Baked mooncake with salted yolk. Minimalist approach.

Bánh nướng nhân trứng

baked mooncake with salted yolk

Don’t bake things that you don’t normally eat” – I thought to myself after pulling a tray of 6 full-sized mooncakes out of the oven. So much work, and as you see, they are just not… perfect enough look wise.

Mooncake making, like anything, needs tons of practice. If a traditional way is followed to the t, the preparation actually starts around a year in advance with the making of a golden syrup. The older the syrup, the better it is. Then, of course, one should also salt their own eggs way beforehand.

All in all, it is just a loooong preparation. For someone who is terrible in organizing like me, it just doesn’t fit at all.

My mission for the last few years has been to cut down the prep time, and use as much shortcuts as possible. A minimalist approach to mooncake making. And I think I have come quite close in terms of results.

baked mooncake with salted yolk

Here is what you need, in terms of ingredients:

+ Golden syrup: no need to make yours. Get a jar of golden syrup from your supermarket. Apparently some brands are better than others. I use the standard one.

+ Mooncake filling: nowadays one can get the readily made paste from Asian stores. I have tested all of them. Wise advice: stick to the lotus paste. And check your use-by date 😉 (otherwise, mungbean filling can be made quite easily. Email me if you want the recipe)

+ Moulds: ebay is your friend. Wooden mould requires ‘seasoning’ before using. Plastic moulds work well. Look for them on eBay.

+ Salted eggs: make your own, or buy from Asian stores like me.

+ Alkaline water (lye water): this stuff gives the skin more texture I believe. Some thinks it’s evil, so omit it if you have to. I think the amount here is small enough anyway. Found in most Asian stores (and most Asian egg noodles!). Wise advice: read the safety instruction carefully.
Seriously, that’s it!! I can’t claim my recipe or my mooncakes are entirely traditional. But they taste good and gives nice texture. B., who is the only mooncake lover around me, loves it. (And I don’t mind them :D)

If only I have more mooncake lovers around to eat all of the stuff I produced in the past month or so. So below is the recipe. Tell me, will you make yours?

By the way, if you are looking for an easier version of mooncake, try this no-bake no-fuss snowskin mooncake.

baked mooncake with salted yolk
Cantonese style baked mooncake with salted yolk

I got 6-7 mooncakes out of this recipe, using 130g mould. In terms of ratio for baked mooncakes, the ratio of skin: filling should be around 1:2. But you should adjust this basic ratio so that the dough fits the mould perfectly.

Printable recipe here


120g golden syrup
40g cooking oil
½ tsp Alkaline water (or lye water)
160g plain flour
¼ tsp baking soda

6 no. salted egg yolk, steamed
600-700g lotus paste

Eggwash: 1 egg beaten with a little milk



Prepare the skin first. Combine the golden syrup, cooking oil and lye water together. Mix in the plain flour and stir until you have a smooth paste. Cover, set aside for at least 3 hours. (I recommend leaving the dough overnight. It helps the wrapping later)

Prepare portion of filling: wrap 100-120g filling around the egg yolk and form into a ball.

Wrapping – this steps requite a bit of practice. Make sure when you wrap the filling, no additional flour is around. Start by flatten 40g of dough with your hand, then put the filling ball in the middle. Gently wrap the dough all around the filling with smoothing and rounding motion. Be gentle not to break the skin.

Shaping – Gently dust the mould with flour, the tap off any excess. Press the mooncake ball into the mould to form the mooncake shape. Knock the mould to release the mooncake. Repeat with the rest.

Place the mooncake onto the baking tray, lined with baking paper. Bake them in a preheated 200C oven for 7-10 minutes.

Take the tray out, and wait until the cakes cool down for 30 minutes. Use a pastry brush, brush the eggwash onto the mooncake (just the top, don’t brush on the side of the cake). Return the tray to the oen, and bake for further 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.


NOW, another PATIENCE time: the mooncakes cant be eaten straightaway. The skin will ‘oiled’ and become softer with clearer imprint 1-2 days later. Eat them then!

46 Responses to Baked mooncake with salted yolk. Minimalist approach.

  1. Ju (The Little Teochew) says:

    BEAUTIFUL mooncakes! Esp with that autumn leaf. Well done, Anh … you should be so proud of yourself. Hey, you did say you would give them all to me, I'll hold you to that! 😉

  2. cookingpractice says:

    i dont make mooncake anymore because of the same reason that you have :(

  3. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    So pretty and perfect! I love mooncakes.

  4. Little Corner of Mine says:

    Wow, bravo to you for making your own. I won't make mine, too lazy. 😛

  5. Sarah says:

    a YEAR for the golden syrup? wow. So basically at each Moon Festival, make the syrup for the NEXT year's cakes.

  6. Monet says:

    Beautiful! I think these mooncakes are so appealing visually, I only wish that I could try one. I need to get around to that ASAP!

  7. Faith says:

    I havn't tried mooncakes but I've been seeing them around a lot lately. Yours look perfect, Anh!

  8. Ravenous Couple says:

    bravo!! we'll pay and eat that if you don't want it! :)

  9. mademoiselle délicieuse says:

    Haha, big ticks for your patience and perseverance! Don't think I could ever be bothered to make these just because it is so easy to buy good ones =p

  10. pickyin says:

    Looks good and delicious. Love the pink mould too.

  11. The Cooking Ninja says:

    Great looking mooncakes there.

  12. redmenace says:

    I think your cake looks pretty darn perfect! Very lovely, indeed. However, I must confess I know very little about mooncakes. What do they taste like? Is the egg really salty?

  13. La Table De Nana says:

    Oh they ARE perfect..I must get my hands on a little mold..just because:) I am certain you could fill perhaps w/ other things? To me the finished product is a thing of beauty.Even if I let it dry under a cloche for years to admire?:)

  14. tigerfish says:

    Minimalist? But anything baking is not minimalist for me. You know me…lol!

  15. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    These look beautiful, Anh! I hadn't seen the post before commenting on Flickr. Now that you've made it so easy I might just have to try my hand at this to see if I like freshly made ones more.

  16. Biren says:

    Your mooncakes look beautiful! I am glad we can get a lot of stuff from the store these days.

  17. JanJan says:

    Beautiful mooncake!

  18. Kris Ngoei says:

    You really amazed me … after the delicious green snow moon cake, now baked mooncake… Just love the mooncake festival, everything looks good and delicious!

  19. Gattina says:

    oh Anh, what are you talking about not perfect enough?!!! 😀 I thought you took them out from WingWah tin or something. They look super!

  20. Gattina says:

    oh Anh, what are you talking about not perfect? In the beginning I thought the cakes were straight from WingWah tin 😀 😀

  21. noobcook says:

    I didn't know that the traditional way can take one year of prep! I love the minimalist approach too. your mooncakes are gorgeous!

  22. Christine@Christine's Recipes says:

    Every year I was thinking of making my own mooncakes. But not knowing if it's good or bad, every year I've got lots of mooncakes given by my friends. So every year I don't need to bake any, but I have to give some away to clear my pantry.

  23. TasteHongKong says:

    So delicate is the cake skin that I can almost see the paste through it. Very nice indeed!

  24. Barbara says:

    That is one gorgeous moon cake, Anh! How on earth could it be more perfect??!!

  25. food for thought says:

    oh that is so beautiful, perfection to a T… and your pics make me swoon~

  26. El says:

    This is beautiful. I love the mold!

  27. foodwink says:

    I have fond memories of helping my mom made mooncakes when I was little. Yours look fantastic! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, Anh.

  28. penny aka jeroxie says:

    YAY!! can't wait and I guess I will stick to your short cuts!

  29. Johanna GGG says:

    I like the minimalist approach to such cooking – especially when it looks so beautiful but takes minimal energy – the flavours sounds just bizarre – can't even begin to imagine them but if there is golden syrup it must be good

  30. Y says:

    Very interesting, and so beautiful! I've always wanted to try making these. Ate loads of them as a kid :)

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

    Wonderful job Anh! I havn't had a mooncake in sooo long, only because Mum insists on buying ones which include durian filling, she's so cruel!

  32. Kitchen Butterfly says:

    It looks pretty good….in the short time! I love minimalist approaches, saves one from procastinating and forgetfulness. Yum

  33. Maria says:

    I've never tried a moon cake, this sounds very interesting!

  34. Emma @CakeMistress says:

    Ooh, I must try a mooncake soon. Where in Melbourne do you recommend I go to try a tasty mooncake??

  35. deb (bearheadsoup) says:

    hi anh,

  36. deb (bearheadsoup) says:

    Anh, thanks for steamed egg timings. Looking forward to experimenting with them. deb

  37. thanh7580 says:

    Great effort Anh. I love eating mooncake but don't think I could ever attempt it. It looks way too hard.

  38. Caty says:

    Hi Anh, If leave dough overnight , do I put it in the fridge?

  39. Caty says:

    Thanks Arh for your prompt reply. If I don't have lye water, what can I substitute with?

  40. Anh says:

    Caty, this I am not it sure. I guess u can try to omit it?

  41. Caty says:

    Hi anh, Ok. Thanks. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply me.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hi and thanks for saying to steam the salted eggs! I coulnt figure out how to handle them but in the pictures they look raw cooked yellows usually take on a whiter color? Anyway I am going to give this and thound layer a try soon. Who could resist?

  43. springtulip says:

    Unbelievable quality moon cake. I cannot believe you can make it at home. I will have to try it someday. Thanks for the great work of posting such detailed steps.

  44. Spinner says:

    Than chao chi Anh, neu khong mua duoc akaline water co the substitute bang nuoc gi? thanh cam on chi….

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