Salted Egg Yolk Mooncakes Recipe

Classic Cantonese-style baked salted egg yolk mooncakes are a must for the Mid-Autumn Festival. They're not everyone's cup of tea (particularly for children), but I absolutely love the combination of sweet and salty – and they've withstood the test of time, still being popular thousands of years after they first hit the food scene in Ancient China.

Store-bought bean or lotus paste makes this recipe super quick and easy to make (I used sweet chestnut paste). You can also make your own – I have a recipe for homemade sweet lotus paste here.

The hardest part about making these salted egg yolk mooncakes (or any Cantonese-style baked mooncake) is the waiting after you've baked them. Straight from the oven, the pastry's kind of hard. But after a day's rest in an airtight container, all that lovely oil seeps back out, and the pastry becomes supple, soft and glossy.

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

Ready? Let's go.

(Makes 13 x 50g mini mooncakes.)

Ingredients for Filling:

13 salted duck egg yolks
Store-bought or homemade sweet bean or lotus paste (I used about 325g in total)

Ingredients for Pastry Dough:

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

To Dust:

Plain flour

To Glaze:

1 egg yolk
A dash of milk

To Paint (Optional):

Food Colouring
Edible gold lustre dust


1. First, cook your salted egg yolks a little. If you have whole salted duck eggs, either boil them for a few minutes and discard the egg white – or crack the eggs open, separate the yolks, and steam the yolks for 5–10 minutes. I used store-bought ready-separated yolks, which I steamed. Leave to cool completely.

2. Next, take your sweet bean/chestnut/lotus paste and divide it into 13 portions (about 24–25g each), rolling each into a ball.

3. Flatten out a ball of paste into a disc, pop a yolk in the middle, and close up like  a dumpling, rolling it back up into a ball. Repeat with all 13 yolks and paste portions.

4. Next, make the pastry dough. Preheat the oven to 180°C first. Then simply stir the pastry ingredients together in a bowl, kneading a little with your hands to bring it together, Divide the dough into 13 portions (about 30–31g each) and roll them up into balls too.

5. Take a ball of dough, flatten it out into a disc, and this time take a yolk-stuffed paste ball and pop it in the middle. Close the pastry dough around it like before and roll it back into a ball. Repeat with all the pastry and stuffed paste balls.

6. Roll each ball in a little plain flour before pressing into a 50g-sized mooncake mould, and pop on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Bake for an initial 10 minutes, or until just starting to go golden brown, remove from the oven and cool a little for five minutes (keep the oven on in the meantime).

7. To make the glaze, whisk the egg yolk with a little milk to thin it out, and lightly brush onto your slightly-cooled mooncakes. Return to the oven for a final 8– 10 minutes, until deeply golden brown.

8. Let your mooncakes cool completely, and if you like, paint on some details with a little food colouring and/or edible lustre dust mixed with a little vodka (don't worry, the vodka evaporates off). 

9. Pop your mooncakes in an airtight container to soften for about 24 hours before eating.

Enjoy, and have fun.


Popular Posts