Authentic Japanese Mooncake Recipe – 3,000 years old

Japanese Mooncake
Japanese Mooncake

Mooncakes in Japan are known as ‘Geppei’.-

Japanese Mooncake is regarded as a delicacy offered to friends and family during the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated for lunar appreciation and moon watching.

Japanese mooncake is not a literal representation of the name, it is not a cake but instead made from a paste of lotus seeds. Beans and chestnuts are also added to the filling of this Japanese mooncake recipe. The designs are influenced by Cantonese and associated with Chinese culture.

Japanese Mooncake is a pastry with a diameter of 10cm and a thickness of 4 centimeters. They are also served steamed or fried but rarely. Japanese Mooncake has an imprint of the moon on the top.

  • There is not just one filling of mooncake, types of fillings:
  1. Lotus Seed Paste
  2. Sweet Bean Paste
  3. Jujube Paste
  4. Five Kernels
  5. Mixed Nuts
  • Even the crust is different in every region:
  1. Tender
  2. Flaky
  3. Crumbly
  4. Chewy
  • There are some variants of mooncake too:
  1. Beijing
  2. Cantonese
  3. Shanghai
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Chaoshan
  6. Ningbo
  7. Suzhou
  8. Yunnan

Along with time, there have been a few modifications to the crust and filling of Mooncake, which include:

  • Fruits
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Ham, etc

Ingredients for Japanese Mooncake

Lotus Seed Paste

  • Lotus Seeds are used in Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. Fox nuts are made from lotus seeds.
  • Peanut Oil has a mild flavor of groundnut
  • Salt is added to enhance the flavor even if it is a sweet dish
  • Granulated Sugar, cannot be substituted with powdered sugar. since powdered sugar has a fine texture and contains cornstarch.
  • Maltose is a reducing sugar, it is only 30% – 60% as sweet as sugar


  • Golden Syrup
  • Lye Water is a strong caustic liquid that can be used in small units but never undiluted
  • All-purpose flour so that all the ingredients get together.

Core Layer of Egg Yolk

  • The salted Duck Egg Yolk used in the Japanese mooncake is a representation of the full moon.
  • White Wine to stiffen the egg yolk and add flavor

Milk Wash

  • Egg Yolk and Milk to brush the top of the mooncake.
Japanese Mooncake

Japanese Mooncake Recipe

Japanese MooncakeTanaya Parab
Japanese Mooncake is regarded as a delicacy offered to friends and family during the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated for lunar appreciation and moon watching.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese


Lotus Seed Paste

  • 3/4 cup Lotus Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Maltose


  • 1/4 cup Golden Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 1 tsp Lye Water
  • 3/4 cup Flour

Core Layer of Egg Yolk

  • 4-5 units Salted Egg Yolk
  • 2 tbsp White Wine

Milk Wash

  • 1 unit Egg Yolk
  • 3 tbsp Milk



  • Take 3/4 cup of Lotus Seeds and Water in a bowl or air-tight container, and soak it overnight.

Lotus seed paste

  • The other day, open the lotus seeds, remove the green stem and wash.
  • Simmer the washed seeds for 2 hours.
  • Blend it into a smooth paste
  • Simmer the smooth paste in a non-stick pan.
  • Pour in 3 tbsp peanut oil in thirds.
  • Mix in 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar, and 1 tbsp Maltose, combine, and reduce it until everything gets together.
  • Chill for 2 hours in an air-tight container.

Making the dough

  • In a mixing bowl whisk 1/4 cup Golden Syrup, 2 tbsp Peanut Oil, and 1 tsp Lye Water.
  • 3/4 cup Flour in the mixing bowl and mix until a dough is formed. Store in an air-tight container.

The Core layer of Egg Yolk

  • Preheat the oven to180 degree celsius.
  • Submerge Salted Egg Yolks in White Wine for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove them and place them in a baking tray, bake for 8 minutes


  • Roll out a palm-sized ball of lotus seed paste.
  • Keep egg yolk in the middle and cover with the rolled-out sheet.
  • Cover the ball again with the prepared dough. Smoothen it between your palms
  • Place it under the mooncake mold and push it down on parchment paper to get a nice design on the top.
  • Bake to 180 degrees celsius for 5 minutes.

For Milk Wash

  • Whisk 1 egg yolk and 3 tbsp of milk.
  • Brush on top of the half-baked mooncakes.


  • Again bake to 180 degrees celsius for 15 minutes.
  • Japanese Mooncake, a little beautiful work of art is ready.


Nutritional Value

Japanese Mooncake

per piece, 600 calories, 100g Carbohydrates, 19g Fat, and 7g Protein,
Keyword Japanese Mooncake Recipe, Mooncake, Mooncake Recipe, Mooncake Recipes, Types of Mooncake

Directions to making Japanese mooncake

Preparation before making Japanese mooncake


In an air-tight container take lotus seeds and submerge them in water, cover and soak them overnight.
Half-open the lotus seed the other day and remove the green stem present in between and wash once.


Lotus seed paste

In a saucepan add washed lotus seeds and fill with water till the level of the seeds. Simmer for 2 hours.
Bring it to room temperature and then blend into a smooth paste in a mixer grinder.


In a non-stick pan pour this smooth lotus seeds paste, and cook on low flame for a quick simmer. Pour in peanut oil in thirds and not all at once and give it a quick mix.


Add in salt, granulated sugar, and maltose, combine everything together, and on low to medium flame reduce it until the paste comes together. Lotus seed paste for Japanese mooncakes is ready.


Transfer it to an air-tight container and chill in the refrigerator.

*A store-bought Lotus Seed Paste can be used but is not available in each store around the world. Check availability on amazon by inserting your pin code.


Making dough for Japanese mooncake

In a mixing bowl or a container whisk golden syrup, peanut oil, and lye water.
Sieve in all-purpose flour and mix it until a dough is formed. Store in an air-tight container or cover with a cringe wrap. Relax the dough for 30 minutes this will avoid cracking of dough. The outer layer of the Japanese mooncake is also ready.

*Golden Syrup is nothing but inverted sugar, made with glucose and fructose. It is prepared by boiling sugar with lemon which works as an acid.


Egg YolkCore Layer of Japanese mooncake.

Preheat the oven to 180-degree celsius.
Break eggs in a bowl and separate the yolks in a separate bowl. Soak in white wine for 5 to 10 minutes. Once the yolks turn a little firm, transfer them to baking aligned with parchment paper.
Bake for 8 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
The core layer of the Japanese mooncake is baked.


Assembling the Japanese mooncake

Take 2 parchment papers and place one 23-gram ball of lotus seed paste between them.
Roll it out with a rolling pin into a palm-sized circle.


Place the baked egg yolk in the middle of the rolled sheet. Turn it upside down and delicately press the around the yolk covering it without having a thick layer at the end.


Again flatten a 15-gram dough ball between parchment papers with a rolling pin.
Cover the ball with a third layer of the flattened sheet of dough.


Smoothen the ball between two palms.
Place this ball under a small mooncake mold. Keeping it above a baking tray aligned with parchment paper apply a little force and keep it still for 15 seconds for an intricate design to appear on top, then release it.
Bake Japanese mooncake to 180 degrees celsius for 5 minutes.


Milk Wash for Japanese mooncake

Whisk egg yolk and milk and brush it over the top of half baked mooncake for a crispy top with a nice
Re-bake for 15 more minutes at 180-degree celsius.

Little delicate artwork with intricate designed Japanese Mooncakes is ready to munch on.

Why would you love this recipe?

This pastry has a crumbly crust on the outside, and a creamy texture inside.


How to store?

Japanese Mooncakes must be sealed in an air-tight container and kept in a cool and dry place.

Substitutes for certain ingredients in Japanese mooncakes.

Sometimes honey is used as a substitute for golden syrup and omit lye water as it is used to neutralize the acid in golden syrup. however, it will not get soft, will have a lighter shade of brown, and will taste sweeter.

For how long mooncake stays fresh?

Lotus paste Japanese mooncake stays fresh for 30 days if stored away from moisture.

How to pair Japanese mooncakes?

Green Tea, Peppermint Tea, Black tea, Jasmine Tea, and many other teas.


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