Traditional Chinese Mooncake

September 24, 2020

Mooncake is often consumed during mid autumn festival. 

These traditional delicacy is rich in flavour with thin pastry wrapping around various filling such as lotus paste, with salted duck egg yolk or with spiced mixed nuts and seeds. 

Traditional Chinese Mooncake

What is Mooncake?

Mooncake is a traditional Chinese dessert serve during mid-autumn festival in Chinese culture. It will be on 1st October for year 2020, which is next week!

What are Chinese Mooncakes made of?

Traditional mooncakes are made of sweet soft thin pastry wrap around various filling.

Mooncake is filled with either lotus paste with nuts (see recipe card below), spiced mixed nuts (see recipe card below), lotus paste with salted duck egg yolk (I have to try this next time, didn't plan earlier!)
However, there are other types of mooncakes too. 

Chinese Mooncakes

   There are snow skinned mooncakes. This type of mooncake is almost similar to mochi, which soft and slightly chewy skin, we like to say, it has that "Q Q" texture!

Some may prefer to wrap mooncake with light layered pastry. This type of mooncake is know as Thousand layers mooncake.

One of the best mooncake I have ever tasted was an ice-cream mooncake!!!

What's not to like about ice-cream, right?


How to Make Traditional Chinese Mooncakes?

Full long list of ingredients and method are in my printable recipe card below.

And to better understand the process, I have made a video on How to make Mooncakes!

Mooncake festival
The recipe for these delicious and addictive mooncakes is from my late mother-in-law. 

Her mooncakes were selling like hotcakes in her hometown back then.

1. Making pastry.

Making mooncake by mixing golden syrup with alkaline water and  oil
 Golden syrup mix into sieved flour.

Making mooncake pastry
   Mix it to form a dough. Rest for at least 7 hours.

2. Wrap pastry around your favourite mooncake filling.

Wrap mooncake pastry around mixed nuts
3. Mooncake mould.

Making mooncake indentation with spring mould
I opt for this mould (for 75g mooncake bought from ebay) instead of the traditional wooden mould.

Traditional wooden mould is perfect for mooncake with salted egg yolk filling as it has depth.
The salted egg yolk will be crush if I were to use this spring press mooncake mould.

4. Mooncake ready to be baked in the oven.

Unbaked mooncake

Vegan mooncake

What not to do with Mooncake baking?

1. To be generous with the mooncake pastry!

I did that mistake, by using more than needed pastry to wrap my mooncakes.
They ended up with elephant feet.

What to avoid in mooncake baking
As the dough is soft, the pastry was unable to resist gravitational force!

2. To brush mooncakes surface with egg wash prior to baking.

All those pretty and pronounce pattern will disappear!
Best to par bake mooncakes before brushing with egg wash.

Celebrating mid autumn festival with mooncakes

Are Mooncakes vegan?

Mooncakes with salted egg yolk is definitely not Vegan!
But my recipe below is vegetarian and vegan friendly.

How is Mooncake served?

Mooncake is best consume is at least 24 hours after baking.
This process will let the baked mooncake pastry rest for the flavours to develop. 

It is alright to consume immediately but the pastry might not have time to do its magic, and it may turn out like biscuit.

After that 24 hours resting period, mooncake is cut into 8 pieces. 

Mooncake is rich in flavour, so to eat the whole mooncake or even half in one sitting is a bit too much! (for me though!!)
Serve with some chinese tea.


How long can I keep my mooncakes?

Since no preservatives is used, and some mooncakes might have egg yolk in it, so I would consume within 7 days.
Keep them in an airtight container.

Do mooncakes needs to be refrigerated?

Best keep in room temperature. One of the ingredients used is oil, hence it might harden in the fridge.

Can I heat up mooncake?

Mooncake is best eaten at room temperature!

Video on How To Bake Traditional Chinese Mooncake

Other Asian Sweets and Savouries 

You may wish to try these Asian sweets and Savouries to celebrate Chinese mid-autumn festivals!

Traditional Chinese Mooncake Recipe

Traditional Chinese Mooncake Recipe
Yield: 20
Author: Lisa Ho
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 HourInactive time: 8 HourTotal time: 9 H & 30 M
Mooncakes are Chinese bakery dessert celebrating mid autumn.


Mooncake Pastry
  • 300g plain flour 
  • 225g golden syrup 
  • 100g peanut oil 
  • 2 teaspoons alkaline water (lye water) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Citrus Peel, Mixed Nuts and Seeds
  • 40g pumpkin seeds 
  • 40g sunflower seeds 
  • 40g walnut 
  • 40g almond 
  • 40g citrus peel 
  • 80g black and white sesame seeds 
  • 40g melon strips 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger 
  • 50g sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 50g glutinous rice flour 
  • 30g honey 
  • 50g peanut oil 
  • 30g water (add more if required)
Lotus Paste
  • 300g
  • Lotus paste
  • 50g roasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds


Mooncake Pastry
  1. Sieve plain flour with baking powder twice.
  2. Mix peanut oil, golden syrup and alkaline water in a jug.
  3. Stir till all ingredients emulsify.
  4. Add liquid to plain flour.
  5. Using pastry scraper, mix till just combine into a dough.
  6. Cover and leave to rest for at least 7 to 8 hours.
  7. Weigh and divide into 25g 
Citrus Peel, Mixed Nuts and Seeds
  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Add wet ingredients
  3. Mix well.
  4. Leave it to rest.
  5. Roll into 50g balls or 25 g balls. (see note below)
Lotus and Seeds
  1. Mix lotus paste and roasted seeds
  2. Roll into 50g balls or 25g balls 


1. I use mooncake press, to make 75g mooncakes 2. Pastry will feel soft but it is manageable. Do not add flour at this stage. 3. Mixed nuts, citrus peel mixture ~ should be able to roll into ball If the mixture is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture is too wet, add almond meal 1 tablespoon at a time. 4. For 3 layers mooncake, 25g pastry, 25g mixed nuts and 25g lotus and seeds {*See Video}

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Mooncake is often consumed during mid autumn festival.  Mooncake is rich in flavour with thin pastry wrapping around various fillings like lotus paste.