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Mooncakes-13

How to make Mooncakes {a step by step guide with .gifs}

September 20, 2015 | 36 comments

{Warning: Picture heavy post ahead}

Hehheeee yeah these are cakes. I promise.

They might not be fluffy, but they’re still cakes -Merriam Webster actually defines cake as a a mixture of food that has been shaped into a ball or a flat round shape and baked or fried. So basically, I can call any mix of ingredients “cake” provided that it’s shaped into a round-ish shape and cooked in some way. I can imagine some pretty weird cakes with that definition…

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Lemon ginger muesli-8

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But really guys, these are delicious. They are dense, but they’re solid in a satisfying, moreish sort of way, making the result all the better.

Now that we’ve got that separated out,

Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival {in a week}!!! -Call me a hypocrite, or a betrayer, but I really have no idea what people do on this holiday besides eat delicious food. Isn’t that what most holidays are made of anyhow? Chatting with family, friends, and random strangers that your parents invite over? It’s cliche, but food is really how everyone connects to each other, whether by eating it or discussing about it. And in this case, these sweet little cakes are the best course of discussion.

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I’ve always loved these little cakes. To be general, I’ve always loved Chinese food. Not the “chinese food” that Americans associate with it, but real chinese food, the flavors always remind me of the past gone by, all filled with bright vegetables and spiced meats. The one thing that they don’t have though is dessert -it’s mainly just fruit or maybe some light cake. But these petite cakes are eaten during this holiday and they’re wonderful.

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Lemon ginger muesli-9
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My parents would always get the yearly plea of mooncakes from me. It was just to be expected. They’re sweet -almost too sweet, and expensive -so very expensive (I mean, $5 per cake? phfffttt please). Plus, I could never choose, the one filled with dark, mysterious red bean or the bright, cheerful lotus? The one thing I never had to pick from was the duck egg yolks. Egg yolks? In cake? That’s not mixed in? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…

Now that I’m (slightly) older, I really like the salted egg yolks -they offer a welcoming contrast to the sweet fillings. However, I can still never decide between the two kinds (although, I do tend to lean towards the red bean more often than not). That combined with their expense, influences me to make them each year, and each time, they get devoured just as fast as the last.

These mooncakes can be made with or without a mold. The .gifs show how to make them with a traditional wooden mold (hint: it involves a lot of banging), but with the other kind, you can always follow the instructions given. Without a mold, you can make adorable piggies, or just little round paddies if you wish.

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Lemon ginger muesli-10

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P.S. These are Cantonese mooncakes, because my mom said the Shanghai ones suck even though we’re technically from around Shanghai. Maybe they’re good, but moms are always the best advice givers, right?

P.P.S. This marks the beginning of fall -at least my definition of the beginning of fall. So I guess you should just know that I’m gonna be shoving lots of pecans and pumpkins (alliteration right?) into your face verrrry soon.

Notes

// To prep the salted egg yolks, separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Place the egg yolks in an oven safe bowl along with about 1 tbsp of wine {shaoxing is preferred, but it can basically be done with any I think} and place in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until solid. I had to cut mine in half after this because my molds were pretty small.
// This recipe requires golden syrup -a food item that the U.S. just doesn’t seem to have so my recipe is here.
// Whatever paste you decide to use, make sure that it’s pretty solid (as in you can touch it normally without it sticking everywhere). If your’s isn’t thick enough, the mooncake design will kinda melt in the oven. To make the paste thicker, all you have to do is place it on the stove and stir it until it’s solid enough.
// To make the little piggies -take a ball of filled mooncake dough and roll it into a ball-ish oval shape. At the top of it’s head, press little spoons for the eye brows, then press a black bean beneath the eyebrows for the eyes. Using a toothpick, press down lines to make the legs {look at the photos of the pig for exact places}. Roll 3 pieces of dough, two pieces half as large as the other. Flatten the large one for the nose. Place it where pig’s noses usually go, and press it down by pressing the nostril holes in. For the other two pieces of dough, roll it into slight oval-ish shapes and press it in by making lines where the ears fold in. To make the tail, roll a thin little piece of dough and press + coil it into the place that pig’s tails usually go.
// You’re supposed to let it sit for ~2 days to make the crust softer, but we usually eat it before.
// I’m a lazy duck so I slightly altered my previous recipe, but kept it mostly the same. But I think this recipe is now improved.

How to make Mooncakes {a step by step guide with .gifs}
160 g golden syrup
64 g oil
pinch of baking soda
250 g flour
Salted duck / chicken egg yolks if desired {see notes on how to prep them}
Filling (i.e. lotus paste, bean paste)

Mix the golden syrup, oil, and baking soda together. It will bubble a bit (because of the chemical reaction from the syrup and baking soda).

Add in the flour and mix until it creates a smooth dough. Let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Divide the dough and filling into pieces.

Take a filling piece, flatten it, place the egg yolk in the center and roll it back into a ball (the egg yolk should not be showing through).

Flatten one piece of the dough into a pancake-like shape. Roll the filling into a ball and cover with the dough. Pinching and rolling make the dough completely cover the filling.

If you don't have a mooncake molds / you want to make the adorable little piggies, look a the notes for instructions, then skip down to when you place them in the oven. Otherwise, dust it with flour.

Stuff it into the mold and take it out gently. I used a wooden mould, in which case, you have to pound the mold against the table on all sides and then flip the mooncake out. If you're using a plastic mold, I assume all you have to do is stuff it in and gently push it out (using the lever thingy).

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 355 F for 7 minutes. Gently brush with a beaten egg and then bake until browned. Around 10 minutes.

They say you're supposed to let these rest for 2 days after baking, but my family devours them before then.

http://www.sprinklewithsalt.com/2015/09/20/how-to-make-mooncakes-a-step-by-step-guide-with-gifs/


36 comments...

read or add your own

  1. Sabrina on

    September 20, 2015 at 5:23 pm says

    Very cute! Thanks for sharing this method!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm says

      Thanks Sabrina! πŸ˜€

      Reply
  2. kushi on

    September 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm says

    This is new to me! It looks so so cute. I am going to try this. Thank you for such a lovely share

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm says

      You’re welcome πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the sweet comment!

      Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm says

      Thanks! Aren’t they cute?

      Reply
  3. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four on

    September 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm says

    These are so adorable, Anne! I love the intricate details you recreated, and the gifs are fabulous as always. Happy Fall, deary! XO

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm says

      Thanks so much Beeta! Yesss fall is finally here and I get to stuff my face with pumpkin πŸ˜›

      Reply
  4. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on

    September 20, 2015 at 7:59 pm says

    Anne, I loved this post! Honestly though, ” These are Cantonese mooncakes, because my mom said the Shanghai ones suck even though we’re technically from around Shanghai. ” absolutely cracked me up. :)

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm says

      Hahhaaaaa thanks Maureen! I’m glad I could make you laugh πŸ˜‰

      Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:01 pm says

      Thank you Mary Ann! It’s all the molds fault! It’s too easy to make details πŸ˜›

      Reply
  5. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor on

    September 21, 2015 at 9:11 am says

    I love your site! These little mooncakes are too cute and I am sure they taste amazing too. I love your step by step guide!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:02 pm says

      Aww thanks Ashley! I’m glad you like it/them! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  6. Mahy @ twopurplefigs.com on

    September 21, 2015 at 10:01 am says

    WOW Anne, so happy I came across your lovely blog and this super fun post!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm says

      Thanks Mahy!!! I’m really happy that you came across my little space too πŸ˜€

      Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm says

      I know right? I spent about an hour ranting to my mom of how adorable they were and how I can’t stand to eat them! And then guess what happened? No little piggies left… Tears.

      Reply
  7. Josefine on

    September 21, 2015 at 11:55 am says

    Gosh these look amazing. One of my very best friends is Chinese and she talks a to about moon cakes, but I’ve never had the chance to try some. But now I can just make them myself πŸ˜‰
    Also, I didn’t know you/ your family is chinese – how cool is that?
    Happy Mid Autumn Moon Festival!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:05 pm says

      Hahhahaaa it’s so normal. I mean, China has a huge population so you should expect to see us everywhere right? And you’re danish! That’s really really cool too πŸ˜€
      You should definitely make them -they’re amazing πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  8. Jessica - The Novice Chef on

    September 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm says

    I have never even heard of a Moon Cake and now I feel like I must have them ASAP! So adorable!!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm says

      Ohhhh yess do it! πŸ˜›

      Reply
  9. Meagan @ The F&B Department on

    September 21, 2015 at 5:54 pm says

    These are so precious! Thanks for including all the .gifs. I need animated visual aids. I have to try making these!!!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm says

      Aww thanks Meagan! I need them too πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  10. Marcie on

    September 22, 2015 at 12:05 am says

    These are the cutest little cakes ever, and what a great tutorial!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm says

      I know right? Thank you Marcie!

      Reply
  11. Pang {circahappy} on

    September 22, 2015 at 10:06 am says

    The piggy is the cutest mooncake I have ever seen!!!
    This is such an awesome post, Anne. I always thought mooncake is hard to make, but you make it plausible. :)

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm says

      Ohhh it’s definitely plausible! It’s literately easier than cake. Cake has more ingredients so it’s reallyyyyyyyyy easy πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  12. Amanda on

    September 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm says

    I love the pig! Never attempted to make a moon cake, might just have to now…

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:08 pm says

      Thank you Amanda!

      Reply
  13. Danielle on

    September 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm says

    These are too cute! I love the gifs for how to make them too, step by step guides are always so helpful!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      September 27, 2015 at 5:09 pm says

      I know right? I don’t know what I would be doing without step by step guides… so so useful πŸ˜€

      Reply
  14. Ricky on

    September 30, 2015 at 2:20 pm says

    The piggy is too cute. I bet this tastes delicious. I’ve never had moon cake before but now I want it. I love your detailed step by step guide too!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      October 4, 2015 at 10:26 pm says

      Hahahaa they were really good πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  15. Eva on

    October 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm says

    Ils sont vraiment merveilleux! Je ne jamais gouter et j’en vraiment envie maintenant de les tester! En tout cas, le tienne sont adorables!

    Reply
    • Anne on

      October 4, 2015 at 10:28 pm says

      Merci beaucoup Eva!

      Reply

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