Just 2 ingredients are all you need to make these versatile vegan mooncakes (minus the filling): cashew butter and coconut flour.
I absolutely love recipes that use as few ingredients as possible, and this one's got to be one of those recipes I'm going to be making over and over again, not just because it's healthy, or because it's easy to make--but because it's so delicious!
Prepared with cashew butter and coconut flour, these dainty little mooncakes are different from the traditional recipes that rely on flour and butter to form the crust.
Even so, you're sure to be surprised by how the golden color and fine texture of these mooncakes turn out remarkably similar to the original pastry mooncakes, minus that nutty cashew flavor of course. If you do not have cashew butter on hand, peanut butter worked just as well. Just be sure to use the creamy kind!
This recipe is suitable for gluten-free, low-carb and vegan diets
Ingredients Used to Make 2-Ingredient Vegan 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 🙂
- Cashew Butter - Cashew butter is a creamy smooth spread made with ground cashews and oil, and it's what gives this mooncake crust a tender, melt-in-your mouth texture. If you don't have cashew butter at home, you're also free to use other creamy nut butter, too. I've tried making these with smooth peanut butter and they turned out wonderfully.
- 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).
8/17/22 Update: It turns out you CAN use almond flour, too. The recipe is slightly different, so I made a separate post for these cashew mooncakes made with almond flour. For other almond flour mooncake recipes, you can also look at my Pistachio Mooncake Recipe.
For the Filling You'll Need
- Lotus Seed Paste - Lotus paste is a traditional Chinese filling made from lotus seeds that has been used for centuries in mooncakes. This filling is naturally sweet and has a smooth and velvety texture that makes it a wonderful filling for both baked and snow skin mooncakes. I bought mine from Amazon. Here's the link below!
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
How to Make
How to Make 2-Ingredient Vegan Mooncake Crust
Mix cashew butter and ½ of the coconut flour together.
Depending on the brand of your cashew butter you may need more or less coconut flour. For best results, add the rest of the coconut flour 1 Tablespoon at a time and use hands to knead the dough until the dough comes together.
You want to get a soft and firm dough that can be rolled up into a ball without sticking to your hands. Add more coconut flour (1 Tablespoon at a time) if the dough seems too soft. Once done, divide the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces and roll into a ball (about 20-30 grams of dough each).
Prepare the filling- roll the lotus paste filling into a 1-2 tablespoon-sized balls (about 30g). You can also mix add ins such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or add flavoring/coloring to the bean paste before rolling. Cooked chestnuts work really well, too.
Flatten the dough into a thin disk using the palms of your hands, place about 30g of filling in the middle.
Cover the filling with the dough and gently squeeze the dough into a ball. The ball really does not have to be perfect or smooth, because you'll be using the mooncake mold to press these rough edges into shape anyways.
Use a well-greased mooncake mold to press the dough into shape. A non-stick cooking spray works well to ensure that the mold is properly greased.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-15 minutes until the tops are golden and dry. The bottom of the cakes should be lightly browned.
For the best texture, store in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight before eating. The cashew butter mooncake crust is hard right after baking, but it will change in texture so that it's more buttery and tender the day after.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
Red bean paste Filling
Chestnut Stuffed White Bean Paste Filling
You'll need sweetened white bean paste and cooked chestnuts
Roll about 20g of white bean paste into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Stuff a chestnut into the center
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)
How to Store
- You can store these cakes covered at room temperature for up to 2 days, and in the fridge for up to 7 days. For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container to store in the freezer up to 4 months.
- Depending on the brand of the cashew butter, you may need more coconut flour to hold the dough. You can see below. You want your resulting dough to be soft but still firm enough to be rolled into a ball.
- I found that these mooncakes taste so much 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 cool in the fridge for at least 8 hours before eating.
2-Ingredient Vegan Mooncakes
2-Ingredient Mooncake Crust
- 180 g filling of choice , like lotus paste, mung bean paste or white bean paste
- Prepare mooncake filling. Roll about 3-4 Tablespoons (30 g portions) of the filling into balls (adjust if using a different size mooncake mold). Set aside.
Make Mooncake Crust
- Mix cashew butter and coconut flour
- If needed, add 1-2 Tbsp more cashew butter (or coconut flour), one tablespoon at a time, until a soft but firm dough consistency is achieved
- Divide dough into 6 equal pieces
- Flatten each piece of dough into a disk, then wrap the prepared filling with the dough
- Use a mold to press the dough into mooncake shapes and set onto a clean parchment paper.
- Bake in a preheated 340F oven for 12-14 minutes
- For best results, store in an airtight container overnight in the fridge, then eat next day.