Basic mini snow skin mooncake for Mid-autumn festival

(Bánh dẻo trung thu)

Snowskin mooncake

So the moon festival is coming close again, and already I have spotted arrays of moon cakes in various Asian shops around town. There are so many kinds, it is really amazing. The thing is, I have never been a big fan of moon cake. Every autumn festival, I am more than happy to share quarter of the cake with B. Better still, he can have all the filling as he likes, as I am only interested in pinching the outer crust/skin anyway.

Making moon cakes, nevertheless, is something special. It brings me back to my childhood years. In Vietnamese culture, Moon Festival (tết Trung Thu) is a children-only event. That day, we got to stay up late and organised a big party with other kids. Lanterns of various kinds and colors were lit up. Nowadays one can find a lot of different types of lanterns in Hanoi during mid-autumn festival. But for me, nothing beats the star-shaped lanterns (đèn ông sao). The pattern has been the same and unchanged since forever.

Trung Thu 2009
Photo of lanterns via Nguyễn Khắc Quân

Of course, mid-autumn festival (tết Trung Thu) is a feasting occasion, featuring all sorts of autumn harvests. For us from northern Vietnam, autumn is the season for persimmons, and absolutely delicious pomelo. The best thing is a flat green young sticky rice dish, called cốm. I would trade anything for fresh cốm, something that I’m sure every Hanoian would miss when they think of autumn.

Actually, I would trade all the moon cakes I make for the fruits and com from Hanoi. But hey, in Australia, moon cakes are the closest things to autumn festival for a lot of us. And never mind the fact that we Australians actually celebrate moon festival in the middle of spring, the spirit is there ;).

Onto the basic snow skin mooncake. It’s perhaps the easiest type out there, and tastes quite delicious. Asian moon cakes are on the sweeter side, and the bean-based filling can be heavy, so I like to make them in mini size.

To make moon cake, you would need a special mould. From experience, the plastic kind is cheaper and actually easier to work with. I got mine from Singapore (thanks MIL!), but I know you can get them from eBay.

Ingredients for snow skin moon cakes are quite easy to get from Asian grocery store. Fried sticky rice flour (see photo, it’s not the normal kind) and sweet paste. I got black sesame, red bean and lotus seed paste. These readily made pastes are a bit sweet, but making them from scratch is a bit much for me these days.


Texture wise, these snow skin moon cakes are not as chewy as the ones I was used to. My MIL said this is a different kind? These have softer skin, and slight nutty aroma from the fried sticky rice flour.

Snowskin mooncake
Two-toned mini snow skin moon cake

My mould is 50g. You can work out the good ratio for your moulds after a few tries (i used roughly 50:50). Be creative and use more colors if you like. These moon cakes are best served with Asian fragrant tea, like jasmine or lotus tea. I think these are more Chinese-style, the Vietnamese ones are chewier, and the fillings are more complicated. Simplicity rules here, and I like it this way.

Printable recipe page

Made 25-30 pcs

200g fried glutinous flour
200g icing sugar
100g shorterning
200ml filtered cold ưater
1/4 tsp pandan paste (or other flavoring and colors of choice)

Around 1kg of mooncakes paste – I used chestnut paste.


1. Mix the flour with icing sugar
2. Ad shorterning and blend well until well-mixed.
3. Stir in the water, stiring until a smooth dough is formed.
4. Divide the dough into two parts. Mix in the flavoring into one part. Knead until the color is mixed through.
5. Rest the dough for at least 30 minutes.
6. Prepare the paste – form the paste into balls of 30g each.
7. After resting the dough, pinch two pieces of dough from each of the colored dough. Tolal weight of the balls should be around 25g.

Snowskin mooncake

8. Sprinkle some rice flour onto a clean surface, roll the dough flat. Place the paste in the centre of the dough, wrap and shape it into ping pong ball shape.
9. Dust the dough with the rice flour. Dust the mooncake mould with flour, tapp off any excess.
10. Press the dough balls to fit the mould. Press. Inver the mould over, knock the bottom of the mould twice, and the mooncakes should be released.
11. rest in the fridge for 30 mins. Served at room temperature.

49 Responses to Basic mini snow skin mooncake for Mid-autumn festival

  1. OohLookBel says:

    The colour and design of your mooncakes is beautiful. I always buy mine, and I think I'd buy yours if you sold them :)

  2. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    I'm like you. Moon cakes never did that much for me. But I've seen the snow skin variety and am admittedly intrigued. Plus I am obsessed with black sesame, so I know I would enjoy at least that variety very much. It's always great to read about your memories and Vietnamese culture :).

  3. Phuoc'n Delicious says:

    Anh, you make me miss the childish festivities of Moon Festival. I remember making lanterns when I was younger. Nowadays I don't really do anything, which is quite sad as I guess Moon Festival is a chance for everyone to celebrate the inner child from within them. This year I'm taking the boy to experience his first moon festival event in Cabramatta and I'm so going to get a paper

  4. Karen @ Citrus and Candy says:

    Making mooncakes from scratch is def something I'd love to try once I get some pretty molds (esp the Chinese ones with the egg yolk!). I love the look of yours, especially the green!

  5. penny aka jeroxie says:

    Now im looking forward to our session… maybe I should practise too!

  6. thepassionatecook says:

    i see them everywhere here, too! haven't tried one, yet, i tend to shy away from asian pastry because i find it overly sweet – will have to have one, if only just one bite.

  7. Shirley @ Kokken69 says:

    You are really fast, Anh! I have never made moon ckae before but I do hope to try making some this weekend… yours look really pretty – like the white and green version.

  8. SK says:

    Your mooncakes look sensational!

  9. Cooking Gallery says:

    I don't really like mooncakes, but I love looking at them. Your mooncakes are so pretty!

  10. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    What pretty cakes! I love that speciality.

  11. Hannah says:

    So beautiful… I've always wanted to try my hand at making mooncakes, but find them completely intimidating. Yours look perfect!

  12. La Table De Nana says:

    oh i love those!

  13. shaz says:

    How fast time flies, I didn't realise the autumn festival was so near, although I've seen mooncakes around. Great work on these little snow skin ones, they are so pretty!

  14. Ravenous Couple says:

    omg, these banh deo look amazing!! thank you so much for sharing should add them to delicious vietnam too! :)

  15. Radhika says:

    Love the tradition to have a day dedicated for children. Those Moon cakes are gorgeous

  16. Ju (The Little Teochew) says:

    I am so ashamed. They look gorgeous, and so is your photography. I only know how to eat.

  17. Little Corner of Mine says:

    Wow, it looks good! I love mooncakes.

  18. Faith says:

    These are just beautiful, Anh! I've never tried them but I am very interested! They look like a lot of fun to make too.

  19. tigerfish says:

    Sweet! I am waiting for my mooncake to be "delivered" in my hb's luggage 😛

  20. Monet says:

    These are so beautiful. I would love to have a couple with a cup of tea. Thank you for sharing such a lovely tradition with me. I'm excited to learn more about the moon festival too!

  21. Soma says:

    I have seen this sold in Asian Stores here. Looks beautiful and the little size is really cute for little hands and mouth.

  22. Iron Chef Shellie says:

    OMG they are sooo cute!!

  23. Delishhh says:

    Stumbled across your blog and i love it!!

  24. Indonesia Eats says:

    Aha! Now I understand why I saw many mooncakes for sale at Asian markets. The way its making is very similar to kue ku, including the mould :)

  25. Christine@Christine's Recipes says:

    Yeah, this kind of modern mooncake is our family's favourite for celebrating the festival. I can't get the special design mould, so I often use cookie cutters. :)

  26. Retno Prihadana says:

    It´s sooo cute. Love the form.

  27. deb says:

    they are really cute, i'd love to have a go at making some. By the way, Chefland in Richmond have plastic and wooden mooncake molds for sale.

  28. Betty @ The Hungry Girl says:

    I love mooncake! Yours looks absolutely beautiful!

  29. Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! says:

    Aww good on you for reliving childhood memories =) The only reminder I get of the moon festival these days is when mum comes home with moon cakes. Ahh the good old days of childhood which involved all the pretty lanterns and festivals.

  30. Mom's the little one says:

    what a pretty moon cake, I never make myself, though it's too hard. But I will try with your's recipes since my mom sent me the mold :)

  31. whisk-kid says:

    I didn't know that something like this could be made at home. Cool!

  32. noobcook says:

    very nice and professional looking! I love snowskin double yolk mooncakes. Sinful I know but good hehe

  33. Kris Ngoei says:

    Anh, this is so pretty. You have chosen very pretty color for the cake and just love the photos and plating :-)

  34. Trissa says:

    You know what I love about Mooncake?! The egg yolks – I noticed this one didn't have them – you reckon I could add it? Anyway, your recipe sounds easy enough to follow – thanks for sharing it. I need some of those moulds.

  35. Forager @ The Gourmet Forager says:

    Ooh – all this handwork reminds me of my mother's cooking. She uses moulds just like that for dumplings!

  36. Stella says:

    Neat press! I was wondering how you got such a beautiful design on your moon cakes. Oh, and I'm with Bel, I would buy these if you sold them (smile). Well, if I lived nearby (smile)!

  37. Jen (Tastes of Home) says:

    I too love looking at mooncakes more than eating! Yours is so pretty and delicate looking !

  38. redmenace says:

    Gorgeous moon cakes!

  39. El says:

    What a wonderful tradition. They're lovely!

  40. Agnes says:

    Oh, gorgeous! I can't wait for our mooncake making day. 😀

  41. Sarah says:

    These look way better than the ones I bought at Asian supermarket yesterday. Making a post soon on Moon festival, as I've been learning about it recently! Question — doesn't trung mean "egg"? What does the name literally translate to in English?

  42. Bonnibella says:

    that's is so amazing! Only one uncle in my family still makes homemade banh deo. You are quite amazing.

  43. Anh says:

    sarah, egg is "tr

  44. Von says:

    I think its time for me to get out my mooncake stuff and make mooncakes too! =) I never really liked mooncakes until I discovered snowskin mooncakes (which was only two years ago…) These look really pretty and cute! And I love that you used chestnut paste!! (I love chestnuts) Mid Autumn festival in Vietnam sounds amazing!

  45. Passion Delight says:

    Amazing and beautiful! Where can I buy the mould for this. I want to try and make it.

  46. Poppy says:

    Fried glutinous flour? Does it come fried or do I have to fry it?

  47. Anh says:

    Poppy: the rice flour is already fried. See the brand in the photo.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Growing up in Saigon, I used to like c

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