Mooncakes Recipe – A How-To Guide

by Ella

Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival, a significant holiday celebrated by Chinese communities around the world. These delectable treats are often filled with sweet or savory fillings and intricately decorated with beautiful designs, making them a symbol of unity, harmony, and good fortune. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the art of making mooncakes from scratch, covering everything from the history and cultural significance of these iconic pastries to step-by-step instructions for crafting your own delicious creations at home.

History and Cultural Significance of Mooncakes:

Before delving into the process of making mooncakes, it’s essential to understand their rich history and cultural significance. Mooncakes have been a cherished part of Chinese culture for centuries, with roots dating back to ancient China. Originally used as offerings to the moon goddess Chang’e during the Mid-Autumn Festival, mooncakes evolved over time to become a symbol of family reunion and shared prosperity.


The round shape of mooncakes symbolizes completeness and unity, while the intricate designs imprinted on their surface often depict scenes from Chinese mythology or traditional symbols of good luck and fortune. Today, mooncakes are exchanged among family members, friends, and business associates as tokens of appreciation and well wishes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, fostering a sense of harmony and togetherness within communities.


Essential Ingredients and Equipment:

To make mooncakes at home, you will need a few key ingredients and specialized equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:



  • Mooncake flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • Golden syrup (or honey or corn syrup)
  • Peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • Alkaline water (or lye water)
  • Filling of your choice (such as lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or salted egg yolks)


  • Mooncake molds (available in various shapes and sizes)
  • Pastry brush
  • Rolling pin
  • Plastic wrap
  • Baking tray

Choosing Your Filling:

One of the most exciting aspects of making mooncakes is selecting the filling. Traditional mooncake fillings include lotus seed paste, red bean paste, and salted egg yolks, but you can also experiment with modern variations like chocolate, fruit, or nuts. Here are some popular mooncake fillings to consider:

Lotus Seed Paste: Smooth and slightly sweet, lotus seed paste is a classic filling for traditional mooncakes. It pairs well with salted egg yolks or melon seeds for added texture.

Red Bean Paste: Made from boiled and mashed red azuki beans, red bean paste has a rich, earthy flavor that complements the sweetness of mooncake dough.

Salted Egg Yolks: Salted egg yolks are often used as a savory filling in mooncakes, adding a contrast of flavors and textures to the sweet pastry.

Preparing the Mooncake Dough:

Making mooncake dough requires a delicate balance of ingredients to achieve the perfect texture and consistency. Here’s a basic recipe for mooncake dough:


  • 500g mooncake flour
  • 300g golden syrup
  • 150g peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp alkaline water


In a large mixing bowl, combine the golden syrup, peanut oil, and alkaline water. Stir until well combined.

Gradually add the mooncake flour to the wet ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms.

Knead the dough gently until smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Assembling and Shaping the Mooncakes:

Once you’ve prepared your dough and chosen your filling, it’s time to assemble and shape the mooncakes. Here’s how to do it:


Divide the dough and filling into equal portions, depending on the size of your mooncake molds.

Flatten a portion of dough into a circle, then place a portion of filling in the center.

Gather the edges of the dough around the filling and pinch to seal, ensuring there are no gaps or cracks.

Lightly dust your mooncake mold with flour, then place the filled dough ball into the mold.

Press down firmly on the plunger to imprint the design on the surface of the mooncake and release it from the mold.

Baking and Serving Your Mooncakes:

Before baking your mooncakes, it’s essential to brush them with a thin layer of egg wash to achieve a glossy finish. Once baked, allow the mooncakes to cool completely before serving to allow the flavors to develop fully.


Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place the assembled mooncakes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Brush the surface of the mooncakes with egg wash, taking care not to let it pool in the imprinted designs.

Bake the mooncakes for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.

Storing Your Mooncakes:

To keep your mooncakes fresh and flavorful, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. You can also freeze mooncakes for longer-term storage, allowing them to thaw at room temperature before serving.

Exploring Variations and Modern Twists:

While traditional mooncakes hold a special place in Chinese culture, there’s no shortage of variations and modern twists to explore. Here are a few creative ideas to inspire your mooncake-making adventures:

Snow Skin Mooncakes: Unlike traditional baked mooncakes, snow skin mooncakes are made with a soft, mochi-like outer layer that doesn’t require baking. They’re typically filled with creamy custards, fruit pastes, or flavored lotus seed paste, offering a refreshing alternative to their baked counterparts.

Mini Mooncakes: For a fun and bite-sized treat, consider making mini mooncakes using smaller molds. These miniature versions are perfect for sharing with friends and family or serving as party favors during the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.

Vegan Mooncakes: With the rising popularity of plant-based diets, vegan mooncakes have become increasingly popular. Instead of traditional fillings like lotus seed paste or salted egg yolks, vegan mooncakes often feature creative combinations of fruits, nuts, and plant-based ingredients.

Matcha Mooncakes: Add a modern twist to your mooncakes by incorporating matcha powder into the dough or filling. Matcha mooncakes offer a vibrant green color and a subtle earthy flavor that pairs beautifully with sweet fillings like red bean paste or white chocolate.

Chocolate Mooncakes: Indulge your sweet tooth with decadent chocolate mooncakes filled with rich ganache or creamy chocolate truffles. These indulgent treats are sure to satisfy even the most discerning chocolate lovers and make a delightful addition to any festive spread.


In conclusion, making mooncakes at home is a rewarding culinary experience that allows you to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in style. With a bit of patience and creativity, you can craft beautiful and delicious mooncakes that are sure to impress your family and friends. Whether you opt for traditional fillings or experiment with modern flavors, the process of making mooncakes is a labor of love that brings joy and togetherness to any celebration. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and let the mooncake-making begin!



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023