Easy Mooncake Recipe

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A mooncake is a traditional Chinese pastry typically consumed during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture.

traditional mooncake
Traditional Mooncake

I always long for this holiday because you get to meet the whole family and gather to get to know each other’s stories after having been separated for some time.

And another thing is to eat this beautiful dessert. Mooncake usually comes in a beautiful, elegant packaging. Each shop or restaurants selling mooncake has their own unique feature. So it never gets boring to receive mooncake from many places.

In this post, I will share my simple mooncake recipe that I have used since two years ago. I made the mooncake not only for my family, but also for my relatives and friends! And they love it so much every time I present the mooncake as gift during mid-Autumn Festival.

Mooncake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival

Mooncake is a Chinese sweet dessert, usually served during Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate the day. It represents the moon in full shape. This festival celebrates the harvest and family reunions, and it falls on the 15th day of eight month of lunar calendar.

It is a festive dessert that must be enjoyed by many Chinese people around the world. The dessert has been around since a long time ago and it has evolved so much in modern day.

Many cake shops and big restaurants provide this festive dessert packed in luxurious, elegant boxes. And they are quite pricey, too.

It has become a yearly habit to buy boxes of mooncakes and send them to family, relatives, and friends during this festive season.

Homemade Mooncake vs Store-bought Mooncake

Store-bought mooncake is getting pricier every year with the beautiful intricate packaging. The price to me is absurd compared to the cost of the ingredients.

I have been making my own mooncake with this mooncake recipe since two years ago. I researched on the recipe to find one that is not too sweet.

The next thing I did was trying to find ready to use mooncake packaging. It usually consists of a plastic box packaging to cover each mooncake and a bigger elegant box to contain the mooncakes.

And you know what, my relatives and friends appreciate my homemade mooncake gift even more. They value the sincerity and my effort in it.

Homemade mooncakes often have a more authentic, fresher taste. Since you control the ingredients, you can adjust the sweetness. Store-bought mooncakes, while convenient, might sometimes lack this freshness. You don’t know how long the mooncake has been in the store.

Store-bought mooncakes often come in beautifully designed packaging, making them popular as gifts. Homemade mooncakes might lack professional packaging but can be personalized, adding a special touch for gifting. And I have proved that.

Before diving into the mooncake recipe, let’s understand the essential ingredients more deeply!

Ingredients to Note

Several things to note about the ingredients of the mooncake:

Golden Syrup 

golden syrup

Golden syrup is an inverted sugar. It is made of sugar with lemon juice and mixed with baking soda.

You can make this yourself at home. I have posted the recipe of homemade golden syrup. It is super easy and it can also be made into a refreshing drink.

Golden syrup helps reduce the risk of staling the flour, keeping the mooncake shelf life longer. It also helps immerse the oil from the filling of the mooncake, making the skin soft.

Lye Water

Lye water is alkaline water. This will help neutralize the acidity in the golden syrup. Lye water also helps darken the color of the mooncake skin.

Coconut Oil

Vegetable oil can be used in making mooncake. I prefer using coconut oil. The key is to use neutral, no-flavor oil.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter in the ingredients help give a nutty caramel flavor to the skin, making it more balanced with the sweetness of the filling.

Cake Flour

Cake flour provides the sufficient gluten that will keep the skin soft.

Bread Flour

Combining cake flour and high protein flour or bread flour turns out making the pastry even more perfect. I like the texture of the skin because it does not harden after many days.

Filling

Now you can purchase the ready-made filling online or in the Asian grocery store a month before mid-Autumn festival.

There are many flavors for the filling. The most commonly used is lotus paste. It is cream in color. Unfortunately, it is not available in many countries.

The next common filling is red bean paste or mung bean paste. You can even find chocolate paste or cheese paste in the market.

Variations for the Filling

Mix some sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds into the filling to make variations for the filling.

Salted Egg Yolk

I used the salted egg from online store. Even though the salted egg is already steamed, I still want to bake it for 5 minutes before putting it in the center of the filling.

Mooncake Mold

There are various mooncake molds with beautiful designs nowadays. You can easily get them online. Ask the seller for the total mooncake weight of the mold. It is usually sold in 50 gr, 75 gr, and 100 gr.

The mooncake mold usually consists of one piece of beautiful pattern. It looks like a big coin. And a piston to fill the mooncake dough.

Mooncake Recipe

Skin: 

  • 130 gr cake flour
  • 130 gr bread flour
  • 160 gr golden syrup
  • 12 gr alkali water
  • 30 gr coconut oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 25 gr creamy peanut butter

Eggwash:

  • 2 egg yolk
  • ½ egg white (+- 20 gr)

Filling: 

  • White lotus paste
  • Red bean paste
  • Egg yolk

Instructions

Skin

  1. First, let’s make the skin. Pour golden syrup, lye water, and coconut oil in a bowl. Put one egg yolk into the bowl.
golden syrup
egg yolk
  1. Scoop creamy peanut butter into the bowl.
peanut butter
  1. Mix everything in the bowl together.
  2. Sieve the flour into the bowl. Mix well using a spatula.
flour
  1. Knead with your hands until the dough is no longer sticky.
  2. Cover with plastic to rest for 1-2 hours.

Assembling the Mooncake

  1. Roast the salted egg yolk in the oven 160°C for 5 minutes. Before roasting, spray with water to keep it moist.
egg yolk
  1. Roast sunflower seeds if you want to use them in the filling.
  2. Knead the sunflower seeds in the filling. The size of the filling depends on the size of your mold.
sunflower seeds
  1. Wrap the salted egg yolk with the filling. Round it. Set aside.
wrap egg yolk with the filling
  1. After preparing the filling, the skin should be ready to shape.

The Skin

  1. Weigh the skin around 35% of the mold size. If your mold size is for 100 gr mooncake, the skin should be 35 gr.
  2. Round the dough and press, flatten it with a rolling pin.
  3. Put the filling in the center, cover with the skin and seal tightly.

wrap the filling with skin
  1. Make sure the filling is completely covered.
  2. Round it and use the mold to shape the mooncake.
use the mold

Baking the Mooncake

  1. Bake in the preheated oven 180°C for 8-10 minutes until they look firm enough.
  2. Take out the mooncake from the oven and brush with egg wash.
brush with egg wash
  1. Bake again for another 5 minutes. Give another layer of egg wash and bake for another 5 more minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Brush thinly on the surface. Remove excess egg wash with kitchen towel. If it is too much, the pattern will not look crisp.
  3. After baking, rest the mooncake in an airtight container for at least one day.
first day of baking
First day of baking

Resting Time

  1. Put the mooncake on a cooling rack to cool down completely. Keep in an airtight container for at least one day.
  2. During resting time, the oil from the filling will transfer to the skin, making the mooncake shiny and moist.
second day of baking
Second day of baking

Enjoy the mooncake starting on the second day!

Tips for Shaping the Mooncake

  1. Dust the mooncake mold with flour. Shake off the excess flour with a brush, leaving thin layer of flour on the mold. This will make the dough slide easily out of the mold.
  2. Also dust the piston of the mooncake mold with flour and dust off the excess.
  3. Put the rounded dough in the mold. Plunge the mooncake mold downward on the baking tray. Press for a while to let the pattern imprint the dough and the dough will follow the shape of the mold.
  4. To get a perfect shape of the dough, you can press gently a few times downward.

Tips for the Egg Wash

  1. Sieve the egg wash mixture using a fine sifter.
  2. This way you get a very smooth egg wash.
  3. When brushing the mooncake, brush thinly. The point is not to spoil the pattern. Do not let the egg wash soak the crevices of the pattern.
  4. Use a kitchen towel to absorb excess egg wash.

Storage

Keep the mooncake in an airtight container in room temperature. It can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. If you want to keep it longer, keep it in the chiller.

FAQs

Q: What are some popular fillings for homemade mooncakes?

A: Common fillings include lotus seed paste, red bean paste, and black sesame paste. You can also use mixed nuts, fruits, or even chocolate and custard for a modern twist.

Q: How long do homemade mooncakes last, and how should I store them?

A: Homemade mooncakes can last up to a week at room temperature in airtight containers. For longer storage, keep them in the refrigerator, but be aware that this might affect their texture.

Q: How do I achieve a shiny glaze on my mooncakes?

A: A shiny glaze can be achieved by applying an egg wash (beaten egg with a bit of water) before baking. For a vegan alternative, a mixture of maple syrup or honey and almond milk works well.

Q: Why is my mooncake dough cracking?

A: Cracking can occur if the dough is too dry or overbaked. Spray some water when you see the crack starts occurring.

Conclusion

The recipe mentioned above is the basic traditional mooncake recipe. It is super easy to make and you can just buy the ready-made filling to make it fast.

If you decide to make mooncake with this mooncake recipe, please tag me on my Instagram! I will be very happy to repost it!

Another variation for mooncake recipe is Snow Skin Mooncake. You can check the Strawberry Snow Skin Mooncake. Snow Skin Mooncake does not require baking and tastes just like ice cream!

Other Chinese desserts you might be interested in:

traditional mooncake

TRADITIONAL MOONCAKE

Yield: 12 pcs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A mooncake is a traditional Chinese pastry typically consumed during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture.

Ingredients

Pastry Skin

  • 130 gr cake flour
  • 130 gr bread flour
  • 160 gr golden syrup
  • 12 gr lye water
  • 30 gr coconut oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 25 gr creamy peanut butter

Filling

  • White lotus paste
  • Egg yolk

Egg Wash

  • 2 egg yolk
  • ½ egg white (+- 20 gr)

Instructions

Pastry Skin  

  1. First, let’s make the skin. Pour golden syrup, lye water, and coconut oil in a bowl. Put one egg yolk into the bowl.
  2. Scoop creamy peanut butter into the bowl.
  3. Mix everything in the bowl together.
  4. Sieve the flour into the bowl. Mix well using a spatula.
  5. Knead with your hands until the dough is no longer sticky.
  6. Cover with plastic to rest for 1-2 hours.

Assembling the Mooncake

  1. Roast the salted egg yolk in the oven 160°C for 5 minutes. Before roasting, spray with water to keep it moist.
  2. Roast sunflower seeds if you want to use them in the filling.
  3. Knead the sunflower seeds in the filling. The size of the filling depends on the size of your mold.
  4. Wrap the salted egg yolk with the filling. Round it. Set aside.
  5. After preparing the filling, the skin should be ready to shape.

The Skin & The Filling

  1. Weigh the skin around 35% of the mold size. If your mold size is for 100 gr mooncake, the skin should be 35 gr.
  2. Round the dough and press, flatten it with a rolling pin.
  3. Put the filling in the center, cover with the skin and seal tightly.
  4. Make sure the filling is completely covered.
  5. Round it and use the mold to shape the mooncake.

Baking the Mooncake

  1. Bake in the preheated oven 180°C for 8-10 minutes until they look firm enough.
  2. Take out the mooncake from the oven and brush with egg wash.
  3. Bake again for another 5 minutes. Give another layer of egg wash and bake for another 5 more minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Brush thinly on the surface. Remove excess egg wash with kitchen towel. If it is too much, the pattern will not look crisp.
  5. After baking, rest the mooncake in an airtight container for at least one day.

Resting Time

  1. Put the mooncake on a cooling rack to cool down completely. Keep in an airtight container for at least one day.
  2. During resting time, the oil from the filling will transfer to the skin, making the mooncake shiny and moist.

Enjoy the mooncake starting on the second day!





Notes

Tips for Shaping the Mooncake

  1. Dust the mooncake mold with flour. Shake off the excess flour with a brush, leaving thin layer of flour on the mold. This will make the dough slide easily out of the mold.
  2. Also dust the piston of the mooncake mold with flour and dust off the excess.
  3. Put the rounded dough in the mold. Plunge the mooncake mold downward on the baking tray. Press for a while to let the pattern imprint the dough and the dough will follow the shape of the mold.
  4. To get a perfect shape of the dough, you can press gently a few times downward.

Tips for the Egg Wash

  1. Sieve the egg wash mixture using a fine sifter.
  2. This way you get a very smooth egg wash.
  3. When brushing the mooncake, brush thinly. The point is not to spoil the pattern. Do not let the egg wash soak the crevices of the pattern.
  4. Use a kitchen towel to absorb excess egg wash.





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