Here's an easy vegan peanut butter mooncakes recipe that's nutty, chocolatey, and full of sweet flavors. Unlike traditional mooncakes, the cookie crust is made using peanut butter and coconut flour. The outside of the mooncakes is flaky and crispy, while the filling's got a sweet and fudgy almond paste chocolate chip cookie dough filling middle that's slightly gooey and decadent when it's warm.
These mooncakes are also naturally vegan (egg-free, dairy free) and gluten-free. Enjoy!
Here's why I love this recipe
- easy to prepare
- only 6 ingredients
- gluten free
- takes only minutes to prepare
Ingredients Used to Make Vegan Peanut 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 🙂
- Peanut Butter - the peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie dough duo is a perfect flavor combination that really shines in this mooncake recipe. The creamy smooth texture of peanut butter is what gives this mooncake crust a tender, melt-in-your mouth texture. If you want to substitute this ingredient, however, you can use any smooth nut butter of choice, like cashew or almond butter.
- 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. Keep in mind though that darker sugars such as coconut, date and maple 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). Golden monk fruit sweetener is also a great sugar free alternative.
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
- Mini chocolate chips - like this one
The main highlight of these vegan peanut butter 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 Nuts as the Main Ingredient (HERE)
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Mooncakes
STEP 1: Prepare mooncake filling
Mix almond paste and mini chocolate chips together.
Roll about 3-4 Tablespoons of the filling into balls. Set aside.
STEP 3: Make Mooncake Crust
Mix peanut butter, almond flour, coconut flour, and sugar 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
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 340F oven for 10 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. Enjoy!
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.
- 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.
- Coffee or mocha mooncakes - Add either a teaspoon of coffee extract or espresso powder to the crust batter before molding.
How to Make these vegan peanut butter mooncakes Healthier
- I love adding additional 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 Vegan Peanut Butter Mooncakes
- You can store these cakes 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.
Vegan Peanut Butter Mooncakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling
- Prepare mooncake filling by mixing almond paste with mini chocolate chips
- roll about 2-3 Tablespoons of the filling into balls. Set aside.
- Mix peanut butter, almond flour, coconut flour, and sugar 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
- Use a ligtly 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!
- Bake in a preheated 340F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Since it's a vegan recipe, the crust needs to cook only briefly until it's set.
- 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.