Snow skin mooncakes are easier and faster to make compared to traditional mooncakes. These matcha snow skin mooncakes are a vibrant green color thanks to culinary grade matcha powder and filled with a sweet red bean paste. No baking required and perfect for the Mid Autumn Festival.

Matcha snow skin mooncakes with a red bean paste filling on a marble slab.

September is one of the most special times of the year because it is the time of the Mid Autumn festival. During this time, families gather to eat and celebrate the fall harvest. The dish that is most associated with this holiday are mooncakes! There are so many variations of mooncakes. Traditional mooncakes have a lotus paste and salted egg filling, but more modern mooncakes have a variety of fillings and wrappers (like these fig and pecan mooncakes). I love traditional mooncakes, but I wanted to venture into another category of mooncakes this year. That’s where these matcha snow skin mooncakes come in.

5 matcha snow skin mooncakes on a marble slab.

What are snow skin mooncakes?

The difference between traditional and snow skin mooncakes is the mooncake skin. In traditional mooncakes, the skin is made with a dough that needs to be baked, and the texture is a lot more cake like while in snow skin mooncakes, the dough is made with sweet rice flour and it doesn’t need to be baked. The sweet rice flour also gives it a chewy texture. Personally, I found snow skin mooncakes a lot easier and less time consuming to make. Making these matcha snow skin mooncakes took me an hour vs the 8 hours it took me to make traditional mooncakes.

In terms of the filling, traditional snow skin mooncake fillings are a custard filling or red bean paste. I used red bean paste because it’s my favorite, but there are so many different fillings you can use.

What is the Mid Autumn Festival?

The Mid Autumn Festival, or also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, takes place on the 15th day of the Chinese lunar calendar. In other Asian countries, it’s known by other names like Tet (Vietnam), Chuseok (Korea), and Tsukimi (Japan). It is the day of the year where the Chinese believe the moon is at its brightest, and it also coincides with the fall harvest. The Chinese celebrate the festival by lighting lanterns to light people’s path to prosperity and eating mooncakes!

Red bean paste in a bowl.

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

  • Sweet rice flour – The sweet rice flour serves 2 purposes for this recipe. 1) The sweet rice flour gives the mooncake its chewy skin. 2) Sweet rice flour is also used to coat the formed mooncake, so it doesn’t stick to the mooncake mold. I only use Koda Farms sweet rice flour for all my baking. It’s the best.
  • Regular rice flour – Regular rice flour helps gives the skin some structure.
  • Corn starch – Corn starch also helps gives the skin some structure. This can be substituted with tapioca starch.
  • Powdered sugar – Adds sweetness to the mooncakes.
  • Whole milk & condensed milk – Both help the mooncake skin feel smooth. Condensed milk also adds some sweetness to the mooncakes. Coconut milk is a good substitute for whole milk
  • Vegetable oil – Any kind of neutral oil will work for this recipe. Vegetable oil can be substituted with grapeseed oil.
  • Matcha powder – Matcha powder is used to give the skin its green color and matcha flavor. I used high quality culinary grade matcha powder from Aiya. It is the best matcha powder in my opinion in terms of color and flavor.
  • Red bean paste (filling) – You can use any filling you want, but I chose red bean paste because it goes so well with matcha. I bought mine at the store, but you can also make your own at home. Make sure your red bean paste is dry enough that you can form a solid ball with it. Some red bean pastes are pretty soft and smooth.

Tools you will need

  • 50 g mooncake molds – You will need these to form the mooncakes as well as stamp the design on them. I used these mooncake molds from Amazon.
  • Kitchen scale – I use a kitchen scale to portion out the filling and mooncake skin, so it totals up to 50 grams. This helps you get consistent results.
  • Knife or bench scraper – This helps you cut your dough as you portion it out. Personally, I prefer a bench scraper because I also use it to scrape off any dough that sticks to the surface as I am kneading.
  • Rolling pin – The rolling pin helps you flatten out the mooncake skin. You can use a regular sized or small rolling pin. I used a small rolling pin because I found it a lot easier when working with such a small amount of dough.
  • Pastry brush (optional) – This not required, but I found it helpful to use when brushing off excess flour. I like to have the thinnest layer of flour on the surface, so the color of the mooncake is more visible.

How to make matcha snow skin mooncakes

Prepping mooncake components

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the matcha powder for the mooncake skin in a bowl (sweet rice flour through neutral oil). Mix until well incorporated.
  2. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Let the dough cool until it is cool enough to handle.
  3. While the dough is in the microwave, toast 2 tbsp of sweet rice flour (1-2 minutes) and set aside.
  4. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, knead the dough until smooth on the surface. The dough will be sticky so wear gloves to help you knead. I also add a few sprinkles of the toasted rice flour.
  5. Flatten the dough and add the matcha powder. Knead until the dough is an even green color (5-10 minutes).

Forming the mooncakes

  1. Now it’s time to form your mooncakes! Using a kitchen scale, measure out your mooncake skin and red bean paste. Measure out 25 grams of mooncake skin and 25 grams of red bean paste.
  2. Roll the red bean paste into a ball. Set aside.
  3. Roll the mooncake skin into a ball. Using a rolling pin, flatten the mooncake skin into a disk (~3 inches in diameter).
  4. Place the red bean paste ball in the middle. Envelop the red bean paste with the mooncake skin and pinch the ends together. Roll it between your palms to make sure it’s round.
  5. Coat the mooncake ball with a thin layer of the toasted sweet rice flour. Use a pastry brush to brush off the excess flour.
  6. Repeat this process until you run out of mooncake skin or red bean paste.
  7. Place each mooncake into the molds and press down firmly onto a flat surface. I used a baking sheet. Next, lift the mooncake a little bit and push it out of the molds. Repeat this for every mooncake.
5 matcha snow skin mooncakes on a marble slab.

Tips on how to make the best matcha show skin mooncakes

Measure out the oil before the condensed milk

Have you ever had a hard time scooping out condensed milk from a measuring spoon? Condensed milk is really sticky, so a cool trick is to measure out the oil first before the condensed milk. The oil greases the measuring spoon, making it easier for the condensed milk to release from the spoon. The condensed milk plops right out!

Make sure the red bean paste is dry enough to shape into a ball

In my first test, I used red bean paste straight from the container, and it ended up being really soft. It was really difficult for me to shape the mooncakes. The liquid from the red bean paste also seeped into the skin over time and made it a weird texture. To solve this issue, I cooked the red bean paste in a pan to evaporate some of the water and dry it out. The resulting red bean paste looked a lot chunkier, but it was so much easier to work with and store.

How do you store these snow skin mooncakes?

These snow skin mooncakes should be served right away if possible. If storage is needed, store these in an airtight, parchment lined container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Matcha snow skin mooncakes with a red bean paste filling on a marble slab.

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Matcha snow skin mooncakes with a red bean paste filling on a marble slab.

Get the Recipe:
Matcha Snow Skin Mooncakes

Chewy matcha snow skin mooncakes with a sweet red bean paste filling. No baking required and perfect for the Mid Autumn Festival.
5 from 2 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Mooncake Skin

Filling

Other Ingredients

Instructions
 

Prepping mooncake components

  • Combine all the ingredients except the matcha powder for the mooncake skin in a bowl (sweet rice flour through neutral oil). Mix until well incorporated.
  • Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Let the dough cool until it is cool enough to handle.
  • While the dough is in the microwave, toast 2 tbsp of sweet rice flour (1-2 minutes) and set aside.
  • Once the dough is cool enough to handle, knead the dough until smooth on the surface. The dough will be sticky so wear gloves to help you knead. I also add a few sprinkles of the toasted rice flour.
  • Flatten the dough and add the matcha powder. Knead until the dough is an even green color (5-10 minutes).

Forming the mooncakes

  • Now it's time to form your mooncakes! Using a kitchen scale, measure out your mooncake skin and red bean paste. Measure out 25 grams of mooncake skin and 25 grams of red bean paste.
  • Roll the red bean paste into a ball. Set aside.
  • Roll the mooncake skin into a ball. Using a rolling pin, flatten the mooncake skin into a disk (~3 inches in diameter).
  • Place the red bean paste ball in the middle. Envelop the red bean paste with the mooncake skin and pinch the ends together. Roll it between your palms to make sure it's round.
  • Coat the mooncake ball with a thin layer of the toasted sweet rice flour. Use a pastry brush to brush off the excess flour.
  • Repeat this process until you run out of mooncake skin or red bean paste.
  • Place each mooncake into the molds and press down firmly onto a flat surface. I used a baking sheet. Next, lift the mooncake a little bit and push it out of the molds. Repeat this for every mooncake.

Notes

  1. The last mooncake may be made up of 20 grams of mooncake skin and 30 grams of filling. This is okay. The mooncake should still form properly.
  2. Corn starch substitute. Corn starch can be substituted with tapioca starch.
  3. Whole milk substitute. Whole milk can be substituted with coconut milk.
  4. Vegetable oil substitute. Vegetable oil can be substituted with grapeseed oil.
Serving: 1mooncake, Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 35mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 28IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 0.3mg
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