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Nutrition Info: Calories in Mooncakes

Posted on | September 1, 2011 | No Comments

Traditional Mooncakes

Traditional Mooncakes

Mooncakes are a round or rectangular Chinese cake/bun that is eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival inwhich the moon is worshiped.  They are typically about 10cm in diameter and 4-5cm thick.   They are shared as gifts between family and businesses during this time and can only typically be purchased once a year during this month making them quite a delicacy to indulge in.  Traditional moon cakes are imprinted with the Chinese characters for “longevity” or “harmony”.

Mooncakes typically contain a thick lotus seed paste enclosed in a 2-3mm crust (made from many different ingredients) and contain the yolk from at least one salted duck egg inside to signify the full moon.

Traditional Fillings:  Lotus seed paste,  sweet bean paste (red, mung or black bean) or Jujube paste (date plant paste), Five Kernal (walnuts, pumpkin, watermelon, peanuts and sesame)

Salted duck egg yolks inside

Salted duck egg yolks inside

Traditional Crusts:  Chewy (glossy redish brown pastry typically made with lard and sugar), Flaky (lard and dough similar to puff pastry), Tender (short crust style) or Snow skin (glutinous rice)

To be completely honest, there are almost a never ending list of mooncake styles, fillings and crusts.  They can be filled with everything from fruit (pineapple, durian) to jelly or champagne.  And it seems every country, region or province has it’s own speciality.  So I’ll give up while i’m ahead trying to list them all out and just provide the average nutrition for any 10cm x 4-5cm round mooncake below:

Calories in 1 average mooncake:

  • Energy: Average 790 – 1200 calories (the more egg yolks the more calories)
  • Protein: 5 – 12 g
  • Carbs: 60 – 90 g
  • Fat: 30 – 45g

My advice: Share with a friend, eat slowly and limit to perhaps 1 per week instead of 1 per day.  From the outside to inside a mooncake contains energy laden ingredients such as lard, sugar and energy rich fillings.  If you do eat a whole one of these, take a light lunch or dinner with loads of steamed vegetables to counter balance it.  Even better, try to hunt around for a sugar-free (or lower sugar) option that are available with modern fillings such as frozen berries or yoghurt.  Not very traditional though, but worth a try if you’re watching your weight and health.

Related posts:

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The Mid-Autumn festival (also known as the mooncak...


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