Snowskin Mooncake (冰皮月饼)

Snowskin Mooncake (冰皮月饼)

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Snowskin mooncake is a variety that needs no baking. Although having Chinese origins, it is also widely available in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Using 4 ingredients and an easy recipe, create soft mochi-like texture skin mooncakes with any filling of your choice.

Preparation 60 mins


Chinese Crystal Mooncake, Ice Skin Mooncake, 冰皮月饼

Chinese, Taiwanese

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Snowskin mooncakes are easy to prepare using only 4 ingredients and do need require any baking. They have a powdery appearance which looks so delicate and are served chilled. Therefore, it is no surprise that this traditional cake is given the nickname crystal mooncake or snow ice mooncake. Usually, these mooncakes are only available one month before and during the Mid Autumn festival when it is full moon.

Full moon in the Chinese culture is a symbol of prosperity. Just like the glutinous rice balls, the round shaped mooncake symbolizes family togetherness and completeness. Due to its exclusivity, mooncakes are rather expensive. If this is not enough of a reason to make them yourself, the recipe only requires mixing of the ingredients and shaping the mooncakes!

Snowskin mooncakes in 3 colours
Snowskin mooncakes in 3 colours

Snowskin mooncake without shortening

For this recipe, you can use any vegetable shortening as it helps the mooncake to retain its shape when chilled. Avoid using margarine as the flavour will overpower the taste of the mooncake. If you do not have shortening in hand, replace it with colourless vegetable oil. I recommend using 20g of oil and gradually adding the remaining 10g if the dough is still dry.

Substitute for cooked glutinous rice flour

This is not to be mistaken with the common glutinous rice flour. Cooked glutinous rice flour is a special flour which is often used in Chinese sweets. You can buy this from Asian grocers or make them yourself by frying the glutinous flour in a dry pan over medium heat. It will take about 5 to 8 minutes for the flour to turn into a light shade of yellow. Once it does, let it cool down to room temperature.

The dough cracks/too dry

When the dough keeps cracking, it indicates that the dough is too dry. If you are making a large batch of mooncakes, the dough should be covered with a* damp cloth and avoid placing the dough under direct wind or fan.

To make the dough pliable again, add a few drops of water at a time and knead to evenly spread the moisture. The perfect dough should be smooth and flexible.

Perfect dough for crystal mooncakes
Perfect dough for crystal mooncakes

Mooncake moulds and a substitute

To give it the signature look, you need to get the mooncake moulds. They can be bought online or at local bakery stores if you are in Asia. I used a mould that is of 6 cm in diameter and 4 cm in height.

If you do not want to buy the mould for a one time off mooncake making session, use a ramekin or any small bowl and lightly press the filled dough to create a round shape. It will not be perfect but do not let the absence of the mould stop you from making these pretty sweets.

Filling and flavour ideas for snowskin mooncakes

The skin of the mooncake has a very mild flavour. Adding colouring or flavouring of your choice is an option. Knead in some liquid natural food dye or flavouring and mix evenly.

Colour your snowskin mooncakes
Colour your snowskin mooncakes

Lately, you may be able to find creative flavours but the classic ones are lotus paste and red bean. Some other filling which you can opt for are custard, chestnut paste, mung bean paste and even, ice cream!

How to eat snowskin mooncake?

Snowskin mooncake is normally best enjoyed when it is chilled. Refrigerating them helps to solidify its shape so that it does not soften when cut. It is best to enjoy them with a cup of tea as the light bitterness from the drink will help to balance the sweetness of the mooncakes.

How long can snowskin mooncakes be kept?

These mooncakes may go bad if not kept properly. If you spot molds on the mooncakes, it is best to discard them. Their shelf life can be extended for up to 2 weeks if kept in a dry airtight container. Storing them in this manner is very important to keep the snowskin soft.

Snowskin mooncakes can be frozen for up to a month too! However, freeze them individually or they will stick together when frozen. Once they are firm, transfer them into freezer bags or an airtight container.

Halal, vegan and gluten-free

Yes, this snowskin mooncake is halal, vegan and gluten-free. Since it is not an adapted recipe, you can be sure of the authentic flavours.


100 g
cooked glutinous rice flour (gao fen)
40 g
sugar (powdered)
30 g
160 g
250 g
lotus paste

Steps to Prepare

Snowskin Mooncake (冰皮月饼) Step 1

Step 1 of 5

    • 100 g cooked glutinous rice flour (gao fen)
    • 40 g sugar (powdered)
    • 30 g shortening

Mix cooked glutinous rice flour with icing sugar evenly. Then, incorporate the shortening into the dry mixture.

Snowskin Mooncake (冰皮月饼) Step 2

Step 2 of 5

    • 160 g water

Add cold water and mix with a spatula until the dough starts clumping together. Using room temperature water is fine but the dough will appear sticky. Subsequently, you can knead the mixture for about 2-3 minutes or until it forms a dough.

Snowskin Mooncake (冰皮月饼) Step 3

Step 3 of 5

    • 250 g lotus paste

Divide the dough into balls of 60g each for the mooncake skin. Set aside and cover with a damp cloth to prevent dough from drying. For the lotus paste, form balls of 50g each.

Snowskin Mooncake (冰皮月饼) Step 4

Step 4 of 5

To wrap the lotus paste filling, flatten the snowskin dough by lightly pressing the sides. Ensure that the centre of the dough is slightly thicker than the sides. Carefully, wrap the lotus paste. If it tears, use some dough to cover the broken part.

Snowskin Mooncake (冰皮月饼) Step 5

Step 5 of 5

Coat the filled dough with some cooked glutinous rice flour to prevent the mooncake from sticking onto the mould. Place the filled dough into the mould and press firmly to shape the mooncake. Repeat until all dough is shaped.

Published: September 12, 2020

1 Discussions

2 months ago


Hi Karin Very interested making snow skin moon cake. I like to try wrap up with ice cream. Does the skin has to be defrost using ice cream? Thanks for sharing your recipe Helen

2 months ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Hi Helen, That sounds delicious. You can try to leave if out for a few minutes to soften the skin a little. Avoid leaving them out for too long because the ice cream might melt and spoil the skin. Give it a try and share your result with us!

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