Making and sharing mooncakes with friends and family is one of the major traditions of the Chinese Moon Festival.
There are many different kinds of mooncake fillings, some easier to make than others - but one thing is certain. You can never have enough mooncake filling choices!
Here is the ultimate list of mooncake fillings, from the traditional lotus paste to more modern and unique mooncake filling varieties like cheesecake and cookie dough.
FYI, this list is just focused on baked mooncake fillings. Click here for PART 2: the list of Snow Skin Mooncake Fillings
1. Lotus Paste
Among the classic mooncake fillings, lotus seed paste is undoubtedly one of the most beloved choices. This traditional Chinese filling, made from lotus seeds, boasts a smooth and velvety texture and a naturally sweet flavor that blends harmoniously with the baked exterior of mooncakes. It's no surprise that this traditional Chinese filling has been enjoyed by generations of mooncake lovers, and remains a popular choice today.
- How to Buy: Lotus Paste (Amazon)
2. Sweet Red Bean Paste
Another popular filling in mooncakes is the sweet red bean paste. Red bean paste (also called Koshi An) is a thick and smooth sweet paste made from cooked adzuki red beans that’s been pureed and then cooked down with sugar. The sweetened red bean paste has a sweet almost syrupy flavor with mild earthy notes. It has a creamy and hearty texture that pairs perfectly with East Asian dessert recipes, especially those made with rice flour.
I usually purchase my red bean paste from my local Asian grocery store, but you can also buy them on Amazon, here
- How to Buy: Koshi An (Amazon)
- How to Make: Here’s how you can make Sweet Red Bean Paste Under 20 Minutes Using the Blender! For a more traditional method, I recommend this recipe by Just One Cookbook, as well as a Pressure Cooker Bean Paste Recipe by Chopstick Chronicles
3. Sweet White Bean Paste (a.k.a. Shiro An)
Fudgy and sweet, white bean paste is a perfect filling for mooncakes. It’s a hugely popular ingredient in East Asia and widely used in Asian confectionary and desserts like mochi, sweetbreads, cookies as well as mooncakes. Unfortunately, it’s not always stocked in most Asian grocery stores. Here’s one brand you can purchase on Amazon (here).
- How to Buy: Shiro An (Amazon)
- How to Make: Here's a Shortcut White Bean Paste Recipe I make when I’ve run out of Shiro An
4. Mung Bean Paste
Mung beans have a mildly sweet flavor that can be used in both savory dishes and in desserts, and they pair perfectly with mooncakes.
Unfortunately, mung beans are not commonly sold in stores in paste form, so, you do have to start from the dried beans—but I think it’s worth the extra time and effort. Homemade mung bean paste is easy to make and so much healthier than storebought bean pastes or lotus pastes since the homemade kind uses less sugar and is also free from preservatives and other additives.
- How to Buy: the dried mung beans are sold in Amazon, here
- How to Make: Here’s my recipe for the 2-ingredient sweet mung bean paste!
5. Matcha Mung Bean Paste
Here’s an easy variation of my 2-Ingredient Mung Bean Paste that you can use to fill your favorite mochi and mooncake recipes: matcha mung bean paste. The delicate green color and subtle earthy notes from the added matcha really enhance the mooncake experience both aesthetically and flavor-wise. Recipe link below!
- How to Buy: the dried mung beans are sold in Amazon, here. The matcha powder you can also buy, here
- How to Make: Here’s my recipe for matcha mung bean paste (link to recipe)!
Note: This list is just focused on baked mooncake fillings! Click here for PART 2: the list of Snow Skin Mooncake Fillings
6. Chopped Nuts
Not all mooncake fillings have to be in paste form, and this recipe uses chopped nuts sweetened with maple syrup to create a crunchy sweet filling that you won't be able to get enough of. While some traditional recipes use peanuts to fill mooncakes, this recipe uses chopped pecans.
- How to Make; See how you can make the chopped nut filling here
Calling for all chocolate lovers! Here's a crazy mooncake idea that is sure to take your mooncakes to the next level! Brownies! While the idea might sound crazy, the rich and fudgy texture of the brownie is the perfect complement to the crisp and crumbly mooncake exterior, creating a delectable and unforgettable dessert experience. You won't believe how unbelievably delicious it is until you try it for yourself.
8. Mashed Purple Sweet Potato (Or Ube Paste)
Just as you can fill mooncakes with bean paste, you can also fill them with sweet potatoes, too. The thick creamy texture of the baked sweet potatoes pairs surprisingly well with mooncakes, especially this recipe which is made with almond flour. While the orange sweet potatoes work as well, purple sweet potatoes are a great alternative to the classic orange variety. They have a similar texture and taste, but with more nutrients and antioxidants.
- How to Make: sweet potato filling recipe here
If you love biting into a dessert and finding the surprise of a soft and creamy cheesecake filling, here’s a basic, easy cheesecake filling recipe that you can use to enhance your favorite mooncake and mochi recipe!
- How to Make: Here’s the recipe for my Easy Cheesecake Filling. If you’re looking for a vegan version, go to this post here.
10. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is an excellent addition to mooncake fillings. It helps brighten up the flavors and adds some freshness and moisture to the otherwise bland and thick filling. Explore all the ways of adding fruit - ideas below!
11. Oreo Cream Cheese
Oreos are one of the most popular cookie brands in America. They have been around since 1912 and have since then become a staple in American households. These creamy, delicious cookies can be used for almost anything from ice cream sandwiches to cheesecake – but what about mooncake fillings? Sweet and creamy on the inside, with a crisp melt-in-your-mouth cookie texture that’s intensely chocolatey and nutty at the same time, these Mooncakes with an Oreo cream cheese filling have all the authentic flavors of the classic cookies and cream in adorable little square bites.
- How to Make: Oreo cream cheese filling recipe here
12. Almond Paste
If you don't know what Almond paste is, you'll love it by the time you try them as mooncake fillings!
Almond paste is a sweet, chewy and delicious ingredient that is made from blanched almonds, sugar, and water. It can be used for many purposes, such as filling for cookies or as a stuffing for other baked goods. It is commonly found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. It's usually sold in small boxed packages, but it can also come packaged in tubes.
- How to Make: almond paste filling recipe here
13. Cookie Dough Almond Paste
For an extra decadent mooncake, here's a sweet and fudgy almond paste chocolate chip cookie dough filling that’s slightly gooey and decadent when it’s warm.
- How to Make: chocolate chip cookie dough almond paste filling recipe here
Ever thought of pairing mooncakes with Nutella? If you're a chocolate lover, you won't want to miss out on trying Nutella as a filling in your next batch of baked mooncakes. This smooth and creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread adds an extra layer of indulgence to the already decadent mooncake dough. Its rich and sweet flavor profile complements the slightly savory and crumbly texture of the pastry, creating a flavor explosion in every bite.
- How to Buy : Nutella is available in most grocery stores and also online. For a vegan friendly, lower sugar chocolate hazelnut spread, I recommend this Nutiva brand
15. Sweet Taro Paste
Taro is a starchy root vegetable that is popularly used in Asian desserts, including mooncakes. Its sweet and nutty flavor, combined with a creamy texture, makes it a unique and irresistible option for mooncake fillings. Taro paste is made by steaming the taro root, mashing it into a smooth paste, and adding sugar and oil. Full Recipe coming soon!
16. Pumpkin Pie
Filling mooncakes with pumpkin pie? Yes! There's just something about the soft pumpkin pie filling with the crust at the bottom that make these pumpkin pie mooncakes as irresistible and comforting as it sounds!
Recipe link here! Pumpkin Pie Mooncakes made with Almond Flour
If You're Looking for Snow Skin Mooncake Fillings Ideas, continue to PART 2 ---> link here!
10+ Different Mooncake Fillings (Part 1: Baked Mooncakes)
- 1 SWEET RED BEAN PASTE FILLING*
- 1 SWEET WHITE BEAN PASTE FILLING** link to recipe
- 1 MUNG BEAN PASTE FILLING link to recipe
- 1 MATCHA MUNG BEAN PASTE FILLING link to recipe
- 1 CHOPPED NUTS FILLING link to recipe
- 1 MASHED SWEET POTATO FILLING link to recipe
- 1 CHEESECAKE FILLING link to recipe
- 1 FRESH FRUIT FILLING link to recipe
- 1 OREO CREAM CHEESE FILLING link to recipe
- 1 ALMOND PASTE FILLING*** link to recipe
- 1 COOKIE DOUGH ALMOND PASTE FILLING link to recipe
- 1 LOTUS PASTE
- The links to each of the filling recipes are listed in the Ingredients section. Click to learn how you can make these mooncake fillings at home!