While most of us are accustomed to consuming the traditional baked lotus paste mooncakes during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, several other varieties are available, some of which you’ve probably never heard of.
They appear in various shapes, sizes, colours, and seasonings, and a distinct Chinese community produces each.
Learn about mooncakes and the various varieties available. Here are eight mooncake varieties for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
1. Cantonsese Mooncake
The most prevalent mooncake in Singapore is the traditional Cantonese mooncake. The traditional dessert consists predominantly of a brown mooncake baked with lotus paste, encapsulated in a brown dough exterior, and filled with either one or two salted duck egg yolks.
2. Filipino Hopia
The term ‘Hopia’ refers to delicious pastries which are available year-round in the Philippines and Indonesia. Hopias are characterised by their brittle exterior and mung bean paste filling. Compared to their Cantonese counterparts, the Hopia mooncakes are relatively flat.
3. Hokkien Mooncake
Historically, Hokkien mooncakes were referred to as scholar cakes and were given to candidates for the Imperial Examination. These white pastry mooncakes are covered in sesame seeds and filled with melon seeds, tangerine rind, and winter melon. There are also less frequent savoury options that are filled with ground meat.
4. Ice-cream Mooncake
Mooncakes with ice cream were unattainable in the past because there were no refrigerators, but we welcome this modern dessert with open arms. Mooncakes made of ice cream are literally mooncakes made of ice cream. Available in various flavours, this crowd-pleaser par excellence will capture the affections of both young and old.
5. Snowskin Mooncake
Snowskin mooncakes, originating in Hong Kong, diverge from traditional lotus-baked mooncakes in that they are unbaked. Also known as crystal mooncakes, the skin is made from toasted glutinous rice flour and resembles a soft, dense mochi in an uncanny way. It is loaded with fragrant lotus paste or red bean paste.
6. Shanghainese Mooncake
Shanghainese mooncakes are baked with shortcrust pastry, resulting in a buttery, flaky exterior that encases a lotus purée and a salted duck egg yolk. These Shanghainese mooncakes resemble large pastries and are sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds when viewed from a distance.
7. Suzhou Mooncake
Unlike other mooncakes, which are delectable, Suzhou Mooncakes are piquant and filled with minced pork. Some bakeries substitute butter for swine tallow oil in the preparation of the flaky and delicious pastry. Typically, the final product is stamped with an edible crimson pigment.
8. Teochew Mooncake
Typically, the Teochew mooncake is loaded with yam purée. Nonetheless, a variety of other flavours, including red bean and mung bean paste, are also available. A spiral-shaped flaky pastry encases the sweet filling, and the mixture typically conceals a delectable salted egg duck yolk.