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 like have cashew butter on hand, peanut butter worked just as well. Just be sure to use the creamy kind!
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
- Sweetened White Bean Paste (a.k.a. Shiro An) – fudgy and sweet, white bean paste is a perfect filling for mooncakes. You’re welcome to use other fillings for this recipe. More ideas below in the “variation” section
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 1/2 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 sweetened white bean paste filling into a heaping 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. **I wore vinyl gloves here to prevent the dough from sticking to my hands which makes it easier to shape, but the gloves are optional. 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 best results, store in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight before eating.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
There are many 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 : 1/2 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 Make 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
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.
- Add food coloring. For example add some red food coloring to make a red velvet mooncake variety!
- Coffee or mocha? Add either a teaspoon of coffee extract or espresso powder.
How to Make this Healthier
- Storebought lotus pastes and sweet bean pastes are delicious, but rather high in refined sugar and calories. While I still recommend you use the storebought kinds to make these mooncakes as close to the original texture as possible, there are many healthier alternatives for the filling, such as mashed sweet potato (the best ones are Asian sweet potato and Purple Sweet Potato), chickpea cookie dough or chopped nuts (I’ll post the recipe on this later).
- 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 of my Mooncake Recipes (HERE):
How to Store
- You can store these cakes covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. 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 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.
More Vegan, Gluten-Free Mooncake Recipes Coming Up:
Go to my Healthier Mooncake Experiment post to see how I started making healthier mooncakes!
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 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 12-15 minutes
- For best results, store in an airtight container overnight in the fridge, then eat next day.