|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||21%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 84g||31%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 42g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Mooncakes are the most iconic food of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important holiday for Chinese people next to Chinese New Year, but it is also celebrated in many countries across Asia. The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar and is celebrated with family gatherings, feasts, and an abundance of lights, lanterns, and candles. It is a celebration of the fullest and brightest moon of the year, hence the name mooncake.
Typically, mooncakes are made with a sweet baked dough on the outside and filled with either red bean or lotus seed paste and salted duck yolks to represent the full moon. This version is made with just red bean paste, but feel free to get creative and use your favorite nut or seed paste.
For this recipe, you will need mooncake molds, which are easily found online.
""My mooncakes came out very good for my first try. I probably used too much egg wash on some, but other than that, the recipe worked well and the flavor was excellent. Make sure you prep the work area as instructed and let the mooncakes cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet." — Diana Rattray
For the Lye Water Substitute:
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Mooncakes:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon lye water substitute
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cake flour, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces red bean paste
For the Egg Wash:
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Steps to Make It
Make the Lye Water Substitute
Gather the ingredients.
Combine the water and baking soda in a small pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil, about 7 minutes.
Set aside to cool (watch the pot closely to be sure water doesn't completely boil away. You will need 1/2 teaspoon of lye water substitute for this recipe).
Make the Dough
Gather the ingredients.
Combine the honey, 1/2 teaspoon lye water substitute, vegetable oil, cake flour, and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until the mixture comes together into a ball.
Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate, at least 30 minutes. Place the red bean paste in a small bowl. Refrigerate, covered, at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray a tiny bit cooking spray onto your work surface, then cover with a piece of plastic wrap. The oil will help the plastic wrap stay in place. The dough is sticky and is much easier to handle with the plastic wrap. It is helpful to wear latex gloves or oil your hands to prevent sticking.
Divide the chilled dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Divide the red bean paste into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
Dust the top of the plastic wrap with some flour. Flatten each ball of dough into a disk about 1/4-inch thick and place a ball of red bean paste into the center of each.
Wrap the dough around the paste and pinch the dough together to seal. Roll into a large, smooth, uniform ball.
Dust the inside of a mooncake mold with flour. Place the filled dough ball into the mold and flatten it to fill the mold.
Unmold the mooncake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining portions. Leave at least 2-inches of space between each mooncake.
Place the baking sheet of mooncakes in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Freezing will help the mooncake retain its shape and design while baking.
Make the Egg Wash
Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F.
Combine the egg, egg yolks, milk, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Bake the Mooncakes
With a pastry brush, brush the tops and the sides of the mooncakes lightly with the egg wash. Repeat with a second brush of egg wash.
Bake until the mooncakes are golden brown, 15 to 19 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before removing and serving.
- Lye water and red bean paste can be found in most Asian markets. We have provided you with a lye water substitute recipe, if that is preferred.
- The yield will depend on the size and shape of the mooncake mold, so you may need to adjust accordingly.
- The recipe makes 454 grams of dough (about 1 pound), and about 75.5 grams for each of the 6 mooncakes.
- A 100g to 150g mold is perfect to yield 6 mooncakes.
- Instead of red bean paste, the sweet dough can be stuffed with your favorite nut or seed paste.
- Golden syrup, such as Lyle's, may be used instead of honey.
- Keep the baked mooncakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.