Types Of Mooncake – Moon Festival

June 1, 2021
types of mooncakes

What is Mooncake?

A delicacy that comes under the dessert category, Mooncakes are very famous and have been a significant part of China’s Moon Festival or the Mid-Autumn festival. These are analogous to Halloween Candy offered while you wish people moon festival greetings. It is gifted and shared between friends and family. The tradition of eating mooncakes is laced with mid autumn festival legend. Throughout thousands of years, ever since the mooncakes have been in existence, they have been offered to the Moon Goddess Chang’e (Chinese: 嫦娥, unofficially Chang-Er or Chang-o). The happy mid autumn festival wishes and celebrations have crossed borders. Now signature delicacies are available in abundance for celebrating the mid autumn festival in Philippines and other asian countries.

There are various mid autumn festival deserts like the Japanese mooncake mochi, but none come close to the Mooncake. There are countless types of Mooncakes that combine a sweet pastry on the outside, and a dense filling of red bean paste or lotus seed paste on the inside. The lotus seed paste is very expensive, so people sometimes use white kidney bean paste to substitute. Red bean paste is often confused with jujube paste which is also used to fill cakes. While red bean paste is sweet, the jujube paste is a little sour to taste. 

The outer pastry can be dense, flaky or chewy. The chewy crust is the most common and has a shiny glaze. To symbolise the full Moon, salty duck eggs are also used in them, so when you cut into the mooncake, you can see the moon shape. 

The top of the mooncakes is decorated with various designs, which are usually symbols of harmony and longevity. These symbols can be any character from the festival’s legend, right from the Moon Goddess to the Jade Rabbit.

What Does The Mooncake Symbolise?

Mooncakes are a mid autumn festival custom which are shaped round symbolising completeness and togetherness of the family. The Full Moon on the day of the festival indicates family reunion and wealth. In today’s time, Chinese families exchange mooncakes for respecting the bond they share and let it be the same for years to come. The mid autumn festival Beijing is an occasion to attract numerous visitors to China from global locations.

What Is Written On Mooncakes?

This mid autumn festival foods are so popular that they are now commercialised largely.  Hence, if the mooncakes are bought from a bakery, its bakery’s logo or name can be found on top of them. But if they’re being made at home, there are stamps available to imprint designs on the mooncakes. The imprints are mostly Chinese characters representing harmony and fortune to those who eat them. 

Other than these characters, there can also be designs of the Moon Goddess, the Jade Rabbit, flowers and vines.

What Are The Different Varieties Of Mooncakes?

Traditional Mooncakes

Traditional Mooncakes are made to appreciate and worship the Moon on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunisolar calendar. They’re offered to the Moon Goddess Change and hopes for prosperity and good luck. 

Beijing Style Mooncakes

Beijing style mooncakes have 2 kinds, di Qiang and fan mao. They both differ in their crusts. Di Qiang has a foamy and light crust, while fan mao has a thin and flaky crust. The most famous filling flavours are rock sugar, sweet Osmanthus, nuts, hawthorn and wisteria. 

Cantonese Style Mooncakes

Having many variations of fillings, the Cantonese style mooncakes first originated in Guangdong and Guangxi province of China. The fillings have decorated 4 duck eggs which represent the phases of the Moon. Other ingredients include nuts, chicken, ham, roasted duck, mushrooms, melon seed paste, lotus seed paste etc. these styles of mooncakes with their non-traditional fillings are now very famous in Hong Kong, where they are sold with chocolate fillings too.

Yunnan Style Mooncakes

These are also called ham mooncakes. A very complex flavoured mooncake as the ham mooncake recipe has the Yunnan special ham along with lard, honey and white sugar. The crust is hard and, when cooked, is golden yellow or brownish-red. The crust uses various flours like wheat flour, rice flour and buckwheat flour. 

Suzhou Mooncakes

Suzhou style mooncakes have more than a dozen variations, including sweet and savoury. They’re known for their flaky crust and a generous portion of lard and sugar. The sweet ones generally contain rose petals, nuts and bean paste, while the savoury ones have pork mince, ham, shallots and shrimp.

New Style Mooncakes

Snow-skin Mooncakes

As its name suggests, the snow-skin mooncakes have a white outer covering. White is a colour worn to funerals, but white coloured mooncakes are now very popular among teenagers. They are not baked and need to be stored in the refrigerator. Their filling includes mango pomelo sago, purple yam, mung bean paste, jam etc. Due to their crusts, they are also called similar to mochi.

Ice cream Mooncakes

Like the other mooncakes, ice cream mooncakes look like the others. Their outer covering is not made from flour but white and dark chocolate. Their filling can be any flavour ice cream of your choice. Some also have a whole egg yolk at their centre, like the traditional mooncakes. They need to be refrigerated to be kept from getting spoilt, just like snow-ski mooncakes. 

Unusual Flavour Mooncakes

 Crayfish Mooncakes

These types of mooncakes have a 50-50 liking among the locals. Many enjoy having crayfish filled mooncakes, but many dislike them as they are too fishy. The making of crayfish mooncakes needs much attention as seafood can go bad very quickly. 

Oreo Mooncakes

Oreo mooncakes appear like giant chunky oreo cookies and are very sweet to taste. They have been in existence for a few years and are being enjoyed by Asians during the Mid-Autumn festival. They are sold in retail stores where you can find 2 cakes in one pack. They have different fillings like brownie chocolate, custard, strawberry jam, double chocolate with milk, etc. Although they are effortless to make, you can find oreo mooncake recipes online and make them at home.

Lemon Cheese Mooncakes

The lemon cheese mooncakes were first made so that everyone could enjoy them being at home. They are very easy to make in a pie maker using a filling of lemon zest and cream cheese. To add a little liveliness to them, a little amount of jam is added to the centre of these mooncakes.

Bamboo Charcoal Mooncakes - Moonfestival

Bamboo Charcoal Mooncakes

These mooncakes are made without any preservatives as people are often worried about consuming any unwanted ingredients. They are made using green tea, lotus seeds, beans and Takesumi (bamboo charcoal). Bamboo charcoal provides a sweet taste and keeps the tradition of mooncakes alive.  

Which Mooncake Is The Most Traditional?

The most traditional mooncake is quite similar to the Cantonese style mooncake. And these are the best! This mooncake has a soft, golden shortcrust pastry encasing a smooth and dense lotus seed paste filling, having one or more whole salted egg yolks wedged inside to represent a full moon.

The Most Popular Mooncake Brand In China And How Much Does It Cost?

Daoxiangcun mooncake is the most popular mooncake brand in China. It was established in 1773 and is at the top of its category. It serves to make the best pastries flawlessly and is also known as the ‘Pastry Maker’. This brand originated in Suzhou and Beijing and has expanded its merchandise ever since. Just as they promise, their products are of the best quality and quantity. The most popular mooncake of this brand is the five nuts mooncakes, along with zilaihong mooncakes, jujube mooncakes and rose mooncakes. 

What Are The Best Mooncakes?

A question that could cause quite a kerfuffle. And picking just one could be highly challenging. Hence here are the top 10 (in no particular order) best mooncakes according to China Highlights.

How Much Do Mooncakes Cost?

RMB stands for Ren Min Bi and is the official currency of China. Daoxiangcun pastries range from RMB 15-33 per 500 g. A small box contains 12-13 pastries of your choice, which may cost up to RMB 130-140. On the other hand, the bigger box can fit 20 types of pastries and costs up to RMB 170. If these prices seem a lot, you can always buy 1 pastry for RMB 3.

How Long Do Mooncakes Last?

Mooncakes can last for different periods. It all depends on the making process and the ingredients used because they affect the lasting time of the mooncake. Based on the mentioned factors, they can last for 10 days, 30 days, or a maximum of 60 days. Baked mooncakes that are store-bought can be stored for months if they’re kept in a cool place, away from any exposure to sunlight. On the other hand, handmade mooncakes can be stored for only 7-10 days at the right temperature. The scenario is entirely different for snow skin mooncakes. They need to be stored in the fridge to last for a few weeks at the most but can be spoiled within hours at room temperature.

Do Mooncakes Need To Be Refrigerated?

The next most important question is, do mooncakes need to be refrigerated? The answer varies from mooncake to mooncake; traditional mooncakes MUST NOT be refrigerated. This would make them lose their crispy, flaky crust, whereas modern mooncakes like ice cream mooncakes should be stored at the earliest possible convenience lest they should melt.

Besides mooncake varieties, mid autumn festival fruits have greatly charmed global visitors. Search engine results show that people are already searching for when is Chinese moon festival 2022 to get their trip booked in advance.

People Also Ask

How long do mooncakes last unrefrigerated?

Mooncakes can last unrefrigerated for up to 1 week.

How do you store mooncakes?

Mooncakes are traditionally stored in wooden boxes.

Are mooncakes perishable?

Most mooncakes are perishable and have a short shelf life.

Should mooncakes be in the fridge?

Most mooncakes do not need to be refrigerated and can be stored at room temperature.

What to say when giving mooncakes?

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

What is written on top of mooncakes?

The Chinese character for “moon” is written on top of mooncakes.

How many types of mooncakes are there?

There are many types of mooncakes, but the most popular ones are lotus seed paste mooncakes and mixed nut mooncakes.

What is the most famous filling of mooncakes?

Lotus seed paste is the most famous filling of mooncakes.

What are traditional mooncakes made of?

Traditional mooncakes are made of a flour-and-water dough that is filled with lotus seed paste, duck egg yolk, and sometimes a sweetened bean paste.

What are inside mooncakes?

Mooncakes are traditionally filled with lotus seed paste, red bean paste, date paste, or mung bean paste. In some parts of China, mooncakes are also filled with fruit, coffee, chocolate, or green tea paste.

How long can homemade mooncake last?

A homemade mooncake will last for about one week in an airtight container.

What are Chinese mooncakes called?

Chinese mooncakes are called yuèbǐng.

Why are Chinese mooncakes so expensive?

There are a few reasons why Chinese mooncakes are so expensive. One reason is that they are often made with very high-quality ingredients, such as premium lotus paste and rare tea leaves. Additionally, the mooncakes are often elaborately decorated, which adds to their cost. Finally, mooncakes are typically only available for purchase during a limited time period each year, which can drive up prices.

Does mooncake have lard?

While some mooncakes may have lard in them, not all mooncakes have lard in them. Some mooncakes are made with vegetable oil instead of lard.

Are mooncakes sweet or savory?

Mooncakes are traditionally a sweet treat, but savory options are becoming more popular.

How long can Snowskin mooncake last?

A snowskin mooncake can last for up to one month when stored in a cool and dry place.

What can you use moon cake molds for?

Moon cake molds can be used for a variety of things, such as baking moon cakes, making chocolates, or even making soaps.

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