Beijing People’s Traditional Breakfast Food-Oil Cakes(油饼儿)

(Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Amiee)

In the realm of Beijing breakfast, where culinary choices abound, there exists a timeless and refined staple known as the Beijing Breakfast Oil Cake, or “油饼儿”. This venerable dish holds an esteemed position alongside other beloved delicacies, such as the crispy deep-fried dough sticks.

Indulging in this culinary creation is not merely a morning ritual; it is an immersion into the refined elegance and time-honored traditions that define Beijing’s gastronomic identity.

While a sweet version with brown sugar coating exists, today’s recipe features a mildly salty oil cake.


  • All-purpose flour-Common flour (also known as all-purpose flour) is usually used to make oil cakes. Plain flour has the right amount of gluten, which is key to the texture and mouthfeel of the fritters. , choosing ordinary flour can make the oil cakes achieve the best balance in taste and texture, and at the same time ensure that they are soft, crisp ,and full of taste
  • Baking soda-Baking powder is added when making oil cakes. It serves as a leavening agent, helping the dough rise and create a lighter and more airy texture in the finished product.When mixed with the other ingredients and activated by heat, baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas. This gas gets trapped in the dough, causing it to expand and rise during the cooking process. The resulting gas bubbles contribute to the fluffy and tender consistency of the oil cakes。

In addition to aiding in the leavening process, baking powder also helps create a desirable golden-        brown color and a slightly crisp exterior when the oil cakes are cooked.

Due to concerns about aluminum intake, I usually choose aluminum-free baking powder when cooking      at home

  • Yeast -Just choose plain dry yeast
  • Egg
  • Baking powder -Choose regular table soda. The addition of soda is to promote fermentation and neutralizes the acidic components produced during the fermentation of flour
  • Salt- Choose regular refined table salt
  • Oil -Just choose the oil commonly used in Chinese cooking, such as soybean oil, sunflower oil, etc.


Making a dough

How to make the oil cakes

Deep-fry the oil cake

Oil Cakes

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese


  • Pot for deep-frying
  • A big bowl for making a dough


  • For a dough
  • All-purpose flour, 420 g
  • Warm water, 180 ml
  • Yeast, 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder, 1/4 tsp*
  • Baking soda, 1/2 tsp*
  • Yeast, 1/2 tsp* Salt,
  • 1/2 tsp* Oil, 4 tbsp -
  • For deep-frying
  • Oil 2 tbsp


  • Make a dough with flour, water, oil, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • Tip the dough on the work surface after 30 minutes, spit in half
  • Take one dough, Divide the dough into 8 parts evenly.
  • Press one part into a roughly round shape, make 3 slits in the middle, finish a cake.
  • Do the same for the rest portions.
  • Heat up 2 cups of oil to 150 degrees, deep-fry the cakes in batches until golden brown on both sides.


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