These Vegan Chinese Wife Cakes are made with a buttery and flaky crust. They are filled with sweetened winter melon. Chewy and buttery they are like mini hand pies.
According to legends, these Chinese Wife Cakes (SweetHeart Cakes) came from the story of a wife who sold herself to use the money to buy medicine for her ill father-in-law.
Upon learning about this, the husband dedicated himself to making a cake filled with sweetened wintermelon for his wife. He began selling them on the streets and it became so popular that he earned enough money to buy his wife back.
I only came to know about these Wife Cakes from a Chinese drama I loved watching growing up with a similar story of love and loss. They were one of my least favorite pastries but learning about the origin of where they came from made me appreciate and love them more.
We did not have them often growing up, but whenever my mom would get some, I think back to the story and remind myself of the power of love. Even when the world and our lives change every day and year, the love and memory we have for someone we care about never pass away. Love can outlast anything even when everything around us seems like it is falling apart.
Is there a legend in your culture that speaks to you?
If you’re ready to make these Vegan Chinese Wife Cakes, let’s start baking!