Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake

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
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 mooncakes
  • 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
Dough A
  • 1½ (225g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp (85g) butter
  • 3 tbsp (25g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup (160ml) cold water
Dough B
  • 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 7 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ tsp pandan paste
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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).
  2. With the short side, fold dough facing you over by a third. Reach over and fold the other side over.
  3. Turn dough 90° and roll out again into a 9-in x 12-in (23cm x 30cm) rectangle.
  4. 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.
  5. With both hands on the rope, continue to roll until it is about 1¾ inches in diameter.
  6. Cut off ends and slice rope into 16 pieces, each about ⅝ inch thick.
  7. 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.
  8. 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! 😎

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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…..

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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:)

  9. MaryMoh says

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

  10. 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. :)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 :)

  14. 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.

  15. 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 :)

  16. 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 😀 I bet they tasted wonderful. I really like the contrasting swirls of beige and green pastry. Imagine if the filling was purple!!!

  17. 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 :)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    • 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. :)

  21. 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 😀 Mooncakes here are very expensive. It’s the same back home. One of my friends just complained about it.

  22. 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. :)

    • Biren says

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

  23. 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. :)


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