Kirbie's Cravings

Snowskin Mooncake

photo of Snowskin Mooncakes

Here they are. My first attempt at making Snowskin Mooncakes (also called ice-skin mooncakes) for Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Hopefully I can improve on the imperfections next year.

During Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, mooncakes are traditionally enjoyed with a cup of hot tea. Usually right before Moon Festival, you’ll see bakeries and grocery stores carrying mooncakes. People will buy them and give them as gifts to friends and family to enjoy.
photo of Snowskin Mooncakes on a board
There are the traditional mooncakes which have a golden brown pastry skin and there are these snowskin mooncakes, which have a skin that is white in its original form, but can also have other colors and flavors.
photo of three Snowskin Mooncakes
These caused more stress and headache than they should have. Now that I know what to do, it’s actually quite easy to make.

Last year, I read several recipes for snowskin mooncakes and they seemed really simple. So I vowed to make them this year. First, I had to get the mooncake molds, which I couldn’t find. Luckily, there are quite a few options on Ebay. (Update! they are now available in various sizes and designs on Amazon.) Traditionally, mooncakes are made in wooden molds which you can still get in Asia. A more modern development are these plastic molds where you can easily shape and have different faces to you mooncakes. It reminds me of the spritz cookie device.

photo of a mooncake press with faceplates

There’s many sellers selling these on ebay coming out of Asia and you can choose one with the face plates that best suit your needs. I bought this set, which came with some chinese character plates, some flower patterns, and some cute ones like a chicken and hello kitty. I also bought it in the 100 gram size, which makes a medium sized mooncake.
close up photo of 3 Snowskin Mooncakes
Every recipe I came across used a flour called koh fun (烤粉), which is basically cooked or fried glutinous rice flour. Some recipes also just called for the a premade snowskin flour. While these flours appear readily available in Asia and some other parts of the world, I could not find them anywhere in San Diego and went to several stores in search. See last picture in this post for the picture of the flour that I kept finding online as a reference.

Update: I was finally able to find the flour in 2013, though not the same brand as the one I linked. You can see my updated post with pictures of the flour I bought here.

overhead photo of three Snowskin Mooncakes

Finally, I decided to make my own flour. It seemed easy enough because you can buy raw glutinous rice flour from Chinese supermarkets and it was just a matter of cooking it. Unfortunately, the recipes out there describing the cooking process are pretty vague. First, I followed one that did the steam and then microwave method. Once I finished steaming, my rice flour looked exactly the same. When I put it in the microwave, I was told that it would turn lightly brown in a few minutes. It never happened and then suddenly my flour started burning. Not good.
photo of one Snowskin Mooncake
Then I followed another recipe telling me to cook it in a frying pan until brown. I cooked for more than 20 minutes and nothing.

Finally, I tried baking the flour in the oven. It took much longer than the recommended time, but about an hour in, I could finally see that the flour was starting to brown. It’s not a significant color change, it’s like a light tan color.
close-up photos of mooncakes
Once the flour reaches that stage, it’s done. Once I started mixing it with the other ingredients, it turned even darker, so that the dough is more of a yellow tan color rather than white. I think the version you can buy in store may be bleached in order to create the white snowskin mooncake because I would not be able to make a white one if I left the dough alone. When kneading the dough, it also have an almost nutty aroma since I was working with toasted flour.
overhead photo of a mooncake
Making the flour is definitely the hardest part. Once that’s done, everything is a breeze. You mix a few ingredients to form a dough, place the filling inside, put in through the mold and then it’s ready. You do need to let it chill to solidify, but you don’t need to cook it or anything else. Now if only I could find the flour. It would make my life much easier. I’ll have to hunt harder for it elsewhere. For the inside filling, I used lotus paste and red bean paste, both ready made from Ranch 99. They are found in the refrigerator section.
photo of the ingredients to make mooncakes
Another problem I encountered was that all the recipes I tried called for more water than I needed. And if I added in all the water, I was left with a liquid mess. So after two failed attempts, I finally got smart and would only add a little water at a time until the dough came together.
Snowskin Mooncake
I love how versatile these are. You can simply add food coloring to the skins to get different colors or you can actually change the flavors of the skin. You can also even mix a few different colored doughs for a marbled effect. I’ll try that one next year.

If you do end up using the plastic molds, they don’t come with instructions. It took a few minutes to figure it out. First, you need to twist the knob so that the hinges of the plate fit into the mold device. Then you twist it to lock it and keep it in place. When you’re done with the mooncake and place it inside, first you press down hard. That makes the shape. Then you press the lever to release it and a beautifully shaped mooncake is formed.

photo of how to load the dough into the pressphoto showing how to press the mooncakephoto showing how to remove th mooncake


Mooncake molds*

*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).

Snowskin Mooncakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Chinese
During Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, mooncakes are traditionally enjoyed with a cup of hot tea. Usually right before Moon Festival, you'll see bakeries and grocery stores carrying mooncakes. People will buy them and give them as gifts to friends and family to enjoy.


  • 100 g koh fun cooked glutinous rice flour
  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 30 g shortening
  • approx 50g cold water
  • filling of your choice. I bought premade red bean and lotus pastes optional (food colorings, flavor drops like pandan, rose, ube, etc)


  • To make the koh fun if you cannot find it in your grocery store. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Spread out glutinous rice flour across surface. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and stir around so flour cooks evenly and does not burn. Place back into oven for ten minute intervals until flour turns a light tan color indicating it has been cooked. This may take half an hour to an hour. I actually made more than 100g, so I would have extra flour to work with.
  • To make the mooncakes: Sift the koh fun and icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Gently rub the shortening into the flour mixture, combining until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Mix in the cold water about 1 tsbp at a time and knead dough until soft dough forms. You may need slightly less water or slightly more so dont pour it all in at once. It's best to knead the dough with your hands so that it comes together. If you wish to add in food coloring or flavor, add it in together with the cold water. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before using. (please note, only do this if you are making your own flour. If you are able to buy the premade flour, don't let the dough rest as it will dry out) 
  • Divide dough, depending on size of mooncake molds. The ratio should be 1 part dough, 2 parts filling. So for a 100g mooncake, you would weigh out 30 grams of dough and 70 grams of filling. 
  • Flatten the ball of snow skin and roll out until you get a thin circle. Place the ball of filling in the center of the dough and seal the filling with the snowskin dough. You may need to maneuver and smooth it around. Put the ball seam-side up into the floured mould and pack it in gently. Flip it over onto flat surface. Press down on the lever hard so that the mooncake shape is formed and the face plate makes imprint. Then squeeze to release and your mooncake. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill for 6 hours before serving. Keep uneaten ones in the fridge.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

39 comments on “Snowskin Mooncake”

  1. I’m impressed, Kirbie! Those molds are so cute. I haven’t had a mooncake in years, mostly because they’re too rich to have a box at home. I don’t think I’ve ever had a snowskin one – maybe I’ll have to look for some soon.

    • The snowskin tastes like a very soft mochi. I’ve seen them at Ranch during Mid-Autumn festival, usually offered in a variety pack. Though they don’t have many variations. I can’t resist buying them! I let myself get one box a year and then slowly eat it.

  2. wow, these are so beautiful! love your recipes and can’t wait to try more of them out!

  3. Great job! I meant to make snowskin mooncakes this year but simply did not have the time. I’m glad you added tips on cooking the glutinous rice flour – the ones I’ve searched online had steaming methods, pan frying methods, etc which turned me off.

    • Yeah, I tried all three and found the baking one to be the easiest and the only one that worked. I still wish I could just buy it. I am going to try searching LA and the Bay area. I’ve read about people finding it in Seattle and in Toronto. I feel like I should be able to find it!

  4. Let me know if you find it in SD or the LA area. I am in Oceanside, which is between the two. I have been to a lot of the markets up there, but I have never looked for that particular thing. I need to find the package picture and I can look next time I’m up there with my husband while he’s at work. Great post!

    • From my internet search, the only brand that seems to sell it is this one. I tried a few chinese and Vietnamese markets. I will try more when I go to LA next time.

  5. These look great! How would you use the traditional moon cake molds (wooden)?

    • I haven’t used it before, but my understanding is that you stuff it into the mold so that it takes the shape and then you knock the wood hard onto something so it falls out.

  6. These are too pretty to eat!

  7. These are the most intricate home-made snowskin mooncakes I have ever seen!

  8. hi! I have a question, what’s the size of the mold?

  9. You can buy the roasted sweet rice flour at Viet Wah in Seattle. I bought some
    yesterday. You made beautiful cakes..thanks for the recipe.

  10. roasted sweet rice flour is for sale at Viet Wah in Seattle. Your cakes are gorgeous

  11. Hi Kirbie! I was able to find tons of koh fun at two markets here in Chicago. The only thing I couldn’t find was premade lotus paste. I love lotus paste! Do you know of a place I can buy it online?

    • Hi, sorry I don’t know if it is available online. But I know you can make it yourself. I have not tried, but I know I have seen recipes, so maybe you can try making your own paste? I think it involves cooking the lotus seeds and then adding sugar and pulsing it through food processor until paste forms.

  12. How many 100g mooncakes does this recipe yield?

  13. Heyy, I tried out your recipe but the dough seems to be a little too wet… I tried adding more “koh fun” but it doesnt seem to get any better.. what should I do?

    • The water should be added one tbsp at a time until the dough comes together instead of all at once , then you shoudlnt end up with wet dough because the water level varies. Try adding more of the flour until it’s not wet again

  14. Dear Kirbie

    Like yourself, I am living in San Diego and decided to try experimenting making snow skin mooncake this year as I don’t think they sell snow skin here. I went searching several Asian Markets to look for the mould but to no avail (stupid me..buying it from eBay never crossed my mind!).. So, I decided to mould it free form into piglets shape like one of the recipe I came across on the Internet. I found the red bean paste over at the Linda Vista Vietnamese market and the glutinous rice flour too. As both hubby and I love Durians, I decided to make durian paste fillings from the frozen durians I bought instead of using the store bought red bean paste.

    Long story short, my piglets turned out looking super duper cute and my durian paste tasted good but my snow skin pastry tasted strongly of flour and also I find it too sweet for my taste bud even tho I already reduced the powdered sugar as stated in the recipe! I fried my flour in the wok for about 20-30 mins like some recipe suggested. Wonder if I need to steam my dough before assembling it together.. Also wonder if I drastically reduce the powder sugar to cut down the sweetness.. Do you think the dough would still work? Just wondering how I could make it to taste like mochi without the powdery taste.

    Btw, since we are living in the same area.. Would love to hook up and do baking together.

  15. Hi Kirbie, thanks for the recipe. I gave it a shot yesterday (yeah I know, I’m a week late for Mooncake Festival ahhah), and it tasted kind of… funny. I wasn’t able to find the roasted glutinous rice flour that you had from this year, but I was able to find the one you posted last year at this site:

    However, the end result… tasted like raw flour. My chinese is limited, so I really just went by the front label that says (glutionous fried). Do you think it’s the flour? or maybe it was my flour to water to sugar ratio? After letting the flour rest for 30 minutes like you instructed, I found that the dough was a bit on the dry side–I had trouble sealing the filling! Do you think adding more water would help with the taste?

    Any suggestions you might have would be awesome! In the meantime I will also continue to hunt down the flour you posted for this year’s batch!

    • It sounds like maybe there was something wrong with the flour. Perhaps yours wasn’t the roasted one? Also don’t let the dough rest. It’s only supposed to rest if you make your own. If you used the pre-made one, I found that resting it will make it dry out. I didn’t know that last year since I made my own, but for the version I made this year with the premade flour I took out the step of resting the dough.

  16. Thanks, I’ll give it another shot without the resting.
    But this is the flour I got if you wanna verify it for me:

    I think I’ve seen you confirm it in the comments of the more recent posts too. But thanks a bunch!!

    • Hmm, yeah that should be the right flour, unless they mislabeled it. If you are really worried about the flour tasting raw you can always steam them. The taste should be slightly floury-but not raw. It’s like a really really soft mochi skin.

    • Oh one more thing I thought of regarding the flour taste. Did you let the mooncakes chill before eating? I’ve found that it tastes much better after it’s refrigerated and set even though it looks done once you push it out of the molds. It could also be an issue if you don’t use enough of the shortening and powdered sugar. Anyway, I hope your next batch turns out well.

  17. Oh, also–it should be okay to substitute shortening with non-salted butter, yes?

  18. Hi!
    I was just wondering, do you know any other uses for the cooked glutinous rice flour other an this one? I bought it by accident instead of the regular glutinous one and tried to make mochi with it and realised it was not gloopy at all!
    Now having trouble to find a use for it!

    Will definitely be giving this a go though, looks so good!

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Unfortunately, no. I only use it for making moon cakes. I’m sure there are other recipes out there to use it up but I haven’t tried any.

  19. Do you have to cover each moocake with cling film whilst they are in the fridge? Or is it sufficient to just put them in a container with a lid?

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