cakes

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Look at these mini tapioca cakes with red bean paste inside. Aren’t they lovely? They indeed look gorgeous when presented on a serving table in a small or big party. Not only do they look attractive, but also they taste wonderful. One bite one cake, it’s pretty easy to make!

Steamed Tapioca Red Bean Cakes Recipe (Printable recipe)

Prep time:
Cook time:
Yield: Makes 24

  • 200 gm tapioca pearls
  • 85 gm sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 145 gm sweetened red bean paste, canned or homemade
How To Make Steamed Tapioca Red Bean Cakes

  1. Soak tapioca pearls over 1 hour. Rinse and drain well. Add sugar and olive oil, mix well. Set aside for later use.
  2. Use a mini non-stick muffin tray or any shape of mould you like. Put 1 teaspoon of tapioca pearls and line evenly on the bottom, up to 1/3 in depth. Then add red bean paste, followed by another layer of tapioca pearls. Lightly press the surface with your finger or spoon.
  3. Steam over high heat in a wok for 25 minutes with a cover until the tapioca pearls turn translucent and are cooked through.
  4. Use a knife to run around each mini tapioca cakes. They should be easily remove from the tray. Serve on a platter.
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  • The tapioca cake is translucent when it is hot or at room temperature. However, if it’s chilled, it would turn white. So you can reheat the chilled tapioca cake before serving.
  • It’s pretty easy to make red bean paste at home. The ratio of read bean and water is 1:3 in order to cook perfect red bean paste. When the water is dried up, the red bean would be just soft enough but still retain the round shape. Just put 1 part of red bean into 3 parts of boiling water and cook on low-medium heat until really tender. Well, I use ceramic glass top stove to cook. If you use gas instead of electricity, then you have to adjust the heat and time. Add sugar to taste when almost done. The red bean paste can be stored in freezer for 1 to 2 weeks.
If you liked this dessert, you might like the following recipe as well:
Taro & Tapioca Pearl Dessert Taro & Tapioca Pearl Dessert


  1. I just stopped by to say hello. I like your blog - a lot! Happy New Year.

  2. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for stopping by!
    Happy new Year!

  3. These little cakes are really unusual looking (I'd never have guessed tapioca). And I love the idea that there it's bean paste in the middle

  4. I really love how your blog looks. What a great combination of colors and red bean pancakes.
    I love red bean pancakes. This cake is so pretty! Your explanation was very easy to read and understand. It was a big hit at the office for my coworkers birthday. Very fun and yummy recipes, I like it. This blog nice very nice. I can't wait to try it.

  5. To Sophie:
    These little cakes are very cute, very good to be party food too.

    To onno david,
    Oh, THANKS for your kind words. Really glad to know that you love my blog.
    That's cool...Thanks for letting me know that these red bean cakes became a big hit at your office party. Good news indeed.

  6. Instead of steaming, would you be able to use an oven instead? Say, 350 F for 40-45 minutes? (I'm guessing) I'm just asking because I'm not sure how I'll be able to steam a muffin tray that big and unfortunately I don't own a wok that big. Thanks.

  7. To Lily,
    I'm afraid it won't work if using an oven cos the tapioca pearls will be easily burnt. You can't get what you want.

  8. Thanks! Although not so happy for me. Really fast reply.

  9. Hello,

    I love your page and wanted to make this today. I made the paper wrapped caked earlier and they were great, except didn't rise high enough. Anyways, I wanted to know if the tapioca is cooked first are do i just soak them from the package.


  10. Thanks! I made them last night but bought medium sized tapioca. Some didn't cook through and was left with some white ones. My dad suggested I cook the tapioca first and that was better. Today I went to an asian store to buy small ones and I'm going to try again haha.

    I just love your page so much...found the chinese version first and was so happy that you had an english one too. Please post more recipes!


  11. hello , i was wondering if i want to use tapioca starch flour instead of the tapioca sago what would be the amount of water and starch put in?

  12. Hi! My mom is thinking of making this recipe, and we have two questions:
    1) How much water do you soak the tapioca in?
    2) Does the size affect the amount of time needed to steam the cake?
    Thanks a lot!
    - Anita

  13. Hi Christine,
    Made these with my mom the other day, some with red bean and some with green bean filling.. and they tasted FANTASTIC! Everybody loved them and we gave some out for CNY. Thanks so much for this recipe.. :)
    - Anita
    p.s. we're thinking of making these with a savoury filling (pork, mushroom, dried shrimp).. would you have any tips for this?

  14. Hi christine, I just found this recipe by chance,I make these cake the next day. they were yummy and very easy to make. I was given a similar recipe but rather hassel to make, and it's quite oily too. I am so glad I discover your page, so many tempting recipes and easy to follow. thank you for generous posting!

  15. Hi, are those tapioca pearls known also as sago?

    1. Strictly speaking, they are not exactly the same. If tapioca pearls are not handy for you, you may use the small sago instead.

  16. Hi Christine, are the tapioca pearls also known as sago? Or are they different?

    1. Strictly speaking, they are not exactly the same. But very similar. Google it on the internet.