Green Bean Cake 绿豆糕

Green Bean Cake recipe

This is a nostalgic food which I love to eat when I was a kid. I could not recall how long I haven’t eaten the green bean cake 绿豆糕. This snack is also known as mung bean cake. In fact, it is not really a cake but it is usually mould in a cake form. It is chilled green bean paste that should taste like a very soft cookie. It is one of the recommended snacks for warm weather. Reason simply, beside it is chilled, green bean is also known to be a cooling food in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

In some countries like Taiwan, you will find that the green bean cake has the red bean paste as filling. I believe it is very much because red bean is considered “heaty” food which then is used to balance the cooling green bean. Personally, I prefer the green bean cake without any filling.

Some uses the whole green beans, soak and peel the skins. Me being too lazy for that, uses the split mung beans. It is still green beans and I just skipped the step of peeling the skins. If you have some mung beans leftover from making Tao Suan (you can refer to my recipe for Tao Suan), use them here.

As I do not like too sweet stuff, I didn’t add too much sugar. You can add more sugar to taste. Green bean cake is supposedly a sweet snack. But, my mum has requested for hers to be savoury so I modified the recipe to make some savoury green bean cake for her. This is suitable for diabetics as I used the Stevia sweetener. If you are using Stevia sweetener, you need to use only 50% proportion of sugar i.e. instead of 10g of caster sugar, use 5g of Stevia sweetener. I have specified in the ingredients. Also, I didn’t add honey so that it is suitable for diabetics hence the amount of sugar will be increased. However, if honey is not added, the cake is not as smooth after it is removed from mould. Honey takes the binding role in this snack. You can use maltose instead. Beside honey, oil also gives the cake less cracks.

Add a pinch of salt to the coconut milk so that the coconut milk won’t make the cake goes sour too fast. Still, it is not recommended to keep the cake for too long. Probably, you should finish it by the next day.


Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time:  40 minutes (includes 30 minutes steaming time)


[title size=”2″]Tools[/title]

  • Measuring cup / scale
  • Pot


[title size=”2″]Ingredients[/title]

Traditional Sweet Cake

  • 100g of split mung bean or green bean
  • 15g of sugar (or replace with 1.5 tablespoons of honey), to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of  coconut oil / olive oil
  • 80ml of coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt (to add into the coconut milk)

Modified Savoury Cake

  • 100g of split mung bean or green bean
  • 5g of sugar (may replace with 2.5g of Stevia sweetener or 1/2 tablespoon of honey)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey (may replace with 5g of sugar or 2.5g of Stevia sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons of  coconut oil / olive oil
  • 80ml of coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt for coconut milk (to add into the coconut milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


[title size=”2″]Directions[/title]

1. Soak the mung beans overnight. On the next day, rinse the soaked mung beans and drain the water.

2. Steam the mung beans for 30 minutes over medium high heat.

3. Mash the mung beans using a blender or sieve, depends on texture preference. If it is too dry to blend, add some coconut milk.

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green bean cake
Lay a piece of banana leaf below the mung beans during steaming will give more fragrance


[one_half last=”yes”]green bean cake[/one_half]

4. Pour the coconut / olive oil into the non-stick pan, pour in the balance coconut milk and add sugar to dissolve over low heat. Add mashed mung bean followed by honey. (For the modified savoury cake, add salt and sugar in oil and coconut milk to dissolve before adding mashed mung bean.)

green bean cake

5. Stir over low heat until the mixture becomes mung bean paste and the liquid is almost evaporated. Do not cook until it is too dry. It is ready when the mung bean paste is able to roll into cylinder shape easily in the pan using the stapular.

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green bean cake
Green bean paste is almost ready

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green bean cake
It is ready to put in mould


6. Mould the mung bean paste and chilled. Serve.

Note: If you are serving any of the ingredients to your kid for the first time, do watch out for potential allergy reactions.

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