Chinese New Year Cookies: Taiwan Pineapple Cakes

I have this thing for pineapple tarts, pineapple rolls, pineapple cakes, or whatever you call those crumbly pastries stuffed with pineapple paste. I have tried those Taiwan version and it’s by far the best I’ve ever tasted. It beats all those commercial pineapple rolls.

So, I tried making those Taiwan pineapple cakes instead of paying exorbitant prices for them. Can you imagine it was being sold at RM2 EACH? WTF. That’s too much, isn’t it?

Although it takes a bit more work…this is what I got…

These are not bite-sized pineapple rolls but big enough for a second bite! And yes, they are really good!!

I made it from scratch, none of those prepackaged flour or prepackaged pineapple paste please. If you come to think of it, it’s not all that difficult too. For the pineapple paste, all you need to do is to peel and chop the pineapple and winter melon before blending it together. Winter melon? Yep, it’s what made these pineapple cakes different from the normal pineapple rolls. Then, you cook it over the stove, add some sugar, maltose syrup and spices and let it cook, stirring occasionally until it becomes a dark golden sticky mass.

After that, you just refrigerate it. Next, you prepare the dough. That is even easier. Just use a mixer to beat the butter, shortening, icing sugar until fluffy and light. Then add the egg yolks and beat till combined and gradually add the flour and continue beating until you get a smooth, pliable dough. Divide it into two, roll it into logs, cover tightly with cling wrap and put it into the fridge to harden.

Once the dough it hard enough, take it out and divide the paste into 1 tbsp balls. Cut the dough logs into 12 even pieces each making it total 24 pieces. Then flatten it and place the 1 tbsp paste balls inside and pinch it close. Pat it into shape or push it into a square mould, it’s really up to you. Then pop it into the oven to bake.

After its done, just let it cool and store it in an airtight container. Easy and delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

Taiwan Pineapple Cakes Recipe

Pineapple paste recipe


2 large pineapples, peeled, cored, diced (about 4 – 5 cups)
1kg winter melon, peeled, seeded and diced ( about 2 – 3 cups)
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup maltose syrup

1. Process the pineapple and winter melon until it is a watery purée.
2. Pour into a pan and cook the mixture over medium to low heat.
3. Stir until the liquid has almost evaporated, then add the sugar to cook for a further 10 minutes.
4. Add the maltose syrup and continue cooking and stirring until its very thick and sticky and of a deep golden color, like amber.
5. Transfer into a container and refrigerate until cool.

Taiwan Pineapple Cakes Recipe


Pineapple paste, the amount you made above
2 1/2 cups cake flour or super fine flour
A pinch of baking powder
A pinch of bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of vanilla powder
6 tbsp nonfat milk powder
400g unsalted butter at room temperature or softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 160C.
2. Mix dry ingredients together.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar, butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
4. add the egg yolks and beat till combined
5. Add half the dry ingredients in and then beat until combined.
6. Add the remaining dry ingredients until you get a smooth soft dough.
7. Divide into two portions and roll into logs. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until harden, about 2 – 3 hours.
8. Remove from fridge, cut each of the log into 12 even pieces.
9. Roll each piece into a ball. Take out the pineapple paste and scoop out 1 tbsp of paste to use as filling for each dough ball.
10. Flatten the dough ball, press the filling into centre, pinch it close and roll it into shape or press it into a mould to shape.
11. Place on tray and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown and turn it over and bake for another 10 minutes.
12. Let it cool first before placing on wire racks to cool.
13. Dig right in and enjoy pineapple cakes hot from the oven!


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