Shanghai Mooncake

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

As I was posting about mooncakes, an InstaFam, @joycexi DMed me about this traditional mooncake from Shanghai. To be honest, I am not really into mooncakes. Mainly because I am not a fan of the modern commercial types of mooncakes which are super sugary without much depth in flavors. When I found out more about this Shanghai Mooncake, I began more fascinated by it. I am a rebel but there're certain traditional elements that I would wanna keep in my food.

The biggest hurdle is lard as I don't eat pork and lard is just outta the question. Even tho vegetable shortening seems like a great substitute, but the process of turning palm oil into something that looks like lard is really unhealthy.

To add insult to injury, vegetable shortening is flavorless. I was strolling in a supermarket aimlessly wondering which ingredients are best to replace lard and vegetable shortening. My gut just screamed, "butter & ghee."

I went with my gut and the rest is history. The result is a very cakey crispy pastry shell with a subtle chewiness and packs with flavors. This is the moment when I literally jumped up for joy! Screw lard and vegetable shortening! Butter and Ghee are the new Black!

The steps are rather straightforward. I had included a step by step gallery below and will be uploading a recipe IGTV soon. Photos and videos paint thousands of words. The only mistake you can make is overfilling the mooncakes. When you think it is too little, it is enough.

I hope you will give this recipe a try. Here I wish all you lovely people a very Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!


(Make 16 mooncakes)

  • Fillings:

  • Ground Chicken, 300g

  • Shrimp Mousse, 100g

  • Carrots Finely Diced. 40g

  • Scallions Finely Sliced, 1 Stalk

  • Light Soy Sauce, 4 TBSP

  • Dark Soy Sauce, 1 TBSP

  • Rose Wine / ShaoXing Wine, 1 TBSP

  • Sesame Oil, 1 TBSP

  • Bullhead's Brand BBQ Sauce, 2 Heaping TBSP

  • Pure Honey, 1 Heaping TBSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Egg White, 1

  • Pastry Dough:

  • Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 200g

  • Demerara Sugar, 30g

  • Sea Salt, 2g

  • Unsalted Butter, 30g

  • Ghee, 30g

  • Water, 85g

  • Oil Dough:

  • Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 180g

  • Unsalted Butter, 50g

  • Ghee, 50g

  • Egg Wash:

  • Egg Yolk, 1

  • Water, 1 TBSP

  • Black Sesame Seeds, For Garnishing


  • Oven


  1. Prepare the fillings.

  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients together.

  3. Keep mixing and stirring for about 2-3 mins.

  4. The fillings should stick to the spoon without falling off.

  5. Do not take it too far as it will be gummy after the baking process.

  6. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight.

  7. *To make shrimp mousse, simple chop cleaned & deveined shrimps until smooth paste forms. If you want some texture, do not take it too far.*

  8. On baking day, prepare the pastry dough.

  9. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar and salt.

  10. Mix to combine well.

  11. Add in butter and ghee.

  12. Mix to combine well.

  13. It should also resemble wet crumpy sand.

  14. Add in water gradually while still mixing.

  15. Mix to combine well or until it comes together into a dough.

  16. Knead inside the bowl to pick up all the nooks & crannies.

  17. Shape into a ball & transfer onto a cling film.

  18. Wrap and set aside on the counter to rest for 30 mins.

  19. Prepare the oil dough.

  20. In a large bowl, combine flour, butter and ghee.

  21. Keep mixing until it comes together into a smooth dough.

  22. Knead inside the bowl to pick up all the nooks & crannies.

  23. Shape into a ball & transfer onto a cling film.

  24. Wrap and set aside on the counter to rest for 30 mins.

  25. Shaping & assembly.

  26. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius or 360 fahrenheit.

  27. Divide each of the dough balls into halves, shaping each into balls.

  28. On a floured surface, roll pastry dough into a disc with about 1/4" thick.

  29. Place the oil dough onto the pastry dough disc.

  30. Wrap the oil dough.

  31. Roll and smooth into a larger dough ball with hands.

  32. Roll that larger into an oblong shape with a rolling pin.

  33. Fold the top 2/3 way to the bottom.

  34. Fold the bottom to cover that fold.

  35. Flip folded side down.

  36. Roll into a large rectangle with a rolling pin.

  37. Roll into a log from the top down, tucking tightly.

  38. Measure and divide into 8 equal lengths.

  39. Slice & fold the sides downwards so that the swirls are visible.

  40. Smooth into little dough balls.

  41. Repeat the steps with the remaining dough balls.

  42. *You can view the gallery below for better illustration.*

  43. Roll each dough ball into discs, sim side up, about 1/4" thick.

  44. Scoop a small portion of fillings and place them at the center of the disc.

  45. *Do not overfill.*

  46. Wrap tightly and smooth into balls, making sure there is no gap or hole.

  47. Transfer onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

  48. Gently press down the dough to flatten it slightly to resemble small wheels

  49. *Cover the rest of the dough balls with a damp lint-free kitchen towel while working on 1. This will prevent them from drying out.*

  50. Once everything has assembled and shaped, prepare the egg wash.

  51. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and water.

  52. Brush the egg wash onto the mooncakes.

  53. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.

  54. Wack into the oven and bake for 25 mins or until golden brown.

  55. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

  56. Once cool, store in airtight containers.

When overfilled, it will cause the pastry shell to crack during the baking process.

Do not overfill.

Here's the recipe video:

#mooncake #midautumnfestival #midautumn #shanghai

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