Thursday, September 27, 2012

My First Attempt at Traditional Mooncake

Traditional Mooncake:  Lotus Paste with Single Yolk

For some reason or other, I have never made traditional baked mooncake before.  Somehow, I have no incentives to make these (super) sweet treats.  But since I have started to explore more on baking recently, I thought it is good to learn to make something traditional.

I am glad that my traditional mooncakes turn out well on my first attempt.  This really boosts my confidence to bake more... and more... such that at the end, I have rolled out 20 traditional mooncakes (standard size), 8 mini traditional mooncakes, over 30 snowskin mooncakes and about 20 Shanghai mooncakes!  

When just out from the oven, mooncakes do not have the "shine" factor

Traditional mooncakes need at least 1 to 2 days "resting time" after baking, to develop the flavour and the soft and shiny skin (回油).  So this is not something that you bake at the very last minute.

Notes on Making Traditional Mooncake:

1) No one size fits all 
Mooncake mould comes in different shapes and sizes, so you can't fit the same amount of dough and filling for one mould to another mould.  For my mooncake mould, I used about 42g dough to 130g filling, or roughly 1 part dough to 3 parts filling.  Test on one mooncake first.  Once you are happy with the tested product, you can start to make more.  

2) Plan ahead
Beside the resting time required after baking, the dough skin needs "beauty sleep" too.  After mixing the dough ingredients together, cover the dough and let it rest at room temperature for a few hours, about 5 hours (or overnight, if you intend to bake the next morning).

3) A touch of magic - salted egg yolk preparation
Remove black ash, wash and separate yolks from whites.  Rinse the salted egg yolks with water (to remove traces of whites).  Add a few drops of sesame oil to the salted yolks and bake at 160C for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Sesame oil enhances the salted yolk flavour.  I tried adding cooking wine to the salted yolks, but I find sesame oil works better.

4) Practise makes perfect
The hardest part in mooncake making is to wrap a big ball of filling with a small piece of dough skin.  One easy way is to flatten the dough between plastic wraps.  The flatten dough should cover about 80% of the ball of filling, then gently turn and spread the dough with your hands to fully cover the filling.  What you want  is an evenly thin skin around the lotus filling. 

5) Less is more when it comes to egg wash
Egg wash is one yolk + a little water (about 2 tsp).  You can sieve it if you want smoother egg wash.  Brush just a little egg wash on the surface to give the mooncake a nice golden colour.  Too much egg wash will blur the design on the mooncake.  

Making Traditional Mooncakes
(makes about 20 mooncakes)

This is a easy-to-remember recipe "1 2 3":  1 part oil: 2 parts syrup: 3 parts flour

150g peanut oil
300g golden syrup
450g flour (I used Hongkong flour)
1/2 tbsp akaline water

1) Mix well together: oil, golden syrup and akaline water.  Add flour to form a dough.  Cover and rest dough for 5 hours.

2) Divide dough in small parts (I used about 42g dough).  Wrap mooncake filling (lotus paste 120g + salted yolk 10g: form into a round ball) with dough.  Dust mooncake with flour and place in mooncake mould.  Press and knock out mooncake.  Place on greased or lined baking tray.

3) Bake in preheated oven at 180C:  Bake for 5 minutes, remove and brush surface with egg wash.  Bake again for about 10 to 15 minutes till light golden brown.


  1. Congratulations on your first attempt. they look delicious. Thank you very much for the useful tips, so thoughtful of you.

    1. Thanks Elaine. Making notes is important, especially we only make mooncakes once a year ;)

  2. 第一次就做得很好了。。。。。。很美味的月饼。加油哦。

    1. 谢谢你,Joceline. 我会加油的,明年的月饼希望更加完美。

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Angel. Just bought a mooncake recipe book for reference. But I guess will only try them next year.

  4. Hi Fong, you're great. Always good to give it a try and you will discover all the benefits of making them yourself. Have a good time enjoying them this Sunday. Definitely will see more next year?

    1. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you and family. Oh yes, I will be making more next year.

  5. Great job for a first attempt, your mooncakes look just like store bought ones!

  6. Hi, May I ask how to measure golden syrup in gram? Also if I want to let the dough rest overnight so I keep it in the fridge or at room temperature.


    1. Hi Ade, I measured the golden syrup using a weighing scale.


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