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 14 mini (50g mould-sized) mooncakes, but the yield will depend on the size of your mould.

You can also watch me make these on my YouTube channel:

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Custard:

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
40g custard powder
45g caster sugar
1/2 can full fat coconut milk
30g melted unsalted butter
A good pinch of salt

Ingredients for Pastry:

70g unsalted butter, softened
40g icing sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp custard powder
Pinch of salt
180g plain flour


1. Whisk all of the custard ingredients together, pour into a greased heatproof bowl and steam for 40 minutes, or until set.

2. Allow to cool completely, and chill in the fridge until cold (I let it chill overnight).

3. Once chilled, scoop the set custard into a large bowl and mix thoroughly until smooth.

4. Roll the mixture into 25g balls (there should be seven in total – if there's a tiny bit of custard left at the end, add a bit of it to each of your balls). Place on a plate, cover and pop in the fridge until needed.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with nonstick parchment.

3. Now make the pastry: stir/knead all the ingredients together until you have a smooth dough, and divide the dough into 25g balls the same was as you did with the custard.

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 10–15 minutes minutes, or until the tops are just turning golden and are cracking. Leave to cool and deflate a little, and eat them still warm or cold.

Enjoy, and have fun. 


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