Baking in China – A Guide: Ingredients (with Chinese vocabulary)

Baking in China – A Guide: Ingredients (with Chinese vocabulary)

After the last post about essential baking equipment in China, how different supplies are called in Chinese and where to get them, here follows the second part of the guide: A list of baking ingredients, how they are called in Chinese, and more importantly, where you can get them from.

Where to get them from?

Let’s start with the obvious. Things like eggs, or flour you can get in most Chinese grocery stores, but where do you find things like butter, cocoa powder or powdered sugar in a country that is not traditionally a baking culture? Well, if you live in cities like Shanghai or Beijing you can always try big supermarkets like Carrefour or Walmart, or smaller shops focusing on import goods like City Shop.

However, if you live in a smaller city like I do, sometimes even the lonely Walmart just offers one brand of butter and that’s it for imported Western goods. So, the best place to find anything you need for baking is still Taobao. I can recommend a few sites I am using and know for sure that the quality is good.


小米烘焙体验馆 – One of the best baking ingredient suppliers on Taobao. You can even order delicate things like whipped cream. They deliver very fast and goods are always safely packaged.


浓夫烘焙西点店 – Another seller I trust. I have been ordering his cocoa powder and other little things. Delivery is extremely fast, and always good quality.


品味日耳曼 – A shop importing German goods. It has more than just baking ingredients, but I use it mainly to get things like vanilla sugar or different flavoured puddings.


Essential baking ingredients (Chinese vocabulary)

  • Flour Types 面粉类

High-gluten flour 高筋粉 gaojin fen

Contains 11.5-13.5% gluten

Mid-gluten flour 中筋粉 zhongjin fen

Contains 8.5-11.5% gluten. Usually sold as standard flour in normal supermarkets.

Low-gluten flour 低筋粉 dijin fen

8.5% of gluten or less

Whole wheat flour 全麦面粉 quanmai mianfen

Whole wheat flour is ground with the “whole” kernel

Cake flour 蛋糕粉 dangao fen

Low in gluten, so if you don’t want to spend the extra money on the extra cake flour, just get the low-gluten flour instead, which you can find in any bigger supermarket.

Bread flour 面包粉 mianbao fen

Contains around 13.5-14% gluten


  • Starch/powder Types 淀粉类

Corn starch 玉米淀粉 yumi dianfen

Cocoa powder 可可粉 keke fen

Vanilla powder 香草粉 xiangcao fen

Vanilla suger 香草糖 xiangcao tang

Matcha tea powder 抹茶粉 (mocha fen)


  • Butter and Oils 油脂类制品

Butter 黄油 huangyou

You can get different brands in China, whether in the expat supermarkets or online on Taobao. The cheapest import brand here is Anchor 安佳 anjia. Also there are salted 有盐 youyan and unsalted 无盐 wuyan ones.

Cooking fat 白油/猪油 baiyou/zhuyou

Maiqilin butter麦淇淋 maiqilin

Another sort of butter, usually used for popcorn and it is cheaper than normal butter.


  • Milk products 奶制品类

Fresh milk 鲜奶 xiannai

If you cannot find fresh milk, you can always go for normal one 纯牛奶 chun niunai.

Milk powder 奶粉 naifen

Whipped cream 淡奶油 dan naiyou

Sour cream 酸奶油 suan naiyou

Yoghurt 酸奶 suannai

Cream Cheese 奶油奶酪 naiyou nailao

Mascarpone 马氏卡彭奶酪 Mashikapeng nailao

Cheese 奶酪 nailao


  • Sugar Products 糖类

Fine granulated sugar 细砂糖 xi shatang

Powdered sugar 糖粉 tangfen

Brown sugar 红糖/黑糖 hongtang/heitang

Caramel sugar 焦糖 jiaotang

Malt sugar 麦芽糖 maiya tang

Honey 蜂蜜 fengmi


  • Leaven and yeast products 膨胀剂

Yeast powder 酵母粉 jiaomu fen

Baking powder 泡打粉 paoda fen


  • Egg products 蛋类

Whole egg 全蛋/蛋液 quandan/danye

Egg white 蛋白 danbai

Egg yellow 黄蛋 danhuang


Where do you get your baking ingredients from? Any more tips?


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Anna Z. is a freelance illustrator and portrait artist in her late 20s, with a passion for Martial Arts and Chinese culture, and is the creator of Lost Panda, a blog to China and Art. Together with her husband, a Chinese national, she writes about daily life in rural China, focusing on cultural and social differences and the joys (and sometimes difficulties) as an intercultural couple. Apart from China related topics, she publishes her artwork, photography, art material reviews and tutorials to help more people discover their creative side. She is fluent in German, English and Mandarin Chinese.

5 thoughts on “Baking in China – A Guide: Ingredients (with Chinese vocabulary)

  1. Pingback: Baking in China – A Guide: Ingredients (w...

  2. Thank you so much for posting about this. I am especially excited to know that one can order these things on Taobao. Thanks for recommending your favorite shops. How often do you bake? When I get to Jiangsu, I plan to bake all the time.

  3. Pingback: Baking in China Special – Panda cookies Recipe | Lost Panda

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