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Chinese Mid-Autumn Mooncake

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Raw Gluten-Free Creative Chinese Mid-Autumn Mooncake

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

Mooncakes are not to be confused with Moon Pies. That was what I at first thought when asked to create a raw mooncake.  I had no clue what these little packages of joy were… thank goodness for Google.

I remember as a little girl visiting the local library, thumbing through The Encyclopedia Britannica… daydreaming that one day I would have my very own set.  Well, I never did get my own set, but I guess I won’t complain… it’s much easier to lug around Google than all those books. hehe (still would like a set)

What are Mooncakes?

Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries generally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. They are typically about two to four inches across and up to two inches thick.  They have an outer pastry layer enveloping a sweet, dense filling.  Usually eaten in small wedges during the festival, along with Chinese tea. There are many different styles and sizes of mooncake molds, click (here) to see a similar one that I used. Once on Amazon, check out all the different patterns.

The Meaning of the Mooncake…

I also learned that in Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness, and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family.  The round mooncake shape complements the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Partaking of mooncakes is a profound cultural tradition rooted deep in the heart of the Chinese people, as it symbolizes a spiritual feeling. Families gather to watch the full moon as they enjoy mooncakes, expressing their love and best wishes to those around them.  I absolutely love this tradition.

I had a lot of fun pulling together the ingredients for this project.  To me, the combination of figs, balsamic vinegar, and fennel seeds, set the perfect stage for this crisp Fall celebration treat.  Putting aside tradition and taste, you know I had to select ingredients that were going to benefit our bodies, didn’t you?  The main one that I want to touch base on is the Calimryna figs.

They are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, providing 20 percent of the recommended daily value in one serving.  Soluble fiber is our friend as it slows down the digestions of carbohydrates, helping your body absorb more nutrients from food.  Looking to bump up your intake of minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron?  Bingo!  Calling all figs!

It’s time to let you go, I have chatted your ear off and if you want to be ready for the Mid-Autumn Festival (This year it’s Sept. 27th, 2015)…  you best get busy making mooncakes!  Enjoy, and I would love to hear from you.  amie sue

A Delicious slice of Raw Gluten-Free Chinese Mid-Autumn MooncakeIngredients:

Yields 9-10 mooncakes

Outer mooncake layer: 

Fennel fig center: 


Outer mooncake layer: creates 9 ( 2 Tbsp balls)

  1. In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the almond flour, maple syrup (or desired liquid sweetener), and the extract or essential oil. Process until it starts to form small balls.
    • I used the orange essential oil.
    • For this dough to turn out you need to use very fine almond flour, not meal (not whole ground almonds).  This not only gives the dough a more delicate finish, but it also helps to make it moldable.  You can make raw almond flour yourself… it does take a few steps, but it is worth it in the end.  I recommend using pure white almond pulp that has been dehydrated and ground into flour.
  2. Divide the dough into 9 balls. By weight, 40 g or 2 Tbsp worth. I recommend using a scale as it is much quicker and accurate than measuring each one out with measuring spoons.
  3. Cover with plastic and set aside while you make the filling.

Fennel fig center: creates 10 (1/4 cup balls)

  1. Place the dried figs in a bowl with enough warm water to cover them.  Allow them to soak until they soften (roughly 15 minutes).
  2. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, figs, sesame seeds, vinegar, fennel seeds, and salt.  Process until it forms a paste.
  3. Divide the batter into 10 balls. By weight, 50 g or 1/4 cup worth.  Again, a scale is really handy for this job. You will have one extra filling ball to eat while making the mooncakes. We all need nutrients to support our creative time in the kitchen.  See, I was thinking of you!

Assembly:  See the photos below for a better visual explanation.

  1. Take the dough and roll out to roughly 4 1/2″ in circumference.
    • Do this in between two pieces of plastic wrap.
    • The plastic wrap will allow you to monitor the size you are rolling it out to.
  2. Place a fig ball in the center and gently gather the edges around the base of the fig ball.
    • Don’t pinch the large folds together creating lumps of thick dough.  Just gently bring all edges together, smoothing out the connecting lines.
  3. Roll the ball between the palms of your hands.  By doing this it will This will create a smooth surface and work out the “wrinkles.”
  4. Option: You can roll the ball in raw cacao powder if you wish to create a different look.  If you want to make some plain ones and some chocolate ones… make the plain ones first before you dirty up the stamp with cacao.
    • I will say that the ones rolled in cacao powder release from the mooncake stamp easily.  The plain ones will stick a tad but nothing to make you pull out your hair.
  5. Take the mooncake stamp and turn it upside down, place the ball inside, and gently press it in with your fingers.
  6. Turn it upside down and place it on the cutting board and press the plunger down.
    • Pull the plunger back, along with the base, causing the cake to come out of the bottom.  Easier done than explained here. :)
    • My advice is to make sure that you are fully committed to pressing the stamp into the dough once you start… don’t twist or jiggle it around, as this will blur the stamp pattern.  If this happens, no harm will be done. Remove the dough and smooth it back out and roll it in your hands as instructed above.
  7. That’s it!  My instructions seem long… I just wanted to share every step with you… since I can’t be there to help. :)
  8. Enjoy and store the leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for 1-2 months.


The phases of a Mooncake…

The phases of a Moonacake

These are the figs that I used.  Cut that little tip off before using.

Calimyrna Figs

Batters are ready to go…

Batters are ready to go...

Batter balls now ready to go….

Batters are ready to go...

Sandwiched in between plastic wrap is the easiest way to go.

Sandwiched in between plastic wrap is the easiest way to go

Go ahead and press it out to about 4″  if you can.

Sandwiched in between plastic wrap is the easiest way to go

Place the fig ball in the center…

Place the fig ball in the center...

Pinch it shut and roll it smooth in your hands.

Pinch it shut and roll it smooth in your hands

Gently press the ball into the stamp.

Gently press the ball into the stamp

Place on the cutting board, press and release.

Place on the cutting board, press and release

For a chocolate coating. Bathe the ball in cacao powder.

For a chocolate coating. Bathe the ball in cacao powder

This is what the inside looks like.

This is what the inside looks like of a Chinese Mid Autumn Mooncake

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  This year I will be sharing the

moon, mooncake and tea with my husband…

expressing my love and best wishes to all of you.

Amazing Chinese Mid Autumn Mooncake, great to share

51 thoughts on “Chinese Mid-Autumn Mooncake

  1. Robin says:

    Amazing ! Thank you Amie Sue…can’t wait for tomorrow…

    • amie-sue says:

      You are very welcome Robin. Thank you for the request. I learned a lot and had a great time. I can’t wait to make more. :) Please keep me posted how it goes. Sweet dreams. amie sue :)

  2. Eva says:

    Ami’re amazing. It’s a real beauty! I love your recipes and I greatly admire. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Eva

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you sweet Eva. Your words are so encouraging this morning. I love waking up to such kindness. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day, amie sue

  3. Tiffany says:

    Amy Sue, you have done it again! I just love you, and have never even met you :) Your love for for healthy food and your creativity is very inspiring. Thank you, you have made my day! Hopefully one day our paths will cross.

  4. Kathleen Bryce says:

    This is on my to do list for sure !!!!!!
    I’m amazed that you came up with this raw version…how delightful. I often get moon cakes in Chinatown and now I can make a raw version, way cool! And thank you for the link for the press. I noticed in the advertisement for the press there were some
    lovely colored moon cakes. purple, green ect. Any plans on duplicating them ?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Kathleen… well one thing that I have learned is that mooncakes come in all sorts of colors and fillings. In fact, after much research I found almost every recipe so different so not sure that I would try to convert all. They can have eggs, lotus paste, you name inside. BUT I will say that we haven’t seen the end of mooncake recipes on my site. I got quite inspired making these. hehe

      I hope you make them and let me know how they turn out. Have a glorious day, amie sue :)

  5. Shelley says:


    These look fab! How amazing….Your photos make want to try to make everything you post. These are beautiful!

    • amie-sue says:

      That’s my plan Shelley… for you to try everything! hehe I share the photos to inspire you, to encourage you.. if that is accomplished, then my day is made. :) Blessings and joy, amie sue

  6. Michele says:

    Thank- you for the beauty you bring to the world,! I am inspired and learn something from you all the time! The beauty and seasonality of Moon cakes satisfies me with just gazing at them in my imaginary world of: Me, the baker!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you so much Michele. We all learn from one another, that’s the true beauty of it all. I hope you try the mooncakes, I would love your opinion and thoughts. Blessings! amie sue

  7. Linda St Angelo says:

    Amie Sue,
    Personally, I think your moon cakes are prettier than ones I have seen in the stores. Looks fabulouso. I love dried figs. When I lived in Japan, they had these tiny dried crunchy figs which I used to buy by the bag full and snack on ohhhhh welll…. any time of day (or night) haha I really miss those figs. Now I have to order the mold, because my calimyrna figs are calling out to me in the pantry. haa haa. Oh and I love your rolling pin. Looks like an antique.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Linda… that is quite a compliment, specially since this is my first attempt. I am honored :)

      I do love figs too. I don’t think that I have tried the ones that you speak of… but I am not picky when it comes to figs… love them all. Fig Newton cookies use to be my all time favorite cookie as a little one.

      My rolling pin is antique. I love to collect them. :) Get the mold ordered, you won’t be sorry. Have a blesse day, amie sue

  8. Sherrie says:

    I could not find your “Donation Button”.

  9. Amyah says:

    Hello Amy,

    Look gorgeous… just a question… as I never ate those cakes… could I replace the fennel by something else? I am not a real fan of fennel or… is the taste of fennel lost in the rest of the ingredients?

    Looking forward to try this recipe :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Amyah,

      You can leave it out or maybe add cinnamon instead. You can faintly taste the fennel… but that is what I was after. :) Keep me posted if you give it a try. Blessings! amie sue

  10. amy schmidt says:

    Perfect for the holiday season!

  11. Amy Choate says:

    Amie Sue,

    I am constantly amazed by your ability to turn the SAD version of everything into a raw/healthy version. I don’t think I’ve ever known a more creative cook, truly. You are very special. I am consistently amazed by you and what you do. Thank you for sharing all your gems with us! Even when I don’t make one of your recipes (who can keep up with you? You are prolific in the kitchen!), you help me realize that the raw version is possible. I hope to meet you in person one day. Thank you again.

    • amie-sue says:

      OH my gosh Amy, I am gushing and blushing. Thank you so much for your sweetness, you really touched my heart. :) hugs

      Anything is possible in life… just back it up with a little love, creativity and passion! I do hope our paths cross as well. Blessings and enjoy your weekend. amie sue

  12. tommy says:

    That has to be the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen.

  13. […] happy Moon Festival to Chinese followers! Looking for vegan mooncake recipes, I came across a mooncake recipe on Vata Vegan, this made me wonder again if autumn festive recipes […]

  14. Sherrie says:

    Did you delete your donation button?

  15. Glorianne says:

    You AMAZE me with your incredible recipes, photographs and loving instructions. THIS is BEAUTIFUL! THANK YOU!

    • amie-sue says:

      Well gosh Glorianne, thank you. :) I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying this recipe. I hope that you are having a wonderful day. Many blessings, amie sue

  16. Gayle says:

    this looks like so much fun to try.

  17. There says:

    I’m obsessed with mooncakes, they are just so beautiful! Your gorgeous and deliciously sinful pictures inspired me to play around with several recipes. I made your crust today with my own filling and since I like to have a bit of a crunch I baked it at 125F for a couple of hours… but wanted to have some for dinner amd went up to 300F for like 10 mins. So, not raw, but it worked really well for a bit of a crust on the outside while staying chewy on the inside! Love your creations! Thank you so much for sharing them with the world :))))))

  18. angela hill says:

    Amy, after investigating the almond flour at Amazon, I was wondering if I could make it myself. I’ve skinned almonds before when making my milks. Do you know how to get it to a fine constancy?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Angela,

      Yes, you can make your own flour, I addressed that in the preparation section… “You can make raw almond flour yourself… it does take a few steps but it is worth it in the end. I recommend using pure white almond pulp that has been dehydrated and ground to a flour.” There is a link up there that will take you to the post on how to make white almond pulp. You want the flour to be as fine as possible so you don’t detect any grittiness. I hope this helps. amie sue

  19. […] inspiration for these raw vegan mooncakes comes from Noveauraw run by raw food and pastry chef Amie Sue. Her recipe has a filling of figs, sesame seeds, and […]

  20. […] inspiration for these raw vegan mooncakes comes from Noveauraw run by raw food and pastry chef Amie Sue. Her recipe has a filling of figs, sesame seeds, and […]

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Dejar amie-sue. You are fantastic!!! Can’t wait to try this one with my kids. I have a question. I want to do a Japanese fish cake (fish cake/waffle shape with chocolate filling). Have you ever done one? If not, do you think I can use this dough and shape it with a waffle grill and fill it with chocolate? I want to know if this dough will shape well. My husband is a Japanese decendent and I want to do it for his birthday next month. ^_^ Thanks!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Well gosh, I love hearing that Elizabeth. lol Thank you. :)

      I haven’t ever heard of a Japanese fish cake… one sec, let me Google it. Be right back… ok back. Wow those are pretty! I would think that this same recipe would work… can you share a link with me as to what your mold looks like so I can think this through? Blessings! amie sue

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Amie-Sue

      This is the one I bought


      There are cheaper pans but I bought this one because I feel like it’s going to give me the right shape even if I don’t heat it up. I may be wrong and the non-electric ones may work too

      I don’t have experience with any of them, though. Not even with a regular waffle machine :-/ I’m Peruvian ^_^

      Yes! They are so pretty!! I just tried them once and I don’t remember the flavor but I think a raw version will be so delicious!!



      • amie-sue says:

        Good morning Elizabeth,

        Thanks for the helpful info. I ordered the non-electric unit so I could play around with a recipe for your husband. Can you share with me what flavors he would most enjoy (in the raw world of things hehe) and I will see what I can do. :) Blessings and enjoy your day. amie sue

  22. kylie says:

    Hi, this recipe really caught my eye! and especially now when it is nearing the mooncake festival and i’m seeing so many mooncakes that are laden with oil!

    i’d love to try your recipe, but i have one question:
    can other flour substitute almond flour?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Kylie,

      Yep, it’s that time of year again. I can’t believe that it’s almost been a year since I created these. :) Regarding the almond flour.. it would be better for you to share with me what types of raw flours you can have. Then I can help you. I look forward to hearing back from you. amie sue

  23. […] inspiration for these raw vegan mooncakes comes from Noveauraw run by raw food and pastry chef Amie Sue. Her recipe has a filling of figs, sesame seeds, and […]

  24. onebearheart says:

    hello amie sue! thank you as all ways! i want to make these mooncakes and wondering if i can use fresh figs instead of dried. just got some and would like to substitute if i get the “yea or nay” from the pro! (YOU)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Onebearheart,

      I am sure it would taste good but the dried figs are the “glue” that holds all the ingredients together. I should say, binder. :) So, therefore, I don’t recommend swapping them out for the fresh ones. I would just eat those fresh figs in their natural, delicious state! So rare to get them. :) I hope you have a happy day, amie sue

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