Five Treasure Moon Cakes

makes20 moon cakes


During the Harvest Moon Festival, Chinese bakery shelves are loaded with moon cakes — salty with a meat or vegetable filling, or sweet with red bean date pastes or candied fruits. I’ve developed an easy filling that’s a mixture of apricot jam, raisins, dates, and coconut. I recommend using a moon cake mold (see note *), but you may improvise by hand-shaping the cookies into circles and drawing a simple design on top.

4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup apricot preserves (one 12-ounce jar)
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
3/4 cup raisins

1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons water

  1. To make the crust, sift together the flour, dried milk powder, and salt. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the sugar, and beat vigorously until the mixture “ribbons” off the beaters, about 5 minutes. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract, and the sifted, dry ingredients to the egg mixture, folding after each addition. Mix to a rough dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly to a smooth dough. Form the dough into a long, snake-like roll and cut into 20 pieces.
  2. Mix together the ingredients of the filling and stir to combine evenly. Divide into 20 portions.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Using your fingers, press each dough piece into a 3-inch circle with the edges thinner and the center thicker. Place a portion of filling in the center, gather up the edges of the dough to enclose the filling and pinch to seal. Roll the cake into a ball and flatten it to a 3-inch round. Press into a moon cake mold or carve a crisscross design on top. (If you are using a moon cake press *, arrange on a cookie sheet and chill overnight.) Rearrange the the cakes about 1 inch apart on lightly buttered baking sheets. Brush the surface of the moon cakes with the glaze. Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack and serve.


From “Moonbeams, Dumplings, and Dragonboats,” by Nina Simonds

* Moon cake presses can be ordered through Woks ‘n’ Things, 2234 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60616. Phone: 312-842-0701



  1. What is the sumptuous apricot marmalade filling

    What is this filling recipe?

    Thanks for sharing…

    Alos where do I buy the press

  2. Wht’s the recipe for apricot marmelade filling ?


  1. [...] The Harvest Moon Festival and Moon Cakes are VERY SPECIAL to me. First of all, my adapted recipe of Moon Cakes with a buttery-vanilla crust stuffed with a DELICIOUS, apricot marmelade filling is SERIOUSLY GOOD. We just baked some today to send to a Chinese friend…YUM!! [...]

  2. [...] of moon cakes from a Chinese chef years ago in Taiwan and I’ve further adapted the recipe. My Five-Treasure Moon Cakes have a buttery-vanilla crust stuffed with a sumptuous apricot marmalade filling, and it is one of [...]

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