Moon cakes are probably my favorite Chinese dessert, and there are so many different variations! Traditionally, moon cakes are enjoyed during the Chinese Mid- Autumn Festival in September, but I could not wait to share these chickpea moon cakes!
My mom loves making these and every time she makes them they get better and better! We usually make moon cakes with chickpeas, which is not a traditional kind of filling. After experimenting with a bunch of different fillings this was by far the best (and easiest to make)! Red bean was a very close second.
Moon cake mold
You cannot make moon cakes without a moon cake mold! I think they are so fun and easy to use! There are a ton on amazon with a bunch of fun patterns.
What goes in the filling?
I think the most important thing in the filing, besides the chickpeas, are the nuts and seeds! They add so much flavor and a nice crunch! Here is what I added:
- Pumpking seed
- Pine nuts
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Tips and tricks:
- My biggest tip is is to toasting all of the nuts before adding them to the filling. This little step takes the flavor to another level. I toast the nuts and seeds in a frypan for 5-8 minutes on medium heat.
- Chop the nuts and seeds into fine pieces so the balls are easier to form.
- Dust the moon cake mold with flour so the dough does not stick!
- The chickpeas paste should be crumbly after the moisture has evaporated off.
Key ingredients for these chickpea moon cakes:
- I usually use dried chickpeas and pressure cook them, however you can definitely use the canned stuff to make things easier.
- Brown sugar
- This helps sweeten the filling up. You can sub with regular sugar, coconut sugar, or sweetener.
- Coconut oil
- This helps the filling stay moist and and together when you form them into a ball shape.
- Mixed nuts
- This is the best part of the filling. My mom and I love stuffing the filling with a bunch of different nuts and seeds. This time we choose pecans, almonds, sesame seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Add whatever your heart desires!
- Dried fruit
- I love the little burst of sweetness and chewiness of dried fruit in these moon cakes. I used raisins. Some other options are craisins, figs, and dates. You can also leave it out if you want.
- I used organic all purpose flour. I have not tried with gluten free flour, but in my honest opinion I do not think it will work as well.
- Maple syrup
- Maple syrup is probably the most important ingredient for the crust. It helps sweeten, flavor and combine everything together.
- Egg yolk
- The egg yolk is used to make the shiny appearance after they bake. I brush this on about half way through the baking process.
Chickpea Moon Cakes
- 1 lb dried garbanzo beans/ chickpeas or 4 cans of chickpeas
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 2 cups mix nuts I used pine nuts, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and pecans.
- 1 cup dried fruit I used raisins
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅞ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 egg yolk
- If you are using dried garbanzo beans then start by pressure cooking them on high for 1 hour, then let the steam release naturally for another hour.
- Process the garbanzo beans in a food processor until there are no lumps left. I processed for 3-5 minutes.
- Now heat up a large pan and add the chickpea paste. This step is to evaporate off as much moisture as possible.
- While the moisture is evaporating, add in the coconut oil.
- Let the mixture chill in the fridge.
- While the mixture is cooling, make the crust. Mix together the flour, syrup, baking soda, olive oil, and water. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the filling is done chilling shape them into balls that are 40g each.
- Cut the dough in half and roll it out into a thin log about 1 in in diameter. Cut each piece about 1 in long. Roll each piece into a circular shape. Place a filling ball in the center of the dough and carefully wrap the dough around the filling. Make sure there are no air bubbles. Repeat for the remaining.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Dust a moon cake shaper with some flour so that the dough does not stick to it. Place one moon cake ball in the moon cake shaper and press down firmly. Push the moon cake out and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake the moon cakes for 12 minutes at 400F. Now take the moon cakes out and brush the moon cakes with some egg yolk wash.
- Set the oven to 340F and bake for another 6 minutes followed by a high broil for 3 minutes.
- The moon cakes soften as they sit and they are best enjoyed a couple days after they have baked!