Traditional Baked Mooncakes

The mid-autumn festival (中秋节) falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. That translates to Monday, 8 September this year. It is customary to eat mooncakes on this day. Do you make your own traditional baked mooncakes (中秋月饼)? Many years come and go but I never got around to doing so. I am so glad that I finally took the plunge this year, and tried my hand at making them.

See Also:

Mooncake making turned out to be much easier than I expected, thanks to ready-made lotus filling (I am a happy cheater!), and an excellent youtube video to learn from.

Traditional Baked Mooncakes Recipe
My mooncakes may not be the most perfect or best looking ones around, but they certainly are delicious and I took pride in making them haha. I will probably not be buying anymore mooncakes in future since making them is both fun and cheaper.


Ingredients and tools for making mooncakes

Here are some of the ingredients and tools you will need to make moon cakes.
(A) ready made mooncake filling (lotus paste).
(B) golden syrup
(C) alkaline water (aka lye water) which balances the acidity of the golden syrup and gives it a beautiful brown finish.
(D) mini mooncake moulds.A, C and D from Phoon Huat (PH) or Kwong Cheong Thye (KCT); B from PH or KCT & supermarkets. For golden syrup, you can also get the squeeze bottle type (same brand) with maple flavour.
Note: KCT carries filling paste in minimum 500 grams pack (more information on my instagram), while PH sells in minimum 1kg pack.

Making Mooncakes
In a large bowl, measure and add golden syrup, vegetable/olive oil, alkaline water and vanilla extract. Stir with a spatula until well combined.

Mooncake Dough
Next, add in sifted floor. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Don’t over knead the dough, as you will still be working on it later, and over kneading will result in a dry and tough dough. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for 2 hours (醒面).

Mooncake Recipe
While waiting for the dough to be ready, measure and weigh 35 grams paste of lotus paste and shape them into a ball (x 12). If you like melon seeds, add about 1-2 tsp per ball (flatten the lotus paste on your palm first before adding the melon seeds so that they are evenly distributed).

Salted Duck Yolk
If you want salted egg yolk filling, get raw salted duck eggs. Remove egg white and rinse the yolk, coat them in sesame oil (about 1 tsp per 4 yolks) and steam for 5 minutes. For the mini mould used in this recipe, you only need half egg yolk per mooncake. Weigh halved egg yolk and lotus paste to form 35 grams. Wrap lotus paste around the yolk and shape into a ball.

Making Mooncakes
After the waiting time of 2 hours, the dough is ready. Mix it with some flour (1/2 tbsp at a time) and knead until smooth.

Making Mooncakes
Weigh and cut the dough to 15 grams pieces.

How to Make Mooncakes
Here’s the fun part, making the mooncakes! Take a piece of dough, flatten it to a circle either by hand or a rolling pin. Place the lotus paste ball in the center of the mooncake skin. Hold the skin in one palm, use your other hand to to close the skin over the lotus paste in a circular, rotating motion. When this is done, shape mooncake into a ball by gently rolling it in both palms. Remember to dust your work surface, hands and rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking.

How to Make Mooncakes
Dust the mooncake ball in flour. Press it firmly into the mooncake mould. Turn the mould over and give it a few taps to loosen the mooncake. Repeat until the dough is used up.

How to Make Mooncakes
Place the mooncakes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spray the mooncakes with water (to prevent the skin from cracking during baking). Bake in preheated oven of 180 °C (356 °F) for 10 minutes.

How to Make Mooncakes
Take out the tray and let it cool outside for 20 minutes. This is to prevent the skin from cracking due to expansion of the filling.

How to Make Mooncakes
After 20 minutes, brush mooncakes with egg wash.

How to Make Mooncakes
Return to oven and continue to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Traditional Baked Mooncakes Recipe
When the mooncakes have cooled down, store them in air-tight containers for 1-2 days before serving. This is to allow the skin to be soft and shiny by allowing the oil to slowly seep through the skin (回油).

Traditional Baked Mooncakes Recipe

In this recipe, a mini 50 grams mould is used. Each mooncake is made with 15 grams mooncake dough (skin) and 35 grams filling. If you used a different mould, do adjust and weigh the dough & filling according to the proportion stated.


  • plain flour for dusting work surface, rolling pin, hands and dough
  • egg wash lightly beat 1 egg + 1 tbsp water in a bowl

Mooncake Filling

  • 420 grams ready-made mooncake filling paste (such as lotus paste, red bean paste etc)


  • melon seeds (about 1-2 tsp per mooncake)
  • raw salted duck yolk (half egg yolk per mooncake) remove white and rinse the yolk, coat yolks in sesame oil and steam for 5 minute, halved

Mooncake Dough

  • 70 grams golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp alkaline water (lye water)
  • 25ml (5 tsp) olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 grams plain or all-purpose flour sifted


  • mini mooncake mould (50 grams mold)



  1. In a large bowl, add golden syrup, alkaline water, olive oil and vanilla extract. Stir with a spatula until well combined.
  2. Add in sifted flour and mix with a spatula to form a soft dough. Do not over knead the dough.
  3. Wrap dough with cling wrap and leave to rest for about 2 hours.
  4. After the waiting time of 2 hours, dust the dough with some flour. Give the dough a few light kneading to smoothen it.
  5. Divide dough into 15 grams pieces. Shape each dough into a ball.

Filling paste

  1. Divide the filling paste into 35 grams pieces. If desired, add 1 to 2 tsp of melon seeds to each serving of filling paste. Shape each dough into a ball.
  2. If making filling with salted egg yolk, weigh halved egg yolk and lotus paste to form 35 grams. Wrap lotus paste around the yolk and shape into a ball.
  3. Depending on the number of 15 grams dough you have, make the same number of filling balls accordingly.

Making & baking the mooncakes

  1. Roll the dough over some flour. Dust hand or rolling pin with flour and flatten each dough into a small disc. Wrap the mooncake skin around the filling and shape it into a ball.
  2. Lightly dust the wrapped mooncake ball with some flour. Place it in the mooncake mould and press firmly. Invert the mould and tap a few taps to push the mooncake out. Place mooncake on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  3. Spray some water on the mooncakes.
  4. Bake at preheated oven of 180 °C (356 °F) for 10 mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
  5. Brush the mooncake  with egg wash. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 10 to 12 mins, or until golden brown.
  6. Leave the mooncake to cool completely and store in air tight containers. Wait 1 to 2 days for the mooncakes’ skin to become soft and shiny, before serving.