Chinese Candlemas Cake

  • Chinese Candlemas Cake
Ranked: 94th

Rated 4.94 out of 5 based on 8 votes


  • 475 g tin of (sweetened) red beans
  • 85 g unsalted butter
  • 3 x eggs
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 550 g tin of lychees in syrup
  • 1 tspn lemon juice
  • 2 Tbls corn flour
  • 2 Tbls castor sugar


This year, Candlemas and Chinese New Year fall on consecutive weekends, so I decided to create a Western-style cake with Chinese ingredients. (The lychees represent the melted wax of candles.) This is gluten-free as long as you use corn flour that is 100% corn.

Grease a 20cm non-stick cake tin or baba mould with butter.

Preheat oven to 175C (160C fan-forced).

Blend the red beans in a food processor or with a hand-held blender.

Cream butter and sugar. (The amount of sugar depends on personal taste. I like to use around ½ cup.)

Add the red beans, then the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the main mixture.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes, before cooling in tin.

While the cake cools, remove the lychees and set aside the syrup. Chop the lychees into eighths and place in a small saucepan. Add half the lychee syrup from the tin, along with the lemon juice, and 2 tbl sugar. Add a small amount of the remaining syrup (c. 2 tablespoons) to the corn flour to dissolve, then add the to lychee mixture. Heat gently on stove, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. Strain, set aside to cool a little, and brush onto cake. (I prefer to pour it over the cake for a less formal look and I also leave the lychees in the sauce for a stronger lychee taste.) If serving the cake on individual plates, decorate each slice with some of the lychees.

Serves 8-10.

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  • Super easy. Superb taste combination.


    by Iosephus Mons on 02/02/2013, 13:56
    Iosephus Mons
  • My family loved this recipe. Will definately be making it again. Thanks!


    by Melissa Louise on 03/02/2013, 19:37
    Melissa Louise
  • I really like this one. Great idea behind the recipe. It’s easy to follow and makes a yummy treat.


    by C Williams on 03/02/2013, 21:06
    C Williams
  • Great cake very much enjoyed by our family. I had to use dried red beans which I cooked and sweetened first. I had forgotten how much I love red beans!

    There is one small omission in the ingredients list, the amount of sugar in the lychee topping. I used a tablespoon.

    I will certainly be making this again!


    by Tracy Jones on 15/02/2013, 09:50
    Tracy Jones
    • Thanks, Tracy! I’ve amended the recipe. A tablespoon was a good guess! :)


      by Mishka Gora on 15/02/2013, 10:08
      Mishka Gora