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Snowskin Mooncakes

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Snowskin mooncakes are an unbaked, but not uncooked style that uses a mochi dough. They are so named because of their slightly translucent dough. Unlike a baked mooncake, these should be eaten within the first 3-4 days before the mochi dries out. Store snow skin mooncakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Active Time: 25-35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour to 1h 15m, not including time to make your filling

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  • 6 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons glutinous rice flour | 1.8 oz | 50g

  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice flour | 1.4 oz | 40g

  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon powdered sugar | 1/4 oz | 40g

  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons wheat starch | 0.7oz | 20g

  • ¾ cup water | 6.3 oz | 180g

  • 1½ tablespoons oil | 0.7 oz | 20g

  • 2 tablespoons glutinous rice | 0.5 oz | 15g for dusting


  1. A ziplock bag is thicker and easier to handle than using plastic wrap. It won’t stick to itself, and by leaving the bottom edge intact to act as a hinge, it leaves the zipper sides available to act as handles to more easily grasp the edge of the bag. This is especially true if you are wearing food service gloves.
  2. After doing this a number of times, and with students in my class, I’ve come to the conclusion that the use of a plastic bag is necessary provided you are wearing food prep gloves. You can lightly oil your gloves, although you probably won’t need to. Just use your hands to press the snow skin ball into a circle, and use your fingers if needed to make it large enough. With your filling already portioned and sitting on your work surface, just drape the dough over the filling, and then you can lightly pinch the whole thing to pick up it up, and finish shaping the ball. That way, if you have a particularly sticky filling (like my Cookies & Cream filling), you never touch the filling, and your gloves stay clean!


Make the dough

  1. Add enough water to a steamer base to steam the dough for 15 minutes. Bring to a boil.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small heat-proof bowl. Whisk to combine and remove any lumps.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the steamer. Steam for 15 minutes over high heat.
  4. While the dough is steaming, lightly toast 15g of glutinous rice flour in a dry skillet over medium heat. You’ll use this cooked flour (no one wants to eat raw flour!) to dust the mooncakes to prevent sticking.
  5. Remove plastic wrap, and confirm the dough is cooked by inserting a paring knife in the center. When ready, the knife will come out clean.
  6. While the dough is hot, use a silicone spatula, fold the dough over on itself, rotate the bowl and repeat to knead the dough. Fold/knead until the dough comes together in a smooth dough. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer and the dough hook to knead the dough.
  7. When you have a smooth and elastic dough, divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls of the dough, 25 grams each. Set aside.

Make the filling

  1. There are lots of fillings to choose from. Check out filling recipes here:

Assemble the mooncakes

  1. Prepare a ziplock bag by cutting the sides, leaving the bottom edge intact, and unzip the top (see notes 1 and 2).
  2. Divide your filling into equal-sized portions, and roll into balls if you haven’t already. 
  3. Unfold the ziplock bag, and place a dough ball in the center. Fold the top side of the bag over the dough ball, and then gently press the dough flat with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough into a circle that is larger than your balls of filling. At most, make the circle about 2 times the diameter of your filling.
  4. Unfold the ziplock so you can place a ball of filling in the center of the dough. Lift the ziplock bag and flip the filling and dough over into your hand. Gently peel the plastic off and set aside.
  5. With your free hand, using your thumb and forefinger, form a ring around the dough and ball, and work from the top downward toward the equator to press the dough around the filling, making sure there are no air bubbles. When you’ve enclosed at least half the ball, flip the dough and ball over. Continue to use your thumb and forefinger to wrap around the ball, working your way from the equator toward “north” pole. As the dough “bunches” gently press these bulges of dough upward to cover the remainder of the filling ball. Once you’ve fully enclosed the filling, gently roll between your hands to form a smooth ball. As you become more adept at this process, you’ll find that you can use a lower ratio of dough to filling resulting in a thinner crust.
  6. Lightly dust the ball with the cooked glutinous rice flour. 
  7. Place the filled dough ball into your mooncake mold. With one hand, hold the mold in place, and with the other, gently press the mold plunger down onto the filled dough ball, then release the plunger. Gently lift the mold while pressing the plunger down to push the mooncake out of the mold.
  8. Repeat with your remaining dough and filling portions.

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