Easy Mooncake Recipe for the Mid-Autumn Festival 

My family is so excited to celebrate one of our favorite Chinese celebrations soon. It’s called the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節, Zhōngqiū Jié). The celebration is around the new fall moon so under the lunar calendar this year it will be on Friday, September 13, 2019. Many countries in Asia observe this festival including Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Philippines, and Cambodia. My husband is Taiwanese American so the way we celebrate and make our mooncakes might be different than others. 

The focus of the celebration for us, whether we are in Taiwan or Virginia, is gathering family and friends outside to share mooncakes, tea, and a mini lantern parade while watching the beautiful new moon. We are so grateful to have wonderful neighbors who come over for our yearly celebration!

Neighborhood mooncake celebration
Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival with neighbors last year. Photo by MulticulturalMama.

Mooncakes and lanterns are the centerpieces for kids and adults alike, so here’s our Easy Mooncake Recipe for Kids. I won’t promise they will turn out as pretty as the store-bought ones, but the fun you’ll have while making them can’t be bought! There are tons of more traditional recipes out there to check out, but they require more specific ingredients like lye water and golden syrup. The recipe below requires only 5 simple ingredients and uses a simple process to include the kiddos in the fun! 

A quick note about Mooncakes: 

I still remember eating my first mooncake at a Mid-Autumn festival at a Chinese Church where I would later meet my husband. My friends were excited for me to try my first mooncake. I was excited, too, because the filling looked like fudgy chocolate. But when I took my first bite, I must admit I excused myself to spit it out…. I had no idea it was red bean filling! Don’t worry, I’ve grown to love them so much now, but you do need to know it’s sweetened by red bean!

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Easy Mooncake Recipe with Kids 

(Makes 4 mooncakes at a time)


  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup salted butter (softened, not melted)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red bean paste (can be purchased at an Asian grocery store in a can)

Materials needed:

  • Mooncake molds. We bought this one from Amazon for $12 and can use it for years to come.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° Celsius)
  2. Combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk and stir.
  3. Mix in the flour until it turns into dough.
  4. Create one large dough ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Put the dough ball in the refrigerator for half an hour which will help the dough from becoming too flaky.
  6. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and make into 4 small balls in the palms of your hands. Make a hole with your thumb in the center of each mooncake and fill with a small teaspoon of red bean paste. 
  7. Wrap the dough over the paste and put in the mooncake mold and press it out. 
Child using mooncake press
Use a mooncake press to stamp out the cake. Photo by MulticulturalMama.
  1. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Pressed uncooked mooncake
Pressed mooncake uncooked. Photo by MulticulturalMama.
  1. The last step is to brush each cake with another beaten egg yolk for that golden-brown crust. 
  2. Bake for about 20 minutes and check to make sure the edges are slightly brown.
  3. Enjoy! Preferably have it with tea outside looking at the new moon! 
Finished mooncakes!
The finished product is a little messy but still delicious! Photo by MulticulturalMama.

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Jennifer blogs at MulticulturalMama and creates Family Trip Guides for the Smithsonian Museums in DC at FamilyTripGuides.com. A global nomad as a child, (lived in Germany, the Netherlands, Egypt and the US) she finally found her “home base” outside Washington, D.C. with her Taiwanese American husband and two children. She writes about celebrating cultures and the joys of travel with kids.

1 thought on “Easy Mooncake Recipe for the Mid-Autumn Festival ”

  1. Can you make the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge? Thank you! Or if you make the dough and leave it in the fridge for longer than half an hour?

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