These Vegan Matcha Mooncakes with a fudgy almond paste filling are the perfect mooncakes for those who want to enjoy mooncakes without dairy or eggs. With only a few simple ingredients, you can make these awesome (vegan) matcha mooncakes!
By using applesauce, the exterior has a subtle sweetness that isn’t overwhelming. Adding matcha to the mooncake’s crust not only gives it a nice green color, but gives it earthy notes that you won’t get enough of. The fudgy almond paste filling is not the most traditional mooncake filing, but the subtle nuttiness from the almonds pairs well with earthy matcha to make for a gentle dessert that isn’t too sweet.
Here's why I love this recipe
- this mooncake recipe is non-traditional, but makes a much healthier mooncake that are made with almonds
- it’s gluten free
- low carb
- the sky’s the limit when it comes to mooncake filling ideas. I use a almond paste 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 Vegan Matcha 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.
- Unsweetened Applesauce - the applesauce 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 mashed bananas instead!
- Matcha Powder – preferably ceremonial grade matcha powder for the best color, but any kind works. Sold in Asian grocery stores, or online, below:
For the Filling You'll Need
- Almond paste – almond paste is a fudgy, sweet moldable paste that’s made from ground almonds, sugar and water. Be sure to watch the ingredient list, though, if you are following a vegan diet. Sometimes storebought almond pastes contain egg whites. You can buy them in most grocery stores, or via Amazon here
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 Applesauce (HERE)
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Vegan Matcha Mooncakes
STEP 1: Prep the Filling
Prepare the almond paste filling by rolling them into 1-2 Tbsp sized balls
STEP 2: Prepare the Mooncake Crust
Mix almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, olive oil and applesauce together until smooth
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, then flatten each piece of dough into a disk
wrap the almond paste filling with the almond flour dough
roll into a ball. Note: it’s all right if the dough is lumpy. You’ll be pressing them with the mooncake mold anyway, so they don’t have to be perfect.
Use a lightly 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.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
There are many other 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 : ½ cup Shiro-an mixed with 2 tsp coffee extract (click on the link to see my 2 ingredient coffee bean paste recipe here)
Cream cheese & Mango - I tried this variation not too long ago and wanted to share it below! The fresh fruit in the mooncakes really enhances these matcha mooncakes both visually and adds a juicy texture and sweetness I thought was perfect.
How to Make these Vegan Matcha Mooncakes Healthier
- 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.
Is Almond Paste Considered Vegan?
Some storebought almond paste contain egg whites, so they may not always be vegan, but the brand of almond paste that I used only had almonds, sugar and water as the main ingredient, so yes, this one was vegan.
More Healthy Mooncake Recipes (HERE):
How to Store
- You can store these mooncakes covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container to store in the fridge for up to 7 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 rest for at least 8 hours before eating.
Vegan Matcha Mooncakes with Almond Paste Filling (Gluten-Free)
Filling (Use Different FIlling* if Desired)
- 1 pkg almond paste
- Prepare mooncake filling by rolling about 1-2 Tablespoons of sweetened bean paste filling into balls. Set aside.
- Mix almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, olive oil and applesauce together until smooth
- Divide dough into 8 equal pieces
- Flatten each piece of dough into a disk, then wrap the prepared filling with the 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 10-12 minutes, or 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.