Wan'er cake takes its name from its resemblance to a little bowl and an ear ('er') and is a favored treat of children, also referred to as 'wa' er' (Chinese for 'child'). Wan’er cakes first appeared in Guiyang during the Qing Dynasty and grew in popularity in the 1980, with many wan'er Cake shops in Guiyang, the most famous of which was Store No.83 on Nanjing St, today's Zhonghuabei Rd. People even called it Nanjing St Wan'er Cake.It was judged to be one of Guiyang's best snacks, in 1984.
Today's wan'er cake is made with an electric mixer instead of the old hand mixing. And, in addition to the traditional flavors, some snowy white products with sugar are now available, as well as red-violet or blackish cakes made from broomcorn and buckwheat, giving you wan'er cakes of many different flavors. This delight can be seen in big and small shops, served with morning tea or on night market stands around Guiyang.