How to make your own fortune cookies with just five ingredients

It’s Chinese New Year but as with lots of occasions in 2021, we’re celebrating at home this year.

If you’re planning to cook up a feast of your favourites, you might want to recreate something you often get at the end of the meal in your favourite Chinese restaurant – the fortune cookie.

The unusual shape and message inside make them a fun talking point, though it might surprise you to know that the snack is not usually served in China.

The cookies are believed to have originated in Japan and were brought to America by immigrants.

Soon they were served in Chinese restaurants across the US and spread across the world.

If you do want to give them a go, be aware that it does take a little skill and patience to get the shape.

Making them yourself does mean you get to write your own fortunes, though.

And the good news is you need just five ingredients, which you probably already have in your storecupboard.

To make six cookies, you need an egg white, a little vanilla essence, plain flour, salt and caster sugar.


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar


Start by preheating your oven to 200C/Gas mark 6. It needs to be hot as you want to work quickly with the cookies so make sure it reaches temperature before you cook anything.

Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and make your fortune messages. These need to be written and prepared before you start baking.

To make the batter, start by whisking the egg white and vanilla together until frothy, but not stiff. Sieve in the flour, salt and caster sugar and fold gently until everything is combined. If your batter is a little stiff, add some water. You want it to fall off the spoon in ribbons.

You need to cook the cookies in batches as they need to be hot enough to work with when they come out of the oven.

To do this place a teaspoon of batter on the tray, making a round even circle. Spread it thinly to make sure your cookies are crisp. Place another circle on the other side of the tray.

Cook the batter for five minutes – the edges should be a golden colour and the middle should still be pale.

When the cookies are baked, you need to take them out of the oven and start shaping them straight away as they harden quickly once cool.

Take a fortune and fold the cookie in half, placing it inside. Then take the folded edge and rest it on a cup or mug, pulling the edges down to create the typical fortune cookie shape. Once folded, place each cookie in the well of a muffin tray to cool.

Once completely cool and hard serve the cookies. You can also dip them in chocolate and roll them in sprinkles or use any other toppings you fancy.

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