How to Make Mooncakes

Three Methods:Making a Traditional MooncakeTrying a Modern Spin on a MooncakeServing a Mooncake

Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries that are made during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is celebrated in China, Vietnam, as well as other countries in Asia. Mooncakes are usually round, made in a special mooncake mold, and contain a sweet filling, with the most common one being lotus seed paste or red bean paste. This recipe should make 12 mooncakes.



  • Flour (100 g)
  • Alkaline water (½ tsp)
  • Golden syrup (60 g)
  • Vegetable oil (28 g)


  • Lotus seed paste or red bean paste (420 g)
  • Rose-flavored cooking wine (1 tsp)
  • Egg yolks (8, one for each mooncake)

Egg Glaze

  • Egg yolk (1)
  • Egg white (2 tbsp)

Method 1
Making a Traditional Mooncake

  1. 1
    Mix together the ingredients for the dough. Stir together the alkaline water, golden syrup, and vegetable oil, and sift in the flour more slowly. When mixed together, these ingredients should form a dough.[1] Cover the dough with saran wrap and set it aside for at least 3 hours.[2]
  2. 2
    Prepare the salted egg yolks. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Put the yolks in a pan and steam them for about 10 minutes on a low to medium heat. Salt the yolks. Set them aside to cool down. Make sure that they have cooled off before you proceed in making the mooncakes.[3] Cut each egg in half.
    • Once they have dried, you should put them in a bowl and mix them with the cooking wine. Take them out and let them dry. You can also dry them with a paper towel.[4]
  3. 3
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). While the oven is preheating, separate the lotus or red bean paste into 12 equal parts. Roll each of these into a ball.[5]
  4. 4
    Separate the dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each of those into a ball, as well. Flatten each piece of dough into a small disk.[6]
  5. Image titled Raw_mooncake_219
    Assemble your mooncake. Each mooncake consists of a ball of dough, one ball of lotus or red bean paste, and one half of a salted egg yolk. Make a hole in a ball of lotus or bean paste, and put the egg yolk inside. Make the lotus or red bean paste into a ball that covers the egg yolk entirely.[7]
    • Repeat this process, covering the lotus or red bean paste ball (with the egg yolk inside) with the dough.
    • Repeat this entire process for each mooncake. You should have 12 mooncakes.
  6. Image titled Moon Cakes_20470
    Spray your mooncake mold with nonstick spray. Press each mooncake lightly into the mold. Take the mooncake out of the mold, and put it onto a baking sheet. Put all 12 mooncakes into the oven, and wait 10-12 minutes.
    • While the mooncakes are baking, make the egg wash. Mix together the egg whites and the egg yolk, and then sift them through a sieve.
    • Take the mooncakes out of the oven after about 5 minutes and brush them with the egg wash. Put them back in the oven until they become golden brown.[8]

Method 2
Trying a Modern Spin on a Mooncake

  1. 1
    Use a different filling. There are many different types of ways that you can fill your mooncake. Besides the traditional mooncake, with lotus seed or red bean paste and a salted egg yolk in the middle, you can give these variations a try:
    • Five kernel filling, which consists of five different types of nuts and seeds, which can vary but can often include walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or peanuts
    • Jujube paste, which is a paste made from the jujube fruit
    • Mung bean paste or black bean potato paste
    • No egg in the middle, only filling like red bean paste
    • Fruit filling, such as melon, pineapple, and lychee.
    • Seafood (such as abalone or shark)[9]
  2. 2
    Make a “snow skin” mooncake. This is a different way to make mooncake dough. You should mix together 100g of glutinous rice flour, 90g sweet icing, 30g shortening, and 50g cold water, adding the water gradually. You can also color this dough with food coloring, if you want to. This dough is different than normal mooncakes because they are softer, almost like mochi.[10]
  3. 3
    Use a different mold. You don’t have to use a traditional Chinese mooncake mold. You can find molds online or in cooking stores that have creative, modern patterns. You should also mold your mooncakes into different shapes to fit these different molds.

Method 3
Serving a Mooncake

  1. 1
    Put your mooncakes into an airtight container. After your mooncakes have dried and cooled off on a wire cooling rack, you should put them in an airtight container. Wait to eat your mooncakes for one or two days. They should be soft and also look shiny on the outside.[11]
  2. 2
    Eat your mooncake with Chinese tea. Mooncakes go especially well with tea. Try a vanilla tea with a little bit of spice for your traditional mooncake.[12]
  3. 3
    Eat your mooncake as a dessert. Mooncakes are a sweet and decadent food, so you should eat them as a dessert. You can even cut them up into halves or smaller slices if they are too rich for eating in one sitting.
  4. 4
    Give your mooncake as a gift. It is common for mooncakes, even homemade ones, to be packaged in little boxes as gifts. Find some little boxes at a craft store or online, and put your mooncakes into boxes for your friends and family.

Things You’ll Need

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Flour sifter
  • Wooden cutting board
  • 2 baking sheets
  • 2 sheets of parchment/baking paper
  • 2 pastry brushes
  • Mooncake mold
  • Packaging boxes (optional)

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