Mooncakes Were a Significant Part of My Childhood — Here's How to Make Them

POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin

If you've been scouring the interwebs high and low for an authentic mooncake recipe that is actually written by an Asian, look no further, because I'm here to share all the details. As someone who's been eating mooncakes since childhood, I've learned that while the store-bought kind is still pretty delicious, nothing quite compares to the homemade version. And luckily enough, this recipe isn't one where you'll need a kitchen table full of Asian aunties in order to pull it off. Mooncakes are simple once you get the hang of them and only need 15 minutes in the oven, and as long as you have a mooncake mold, the process is basically foolproof.

There are only two main components to mooncakes: filling and dough. This recipe is for a sweet mooncake which uses mung beans and matcha, but you can also go the savory route with salted egg yolk, or make it Suzhou style with pork. Black sesame and red-bean paste are also popular, but the ingredients might be hard to find. The sweet or savory filling gets wrapped up in the dough, which consists of a basic combination of flour, sugar syrup, vegetable oil, and egg, then it's pressed in a mooncake mold and baked.

The resulting pastry is almost too pretty to eat, but definitely tastes as good as it looks. The outer crust is crumbly yet dense while the filling is sweet and sticky, and I might be a little biased, but the flavors and textures just complement each other so well. Whether you're actually celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival or just craving a sweet treat on a random Tuesday, you can't go wrong with these mooncakes.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin
POPSUGAR Photography | Kalea Martin

Matcha and Mung Bean Mooncakes

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Yield30 mooncakes

Original Recipe


    • For the filling:
    • 2 cups dry mung beans
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon hot water
    • 1/4 cup sugar, more or less depending on your preference
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 2 teaspoons flour
    • For the dough:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup golden syrup (or corn syrup, if you can’t find it)
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon lye water (to make your own, combine 1 part baking soda and 4 parts water, then measure out 1/4 teaspoon of the mixture to add to the dough)
    • Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water)


    1. Soak mung beans in water for three hours, then steam for 40 minutes before pulverizing in a food processor until smooth.

    2. In a small bowl, dissolve matcha powder in hot water, then add sugar and milk.

    3. Add the matcha mixture, pulverized mung beans, and flour in a pot over medium-high heat and stir until fully combined.

    4. To prepare the dough, combine flour, syrup, vegetable oil, and lye water in a large bowl, and mix until a sticky but cohesive dough forms.

    5. Dust a chopping board with cornstarch. Roll out dough on the chopping board into tablespoon-size balls, then flatten into a pancake.

    6. Add two tablespoons of filling into the middle of the rolled-out dough, and gently wrap it back up into a ball, pinching it at the top.

    7. Insert the ball into the mooncake mold and press down lightly. Do this repeatedly, about 10 times, instead of pressing down once hard.

    8. Bake in the oven at 375°F for five minutes or until the top looks dry, then remove from the oven, and brush with egg wash.

    9. Reduce temperature to 320°F then bake for another 10-15 minutes.

    10. Let cool to room temperature, and enjoy!