Saturday, September 26, 2009


Moon cake festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eight month, on the night of a full moon. It falls on October 3rd this year. The festival has its origins from the 14th century when during this period, China was ruled by the Mongols. Unknown to the Mongol rulers, moon cakes with secret messages inside were distributed to the citizens during the Mid-Autum Festival. The messages contained information on plans to coordinate a revolution to overthrow the Mongols. The revolution was a success and moon cakes now commemorate the legend.
The cakes come in many varieties in beautiful boxes and paper bags. Moon cakes are exchanged as gifts during this time.
The baked golden skin (outer layer) of the cake contains Chinese symbols of the Mid-Autum Festival. They are very sweet and rich in flavour and is nevert eaten as a whole, but cut into wedges and shared. When the moon cake is cut into half, the full moon (duck egg yolk) clearly stands out in the centre of the brown lotus paste filling.
The traditional ones are filled with a sweet lotus seed paste with a single salted duck egg yolk (represents the full moon). You can order moon cakes with double, triple or four duck egg yolks (this is way too extravagant for me even though I love duck eggs). The cakes with the egg yolks are an acquired taste. Imagine eating a sweet cake with the subtle flavour of a slated duck egg yolk, not mixed into the batter like Western cakes, but baked as a entire egg yolk.


  1. Would love to try one! Love your photos, you capture everything so well.

  2. Hi Kestrel. I like the history as well as the colourful pictures you put on your blog. I wish history at school had been as interesting.

  3. Interesting! I actually just recently tried my first duck egg. They are much heavier than chicken eggs. I tried hard boiling some, and I imagine that is what the center of the cakes with the duck egg yolk tastes like.