Traditional mooncakes are great, but switching them up with other flavors is so fun. These almond butter mooncakes filled with sweet mung bean paste are no exception. The nutty, chewy mooncake crust is made with just 3 ingredients: almond butter, coconut flour and maple syrup. I use a simple mung bean paste filling for the photos here (recipe for the mung bean paste is here), but you're welcome to use a vegan mooncake filling like almond paste or white bean paste.
Here's why I love this recipe
- easy to prepare
- only 4 ingredients
- gluten free
- low carb
- low calories
Ingredients Used to Make these Vegan Almond Butter 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 Butter - The almond butter (I used the natural, drippy kind) is the main ingredient as well as the binder for these almond butter mooncakes. If you don't have almond butter at home, you're also free to use other natural nut butters, too, such as cashew, walnut, or even peanut butter.
- 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.
- Maple Syrup - to sweeten and bind the vegan mooncake dough. You can also use honey, agave syrup or brown rice syrup.
For the Filling You'll Need
- Mung Bean Paste - You'll need this 2-ingredient mung bean paste filling recipe, below. If you don't have any handy, you're always welcome to use white bean paste (Amazon link here) or red bean paste (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 used the 50g mooncake molds here.
More Recipes that Use Nuts as the Main Ingredient (HERE)
Step by Step Guide
How to Make 4-Ingredient Almond Butter Mooncakes
STEP 1: Prepare mooncake filling
Roll about 3-4 Tablespoons of the filling into balls. Set aside.
STEP 2: Make Mooncake Crust
Mix almond butter, coconut flour, and maple syrup together until smooth
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces (or more depending on the size of the mooncake mold)
Flatten each piece of dough into a disk, then wrap the prepared filling with the dough. It's all right if the dough isn't smooth, as long as some dough is cover the filling, since it'll be pressed into shape using the mooncake mold.
Use a lightly greased*** mold to press the dough into mooncake shapes and set onto a clean parchment paper. I used a 125g 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 325F oven for 7-9 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden-brown. DON'T OVERBAKE! These mooncakes burn very easily, and since they're vegan they only need to be baked until they're slightly golden on top.
For the best texture, store these mooncakes inside an airtight container and chill overnight in the fridge (room temperature is also fine). 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)
You can also play around with different Crust flavors, too.
- 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.
- Chai or Cinnamon mooncakes - Try adding a tsp of Cardamom Powder or Chai Tea Powder to the batter with the other dry ingredients.
- Coffee or mocha? Add either a teaspoon of coffee extract or espresso powder.
How to Make Almond Butter 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.
See All My Mooncake Recipes (HERE):
How to Store
- You can store these almond butter 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.
- Depending on the brand of the nut butter, you may need more coconut flour to hold the dough. You want your resulting dough to be soft but still firm enough to be rolled into a ball.
- I found that these mooncakes taste 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. So for the best flavor and texture, I recommend that you store these mooncakes inside an airtight container and wait at least 8 hours before eating.
4-Ingredient Almond Butter Mooncakes with Sweet Mung Bean Filling
Filling of Choice (read note* for options)
- 180 g mung bean paste (see recipe here)
Mooncake Filling (read note* for options)
- Prepare mooncake filling. Roll about 1-2 Tablespoons (about 30g each) of the filling into balls (adjust size if using larger mooncake mold). Set aside.
- Mix almond butter, coconut flour, and maple syrup together until smooth
- Divide dough into 6 equal pieces (or more depending on the size of the mooncake mold)
- 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 50g 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 340F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden-brown. DON'T OVERBAKE! These mooncakes burn very easily, and since they're vegan they only need to be baked until they're slightly golden on top.
- 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.