Shortbread Coconut Custard Mooncakes – Recipe

I have returned from my adventures in Sichuan just in time for Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节! Actually I returned a couple of weeks ago... but I've been so busy changing jobs, attending various events and generally running around like crazy person I haven't had a chance to do an original recipe until now. This calls for mooncakes.

In fact, the last few couple of months have been quite intense. I passed the HSK 4 exam (woohoo!), spent a month sick with almost daily migraines which came out of nowhere and left me with another few weeks of labyrinthitis before fully recovering (fingers crossed), and found a new job in London. My very first full-time job in London, in fact: despite being born and living here most of my life, I ended up working in Birmingham and then Hertfordshire for most of my career. I'm so excited to get started. And of course I went back to Sichuan to do Chengdu properly, since last time I was just there for a couple of days after visiting family in Malaysia.

Back to the mooncakes! I've made my fair share of mooncakes on this blog, from the traditional lotus paste kind to snow skin varieties. This time I wanted something more dessert-y. I decided to make baked custard mooncakes with a smooth, dense coconut milk custard inside and a buttery, crisp shortbread pastry on the outside. This recipe ended up making 24 mini mooncakes, but the yield will depend on the size of your mould.

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Custard:

1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
100g custard powder
85g caster sugar
1 can full fat coconut milk
55g melted unsalted butter
A good pinch of salt
6 tbsp brown rice syrup or agave

Ingredients for Pastry:

200g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp custard powder
Pinch of salt
500g plain flour
1 egg yolk + 3 tbsp milk (for glazing)


1. Whisk all of the custard ingredients together, pour into a greased heatproof bowl and steam for 40 minutes, or until set. Cover with clingfilm to help avoid a skin forming, and allow to cool completely. Chill in the fridge until cold, scoop the set custard into a large bowl, add the syrup and mix thoroughly until smooth. Roll the mixture into balls a little smaller than the inside of your chosen mooncake mould. Cover and pop in the fridge.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line some baking sheets with nonstick parchment.

3. Now make the pastry: beat the butter and sugar together, followed by the egg, custard powder and salt. Slowly combine with the flour until you have a smooth dough, and divide the dough into balls the same size as the custard balls.

4. Flatten a dough ball into a disc with thinner edges. Pop a custard ball in the middle and close up the dough, pinching to seal. Place in the mould, packing tightly to shape, and push it out onto the baking tray. Repeat to use up all the dough and custard.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes (this helps prevent too much cracking after the next step). Once cooled a little, brush with your egg yolk and milk glaze, and then bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are just turning golden. Leave to cool a little, and eat them still warm or cold.

Enjoy, and have fun. 


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