Compared to cookie making and cake decorating, mooncake making is relatively new to me. Despite it being a hobby of only a few years, my growing collection of mooncake tools and equipment would make one think I’ve been making mooncakes for at least a decade. There isn’t a huge variety of mooncake molds and presses out there, but enough for it to maybe appear intimidating to newer mooncake makers.
Types of mooncake presses
There are generally two types of mooncake presses: wooden and plastic. Wooden mooncake molds are like paddles. The mooncakes are shaped into a floured mold and for the mooncake to be released, the paddle is hit against a hard surface like a table or countertop. I love the look of wooden mooncake molds, but they are less practical and a bit harder to use than newer plastic mooncake presses.
Plastic mooncake presses are my preferred mooncake shaper. Mooncake presses have a spring and plunger system, where the mooncake dough is inserted into the press and with some pressure against the table, the design will be imprinted onto the top of each mooncake. Because it has a plunger, the mooncake is released very easily. Most plastic mooncake presses come with a variety of interchangeable design plates that can be swapped and locked into the press to create a variety of mooncake patterns. The plastic is usually cream coloured but I’ve started seeing clear plastic presses which allows you to see the imprint being made — it’s quite pretty!
Different sizes of mooncake presses
Mooncake molds come in variety of sizes but the most common ones are 50g, 75g, 100g, and 150g. Instead of being labelled small, medium, or large, mooncake presses are labelled with a weight. This weight refers to the final size of the mooncake it is suppose to create. Fifty gram mooncakes are the smallest mooncake press, and are often used to make snowskin mooncakes or baked mooncakes without a salted egg yolk. If you use a filling with a full salted egg yolk in a 50g press, the salted egg yolk will occupy most of the space, leaving you without much filling. One hundred gram mooncake molds will create a size of mooncake that we often see in mooncake boxes at grocery stores. They are perfect for a salted egg yolk centre. I like to save double yolks for largers molds in the 150 – 200g range. No matter which size of mold you choose, remember to follow the same ratio of wrapper to filling for each mooncake so they are consistent during baking.
Some of my favourite mooncake presses and molds
I’ve collected many mooncake presses and molds over the years, but here are some of my favourites that you might have seen on the blog or Instagram. Before purchasing mooncake molds online, I like to check my local Chinese kitchen stores in Chinatown to see what they have. A lot of these small businesses have a good selection of wooden mooncake paddles and plastic presses. For those living in Vancouver, I got a large amount of my mooncake presses from Tinland Cookware.