Enjoy a mooncake to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival

Kitsby All Star Mooncake Box Set. Image courtesy Kitsby
Kitsby All Star Mooncake Box Set. Image courtesy Kitsby /

Many Asian countries celebrate the full moon in what is known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival. The date changes every year, but it’s always celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 29th. A mooncake is often enjoyed as part of the festivities, given as gifts among family and friends, to be eaten together on this date.

Mooncakes are round pastries that can contain a variety of different sweet or savory fillings. Although they vary in size, mooncakes can be very rich in taste and are often sliced and shared.

To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival you can buy professionally-baked mooncakes but not everyone has an Asian bakery nearby.  If you can’t pick up some freshly baked mooncakes locally, we have some suggestions for you!

Enjoy a mooncake during the Mid-Autumn Festival!


Kitsby is an Asian-inspired culinary kit company. They sell kits including matcha cream puffs, bubble tea, coconut kinako custard pie, hotteok cookies and more. In honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the company is selling an All Star Mooncake Box Set. This set includes four different varieties of mooncakes which are all original recipes from Kitsby founder, Amy Hsiao.

In a press email that was shared with Guilty Eats, it was noted that: “While some of Kitsby’s flavors are creative and non-traditional, Amy notes that the skin of Kitsby’s mooncakes is produced in the more labor-intensive traditional method—in that the dough is made by combining flour with the requisite lye water and golden syrup. After baking, the mooncakes are wrapped and left to sit for 5 days so that the fat of the paste that is used in the filling (whether lotus, bean, or sesame paste) can soak in and increase moisture. Nowadays, many commercial mooncakes are machine-made but Kitsby’s are all crafted by hand in New York.”

The four flavors that Hsiao has created include:

"Black Sesame — Made with black sesame imported from Taiwan, which then is roasted and ground into a smooth and thick paste and pan-fried until fragrant. The aromatic sesame is not only used in the filling; the skin of the mooncake is also aged/soaked in the paste for 5 days.Taiwanese Black Tea with Salted Egg Yolk — Taiwanese black tea is mixed with bean paste and paired with creamy egg yolk for a rich and bold flavor. Aged for 5 days in bean paste.White Lotus Paste with Salted Egg Yolk — White lotus paste is the most traditional filling, and this mooncake is also aged in it for an extra 5 days for maximum flavor and moist texture.Green Tea with Azuki Bean (Red Bean) —  Japanese matcha tea is fused with white bean paste (okay for people with nut allergies) while the azuki beans are kept whole for texture. Aged for 5 days in bean paste."

While I have never sampled a mooncake, I am very curious to try these! The kit contains one each of the four flavors of mooncakes and retails for $55.

Make your own gluten-free mooncake with MOYU’s Konjac bake mix
Make your own gluten-free mooncake with MOYU’s Konjac bake mix /


Those with special allergies and dietary needs can still enjoy mooncakes. MOYU is a new company that launched just last month. The superfood baking & breakfast company sells  plant-based, gluten-free baking mix and ready to eat cakes made with Konjac. Konjac, also known as Konnyaku, is a fiber-rich Asian root plant. MOYU has a mooncake recipe on their website that uses their baking mix.

The recipe uses one pouch of the MOYU mix and makes four mooncakes. Each mooncake has 8 grams of protein and only 210 calories. The original recipe MOYU shared has a fruit and nut filling, but they are sharing additional filling recipes on their website.

Make a Vietnamese lemongrass-ginger mooncake with Vân Vân spices
Make a Vietnamese lemongrass-ginger mooncake with Vân Vân spices /

Vân Vân Spices:

In Vietnam, mooncakes are also known as bánh Trung Thu. Vân Vân is a fairly new online Vietnamese herb and spice shop. In honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival, founder Thao Bui has shared her mother Thuỷ Đinh’s mooncake recipe. This recipe can be made using the spices, like Delta Lemongrass and Sparrow Ginger, both of which can be purchased on the Vân Vân website. I know that these spices are not carried at my local grocery store!

If you like to cook, this recipe is for you. It is a bit labor intensive with a homemade dough, filling and an egg wash finish. Fortunately, Vân Vân has another option for those who don’t have the time to invest in such an advanced baking project, but would like to enjoy mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Vân Vân has pre-made boxes of mooncakes and mooncake and tea sets for sale online at mooncakeandtea.com. They are available to ship nationwide or for local, in-person pick-up at the Pearl River Mart Foods in Chelsea Market, for NYC folks. The box of four mooncakes includes a traditional savory variety with salted egg yolk, Strawberry Cherry Blossom, Tiramisu and a Dried Fruit Medley variety in a snow skin mooncake. The box of six mooncakes includes the four already described as well as a Savory Coconut and Peach Oolong variety. This box showcases the different types of mooncakes there are!

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