Rebecca Firth’s Mooncakes

Photography by Rebecca Firth

These mooncakes from DisplacedHousewife, Rebecca Firth, are not difficult to make as long as you follow some key instructions. For this particular recipe, it’s imperative that you use Medjool dates, as other dates won’t yield the same firm and delicious texture that the filling requires. It’s equally important to not only chill the dough and filling prior to assembling the cakes, but to also give them ample freezer time just before baking. This last step ensures that the intricate detail on top stays intact throughout the baking process.

Rebecca used the 14.5×6.5-centimeter KINGSO Round Mooncake Mold that includes eight flower stamps. Get the mold on Amazon. For a mooncake crash course, find our interview with our Rebecca here. Baking with a different mold than the one listed above? Read up on our tutorial for Baking with Different Molds.  

Rebecca Firth's Mooncakes
Makes 15
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) vodka
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.75 grams) baking soda
  • ⅔ cup (226 grams) honey
  • ⅓ cup (75 grams) sunflower seed oil or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 1½ cups (182 grams) cake flour
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Chocolate Almond Filling (recipe follows)
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) heavy whipping cream or whole milk
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water, vodka, and baking soda. Add honey and oil, whisking to combine. Sift flours over honey mixture, and stir until a ball starts to form.
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place on top of another baking sheet.
  4. Divide dough into 15 balls (each weighing about 1.35 ounces). Cover with a lightly damp, clean towel to keep dough from drying out. Divide Chocolate Almond Filling into 15 balls (each weighing 1.35 ounces). Roll each dough ball into a 4-inch circle. Place one ball of Chocolate Almond Filling in center of each circle, and cover completely with dough. Pull off any excess dough, and discard it or use it to patch any thin spots. Hold dough ball in your hands for 1 minute to soften, and gently shape into a sphere.
  5. Lightly dust mooncake ball and a mooncake mold with flour, shaking off excess. Place mooncake mold on top of mooncake ball, and gently press down until you reach some resistance. Always place smoothest side of ball upright to get best design imprint. Tap mooncake mold on counter to gently release mooncake from mold. Set mooncakes on prepared pan. Freeze for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C), and place rack in top third of oven.
  7. Take mooncakes from freezer, and immediately place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F (190°C), and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C), and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, cream, and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water. Lightly brush egg wash over mooncakes. (Don’t let wash get too thick in areas, or you’ll lose detail of mooncake design.) Gently brush off any excess. Place mooncakes back in oven, and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes. Brush with a final, thin layer of egg wash, taking care not to use too much. Bake 10 minutes more. Let cool completely on pan. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days before serving.

Chocolate Almond Filling
Makes about 2 cup
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) water
  • 18 pitted Medjool dates (250 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) real vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
  • 1 cup (113 grams) chopped unsalted almonds, toasted
  • ¾ cup (128 grams) chopped dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup (21 grams) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) Chinese five-spice powder
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1¼ cups (300 grams) water and dates to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until most of liquid has been absorbed by dates, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place dates and any remaining liquid in the work bowl of a food processor. Add butter and extracts; blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. With processor running, add almonds, and blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. (The mixture should be thick with only small bits of almond visible. Be sure to scrape down sides of bowl so that everything gets incorporated.)
  4. Add chocolate, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, salt, and five-spice powder; blend until combined. (Mixture will be sticky.) Scrape filling into a bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.


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