Traditional Mooncakes

Mooncake is a Chinese dessert served during the mid-autumn festival which falls on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month. The traditional Cantonese-style baked mooncakes have a glossy thin skin and sweet filling such as lotus paste and salted duck egg yolks. I love mooncakes with plain red bean paste, lotus paste or lotus paste infused with fragrant screwpine leaves. Usually, lye water is used to make the skin which gives it a deep golden colour. However, this recipe uses bicarbonate soda instead which is easier to get. As for the filling, you can opt to make your own which is time consuming. I choose to buy the ready made ones which are easily available in your local supermarket. As for the golden syrup, I made my own.

9/19/20232 min read


For the skin (makes 16, using a 100gm mooncake mould)
460 gm plain flour
260gm golden syrup
100gm vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp water
1.2 kg filling of your choice (I used half red bean paste and half pandan lotus paste)
For the egg wash
2 Egg yolk
2 tsp Egg white
½ tsp oil
½ tsp Golden syrup
2 tsp Water


1. Mix baking soda and water together and set aside.
2. Combine flour, golden syrup, vegetable oil and baking soda mixture together in a large mixing bowl.
3. Knead lightly with your hands to form a soft dough.
4. Cover with cling wrap or a towel and allow the dough to rest for 1 hour.
5. Portion out the dough into 16, each weighing 50gm. Roll them into balls. Cover to prevent the dough from drying.
6. Meanwhile for the filling, make 16 balls with each weighing 75gm. If you are using egg yolks, the total weight (the red bean paste plus egg yolks) should also be 75gm for each portion.
7. Set aside until ready to use.
8. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
9. Take a ball of dough, and place it in between two pieces of cling wrap.
10. Roll into a circle, large enough to enclose the filling.
11. Remove the top part of the cling wrap. Place a ball of filling in the centre of the dough and with the help from the bottom part of the cling wrap, carefully bring the edges of the dough together and cover the filling.
12. Place the mooncake ball on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
13. Lightly oil the mooncake mould and use it to press the ball to form the mooncake.
14. Remove the mould and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
15. Bake the mooncakes for 6 minutes.
16. Remove the tray from the oven and lightly spray the mooncakes with water to prevent the skin from becoming dry.
17. Prepare the egg wash by whisking together all the ingredients.
18. Glaze the mooncakes with the egg wash.
19. Bake for another 6 minutes.
20. Remove the mooncakes from the oven and glaze with egg wash again.
21. Increase the oven to 200 C and bake the mooncakes for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
22. Remove from the oven and cool completely before placing in an airtight container.
23. Allow the mooncakes to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days for the skin to soften. The colour will deepen and the skin will become glossy.
24. You can store the mooncakes at room temperature for up to a week. Store in the refrigerator if you want them to last longer. Bring them to room temperature before consuming.