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A baked Cantonese mooncake
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5 from 16 votes

Cantonese mooncake with salted egg yolk (广式月饼)

Beautiful in appearance and sophisticated in taste, Cantonese mooncake with salted egg yolk & lotus seed paste is a delectable festive treat worth the effort.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Cake, Vegetarian
Servings: 20 mooncakes
Author: Wei Guo


For the lotus seed paste:

  • 120 g dried lotus seeds
  • 90 g sugar or to taste
  • 70 g sunflower oil or peanut oil, rapeseed oil, etc

For the dough:

  • 150 g invert syrup or golden syrup
  • 50 g sunflower oil or peanut oil, rapeseed oil, etc
  • ½ teaspoon lye water (Kansui)
  • 220 g all-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch for dusting

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water

You also need:

  • 20 salted egg yolks see note 1 & 2


Make the lotus seed paste

  • Soak dried lotus seeds in water overnight. Drain and remove the green centre (if any).
  • Boil in fresh water (enough to cover) until soft (about 30-40 minutes). Drain, then puree in a food processor (add a little water if necessary).
  • Transfer the puree into a non-stick pan. Cook over a medium heat. Add sugar and oil in batches. Stir and flip constantly. Once the paste becomes dry and holds in shape, remove to cool (see note 3 & 4).

Prepare the dough

  • Mix syrup, oil and lye water until well incorporated. Add flour (see note 5). Knead briefly until combined.
  • Cover and rest for 30 minutes.

Assemble the cakes

  • Put one egg yolk and some lotus seed paste on the scale. Adjust the filling to reach 30g.
  • Flatten the paste into a round wrapper. Place the egg yolk in the middle. Gently push the paste upwards to seal completely.
  • Flatten 20g of the dough into a wrapper. Use the same method to tightly wrap around the filling and make a ball (Please refer to the video below).

Shape the cakes

  • Coat the ball with a thin layer of cornstarch. Put it into a mooncake mould (see note 6).
  • Place the mould on a baking tray (lined with parchment paper if necessary). Gently press to shape.

Bake the cakes

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F. Bake the cakes for 5 minutes (Meanwhile, mix the egg wash).
  • Reduce the temperature to 160°C / 320°F. Take the mooncakes out and brush the top with a thin layer of egg wash(see note 7). Put back into the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.
  • Remove and brush with another layer of egg wash. Then continue to bake for 10-15 minutes until evenly brown.

Rest & store the cakes

  • Once completely cooled, store the mooncakes in an airtight container for at least 1-2 days. They are ready to be served when they become soft to touch and appear shiny.
  • You may keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Bring back to room temperature prior to serving.



1. You may purchase ready-to-use salted egg yolks which often come in airtight plastic bags. Alternatively, you can use raw salted duck eggs and cook the yolks yourself (See methods in post content above).
2. This recipe is for making mooncakes of 50g each. I usually put one whole egg yolk inside. You may use half of a yolk and a little more lotus seed paste if you prefer. If your mooncake mould makes 100g each,  you can place two yolks to make it extra “luxurious ”.
3. Store leftover lotus paste: This recipe makes about 400g of lotus seed paste. You will have some leftover if you use a whole salted egg yolk in each mooncake. You may freeze it for later use.
4. Filling substitutes: Lotus seed paste and salted egg yolk is a classic filling combination. However, please feel free to replace with other sweet paste, eg. red bean paste, chestnut, black sesame seed (see recipe in my post Glutinous Rice Balls), etc.
5. Flour quantity: The amount of flour needed may vary depending on the thickness of the syrup and the absorbent nature of the flour. Adjust accordingly.
6. Mooncake moulds: I bought my easy-to-use plastic mooncake moulds in China. They are also available on mainstream online shopping platforms (eBay, Amazon, etc.) and in some Chinese/Asian stores.
7. A tip on egg wash: To avoid leaving too much egg wash on the patterned surface: Dip the brush in the egg wash. Before you brush over the mooncakes, remove any excess liquid by pressing the brush on the rim of the bowl.