Forget about the difficult to make traditional baked mooncake. This agar agar mooncake recipe is so easy and delicious and made with the natural blue color of butterfly pea flower extract (bunga telang) and filled with sweet potato filling. Absolutely delicious!
I have given up on making the traditional Chinese baked mooncake. I’ve tried so many different recipes with subpar results and decided I should focus on something easier that doesn’t cause frustrations 🙂 My kids don’t even like to eat the baked mooncake, so there you go, not much motivation to pursue further. This agar agar mooncake though, my kids absolutely love! They love agar agar cake that I made a while ago.
RELATED READING: Coconut Pandan Agar Agar Layered Jelly Cake (Agar Agar Santan Lapis)
I made this agar agar mooncake with natural colors. The “skin” is colored with butterfly pea flower extract (blue pea flower/bunga telang) and the filling is made with mashed sweet potatoes, which resemble egg yolks filling, but less complicated to make 😉
AGAR AGAR MOONCAKE MOULD
Where to get the agar agar mooncake mould you would ask. My mom is visiting us now and she brought me the agar agar mooncake mould! (LOVE YA MAMA!).
The size of the moulds I have:
The small one is 5 cm in diameter and about 2.5 cm in depth
The big one is 7.5 x 7.5 x 3 cm
If you live in Asia, you will have no problem finding the mould. Any store that carries baking stuff will have the mould, especially 1-2 months before the mooncake festivals. They will have wide selection during this time. If you are like me, 1000 miles away from home, then yes, it might be a challenge trying to find this mould, but you can get something similar like this.
HOW TO MAKE AGAR AGAR MOONCAKE WITH SWEET POTATO FILLING
1. PREPARE THE SWEET POTATO: Peel the sweet potato and steam until fork tender and then mash. Mix it with the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix until blended.
2. COOK THE FILLING: Put this in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. This is to make sure we activate the agar agar. Let it cook for about 5 minutes and then pour into the mould to let them set at room temperature. Then gently unmoulding them. If they are too soft to be unmoulded, wait a bit and try to unmould again.
3. MAKE BLUE PEA EXTRACT: Put the dried pea flowers in warm water and let them soak for about 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid from the flowers and you get a blue-colored water now. Discard the flowers.
4. MAKE THE BLUE PEA SKIN: Mix with the rest of the ingredients and pour into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil to activate the agar agar. Cook for another 5 minutes.
5. POUR INTO MOULD: pour about 1/2-inch into the mould and let them set at room temperature, about 2-3 minutes. Keep the saucepan warm at the lowest heat on the stove.
6. PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER: Once this layer has set, gently put the sweet potato filling cubes in the middle and then pour the rest of the blue pea mixture to cover.
7. LET THEM SET AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FIRST: Let them set at room temperature for about 10 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator and let them set for about 1 hour before unmoulding
8. SERVING: Gently unmould the agar agar cake and enjoy!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHEN MAKING AGAR AGAR MOONCAKE
1. DIFFERENT LAYERS DON’T STICK TOGETHER
Have you ever cut an agar agar cake and different layers/colors fall apart into pieces? Yup, been there! It’s because the agar layer has set too solid and it’s cold if you put it in the refrigerator and the layers won’t “merge” and hold on to each other. So, I recommend to let the agar agar layer set at room temperature, so they are firm enough to hold the next layer, but still soft enough to let the next layer that is still warm, merge to it so when you cut the cake, they don’t separate!
2. AGAR AGAR CAKE WON’T SET
You need to cook the agar agar until it’s no longer visible, meaning dissolves. Which is why, bringing the agar agar mixture to a gentle boil is important to activate the agar agar so your cake will set properly.
FOR THE SKIN: You can use pandan juice, cinnamon powder, matcha powder, beetroot powder.
FOR THE FILLING: You can use mashed purple sweet potato, mung bean paste, red bean paste, lotus seeds paste.
RELATED READING: Coconut Agar Agar Fruit Jelly Cake
DID YOU MAKE THIS AGAR AGAR MOONCAKE RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
Butterfly Pea Flower Agar Agar Mooncake (with Sweet Potatoes filling)
Sweet potato filling:
- 150 gr sweet potatoes
- 200 ml water
- 50 ml coconut cream
- 100 gr sugar
- 5 gr cornstarch
- 2 gr agar agar powder 1 tsp (or 4 gr agar agar flakes or agar agar strands), see notes
- ¼ tsp salt
Blue pea flower skin:
- 400 ml warm water to extract blue pea flower
- 1 tbsp blue pea flower
- 120 gr sugar
- 100 ml coconut cream
- 4 gr agar agar powder 2 tsp (or 8 gr agar agar flakes or agar agar strands), see notes
You will need:
Prepare the filling:
- Peel the sweet potato and steam until fork tender and then mash. Mine is not completely smooth and I like it that way, you can use an immersion blender to make it smooth if you like. You will get roughly about 120 gr of mashed sweet potato
- Mix it with the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix until blended. Put this in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. This is to make sure we activate the agar agar. Scoop up and check to see. If the agar agar doesn't completely dissolve, your cake won't gel properly later. Let it cook for about 5 minutes and then pour into the mould to let them set at room temperature
Prepare the skin:
- Put the dried pea flowers in warm water and let them soak for about 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid from the flowers and you get a blue-colored water now. Discard the flowers. Make sure the liquid has cooled down completely before you add agar agar powder or the powder will clump
- Mix with the rest of the ingredients and pour into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil to activate the agar agar. Make sure you don't see anymore specks of agar agar. Cook for another 5 minutes and then pour about 1/2-inch into the mould and let them set at room temperature, about 2-3 minutes. Keep the saucepan warm at the lowest heat on the stove
- Once this layer has set, gently put the sweet potato filling cubes in the middle and then pour the rest of the blue pea mixture to cover. Let them set at room temperature for about 10 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator and let them set for about 1 hour before unmoulding
- Gently unmould the agar agar cake and enjoy!
How to store:
- Keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge and consume within 3 days if possible, sometimes they may last up to 5 days. Keep in mind that the longer you keep them, the higher the chance of the agar agar jelly turn "watery" (and that's not unusual)
Dissolves it in the liquid (not hot liquid) you are going to cook and then put on the stove and bring to a boil until it dissolves completely. If you use agar agar strands:
1. Cut into 1-inch pieces or shorter so you can measure with measuring cup
2. Soak them for 15-20 minutes
3. Put in a liquid you plan to use and bring to a boil and boil until the agar agar dissolves completely
Love the recipes. How do you store the agar agar so that it doesn’t have water coming out? Please advice. Thank you!
Hi Alicia, they are best stored in the fridge in an air-tight container. They are good for about 3-5 days max. They will start turn watery the longer you keep them and it’s not unusual. Usually the agar agar jelly turns “watery” much faster if there’s not enough agar agar to solidify the mixture or the agar agar doesn’t have enough time to set. You can try to increase the agar agar amount if you want it more “firm”. Firmer texture will last a bit longer.