Pumpkin Pie Mooncakes Recipe

(2021 UPDATED RECIPE HERE). One week to go until the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 and I'm still making mooncakes- this time of the iconic baked Cantonese kind. These ones are a little different from the usual lotus-paste-and-salted-duck-egg combination of filling: they're filled with pumpkin pie custard.

Well... that's a bit of a fib. Half of them are filled with pumpkin pie custard; the others are just filled with lotus paste (homemade, might I add: bonus recipe after the main recipe).

The main recipe for pumpkin pie mooncakes makes eight small mooncakes. If you want to make lotus paste mooncakes at the same time, you'll need to double the pastry ingredients.

When dividing the filling and pastry dough up for rolling into balls, I didn't weigh each portion, resulting in slightly unevenly-sized mooncakes. Ah well, no matter.

This is what the moulds I used look like, by the way (the ones I used for my snow skin mooncakes were slightly different, but I'll show you those in my next post):

The stamp part is interchangeable, so I used the geo pattern for the pumpkin pie-filled mooncakes and the flower one for the lotus paste ones.

With all this in mind, let's go!

(Pastry and pumpkin pie filling makes eight mooncakes, double the quantities of the pastry recipe if you're making both pumpkin pie and lotus moon cakes).

Ingredients for Pastry:

200g plain flour
120ml golden syrup
50ml vegetable oil

Ingredients for Filling:

200g pumpkin purée (about half a can)
1 egg
1tbsp cornflour
50g caster sugar
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
1/4tsp ground ginger

To Glaze:

1 egg yolk, mixed with a dash of milk


1) Start by making the filling: stir the dry ingredients together, and with a balloon whisk, whisk the wet ingredients in.

2) Cook the mixture in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and starting to clump together.

3) Scoop the mixture into a bowl, cover with clingfilm to stop a skin from forming and let cool completely before using.

4) Form into eight balls and set aside.

(Lotus balls on the left, pumpkin on the right)

5) Make the dough simply by stirring all the ingredients together, and kneading a little with your hands when everything comes together to make a smooth dough.

6) Divide the dough into nine pieces and roll into nine balls (you'll only need eight of them and have one left over).

7) Roll the dough into discs, making sure the edges are thinner.

8) Pop a pumpkin pie ball into the centre of a disc and wrap it up, pinching and rolling the pastry to reform a smooth ball.

9) Shape it in a mooncake mould and pop it on a lined baking tray.

10) Once everything's been used up, bake at 180 degrees C for ten minutes. Remove, brush with your egg yolk glaze, pop in the oven for another five minutes, glaze again, and then bake for a further ten minutes.

11) Let cool a little and eat warm like little pies (if you've rolled the pastry too thickly it'll be tough after baking). Or prepare them traditionally: let cool completely, and place the mooncakes into sealed food containers and leave for a day or two in the fridge, before taking them out to come to room temperature and eating. This step is essential for soft, glossy mooncakes like the ones you can buy in the shops.

12) Serve and enjoy with a cup of tea.

Okay so I didn't photo the tea. But tea happened.

Bonus Recipe for Lotus Paste:

200g fresh lotus seeds (or soaked dried seeds)
120g caster sugar
4tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of salt


1) Split the seeds in half to check for green shoots: not all will have one, but they're pretty bitter so you'll want to remove any you find.

2) Boil the seeds for 20 minutes.

3) Drain the seeds, reserving about 100ml of the water, and purée the cooked seeds with your reserved water.

4) Heat the sugar and oil in a pan on a low heat until dissolved and a deep caramel colour (don't be tempted to crank the heat up or you'll burn the sugar).

5) Add the lotus seed purée. It'll sizzle and the caramel will seize up at first, but don't worry: just keep on stirring.

6) Stir constantly and continue to cook until you have a very thick, almost dough-like paste. It'll start to become hard work to stir, which is a good sign: you want this paste thick enough to roll when cooled.

7) Remove from the heat, scoop it into a bowl and let cool completely before covering with clingfilm so it doesn't dry out and crust up.

8) Use to fill mooncakes and lotus buns.

Have fun!


  1. Is there a substitute for the corn flour? Would all-purpose flour work in the filling?

    1. I'm pretty sure uk cornflour is actually corn starch for us americans

    2. That's correct, both are the same – you can use wheat flour to substitute as a thickener in this instance, but you'd likely need more than 1 tbsp as I don't think you can sub it gram-for-gram and get the same results.

  2. Thanks for sharing this lovely post. There are many types of mooncakes, and each has its own unique flavor and texture. The most popular types are the Cantonese-style mooncakes, which are made with a fluffy dough and filled with a sweet or savory filling.


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