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Chinese Mooncake without Using Mold

Posting Date: 01/01/17

Chinese Mooncake without Using Mold

Chinese Mooncake without Using Mold is based on Chinese Mooncake recipe but it is made without using the mold. Traditional Chinese Mooncake is normally made by pressing the dough in a mold to get the shape and print on top of the cake. Since I don't have the mold, I just shape the dough into ball after filling the dough. It still tastes the same but it just doesn't have the fancy shape and print of the traditional mooncake. You can find Chinese Mooncakes in Asian stores between mid September to early October which is during Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. You can find them in Indonesia, too because some Indonesian Chinese people also celebrate it. I always think they are a little pricey. They are sold in a package of 4-8 individual cakes but the price is normally above $25 for 4. So, that was when I started to do research and make them myself because I didn't want to spend that much money. Since I don't have the mold, the dough is shaped into ball after filling it. It is like making cookies. In fact, people who I shared the cakes with called it moon cookies.

Chinese Mooncake recipe requires golden syrup and alkaline water. You may not be able to find golden syrup. That's why I searched the internet to find golden syrup substitute. It turns out you can use light corn syrup. You can also replace golden syrup with honey but honey has strong flavor and that's why I went with corn syrup. As for alkaline water, you can substitute it with baking soda. The recipe I got use baking soda instead of alkaline water. The alkaline water is used to neutralize the acid in the golden syrup and to crisp and brown the skin.You can achieve the same thing with baking soda, except the skin will be slightly softer and less brown. There are several fillings that can be used, lotus seed, red bean, mung bean, etc. I use red bean paste in this recipe. Since the shape of the my mooncakes is like cookies, I also sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top of them. You can skip sesame seeds if you are allergic to it.

This recipe makes 16 mooncakes.


  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup sweetened red bean paste . Instead of red bean paste filling, you can also use mung bean, lotus seed, dry fruit, etc. However, make sure the filling is not wet and thus, it affects the dough.
  • 1.5 tablespoon of all purpose flour or more as needed
  • water to spray the top surface of mooncake
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • Optional: toasted sesame seeds


  1. Add cake flour, baking soda, and salt to a bowl. Whisk it.
  2. Turn on the stove to low heat. Put light corn syrup and vegetable oil in a small pot. Heat the mixture on the stove until the syrup becomes less thick and the oil is combined with the syrup. At this point, you can easily stir the syrup without the syrup sticking too much to the stirring spatula. This process takes about 2-3 min. Turn off the stove. Add the corn syrup and oil mixture to the flour mixture. Stir the mixture until the dough is well combined and becomes smooth. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Grease baking sheet with vegetable oil.
  4. Take the dough out of the fridge. I normally leave the dough on kitchen counter for about 10 min to make it easier to shape it. Roll the dough to make a circle. This will make it easier to divide the dough into 16. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces. For each dough piece, shape it into a ball and roll it to make a circle. Take about 1/2 teaspoon of red bean paste and put it on the center of dough piece. Take the edge of the dough so that the edges meet on the center and cover the filling. Pinch the edges to seal it. Roll the dough on the all purpose flour. Shake the excess flour. Place the mooncake piece with the seam side down on the greased baking sheet. Repeat this step for all remaining dough pieces.
  5. Lightly spray the top of each mooncake with water. This is to prevent the top surface from cracking. Bake them in the preheated oven for 8 min. Take the mooncakes out from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 deg F. Brush the top surface of each mooncake with the egg yolk. If you decide to use toasted sesame seeds, sprinkle sesame seeds on top of mooncakes. Bake them in the oven until they become golden brown (about 15 min). Take them out of the oven. Cool them on a cooling rack.
  6. You can serve them once they are cooled down. Right after baking, they are crispier. After 2 days, they are softer. So, if you like them softer, keep them in a tight container and serve them 2 days later.

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