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Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes (Feng Li Su)

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Learn how to make the famous Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes (Feng Li Su/鳳梨酥) at home. The buttery, tender, melt-in-the-mouth crust filled with sweet and tangy pineapple jam filling is so delicious and addicting.

taiwanese pineapple cakes feng li su

Have you ever tried a Taiwanese pineapple cake? Pineapple cakes are a famous pastry from Taiwan. They are one of the must-buy souvenirs in Taiwan.

Surprisingly, these cakes are not too difficult to make as long as you have the ingredients and the right equipment. Let’s learn how to make these delicious treats at home.

What Is Taiwanese Pineapple Cake?

Originating from Taiwan, pineapple cakes are known as feng li su (鳳梨酥) in Chinese. These cakes are usually square or rectangular-shaped and feature a tender, shortbread-like exterior with pineapple filling. They fall somewhere between a filled cookie and a mini tart rather than a cake.

taiwanese pineapple cakes feng li su

In Taiwanese Hokkien, the word pineapple (ong lai/王梨) means “to come forth, prosperous and thriving”. The cakes symbolize wishes for a prosperous family and a sweet future. As a result, this delicacy is hugely popular during special occasions, especially during Lunar New Year.

Varieties

Typically, the pineapple cakes are square or rectangular-shaped. Nowadays, you can easily find them in different shapes, such as mooncake shapes or 3D pineapple shapes.

The original flavor has pineapple jam inside. The bakeries have created variations on the traditional pineapple cake. The filling may also incorporate salted egg yolks or other fruits such as cranberries or strawberries.

Ingredients You Need

Pastry Dough

  • Butter. You can use unsalted or salted butter. If you use salted butter, just omit the salt in the recipe.
  • Confectioners’ sugar. Confectioners’ sugar is used to get a softer texture and delicate melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
  • Egg yolks. The egg yolk contains fat that helps add richness and tenderness to the cookies.
  • Vanilla extract. To enhance the flavor.
  • Cake flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content and makes a more tender pastry.
  • Milk powder. Adds flavor and tenderness to the pastry.
  • Almond flour. Makes the pastry more tender, nutty, and crumbly.
  • Salt. Omit the salt if using salted butter.

Pineapple Jam Filling

  • Fresh pineapples. Grate the pineapples for a fibrous texture or blend the pineapples with a blender for a more smooth texture.
  • Granulated sugar. To sweeten and caramelize the jam.
  • Salt. To enhance the sweetness.
  • Spices. Cinnamon, cloves, and star anise are commonly used to infuse warmth and flavor. In this recipe, only cloves are used but you can add cinnamon and star anise if preferred.

Check out the pineapple jam recipe here.

Pineapple Cake Molds and Their Alternatives

The pineapple cake molds usually come with a press stamp. Mold size used in this recipe: 2×1.5×0.9 inch/5×3.8×2.2 cm. If using a different mold size, you will need to adjust the amount of the dough and pineapple filling.

taiwanese pineapple cake in molds
taiwanese pineapple cakes feng li su

If the size of your mold is different from what I use, try following these steps to decide the weight of the pastry and filling for each cake. You can fill up the mold you use with a small piece of dough. Press and remove the excess dough. Remove the dough from the mold and weight it. The ratio I use in this recipe is 2 parts of pastry to 1 part of filling. So, if the weight is 45 gr, then the amount of pastry is 30 gr and the filling is 15 gr. If you like more pineapple filling, you can adjust the ratio to your liking.

taiwanese pineapple cakes feng li su

If you don’t have the specific mold, you can alternatively use a small muffin baking pan. Cookie cutters also work, but you will need a lot of them. You can also use a 50-gr mooncake mold, just make sure to dust the mooncake mold with a little flour so that the dough does not stick to the mold.

Make the Filling Ahead of Time

Make homemade pineapple jam from fresh pineapples because it tastes so much better than store-bought ones. You will need to make the pineapple jam filling at least a day before because it can take hours to reduce the grated pineapples and let the jam cool. When you have your jam ready, you can proceed to make these melt-in-the-mouth cookies.

taiwanese pineapple cakes feng li su
taiwanese pineapple cakes feng li su

More Chinese Dessert Recipes

taiwanese pineapple cakes feng li su
5 from 2 votes

Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes (Feng Li Su)

Learn how to make the famous Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes (Feng Li Su/鳳梨酥) at home. The buttery, tender, melt-in-the-mouth crust filled with sweet and tangy pineapple jam filling is so delicious and addicting.
Author: Jaja Bakes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 22 cakes
Tap or hover to scale!
Prep Time50 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Additional Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (225 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (70 gr) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (280 gr) cake flour, or more
  • 1/4 cup (30 gr) milk powder
  • 1/4 cup (30 gr) almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 11.7 oz (330 gr) pineapple jam

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add unsalted butter. Sift in confectioners' sugar. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat just until combined.
  • Sift in cake flour, milk powder, almond flour, and salt. Beat on low speed until just combined. Don't overmix.
  • Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 320F/160°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat. Place the molds on top.
  • Divide the pineapple jam into 22 pieces evenly (15 gr). Shape into balls.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. Divide the dough into 22 pieces evenly (30-31 gr each). Shape into balls.
  • Flatten a ball of dough with your palms. Place a pineapple filling in the middle. Lift and stretch the dough over the filling to cover completely, and pinch to seal. Roll between your palms to smooth it out. Shape into a cylinder. Repeat with the remaining dough and fillings.
  • Put the filled dough into the molds. Flatten the dough with your hand. If the molds you have come with a press, coat the press with cake flour and remove the excess flour. Use that to press the dough to fit into the mold corners.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the molds over. Return to the oven and bake again for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove the molds. Transfer the pineapple cakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

Mold size used in this recipe: 2×1.5×0.9 inch/5×3.8×2.2 cm. If using a different mold size, you will need to adjust the amount of the dough and pineapple filling. The ratio of dough to filling is 2:1 by weight.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1cake | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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