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Mooncake Filling: Sweetened White Bean Paste

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This recipe uses canned great northern white beans. Lima beans are the traditional bean for white bean paste, but I wanted to see if you could make a bean paste from a readily available canned bean. You could also use other varieties of mild white beans like navy beans or cannellini beans.

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30m

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  • 1½ cups great northern white beans | 8.8 oz | 250g

  • ⅓ cup sugar | 2.6 oz | 73g

  • ⅜ cup glutinous rice flour | oz | 50g

  • ¼ teaspoon salt | 0.2 oz | 2g


  1. Drain beans and discard the liquid (or save it for some other purpose). Transfer beans to a food processor, and puree.
  2. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients and continue to process to a smooth paste.
  3. Using your kitchen scale, weigh a small sauce pan and record it’s weight.
  4. Transfer the bean paste to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to stir occasionally to avoid browning the bean paste. Your goal is to evaporate enough water to thicken the paste. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Place a trivet or some other heatproof object on your scale that will allow you to weigh the hot saucepan and beans. Tare the scale, and on occasion weigh the saucepan and beans. You want the evaporate water from the bean paste so that the total weight of the bean paste is about 310-325g or a reduction of about 13-18%. That will yield enough bean paste filling for a dozen 50g mooncakes (assuming a 1:1 ratio of dough to filling).
  6. Transfer the bean paste onto a sheet pan and spread it out into a layer about ½-inch thick and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack. When it has cooled enough, cover with plastic wrap and continue to cool the paste in the refrigerator.
  7. Once fully cooled, portion the paste into equal sized 25g portions, and roll into balls.
  8. Assemble the mooncakes

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