Here's a healthier twist on a classic Asian treat - Ube Snow Skin Mooncakes! The snow skin dough is made with mashed ube, which means these vibrant purple mooncakes are not only pretty on the eyes but also lower in calories and packed with fiber that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.
PLEASE NOTE: This snow skin mooncake recipe is based on my original shortcut snow skin mooncake recipe (link here) and does not adhere to most traditional recipes, where the mooncake dough is made using cooked glutinous rice flour, icing sugar, shortening and water. While this recipe may differ from the traditional preparation, it still produces delicious and unique mooncakes that are perfect for anyone looking to try something new. It's also less time-consuming and simpler, so I hope you'll still give it a try!
Here's why I love this recipe
- so easy to make, and no steaming required
- made in the microwave
- only requires a couple of ingredients
- gluten free & vegan
- customizable (so many filling options!)
Ingredients Used to Make Ube Snow Skin 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 🙂
- Sweetened White Bean Paste (a.k.a. Shiro An) - Shiro an is a thick and sweet fudgy paste made from finely mashed white beans, usually large butter beans or cannellini beans. 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 I found on Amazon (here).
- Glutinous Rice Flour - this goes by many names. You’ll see Glutinous Rice Flour and Mochiko Flour (my favorite brand) in Asian grocery stores, and Sweet White Rice Flour in most other stores. ***Please note that regular white rice flour or brown rice flour is NOT the same thing as glutinous rice flour!!!
- Ube (Purple Yam) - steamed over medium high heat for 30-40 minutes until a chopstick easily goes through the middle. Afterward, I peeled and mashed the ube with a fork while still warm to get the smoothest consistency.
- I used my sweet purple sweet potato filling recipe (recipe link here), but used steamed ube instead of the purple potato since they have a similar texture and are mostly interchangeable. You can also fill these mooncakes with lotus paste, mung bean paste or red bean paste.
For more filling ideas, check out my Ultimate List of Mooncake Filling post, here!
Equipment for Mooncakes
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 50g mooncake molds here
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Ube Snow Skin Mooncakes
Prepare the filling: roll the ube paste or other filling of choice into 1-2 Tablespoon sized balls. Freeze until ready to use.
NOTE: You can also use other mooncake fillings of choice like white bean paste. Check out my ULTIMATE LIST OF MOONCAKE FILLINGS post for more ideas!*
In a microwaveable glass bowl (like Pyrex), mix the mashed ube, sweetened white bean paste (shiro an) and sweet rice flour
Mix until the ube and white bean paste has been well incorporated into the flour.
Add water and whisk until smooth.
Microwave the mixture for 1 minute. Use a SOLID METAL spoon (wooden spoons can break!) to stir the cooked mixture so that the cooked and uncooked parts are evenly mixed.
Microwave the mixture again, this time for 1 minute. The resulting dough should be hot and slightly translucent.
Stir again, and pour the snow skin mooncake dough onto a lightly greased baking pan. Flatten with a rolling pin or gloved hands (dough will be hot!)
Cut the snow skin dough into 8 pieces using scissors or a plastic dough cutter
Fill with prepared filling.
Fit the filled pieces into a lightly greased mooncake mold and press into shape.
For the best texture, let cool in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before eating. Enjoy!
Filling Variations for Ube Snow Skin Mooncakes:
Try filling these snow skin dough with white bean paste (pic below!)
There are many types of fillings used in snow skin 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
Final Tips for Making Ube Snow Skin Mooncakes
- Pre-freeze the filling 1-2 hours before making the snow skin dough. Wrapping the filling with the dough will be so much easier (and less messier) if the filling is frozen.
Ube (Purple Yam) Snow Skin Mooncakes
- 180 g mashed ube
- 1 Tbsp honey or liquid sweetener of choice* , like agave or brown rice syrup
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Prepare the filling
- First, wash and cook the ube (purple yam) by steaming them over medium high heat for 30-40 minutes until a chopstick can easily go through the middle. Mash with a fork while warm to get the smoothest consistency.
- Prepare mooncake filling by mixing mashed ube, honey and coconut oil together until smooth.
- Roll 1-2 Tablespoons of the sweetened ube filling into balls and keep the filling in the freezer until ready to use.You can also use other mooncake fillings of choice like white bean paste. See notes * below for more ideas!
Make the Mooncake Skin
- In a sturdy microwaveable glass bowl (like Pyrex), mix the sweetened white bean paste (shiro an), mashed ube and sweet rice flour until the bean paste has been well incorporated into the flour.
- Add water and whisk until smooth.
- Microwave the mixture for 1 minute
- Use a SOLID METAL spoon (wooden spoons can break!) to stir the cooked mixture so that the cooked and uncooked parts are evenly mixed
- Microwave the mixture again, this time for 1 minute
- Stir again until all cooked and uncooked parts of the dough are mixed evenly.
- Scrape the cooked mooncake dough onto a lightly greased baking pan
Shape the Mooncakes
- Cut the snow skin dough into 8 pieces using scissors or plastic dough cutter
- Take each piece of the cut dough and fill with the prepared filling.
- Fit the filled pieces into a lightly greased mooncake mold** and press into shape. TIP: these mooncakes sometimes don't hold their original shape since they're made while the dough is still warm. For the best shape, you can let the mooncakes cool in the freezer for 20-30 minutes and re-press the mooncakes back into shape using the mooncake mold.