73 comments

  1. stephanie says:

    September 2, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    wow wow wow cynthia. these are SO gorgeous. would you believe it if i told you that my dad’s family used to make mooncakes and sell them way back in the day? they had those old school mooncake molds, the ones that are wooden without a part to push them out and you’d have to smack them against your hand to get the cake out. i have a soft spot in my heart for mooncakes because of that but i’ve never tried making them before! your recipe looks totally doable and delicious :)

    • tworedbowls says:

      September 3, 2014 at 2:42 am

      No freaking way, I love it!!! Your dad’s family is too legit — and yes those incredible wooden molds! I saw them on Amazon but was too afraid to try it that way… even though those molds are infinity times more beautiful. What an awesome story, Steph!! (And yes, these are toootally doable! If I can do it, you 200% can <3)

  2. says:

    September 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I applaud you so much. Being from Hong Kong and having just bought my mom a box of moon cakes and eagerly waiting to dig into some myself, I’m amazed by your homemade rendition. I adore moon cakes, the classic kind as you described, with a strong cup of tea. I have to restrain myself.
    PS – moon cakes have gotten so expensive these days…if I had more skill/confidence, I would attempt it. : )

  3. says:

    September 2, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Mahhhh goodness, these are gorgeous!!!!! I’ve only tried moon cakes like twice but it was with a bunch of buffet type food so couldn’t really enjoy it like I should have. I love how you showed these steps, and the shapes are so stinkin’ cute. Perhaps too pretty to eat?

  4. says:

    September 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    You win for the best mind-reader ever! I was just thinking to myself, ‘Wow, someone should totally blog about how to make mooncakes from scratch. But for, like, real people. I bet Cynthia would tackle that shit.’ And then here you are – tackling that shit with aplomb! (Bomb aplomb is what I really wanted to say, but really?) I love these. And I’ll forgive you the lack of hom don — even though it’s totally my favorite part. :) Lovely as usual, friend!

  5. Tasty Yummies says:

    September 2, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Though I sadly cannot eat these, I HAD to stop by and tell you just how freakin’ gorgeous they are, these photos are just incredible! <3

  6. says:

    September 2, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Wow oh wow!! cynthia these are beyond gorgeous and i have to get myself a press to make these. I am new to mooncakes, so clearly i am dying to make them!!

  7. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Your obsession with moon cake is no match to my mums. She has to make them at least once a month and nibbles on them constantly. She is addicted, more so I am surprise she is still so slim too! She does hers with green bean and green tea powder.
    Anyway I love you have an old school moon cake press; makes them more beautiful and more temping (as if your photography skills were not enough).

  8. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 3:28 am

    No way–while I’m guessing that your culinary genius makes this a cinch for you, I still can’t believe how easy this is compared to how difficult I thought it would be! I seriously live for moon cakes and the Mid-Autumn Festival–I’m a no-yolks kind of gal, though, so my relatives always get on my case about “wasting” the good stuff. Not any more! I’d love to make these mooncakes with lotus paste and all sorts of fillings. Now I’m super stoked to head home for the celebration–though moon cakes in Hong Kong were SO BOMB. Cheers, Cynthia!!

  9. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Before this post I’d never heard of mooncakes before. So thank you ever so much for sharing this part of Chinese heritage. And my oh my – they are so adorably beautiful. I LOVE the styling in these pictures – perfection. Thanks as always for the inspiration :)
    Kimberly

  10. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 7:16 am

    I’ve never ever had mooncakes nor have I heard of them before (oops!). I’m so curious to know how they taste like as they look fantastic! We need a proper Chinatown here in the north!! Stunning pics as always. That mold is a gem…you could propably make some other pies with it, right?

  11. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 8:26 am

    A former colleague always used to bring mooncakes into the office at this time of year and I’m sad that we don’t get them anymore :/ Clearly the answer is that I should make them myself. These are so beautiful Cynthia!

  12. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 9:13 am

    omg omg omg.. I think I told you my neighbor makes these.. they sell them at their restaurant here in ATL.. These are AMAZING… you just keep blowing me away!!!

  13. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Cynthia, you’re amazing! You make all the things that I would never dream of attempting myself. These are gorgeous (who knew Amazon sold moon cake molds?! What DON’T they sell?) and bravo on making your own lotus paste.

  14. says:

    September 3, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    i am so super stoked and cuted out that YOUR FAVOURITE DESSERT EVER is mooncakes!! i was getting all dreamy-eyed looking at your gorgeous in-the-making photos. that lil press/mold thingie from amazon – whattt! instant fancy times! and lucky you for experiencing the festival in HK last year! i love how deeply you embrace, and make cool, all things asian-y!!! they also seem easier than i imagined to make – so i am STOKED. next year, i moon-cake.

    there is some decent mooncakeing going on in vancouver every year, too – they always remind me of my grandfather, who would buy them for us annually – now my mom makes sure we have them!

    also… they have mooncakes at starbucks!? insane!! xoxo

  15. says:

    September 4, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Wait, the Moon Festival hasn’t happened yet, right? I’m literally so Asian I go raid the bakeries and buy up all the mooncakes in Chinatown. I’m weird like that. I need to mark my calendars!!

  16. says:

    September 4, 2014 at 4:22 am

    These look amazing! Now I just need to find a mold to make them…hopefully this weekend before Autumn Festival! (which I totally forgot about until my Chinese teacher told me today! oops!)

    Also when you say mini mooncakes how large is your mold? Is it the 3-3.5 inches you mentioned to roll the dough to?

    Thanks! So excited to try this!

    • tworedbowls says:

      September 5, 2014 at 3:51 am

      Hi Giulia! I hope you find a mold too!! The mini mold I used was about 63g in weight (see the Notes above for more information) and the cakes were about 1/4 cup (U.S. measurements) in size. I think that’s about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Hope that helps and hope you get a chance to try these!

  17. says:

    September 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    so beautiful, cynthia! and those molds! (i actually had a dream about them last night…that their design were the tops of mini cakes accented by powdered sugar on top! totally random, i know.) i can’t say i’ve ever had a mooncake before, but they look and sound totally delightful! btw, i’m super intrigued by lotus paste, and wondering what kind of flavor it lends?

    anywho, hope hawaii is treating you all well! xo

  18. says:

    September 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    If this isn’t love at first sight, then I don’t know what is.

    Never heard of all of this mooncake madness, but these little babies are probably the most beautiful desserts I’ve ever seen. My mind is already thinking of the hundreds of fillings that could go up in the middle of one of these bad boys.

    Seriously Cynthia, you’re a genius.

  19. says:

    September 6, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Aw, Cynthia! These are STUNNING <3

    I remember seeing them all the time around chinatown in this time of year. Then I never tried them because I had no idea what was in them since everything was written in Chinese, and i never paid too much attention to them. Now I wish I could try them. I can't even make them myself, as i can't fint the ingredients ._. oh well, I'll delight my eyes with yours.

    <3

  20. Anonymous says:

    September 6, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! Having lived in Shanghai for the past 6 years before moving to Canada, recently I’ve been hunting for a simple yet authentic recipe for moon cakes – and this one looks absolutely perfect. Your photography also wonderful :)

  21. says:

    September 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    You make these look so easy! They’re beautiful!! Now I’m tempted to make them. Do you think I can substitute honey for golden syrup? Don’t have any Lyle’s and am too impatient to order some and wait.

      • tworedbowls says:

        September 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm

        Hi Janice! I can’t say for sure, but I imagine that honey would work just fine! It’s about the same consistency as the golden syrup. But I’ve never tried it, so I’m just guessing … if you give it a shot, I’d love to hear your results!! And thank you so much for the kind words!

        • says:

          September 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

          I just finished making these! I ended up using a mixture of maple syrup and honey in a 3:1 ratio, and it worked out perfectly! Thanks for the recipe, my mom and I both think it’s yummy!

  22. says:

    September 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I have always wanted to try mooncakes but could never find them…it never occurred to my befuddled mind that I could just make my own. This looks amazing!! Lotus seeds are lovely little deities, at first I thought they were petite macadamia nuts. :)

  23. says:

    September 8, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I’ve always wanted to make these and keep telling myself I will buy the apparatus but never fall through. There are so many lovely designs to choose from it makes it hard. You’ve done an awesome job here!

  24. says:

    September 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Yay I love this!!! I can’t wait to make these next year, once I get my hands on some molds. In the meantime, I made my mom’s recipe for pork mooncakes – Suzhou style (苏式鲜肉月饼). Have you ever heard of / tried these? Very different from the Cantonese style, but just as traditional and delicious!!

  25. alanafixfeastflair says:

    September 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    These are absolutely fantastic. I am beyond impressed and inspired–they just look so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing and for inspiring all of us! xo

  26. says:

    September 14, 2014 at 2:13 am

    ooh cynthia, i can’t get over your mooncakes! good ones are really good…and bad ones are like hockey pucks. homemade is a great idea, though i could never make them so perfect. happy harvest moon festival to you!

  27. says:

    September 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Ah! Where to even begin? So, I live in France these days and one of my main life projects is culturally educating my French friends with food from other cultures. An awesome pal in HK just sent me a box of mooncakes, which I shared with the folks here, but after the travel time they just couldn’t fully express the true goodness of mooncake-dom. People were not totally convinced, and I couldn’t help wondering if I just *might* have to take things into my own hands, but all the recipes I’ve seen before have been super complicated. You have officially solved my dilemma and majorly inspired me! Thanks a bunch, and btw, this post and your site in general are beautiful!

  28. says:

    September 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Cythia, I have no idea how I overlooked this post last week but holy moly am I glad I didn’t miss it. These mooncakes are unbelievably beautiful! I used to have a coworker who grew up in Shanghai and introduced me to mooncakes during Mid-Autumn Festival one year. It was instant love but I never even dreamed I’d be able to make them because of unfamiliar ingredients & the necessary skill. You make it seem (almost) easy, and there are so few ingredients! LOVE!

  29. says:

    September 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    […] Happy 中秋节 (Mid-Autumn Festival)!!! This year, it falls on today, September 8th. I have something special to share with you all – the pork mooncake. A savory mooncake. Before you wave me away and claim that mooncakes are sweet and filled with yolk, lotus paste, and red bean filling, I would like to say that this is a traditional mooncake eaten at Mid-Autumn Festival in the JiangSu region (Shanghai, Suzhou area). In fact, some refer to this as 苏式鲜肉月饼, “Suzhou style mooncake”. The mooncake that is most well known and sold in mountains of boxes in Chinese supermarkets are Cantonese style mooncakes. In fact, Two Red Bowls has a great recipe for this.  […]

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