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Cantonese Mooncake {Easy Healthy Yummy Way}

by Shirley
Published: Last Updated on
Cantonese Mooncake {Red Bean Paste}

Homemade Cantonese Mooncake {Guang Shi Yue Bing 广式月饼} is so yummy and healthy. The crust is coming from merely four amazing ingredients. They are honey, avocado oil, organic all purpose flour and a bit of whole milk powder. As for the fillings, my favorite one is homemade red bean paste out of three ingredients, namely adzuki beansadzuki beans {Chi Xiao Dou 赤小豆}, organic coconut oil and organic cane sugar . They are so naturally delicious, and easy to make as long as you master a few tips and tricks. A must-have during Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival celebration.

Continue to read to learn all you need to know to make Cantonese Mooncake like a pro at home.

Homemade Cantonese Mooncake {Easy Healthy Yummy}
Homemade Cantonese Mooncake {Easy Healthy Yummy}

About Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and Mooncake {Yue Bing}

Like Qing Tuan {Green Sweet Rice Dumplings with Red Bean Paste Filling} is for Qing Ming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, Mooncake is for Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

Ancient Chinese divided the year into 24 intervals, or seasons, per earth’s rotational position in relation to the sun. This is the foundation of Chinese Lunar Calendar which starts with Li Chun {立春 or the onset of Spring}. Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the August 15th per Lunar Calendar. For 2021, it corresponds to Gregorian Calendar September 21st.

Each 15th of the Lunar Calendar month is a full moon day. However, lunar August 15th is supposed to have the brightest and fullest moon of the year. Traditionally, it is a time to celebrate a good harvest. Mooncake is the featuring food of the feast.

Across China, various areas have developed unique versions of mooncake over the time. The Cantonese Mooncake, which I am making today, has gained widespread popularity during modern day time.

Homemade Cantonese Mooncake {Easy Healthy Yummy}

How to make Cantonese Mooncake from scratch perfectly?

First thing first is to prepare the filling in advance

My favorite filling is homemade red bean paste using simply three mother nature’s whole ingredients. They are adzuki beans {Chi Xiao Dou 赤小豆}, organic coconut oil and organic cane sugar. So naturally delicious, healthy and versatile. I use them to make Qing Tuan, Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings and Red Bean Steamed Buns. Read here for a guided recipe on how to make red bean paste from scratch easily using the most healthy ingredients.

homemade red bean paste

Tip No.2 is to blend honey and avocado oil vigorously for the dough of Cantonese Mooncake

Ingredients to make Cantonese Mooncake

Add honey and avocado oil into a bowl and mix very well using a whisk. If you own a stand mixer like me, I recommend using the mixer to mix honey and avocado oil. It is the key for a refreshing, tasty crust.

fully blended honey and avocado oil for Cantonese Mooncake dough
fully blended honey and avocado oil for Cantonese Mooncake dough

Tip No.3 is to let the dough rest for 2-3 hours

Once you have a soft dough, cover the mixing bowel with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours. It is the key to a soft, yummy crust.

Tip No.4 is to divide dough and red bean paste into mini portion size mini balls for easier wrapping of Cantonese Mooncake

This recipe makes about 12 mooncakes. I usually double the recipe and make two dozens of mooncakes at once. To streamline the wrap process, divide the dough into 12 equal portions, with each portion about 42 grams; and divide the red bean paste into 12 portions with each portion about 12 grams.

Divide dough and red bean paste into equal portions for wrapping mooncakes
Divide dough and red bean paste into equal portions for wrapping mooncakes

To make red bean paste mini balls, use a bit of coconut oil to rub your palms to moisturize the red bean paste and then press into mini balls. This is especially helpful if the homemade red bean paste gets hardened in the refrigerator.

The warmth of the hands will help soften the coconut oil in the red bean paste. The extra bit of coconut oil will further moisturize the red bean paste and make it easier to press into mini balls.

How to roll red bean paste mini balls for easier dumpling wrapping?
How to roll red bean paste mini balls for easier dumpling wrapping?

The 5th Tip is to use the same wrapping technique for sweet rice flour dumplings

I use a very similar technique to wrap mooncake as to wrap sweet rice flour dumplings. Read here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.

The key is to damp your palms with water before you handle the dough to keep the dough soft and moisturized. This makes the wrapping so much easier. The dough is delicate and easy to fall apart since there is limited gluten in the dough. However, there are still certain flexibilities you can play with.

Once you have enclosed the red bean paste mini ball inside the dough wrapper, make sure you gently rotate and squeeze for a tall looking dumpling. This makes molding process easier.

Wrap Mooncake step-by-step
Wrap Mooncake step-by-step

Tip No.6 is to use a mooncake mold

This simple, inexpensive mooncake mold does a phenomenal job pressing the mooncake. I designed this recipe for the common size mooncake. The mold comes with 6 various patterns. For mooncake, the chrysanthemum flower, symbolizing autumn season, is by far my favorite one.

Using a mold to press mooncake

How to use mooncake mold?

It is straightforward to use the mold. The first step is to pick the disk with the pattern you like. Insert into the barrel of the mold with the pattern facing outside. Twist the handle slight to ensure it is locked in place.

Use a mooncake mold to press mooncakes

Place the tall mooncake dumplings upright on a baking pan and let the barrel of the mold cover the entire dumpling. Then firmly press the handle straight down until you receive major resistance. Then you stop and gently let go of the handle. Wait for the spring attached to the handle to retract and then lift the mold.

How to Press Mooncake using a mold

Yay, a beautiful-looking mooncake is in front of you!

Press Mooncake using a mold

The 7th Tip is to bake 5 minutes at high temperature and coat the Cantonese Mooncake with egg yolk liquid

Bake the mooncake at 375 degree Fahrenheit { 190 degree Celsius} for 5 minutes and then coat them with yolk liquid generously. You will need 1 egg yolk and about 10 grams of water for the coating liquid. Mix well using a mini whisk and then use a soft brush to apply to the top, side, and bottom of each mooncake.

Brush mooncakes with egg yolk liquid

Tip No.8 is to use an unbleached wax paper for the baking of Cantonese Mooncake

After you have applied the egg yolk liquid to the mooncake, place them on a cookie sheet on top of an unbleached parchment paper. This is one essential tip for a presentable mooncake. Otherwise, the egg yolk will make the moon stick to the baking pan.

The last but not least tip No. 9 is to let the freshly baked mooncakes rest for 2 days before consuming for best results

Freshly baked mooncakes may appear to be a bit dry. Don’t worry, that’s just temporary. Store them in an airtight glassware storage either in a fridge or a cool environment for 2 days before consuming. This will allow the oil to settle in for a soft golden brown looking mooncake.

Homemade Cantonese Mooncake
Homemade Cantonese Mooncake
Homemade Cantonese Mooncake

Cantonese Mooncake {Easy Healthy Yummy Way}

Yield: 12 mooncakes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours

Homemade Cantonese Mooncake {Guang Shi Yue Bing 广式月饼} is so yummy and healthy. The crust is coming from merely four amazing ingredients. They are honeyavocado oilorganic all purpose flour and a bit of whole whole milk powder. They are so naturally delicious. A must-have during Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival celebration.

Ingredients

  • 150 g honey, organic raw
  • 90 g avocado oil
  • 150 g all-purpose flour, organic
  • 20 g whole milk powder
  • 180 g red bean paste, homemade preferably

For the basting:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 10 g water, room temperature

Instructions

  1. Gather ingredients:
    Ingredients to make Cantonese Mooncake
  2. Get the mooncake mold in advance.
    How to Press Mooncake using a mold
  3. Prepare egg yolk basting liquid - add one egg yolk and 10 g water into a small bowl. Mix and blend well using a mini whisk.
    egg yolk liquid for basting Cantonese Mooncake

Prepare the red bean paste filling:

  1. Go directly to next step if you use other types of filling or store-bought red bean paste.
  2. Read here for a detailed guided recipe on how to make a healthy yummy red bean paste using only three simple ingredients:  adzuki beans  {Chi Xiao Dou 赤小豆}, organic coconut oil and organic cane sugar.
    homemade red bean paste

Prepare the dough for Cantonese Mooncake:

  1. Add honey and avocado oil into a large mixing bowl, whisk vigorously for a well-blended mixture. If you have a stand mixer, highly recommend you use it.
    fully blended honey and avocado oil for Cantonese Mooncake dough
  2. Add flour and milk powder into the mixing bowl. Mix and knead until you have a soft dough.
    Making Dough for Cantonese Mooncake
    Dough for Cantonese Mooncake
  3. Cover the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 2 hours at room temperature.
    Cover the Dough with a Damp Kitchen Towel for better proofing

Prepare mooncake portion of dough and red bean paste mini balls:

  1. This recipe makes about 12 mooncakes. To streamline the wrap process, divide the dough into 12 equal portions, with each portion about 42 grams; and divide the red bean paste into 12 portions with each portion about 12 grams.
    Divide dough and red bean paste into equal portions for wrapping mooncakes

Wrap Mooncake dumpling for molding & pressing:

  1. I use same technique as wrapping sweet rice flour dumpling. Read here for a step-by-step guided tutorial.
    Wrap Mooncake step-by-step
  2. Remember to gently toss and rotate the dumplings to make it tall, more like a cylinder shape to accommodate the mooncake mold.
    Use a mooncake mold to press mooncakes

Mold & Press Cantonese Mooncake:

  1. pick the disk with the pattern you like. Insert into the barrel of the mold with the pattern facing outside. Twist the handle slight to ensure it is locked in place.
    Using a mold to press mooncake
  2. Place the tall mooncake dumplings upright on a baking pan and let the barrel of the mold hover over and cover the entire dumpling. 
    How to Press Mooncake using a mold
  3. Firmly press the handle straight down until you receive major resistance. Then you stop and gently let go of the handle. 
  4. Wait for the spring attached to the handle to retract and then lift the mold. Yay, a beautiful-looking mooncake is in front of you!
    Press Mooncake using a mold

Basting the Cantonese Mooncake:

  1. Set the oven temperature to 375 degree Fahrenheit, bake for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn off the oven, remove the baking pan from the oven. Use a soft silicone brush to apply to the top, side, and bottom of each mooncake.
  3. Place the coated mooncake on a clean baking pan on top of an unbleached parchment paper.

Baking Cantonese Mooncake:

  1. Set the oven temperature to 350 degree Fahrenheit, baking for 20 minutes.
  2. Turn off the oven, and remove the baking pan from the oven and let it cool down on a wire rack.

Resting the Mooncake:

  1. Freshly baked Cantonese Mooncake may appear to be dry. Please don’t worry, that’s just temporary. Store them in an airtight glassware storage either in a fridge or a cool environment for 2 days before consuming. This will allow the oil to settle in for a soft golden brown looking mooncake.
  2. Enjoy the super yummy and healthy Cantonese Mooncake!
    Homemade Cantonese Mooncake {Easy Healthy Yummy}
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 385Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 31gProtein: 6g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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