Easy Mooncakes with Mung Bean Filling

These things are so expensive in Asian supermarkets, you’d think they require hours of intense labor.

Not so.

Usually, mooncakes are made with somewhat exotic ingredients (golden syrup and lye water) and with even more exotic kitchen tools (namely, a special mooncake press).

But look, my kitchen is currently located forty minutes away from the nearest Asian grocery store, and the tectonic plates aren’t shifting quickly enough for me to wait. So I had to improvise.

Closer… Closer…

Admittedly, this mooncake doesn’t taste exactly like authentic Chinese mooncakes, mostly because of the mung bean filling. It’d be better if you could go out and buy prepared mooncake filling, or at least try and research a real mooncake filling recipe.

Eventually I’ll attempt this again and actually try to make it more authentic.

But as long as my family keeps devouring all of these in one day, it ain’t happening.

Easy Mooncakes

Notes: This was adapted from this here recipe on my favorite Chinese recipe website. If you want more authentic mooncakes, buy pre-made mooncake filling or look up a real mung bean paste recipe. Personally, I don’t mind a slightly different taste, because this paste is so darn easy. (My version tastes more mung-bean-y than the real thing.) Also, use golden syrup if you have it at hand, and lye water if you have that too. Otherwise, join me on the improvisation train.

This recipe makes 8 medium-sized mooncakes.

Taste & Texture: The crust of this mooncake is just a little bit sweet and somewhat chewy. The paste is thick and tastes like lightly sweetened mung beans. Probably because that’s what it is. Nothing about this is overpowering, which is refreshing.


For the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • Choose one:
    • 1/3 cup corn syrup
    • 1/3 cup golden syrup
  • Choose one:
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/4 tsp water
    • 1/2 tsp lye water (lye:water in a 1:3 ratio)

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked mung beans
  • 1/3 cup white sugar 
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • dash of salt


1. Combine all dough ingredients. Add in flour last, and add as much as you need to form a slightly sticky, oily dough. Knead a little; this is your chance to pretend like you’re a cat. Now let it sit for 1 hour, at least. Cats have patience, remember.

Rollin in the dough.

2. Puree all the filling ingredients.

That looks appetizing.

3. Microwave (or heat on stove) until it’s a nice thick paste. It took me 6 minutes in the microwave, on high. Stir occasionally.

Slightly more appetizing?

4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Now assemble your mooncakes.

Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
Flatten the ball until it's a round circle that's quite thin.
Flatten the ball until it’s a round circle that’s quite thin. Thinner than it’s pictured here.
Take a scoop of mung bean paste and dollop it into the middle of your dough patty. Bring up the sides of the patty until the paste is completely enclosed. Place the ball seam-side down.
Take a scoop of mung bean paste and dollop it into the middle of your dough patty. Bring up the sides of the patty and enclose the paste. Now flip it over and place the ball seam-side down. NOTE: This dough patty was way too thick. You want it to be as thin as possible without tearing. Lesson: I’m a bad example.

5. Now form the shape. If you have a mooncake press, now is the time to whip it out as you sing your life’s theme song in your most obnoxious manner. I don’t have a theme song, so instead I did a square shape because I figured it’d be easier than a perfect circle.

Take each ball and press it up against something flat, like a knife.
Take each ball and press it up against something flat, like a knife. Press one side at a time.
Press the top too, while you're at it.
Press the top too, while you’re at it. (I did a fantastic job of making it totally smooth, as you can see.)

6. Bake in oven for 13-15 minutes. At 5 minutes, take it out and brush some egg wash (1 egg, whisked) over it. Don’t forget to put it back in.

Um, yeah.

This is the finished product.

It was yummy.

No big deal.


I deserve 50 Asian points for this.

42 Comments Add yours

  1. Annie says:

    O…M…G. You are a miracle worker Cici! You even got the crust the way I love it – NOT flaky (my family always buy the flaky ones, ew). But best of all? NO EGG YOLK IN THE MIDDLE – hooray! (I really don’t like egg yolks)

    You are amazing. I am bookmarking this!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Hahahaha I’m so happy you approve 🙂

  2. zestinspired says:

    I never knew moon cake could be so easy to make! They look absolutely delicious as well, perhaps this year I won’t buy them… i’ll attempt to make them. Great post =)

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Thanks! And yeah, it’s surprisingly easy!!

  3. Wow these look awesome! Where I’m from, they’re called hopia.

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Cool! I’m sure they taste just as good 🙂

  4. I need to try to these yummy looking moon cakes someday.

  5. These look delicious! I love moon cakes, but they aren’t cheap! I must give this recipe a try–thanks for sharing!!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      ^_^ You’re very welcome!

  6. mrshface says:

    May try…. But moon cake festival isn’t for a little while yet and they are very expensive when the do appear. My MIL would be impressed!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Eh mooncakes are good all year round! And it’s an easy-impress recipe.

      1. True that! Pre-health conscious I used to be one of those wacked up all year round mooncake eater. Love the minimal use of oil! Will check the chi website out

  7. ssmtber says:

    I have no idea what these things are, but I must try them…..

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      That’s what I’m talkin about. That’s the spirit!!!

  8. Rene says:

    These look awesome! And possibly within my set of kitchen skills. Improvisation for the win.

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Definitely within anyone’s set of kitchen skills! Enjoy 🙂

  9. Sabrina says:

    Yummy! Actually I thought these looked more like tau sar piah although tau sar piah is more savoury than sweet. Anyhow Mid-Autumn Festival is just next month and I’m planning to make mooncakes for the first time!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Oh right! It is next month isn’t it? Perfect timing then 🙂 Enjoy!

  10. belsbror says:

    Hi! I nominated you for the Best Moment Award. Please get the badge at http://wp.me/p32YrK-48 and get more info. Have a great Sunday. 🙂

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Aw thank you! I’m glad you enjoy my blog 🙂 It makes me very very happy indeed. I’m blushing. Thanks again!

      1. belsbror says:

        You’re welcome. 🙂
        I’ll try the recipe some time. 🙂

  11. You are so right, mooncakes are crazy expensive. I encountered this pack of three small ones at a local Asian shop for $19+ they’re my guilty pleasure and I’ve just found out they’re about 500+ calories each. The salted egg ones are so good… what are some of people’s favourites out there? Also, here in NZ golden syrup is more common than maple 🙂 want to try out! Perhaps a wholemeal and sugar free version?

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      I think mostly it’s filled with the egg filling or the mung bean paste. Of course, you can always experiment! You could conceivably add some whole wheat into the flour mixture, although if you added too much you might be able to taste it and feel a texture change. Sugar could also be reduced, although replacing it entirely might change the texture a little too. But hey, experiment all you want!! 🙂

      1. We’ll see how it turns out, i love whole wheat anyway though! But hopefully my family will agree and help me terminate them! Will experiment and post my results some time soon, before the festival 😉 and I’ve had a pretty wide variety of mooncake flavours i.e. red beans, durian, green tea, endless possibilities! I thought most fillings are made of lotus seeds too?

  12. I hope you don’t mind that I write a post about trying out this moon cake recipe?

  13. Jeff Parker says:

    I can’t wait to make these!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Awesome, let me know how it goes!! 🙂

  14. There is a Chinese supermarket in Croydon, a fairly short bus ride from my home in Crystal Palace. I have enjoyed their mooncakes. However they are, as you say rather expensive. I will try your recipe.

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Great, let me know how it goes!!

  15. MattFromRI says:

    Everything always looks so good on your blog!


    Have a good one!

    -The Average Nobodies

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Thank you so much for the nomination! I’m honored. 🙂 I hope you try out some recipes sometime!

  16. Hi, I love this recipe! it can be so versatile. My blog is about global food. I am going to post an article on Moon cakes, history culture etc.
    I am very new to blogging, only have had my blog up for two weeks. I am not sure if this is allowed, but can
    I use your recipe in my blog, and give your blog credit, with a link back to it. I would like to remake it into a gluten free, grain free recipe, and try some variations on the filling.
    I am so hungry now, I think i will try it today for breakfast.
    Questions:*what is lye water, where can i get it, or how can i make it.
    *can I use honey to replace golden syrup?
    Ciao for now1
    Love your site, the colorful polka dots are fab!

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Hi! Thanks for asking, and YES you can post this and remake it. I’m looking forward to seeing your new version 🙂
      1) Lye water is used to tenderize the crust of the moon cake, so it’s soft and not tough (if you’ve had a moon cake before, you know what I mean – so soft and chewy!). Lye water is a strong base, so it’s quite caustic, which is why I didn’t want to mess with it. Your best bet would probably be in your local Asian grocery store!
      2) You can certainly try honey! It has a different chemical makeup of either corn syrup or golden syrup (different ratio of sugars), but if you’re aiming for a healthified version it definitely doesn’t hurt!

      Thanks for stoppin’ by and good luck on your mooncaking journey!

  17. Looks like a brilliant recipe, haven’t tried it yet but I’d love to. Mung beans are my new favourite beans! They’ve just been turning up everywhere for me. Kitchari, moon cakes……
    Thanks a million for the visit to my blog.
    xxxxxxxxx ❤

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Mung beans are so amazing! I think they’re a superfood. If you try this lemme know how it goes!

      1. I certainly will do!

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