Pineapple cake

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Pineapple cake
Pineapple Pastry.JPG
Pineapple cake
Alternative namesFengli Su,[1] pineapple shortcake, pineapple pastry
Place of originTaiwan
Region or stateEast Asia
Main ingredientsPastry (butter, egg yolk, sugar), pineapple jam

Pineapple cake (Chinese: 鳳梨酥; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄈㄥˋ ㄌㄧˊ ㄙㄨ, Taigi: ông-lâi-so͘), (Katakana: パイナップルケーキ), (Hangul: 펑리수) is a sweet traditional Taiwanese pastry containing butter, flour, egg, sugar, and pineapple jam or slices.


Pineapples became a critical component of Taiwan's economy during the Japanese era, during which Japanese industrialists imported a wide variety of pineapple cultivars and established numerous processing plants.[2] By the late 1930s, Taiwan had become the third-largest exporter of pineapples in the world.[2] However, when pineapple production in Taiwan shifted toward domestic sales and use of fresh pineapple, local bakeries sought to use this surplus in pastries.[3][4] While pineapple cakes had historically been produced as a ceremonial food, a combination of governmental promotion and globalization popularized the pineapple cake. Pineapple cakes have become one of the top-selling souvenirs in Taiwan.[5]

Since 2005, the Taipei City Government has run an annual Taipei Pineapple Cake Cultural Festival to foster the growth the local tourism industry and promote sales of the pineapple cake.[6][7] In 2013, the revenue from Taiwan's pineapple cake bakeries totaled NT$40 billion (US$1.2 billion), and sales of pineapple cakes have also bolstered agricultural economies in rural parts of the country.[8][4]


In Taiwanese Hokkien, "pineapple" (王梨; ông-lâi) sounds similar to a phrase meaning "to come forth, prosperous and thriving" (旺來; ōng-lâi).[9] This phrase conveys the hope that many children will be born to the family. As a result, pineapple cakes are often given as engagement gifts, or simply as well-wishing presents in an everyday context.[3] Today pineapple cake is considered a symbol of Taiwan itself.[10]


Contemporary pineapple cake bakeries have created variations on the traditional pineapple cake. The filling may also incorporate preserved egg yolks or other dried fruits such as cranberries or strawberries.[11]

Bakeries may also add winter melon to the pineapple jam. This practice was initially an effort to make the tart pineapple filling more palatable.[3] However, in contemporary bakeries, adding winter melon to the filling may be seen as an indicator of lower quality.[8]

The annual Taipei Pineapple Cake Cultural Festival often features a contest in which bakeries compete to create pineapple cakes that incorporate unconventional ingredients, such as rice or Taiwanese tea.[7][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schwankert, Steven (January 17, 2015). "Before and After (Taiwanese): Beyond Taipei's Night Market Snacks". The Beijinger. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  2. ^ a b (Taiwan), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (1960-11-01). "Taiwan's Growing Pineapple Industry - Taiwan Today". Taiwan Today. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  3. ^ a b c "Taiwan's Best-Known Treat: Pineapple Cake - Epoch Taste". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  4. ^ a b "Pineapple cakes boost Taiwan's rural industries". Archived from the original on 2019-01-08. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  5. ^ "The Who's Who of Taiwan's Pineapple Cake Industry". City543. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  6. ^ a b 黃紫緹 (2014-07-04). "Pineapple Cake Festival to Take Place Next Weekend". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  7. ^ a b 黃紫緹 (2011-08-18). "Pineapple Cake Fiesta Kicks off in Taipei". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  8. ^ a b "The Pineapple Cake Chronicles - Taiwan Business TOPICS". Taiwan Business TOPICS. 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  9. ^ "Entry #1270 (王梨)". 臺灣閩南語常用詞辭典 [Dictionary of Frequently-Used Taiwan Minnan]. (in Chinese and Hokkien). Ministry of Education, R.O.C. 2011.
  10. ^ Hiufu Wong, Maggie. "40 of the best Taiwanese foods and drinks". CNN. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Pineapple cake festival opens in Taipei - Taipei Times". Retrieved 2017-07-22.

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