What are Mooncakes and How Can You Make Them

Mooncake is a traditional Chinese dish eaten during the Autumn Festival. 

It is a small round pastry with a diameter of about 10 cm and a thickness of 3-4 cm. The filling is rich and dense. 

It is made from thin crusts mixed with duck egg yolks. Mooncake is usually served together with a cup of tea. It is often used as a sophisticated gift for celebrations. So if you are looking for an elegant and delicious gift for relatives or even business partners, a box of authentic mooncakes from Singapore would be a wonderful choice! 

It is important to say that in Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. 

A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. Round mooncakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival.

It’s an acquired taste, quite savory and salty. 

What are Mooncakes and How Can You Make Them 1

1. What are Mooncakes

Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top representing Chinese characters for “longevity” or “harmony”. 

Of course, there are other prints too that represent the moon, flowers, vines, etc. Mooncakes are most often filled with beans, lotus seed paste, chocolate, green tea, ice cream, cream cheese, salted egg yolks, seafood, fruits, and vegetables, or roasted pork.

Here is a list of traditional mooncake flavors you definitely should try:

  • Mixed Nuts Mooncake

A mix of nuts or kernels such as walnut kernels, almonds, sesame seeds, melon seeds, hawthorn, red beans, and so on. Wrun Mooncake is a typical and popular mooncake flavor in China, especially among older people. 

  • Red Bean Mooncake

A classic combination of sweet bean paste and the outer skin makes the mooncake smooth and has a richer flavor, which makes it the most popular mooncake flavor.

  • White Lotus Mooncake

The filling of this mooncake is white lotus paste, which is made of fresh lotus seeds with a natural fragrance. It is too sweet and should be avoided by elderly people and those who have high sugar levels.  

  • Salted Egg Yolk Mooncake

The heart of this kind of mooncake is the solid salted egg yolk. It has a unique taste that makes it one of the most popular mooncakes. It is usually combined with fresh lotus seeds paste or red bean paste.  

  • Snow Skin Mooncake

 One of the latest flavors of mooncakes. It is covered with crystal clear skin and made of glutinous rice flour.  

  • Minced Pork Mooncake

Traditional snacks in many regions in China. It has a crisp skin and tender filling of fresh minced pork.  

  • Green Tea Mooncake

The green tea mooncake is for everyone who prefers a  fresh natural taste. Green tea powder is added to the skin or the fillings. 

  •  Fruits Mooncake

Fruit mooncake blends the taste of sweet fruits. The fillings are usually added with the freshest fruits like strawberry, orange, peach, and pineapple. 

  • Flower Cake

It has a filling with flowers that brings a fragrant taste. The variety is quite rich and the most popular ones are rose and sweet-scented osmanthus. 

  • Yam Mooncake

Yam mooncake is one of the latest flavors. The filling is sweet yam paste. The mucus protein contained in the yam can improve the body’s resistance. So the yam mooncake is popular among those who want to keep healthy. 

How to Make Mooncakes

The dough-filling ratio is usually 1:3, i.e. if the dough for one cake weighs 25 g, the filling is 50.

The flour is the main ingredient of this recipe and it largely determines the quality of the cake. The lower the protein content of the flour, the softer and more tender the dough will be.

The ingredients

  • 30 ml of oil
  • 160 g of maple syrup
  • 240 g of flour
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 10g Peanut butter


  1. Sift flour into a deep bowl. Make a well in the center with a spoon and pour the maple syrup. Add the egg yolk, peanut butter, and oil. Mix until combined. Knead with your hands until you get a soft dough.
  2. If the dough becomes dry and crumbly, add a little more oil or syrup. If it’s moist, add more flour.
  3. Don’t knead too much. This develops the gluten and makes the dough harder to shape. Wrap it in fresh foil and leave it to rest for 30-40 minutes.
  4. From the dough, small circles are made by hand, which are filled with the chosen stuff – dried and salted yolks, mung bean paste, etc.
  5. The easiest way is to fill them with chocolate or jam. The dough forms around the filling. Arrange the cakes on a baking tray lined with paper.
  6. Bake at 190°C for 8 minutes until golden. If you make bigger mooncakes, you can also put it on 200. Spray the finished cakes with a little water to make them have a crispy crust.
Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at momooze.com. She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.