Moon Cakes


This year Mid-Autumn festival fell on Thursday, so we had to celebrate it two days late. The kids didn’t seem to mind as long as cakes involved 🙂


Last year we went out to search for the big bright moon. My kids said, after patiently waiting for 10 minutes for the cloud to clear up (still no sign of the moon): “Can we go and find another moon, mom?”

Well, guess what we did this year?

Moon Cakes

(Adapted from Savoury Days)

A. Simple syrup (prepare at least 2 weeks in advance)
500 g sugar
500 g brown sugar
600 ml water (boiling)
Juice of 1 medium-sized lemon (about 60-70g)

B. Moon cake dough
120 g all-purpose flour
120 g cake flour
160 g simply syrup (from A)
30 g canola oil
1 egg yolk
10g peanut butter (replaced by 5 g canola oil)
1/4 tsp five-spice powder (only used with the traditional salty filling)

C. Filling
Red bean paste, green been paste, lotus seed paste, etc.

D. Topping
1 egg yolk
1/2 egg white
2 tsp milk
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 drops of red color

To make simple syrup:

  1. Weigh a saucepan – remember this weight.
  2. In the saucepan, combine two types of sugars and boiling water.
  3. Under medium heat, stir to combine.
  4. When the syrup starts to boil, reduce to medium-low heat.
  5. Skim and discard water bubbles.
  6. Add lemon juice and lemon skin (if wanted).
  7. Simmer without stirring for about 1 hour, or until the syrup’s net weight reaches 1.2 kg (weight the saucepan with syrup and minus the original weight of the saucepan in step 1).

To make the dough: 

  1. In a large bowl, whisk all flours together.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Whisk from the center outward until combined.
  4. Use your hands to mix the dough and form a smooth ball. It will still be slightly wet.
  5. Wrap the ball using a plastic wrap.
  6. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, divide the fillings into small balls depending on the size of your molds (2 portion of filling = 1 portion of dough).
  8. Divide the dough into smaller balls (half the size of the filling).
  9. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough ball.
  10. Place filling in the center and form a ball.
  11. Brush a very thin layer of oil on the ball.
  12. Place it in a moon cake mold.
  13. Tap the mold on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. The moon cake should rest directly on the lined sheet.

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all topping ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Place the baking pan on a lower rack.
  4. Bake for about 5-7 minutes (50-75 g moon cakes) or 8-10 minutes (100-125 g moon cakes).
  5. Take out the tray.
  6. Spray water all over the cakes (top and sides).
  7. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Turn heat to 375F.
  9. Brush the egg topping mixture.
  10. Bake for another 5 minutes (for small-sized moon cakes), or 7 minutes (for larger sizes).
  11. Repeat steps 5-10.
  12. If wanted, you can repeat steps 5-10 once more.
  13. Cool on rack.
  14. Store in an air-tight container. Read to eat after 2 days.