Cheesecake may not be a traditional mooncake filling, but it is one you may have to add to your next Mid-Autumn Festival to-do list! The outside of these almond flour mooncakes is made with blanched almond flour and mashed bananas, which can easily be subbed with mashed sweet potato or applesauce. Thanks to the almond flour, the exterior of these mooncakes is soft and chewy, and the cheesecake interior is perfectly creamy- the perfect combination of textures!
With the sweetness of the bananas and the tangy cheesecake filling, these mooncakes have a great balance of sweetness. A good mooncake is one that isn’t too sweet!
Since mooncake’s exterior is made from almond flour, these mooncakes are gluten-free and low carb. This recipe is not vegan, but you can also use a vegan filling to make it dairy-free. Definitely give these banana cheesecake mooncakes a try!
Here’s why I love this recipe
- this mooncake recipe is non-traditional, but a much healthier mooncake recipe
- it’s gluten free
- low carb
- the sky’s the limit when it comes to mooncake filling ideas. I use a cheesecake filling, but you can easily use sweetened lotus paste, white bean paste, mung bean, etc, to suit your diet and preferences!
Ingredients Used to Make these Almond Flour Mooncakes
**I’ve linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂 .
- Almond flour – I used blanched almond flour. But you can also make your own by blending raw or blanched, slivered almonds in the food processor and sifting them through a sieve.
- Coconut flour – Coconut flour does not substitute well, and I can’t recommend swapping coconut flour with other ingredients unless you absolutely had to (2 Tbsp coconut flour = ½ cup almond flour). Unfortunately, you probably won’t get the same texture or mouthfeel as the original recipe.
- Sugar – You can use any granulated sugar of your choice (I used golden monk fruit sweetener here) but for even healthier alternatives, I recommend using coconut, date and maple sugars which are less processed and higher in vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind though that darker sugars do impact the final colors of these mooncakes, and they’ll appear darker. For the lower carb, lower calorie option, you can use a sugar-free substitute such as stevia powder (but you’ll have to convert the amount of stevia according to package directions).
- Olive oil – I used light olive oil for this recipe, but you can use other neutral flavored oils other than olive oil, such as melted coconut oil (I like using refined since it doesn’t have coconut flavor), avocado oil, or even regular canola oil. You can also use plant-based, dairy-free butter or regular butter instead.
- Mashed Bananas – the mashed bananas in this recipe adds sweetness and acts as a binder for the almond flour and coconut flour, but you can also use mashed sweet potatoes, pumpkin puree or applesauce instead!
- Cinnamon powder – optional, but it goes well with the almond flour and bananas. Also it adds a pretty amber-brown color to the mooncakes
For the Filling You’ll Need
- Cream Cheese of Choice – reduced fat, low fat or full fat. In this recipe, I used 8 oz of laughing cow light cream cheese wedges.
- Egg – the egg helps to stabilize the cheesecake filling and contributes to its smooth silky texture.
- Sugar of Choice – I used raw cane sugar, but you can also use granulated sugar free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener
The main highlight of mooncakes is their beautiful engraved patterns and shapes. Mooncake molds are readily available at different Chinese grocery stores. You can also find it online, especially on amazon. They are of premium quality and quite affordable. I got the 75g and 125g mooncake molds here
More Recipes that Use Bananas
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Almond Flour Mooncakes
STEP 1: Cheesecake Filling
Prepare the mooncake cheesecake filling. *You can use any mooncake fillings of choice, like lotus paste, nuts, sweetened bean paste, or even mashed sweet potato
(1) whisk cream cheese with egg and sugar until smooth. (2) Pour into a 5 x5 inch square pan and bake 350F for 15 minutes, or until the middle has set. (3) Let cool in the freezer until completely frozen, then (4) cut into 1 1/2 inch squares and set aside
the cheesecake squares should be cut so that it fits inside the mooncake mold you’ll be using
STEP 3: Prepare the Mooncake Crust
Mash bananas and add to almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, and olive oil
Mix together until smooth
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, then flatten each piece of dough into a disk
wrap the frozen cheesecake square with the almond flour dough
Use a ligtly greased*** mold to press the dough into mooncake shapes and set onto a clean parchment paper. I used a 75g mooncake mold, but you can use any mold size you have at home – just be sure to adjust the filling size!
***I used olive oil cooking spray to grease my mooncake mold. If you don’t have olive oil cooking spray you can use other vegetable oil sprays or melted coconut oil.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-15 minutes until the tops are lightly browned.
For the best texture, store these mooncakes inside an airtight container and chill overnight in the fridge. The mooncakes actually taste better the day after.
Slice and enjoy!
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
There are many types of fillings used in traditional mooncakes. Here are some ideas below:
- Lotus paste – classic! You can buy these in the refrigerated section in a Asian grocery store, or buy them online (like Amazon, here)
- Shiro-an (sweetened white bean paste) – on Amazon, here, or here’s a Shortcut White Bean Paste Recipe I make when I’ve run out of Shiro An
- Koshi-an (sweetened red bean paste) – on Amazon, here
- Mung Bean paste – sweet and delightfully yellow, homemade mung bean paste is a perfect mooncake filling for those who are looking for a healthier bean paste alternative. Here’s my 2-Ingredient mung bean paste recipe here
- Coffee paste : 1/2 cup Shiro-an mixed with 2 tsp coffee extract (click on the link to see my 2 ingredient coffee bean paste recipe here)
You can also play around with different Crust flavors, too. Omit cinnamon powder from the recipe and add the following:
- Chocolate mooncakes – add 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients before mixing; add some mini chocolate chips to the filling before rolling into tablespoon sized (about 30 gram) balls.
- Matcha mooncakes – add 1 tsp of matcha powder to the dry ingredients before mixing
- Chai or Cinnamon mooncakes – Try adding a tsp of Cardamom Powder or Chai Tea Powder to the batter with the other dry ingredients.
- Add food coloring. For example add some red food coloring to make a red velvet mooncake variety!
- Coffee or mocha? Add either a teaspoon of coffee extract or espresso powder.
How to Make this Healthier
- Storebought lotus pastes and sweet bean pastes are delicious but rather high in refined sugar and calories. While I still recommend you use the storebought kinds to make these mooncakes as close to the original texture as possible, there are many healthier alternatives for the filling, such as mashed sweet potato (the best ones are Asian sweet potato and Purple Sweet Potato), chickpea cookie dough (like in this recipe) or chopped nuts (like in this recipe).
- I also love adding nuts, seeds and other ingredients to the filling that add texture, fiber and nutrition. Try adding nuts or dried fruit to the filling before rolling into tablespoon sized balls.
- If you want to increase fiber, mix a Tablespoon of ground flaxseed or coconut flour to the filling.
ARE MOONCAKES GLUTEN-FREE?
These Mooncakes are made with almond flour, so they are naturally gluten-free. However, traditional mooncake crusts are traditionally made with flour, sugar syrup, oil and water – so they do contain gluten.
Are these mooncakes vegan?
Because of the cheesecake filling, no, these mooncakes are not vegan. But the mooncake crust is egg and dairy-free, so you can easily convert these mooncakes into a vegan recipe by using a different filling like lotus paste, sweet white bean paste (which you can buy online, here) or mung bean paste.
All My Mooncake Recipes (HERE):
How to Store Almond Flour Mooncakes
- You can store these mooncakes covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours. For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze up to 4 months.
- I found that these mooncakes taste WAY better the day after they are made. I don’t know how to explain it other than that these mooncake crusts have a better flavor and develop a more melt-in-the-mouth, tender texture when they have a chance to rest in the fridge overnight. So for the best flavor and texture, I recommend that you store these mooncakes inside an airtight container and let them cool in the fridge for at least 8 hours before eating.
Baked Almond Flour Mooncakes Stuffed with Cheesecake
Cheesecake Filling (Use Different FIlling* if Desired)
- 1 pkg low fat or fat free cream cheese best if room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp sugar of choice
- Prepare the mooncake cheesecake filling: whisk cream cheese with egg and sugar until smooth.
- Pour into a 5 x5 inch square pan and bake 350F for 15 minutes, or until the middle has set
- Let cool in the freezer until completely frozen
- Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares and set aside
- Mix almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, olive oil and mashed bananas together until smooth
- Divide dough into 8 equal pieces
- Flatten each piece of dough into a disk, then wrap the frozen cheesecake square with the almond flour dough.
- Use a ligtly greased*** mold to press the dough into mooncake shapes and set onto a clean parchment paper. I used a 75g mooncake mold, but you can use any mold size you have at home – just be sure to adjust the filling size!
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-15 minutes until the tops are lightly browned.
- For the best texture, store these mooncakes inside an airtight container and chill overnight in the fridge. The mooncakes actually taste better the day after.