Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake

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Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake

I had never thought of making mooncakes at home as the project seems rather daunting. I was perfectly happy to buy a box or two from the store each year during the Mooncake Festival to satisfy my sweet cravings. That changed when I saw these spiral beauties on Jeannie’s blog, the Baking Diary. I was totally mesmerized my the green Spiral Pandan Mooncakes with a purple Okinawan sweet potato filling. Talk about color in food…these were beyond striking! I had to check out the recipe which was to be found at House of Annie.

On closer examination of the recipe, it reminded me of the Shell Curry Puffs my Grandma taught me how to make way back then. While the ingredients and measurements are a little different, both recipes have many similarities. The pastry is made up of a combination of two types of dough to create the layers. One of the dough is fat and water based while the other is just fat based.

The technique though is quite different. I was curious to see if Grandma’s method would work for this recipe. Instead of making 8 or 10 small logs and then slicing each log into half, I used Grandma’s method by making a single rope and slicing it into 16 pieces of dough. From what I can see, the results are slightly different as their method produced more even colored layers while my method yielded more distinct cream and green colored layers.

Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake

I do like those purple sweet potatoes but unfortunately have not seen them here. With squashes coming into season right now, I decided to use the butternut squash instead. While the color combination is not as strikingly beautiful as the purple sweet potatoes, I am delighted to say that the butternut squash and pumpkin seeds filling was very moist and tasty.

Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake

Pandan paste is a relatively new ingredient to me and I was eager to give it a try. I managed to buy a bottle during my recent visit to Malaysia and Singapore. Unfortunately, I have not seen it here in Minnesota. Frozen pandan leaves can be purchased here but you would have to extract the juice using the method found in my post on Pandan Cream Pie. Otherwise, I would suggest substituting the pandan paste with vanilla essence and a few drops of green food coloring or omitting it altogether.

Pandan paste

This Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake recipe was inspired by the House of Annie and the Baking Diary.

Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 16 mooncakes

Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake


  • 1 butternut squash (about 1¾lbs (800g) in weight)
  • ¼ cup (55g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup (60ml) half and half or milk
  • ½ cup (30g) toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Pastry
    Dough A
  • 1½ (225g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp (85g) butter
  • 3 tbsp (25g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) cold water
  • Dough B
  • 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 7 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ tsp pandan paste



Peel, seed and cut butternut squash into chunks. Put squash in a steaming rack and steam for 10 minutes. Remove and place in a large bowl together with the rest of the ingredients. Mash till you get a smooth paste. Mix in toasted pumpkin seeds. When cool, shape into 16 balls, approximately the size of a walnut.

Dough A

In a large bowl, add flour, butter, powdered sugar, and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two forks until resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add water and mix to form a soft, non-sticky dough. If dough is a little sticky, add a little more flour. Cover and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

Dough B

Place flour and salt in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in oil and pandan paste. Mix to form an even colored dough. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour. Cover and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

To assemble

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough a into A circle about 8 inches (20cm) in diameter. Place dough B in the center of dough A. Gather up the sides of dough A to wrap over dough B. With seam side down, roll out dough into a rectangle of about 9-in x 12-in (23cm x 30cm).

With the short side, fold dough facing you over by a third. Reach over and fold the other side over.

Turn dough 90° and roll out again into a 9-in x 12-in (23cm x 30cm) rectangle.

Again fold dough into third like the first time. Turn dough 90° and this time roll dough into a rectangle of about 14-in x 12-in (35cm x 30cm). With the long side, roll dough up into a rope.

With both hands on the rope, continue to roll until it is about 1¾ inches in diameter.

Cut off ends and slice rope into 16 pieces, each about 5/8 inch thick.

Roll out each piece of dough with cut side up into a circle of about 4 inches (10cm) in diameter. Place a ball of filling in the center. Gather up the edges to wrap around filling. Place seam side down onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of dough and filling.

Bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool on wire rack.



Fresh out of the oven

The wonderful aroma of pandan flavor filled the kitchen while these delightful mooncakes were baking in the oven. I could hardly wait to taste them.

Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake - sliced

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)

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58 Responses

  1. sayantani says:

    they look so beautiful Biren. love these Moon cakes.

  2. Anncoo says:

    Biren, love the spiral color of this mooncake and I never thought of adding butternut squash before – sounds healthy :)
    I had made the spiral mooncake last year with yam filling
    (http://anncoojournal.blogspot.com/2009/09/flaky-swirl-mooncake-award_3500.html)” target=”_blank”> http://anncoojournal.blogspot.com/2009/09/flaky-swirl-mooncake-award_3500.html)” target=”_blank”>(http://anncoojournal.blogspot.com/2009/09/flaky-swirl-mooncake-award_3500.html) and I'm going to make again this year because my family loves yam very much.

  3. bergamot says:

    The mooncakes look amazing… love the green & white color.

  4. jeroxie says:

    I made this last year and failed. Making some this weekend! Wish me luck

  5. jillyann says:

    Wow…these are beautiful Biren! Stunning…even without the purple sweet potatoes. All I can say is you have more patience than I do..LOL

  6. Kamalika says:

    Dear….I have to read again and again it get the recipe by heart….looks lil bit difficult to me..:(…..the pix aar very helpful though…..looks lovely…..

  7. Fight the Fat Foodie says:

    OMG, your mooncakes are absolutely beautiful!

  8. Jeannie says:

    Hi Biren, here I am:D I must say your method looks so much easier as you need to do the fold and rolling only once! The effect is slightly different but still very beautiful…I think I'll do it this way too the next time I attempt this. And you managed to cut it so neatly! Well done!

  9. torviewtoronto says:

    lovely steps

  10. Julie M. says:

    Ok, Biren. you just blew my socks off with these! I have never seen anything like this before, they're stunning! Alex, my four year just saw this picture and said "I want to make those!" Nice work!

  11. lequan@luvtoeat says:

    Omg Biren, I LOVE everything about these! They look beautiful and sound delicious with the butternut squash. I'm not a big fan of the lotus mooncake but you have just made me look at mooncakes in a whole different way. Thank you! You know what's funny, I was just making a pandan agar agar as I was reading your blog. Coincidence or what right. If you're interested, here's the link. They used the same pandan as you. Thank you fir sharing this delightful recipe!

  12. IJust LoveMyApron says:

    OMG Biren, you're so talented. First time seeing how it's made! I've had similar ones before but not dare to make it haha. They're pretty and so green goddess.

  13. Jenny O says:

    I salute you! Wouldn't have the patience to do it. The result looks very tasty and esthetically pleasing too!

  14. Patty Price says:

    Wow, this is so impressive, I love the colors and I'm sure they are delicious and worth all the effort you've put into them:)

  15. magicofspice says:

    Amazing…These are truly gorgeous :)

  16. MaryMoh says:

    Wow…these look beautiful! You are very creative with the filling….healthy filling :D A friend gave us a beautiful box of moon cakes the other day. Now I think I'm lazy to make…haha.

  17. tigerfish says:

    This must be one of those unique mooncakes that I am just talking about in my mooncake post. I tried a mooncake with pandan paste as the filling recently and like it. You are very creative. :)

  18. Faith says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous, Biren! I really love the butternut squash filling too…healthy and delicious!

  19. Nate @ HouseofAnnie says:

    Biren – beautiful job! I love the filling because it's homemade and unique. Nice color contrast as well.

    Thanks for the link back.

  20. rotinrice says:

    I will have to try the yam flavor next. I love the color too and I can get yam over here :)

  21. rotinrice says:

    Yes, the effect is slightly different but I think yours is equally if not more stunning with the purple sweet potato filling.

    I used a very sharp knife to cut so that I get a nice, clean edge.

  22. rotinrice says:

    Thanks Jenny! They are really quite fragrant and tasty. I think you will like them as they are not overly sweet.

  23. rotinrice says:

    Thanks Nate and Annie for your inspiration! I had fun making these. Best of all, my hubby and boys loved it. All gone now. May have to make another batch :)

  24. rotinrice says:

    Thanks Julie! Alex is so cute. He will have fun rolling out the dough :)

  25. love2cook says:

    Ooops, everything finished uh? Aisey, thought of asking U for some cakes…sooooo lovely! I'm drooling ;)

  26. Ambika says:

    Those look gorgeous!! So beautiful :)

  27. 5starfoodie says:

    These are so beautiful with the green & white spiral!

  28. Dongxing says:

    Kudos to you! I love your take with butternut squash for the filling – healthy and delicious, and you can eat more! Looks so good too. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Joanne says:

    These are gorgeous! I love the colors and also that they're jam packed with nutrition!

  30. rotinrice says:

    Thanks DongXing! The family really enjoyed it and it's all gone! May have to make another batch this weekend. Mooncake Festival is on Spet 22nd and so there is still time :)

  31. Angie's Recipes says:

    You have made me want to make some mooncakes too. They look very pretty.


    Biren~ What a cool recipe! I'm now bowing in front of my computer in reverence!

  33. rotinrice says:

    LOLOLOL!!! Sommer you are too funny! You made me laugh so hard and I really needed that :D

  34. sarah says:

    oh wow!! awesome..awesome…looks so delicious..

  35. denise fletcher says:

    Wow! These look beautiful and really quite easy to do! You've inspired me to try it though I usually don't have the patience to do such intricate things :D I bet they tasted wonderful. I really like the contrasting swirls of beige and green pastry. Imagine if the filling was purple!!!

  36. Tanvi says:

    Wow…never seen so unique moon cakes before.They look really beautiful!
    Sinfully Spicy

  37. rotinrice says:

    Thanks Denise! The mooncakes are striking with the purple sweet potatoes. You should be able to get some of those potatoes should you make these cakes :)

  38. Reeni says:

    These turned out great Biren! And they're so pretty. Love the filling too!

  39. Suchitra says:

    looks mouth watering and amazing!

  40. Devaki says:

    These are beautiful beyond words Biren!

    And you went to such great lengths to make these. Fantastic. I wish I had what it took to make these myself :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  41. rotinrice says:

    Oh Devaki, thank you for your kind words. I had fun making these and the satisfaction of seeing loved ones enjoying them :)

  42. The Mom Chef says:

    Wow…you made it look so easy but my mind still says it's a difficult dish. I love the color you have in there. Many thanks for sharing this with us. I still don't think I'll attempt it, but they're gorgeous to look at.

  43. bunkycooks says:

    These are fascinating! I have never heard of them before. Love the color and the ingredients. :)

  44. Cheah says:

    I made these twice before but failed. Saw it on Jeannie’s blog which linked to Annie’s blog, must try this. Yours look so yummy and original!

  45. kristy says:

    I love anything green! And these just captured my attention! Wonderful fillings as well. Must be very sweet and scrumptious. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day.
    Cheers, Kristy

  46. Gertrude says:

    I love the green spiral and they look so pretty. I didn’t get any mooncakes this year and I am so tempted to try this one out.

    • Biren says:

      Do give it a try Gertrude. The pandan paste gives the crust a really nice fragrance. I am not buying any mooncakes this year and so I will probably make some of these. :)

  47. MaryMoh says:

    That’s beautiful! Love the spiral effect and the green colour and a healthy filling….something new to me. I wish I can just have a few to enjoy without putting in the effort to make :D Mooncakes here are very expensive. It’s the same back home. One of my friends just complained about it.

  48. StillTraveller says:

    It seems that everywhere I look I’m seeing gorgeous examples of home made moon cakes. Yours are particular inspiring, I will have to try them out!

    • Biren says:

      Thank you for the compliment! Homemade is really the best as it is fresh and a little less sweet. I do hope you will give them a try. :)

  49. RecipeNewZ says:

    Wow, so much work and dedication! But they look absolutely wonderful! Amazing mooncakes!

  50. I just left a comment, but I think it was blocked. I wanted to say that I am really amazed by this recipe :-).

    • Biren says:

      Thank you for both your comments. Sorry it misbehaved towards you. The spiral pastry is easier than it looks. :)

  51. Rebecca says:

    Dear Biren, Thanks for giving everything in detail as many just stated 1 butter squash !! or 1 pk of rice flour !

    These moon cake really unusual and I’m sure everyone will be delight to eat it !! Will try it one day !!

    • Biren says:

      Hi Rebecca! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I am glad to hear you find the detail instructions useful. I hope you get to try the recipe soon. :)

  1. October 6, 2011

    […] think the most helpful post should go to Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake with detailed step-by-step pictures on assembling the mooncake. I made these when my trusted helper […]

  2. February 8, 2012

    […] piece of good news! I am thrilled that Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake was featured on The Daily […]

  3. June 28, 2012

    […] quest for purple sweet potatoes ever since I made those spiral mooncakes ended here at the nursery. It was most convenient that these plants also have purple leaves. Leaves […]

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