Moon cake for the mid-autumn.

29 Aug

For you who have been being in Saigon these days, there are Moon-cake shops appear from no where all around. From pavements to supermarkets, from the finest restaurants to any random lounges. There are lots of brand, like Nhu Lan, Givral, Dong Khanh, Kinh Do, Brodard, blah blah blah. I can’t name them all, too many. But how do you think about a moon cake which is branded “Made by me”.

It’s pretty cool, actually, if you’re thinking about a big mess in the kitchen. No, there won’t be any and showing your Vietnamese friends your home made cakes are definitely going to surprise them. I can vouch for that. 😉

Before we start, just so you know, I was going to write another post, introducing moon cake like I’ve been doing with Pho, Com Tam, Banh My. But the idea was just pop up. “How about showing you how to make it!?” Nice is it. 🙂

Ok let’s do this thing, oh yeah I’m ready!

This is what you’re gonna need, you can find them in Coopmart, Maximart, any kind of mart of you can just ask some of your Vietnamese friends to look for these in the local markets. I’m sure they’re gonna excited to help.

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Flour sifter
  • Floured wooden board or similar surface
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper (baking paper)
  • 2 pastry brushes
  • Moon cake press
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Packaging boxes (optional)



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 3/4 cup dried milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)


  • 1 cup apricot preserves (jam) (equivalent of one 12 ounce jar)
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut (desiccated coconut)
  • 3/4 cup raisins (or sultanas)


  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 2 tablespoons water

Ok, lets go!

1. Make the moon cake dough. In one bowl, mix the flour, milk powder, and salt together.

2. Break the eggs into another bowl. Add the sugar, and beat together for up to 5 minutes. Pour in the melted butter, vanilla extract. Fold through all ingredients.

Break the eggs into another bowl.

3. Add the sifted, dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. Fold in to create a dough.

Add the sifted, dry ingredients to the liquid mixture.

4. Knead the dough. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Once smooth, the dough is ready.

Roll a log shape from the dough. If possible, at this point it is helpful to let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, as this makes it easier to work with.

Cut into evenly sized rounds. There will be approximately 15 to 20 pieces.

Roll out a log; if chilling for better performance, wrap in plastic food wrap

5. Make the filling. Mix the apricot preserves, chopped dates, coconut and raisins together in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash down any large, chunky pieces of apricot.

Make the filling.

6. Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Prepare two baking sheets by covering in parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC.

7. Press each dough piece into a 3-inch (7.5 cm) circle. When stretching the dough, make the edges thinner and the center thicker.
Press each dough piece into a 3-inch (7.
8. Add the filling. Press the filling into the middle of each circle. Gather the edges over to enclose the filling and pinch closed. Roll into a ball, then flatten.
9. Prepare the moon cake press. Add flour to it to help ease the cake out after pressing.
Prepare the moon cake press.
Then, press each flattened circle in the mold to shape the moon cake. To remove each pressed cake, bang all four sides, until it comes out.
Then, press each flattened circle in the mold to shape the moon cake.
If you don’t have a moon cake press, try to shape the cake as round as possible and use a fork or a skewer to draw a design. It can be as simple as making a cross or a series of lines, or more elaborate if you’re patient. Another alternative is to press a design from a thoroughly clean stamp (from a craft store), chocolate mold, or similar mold into the top of the rounded cake.
10. Brush each moon cake with egg wash. Place each cake about 1 inch (2.5cm) apart on a baking sheet. Once each baking sheet it filled, put them into the oven.
Brush each moon cake with egg wash.
11. Bake for 30 minutes or until the moon cakes turn golden brown.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the moon cakes turn golden brown.
12. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, they are ready to serve or package.
And that’s it. Then now you can just sit back and enjoy it  just like the way we’ve been doing this since Duong Minh Hoang emperor having moon cake with tea and watching the moon in the very nice mid-autumn night. (Duong Minh Hoang is an emperor who famous of his poetric and leisurely way of enjoying life, if that does matter to you)
Oops, these are some tips, just in case:
 You’ll need two brushes: one for the flour and one for the egg wash.
 You can add any filling that you want to your moon cake. For a red bean filling, soak 1 pound of red beans in water overnight. Drain the beans. Bring 8 cups of fresh water to the boil and add the drained beans. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the bean skins break open. Drain the water. In a small saucepan, pour in some crushed nuts of your choice (walnut, hazelnut, almond, cashew, etc.), cooked beans, a little oil and sugar and cook until all moisture evaporates. Leave to cool before using; this can be very hot to touch!
Now, bon appetite!
Saigonstay – All the best a local friend can give you!

Posted by on August 29, 2011 in About Saigon


3 responses to “Moon cake for the mid-autumn.

  1. inhyderabadshop

    August 30, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Wow! Its Excellent to see this site, they has given the cake making with step by step, the visitors can know the product status and quality by searching in the web. My vote goes to this site………..

  2. Pulkit

    August 31, 2011 at 10:57 am

    That sounds delicious. Why is it that all the moon cakes in the market are filled with eggs and pork and chicken. Do you know where I could buy a meat-free mooncake in this city?

  3. Saigonstay

    September 6, 2011 at 10:57 am

    @Pulkit: Yeah, they have them in Au Lac Food for Vegetarians and other restaurants for vegetarians.

    I don’t know if I can have any moon-cakes which are being sold on the streets with extremely low-price. My Chinese friend is talking about a food scandal in China, they found a moon-caked produced in 2003 and it looks totally like-new!


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