Vietnamese Snow Skin Mooncakes (Banh deo)

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Vietnamese snow skin mooncake (Banh deo) is soft-chewy on the outside. You can put any mooncake filling inside it.

handmade snow skin mooncakes on a tray

Snow skin mooncake (bánh dẻo) and baked mooncake (bánh nướng) are the two delicacies of Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam. Most Vietnamese people prefer the baked cakes over snow skin ones though :). In this post, I want to show you how this Vietnamese traditional cake is made.

Vietnamese snow skin mooncakes are not the same as those from neighboring countries like Singapore and China. They are chewy on the outside and usually very sweet. The skin is much sweeter than that of the baked ones. They are kept at room temperature because if you store them in the refrigerator, they’ll turn hard as a rock.

several Vietnamese snow skin mooncakes on a tray

Ingredients

Banh deo is not baked. Instead, it is made from cooked glutinous rice flour. The flour may also be called fried glutinous rice flour. As far as I know, it is impossible to make this flour at home. You can try toasting or even baking raw glutinous rice flour, but the result will be completely different.

So what is cooked glutinous rice flour? Glutinous rice is puffed up and toasted first, and then processed into fine flour. That’s why the flour has a distinct taste compared to the one you make by toasting raw flour at home.

a bag of cooked glutinous rice flour

The best places to find this flour are local Asian grocery stores. It is called “bột bánh dẻo” in Vietnamese. Above is the brand I use in Vietnam.

For the filling, you can use any mooncake filling you like. In Vietnam, the most popular filling for traditional snow skin mooncakes is mixed nuts. We use the mixed nuts filling from our banh nuong recipe.

snow skin mooncakes on a tray

How to Make Vietnamese Snow Skin Mooncakes

Generally speaking, snow skin cakes are quicker and easier to make than baked one. The dough simply consists of cooked glutinous flour, sugar and water.

Since the flour is already fully cooked, the dough will not be cooked. You will put the filling inside, form a ball, use a mooncake mold to shape it. Then the cake will be eaten directly after a day. You can watch the process in the video below.

Traditional banh deo is very very sweet. The level of sweetness is almost inedible to me. So I tried to reduce sugar as much as I can in this recipe, although it would speed up the spoilage process. Normally, this cake can be kept for only 4-5 days.

My family almost never buys commercially-made snow skin mooncakes because of concern about poor food hygiene practice. Although I prefer the baked cakes, I do enjoy the soft-chewy texture of snow skin cakes.

a slice of Vietnamese snow skin mooncakes

Vietnamese Snow Skin Mooncakes (Banh deo)

Vietnamese snow skin mooncake (Banh deo) is soft-chewy on the outside. You can put any mooncake filling inside it.
Author: Sophie
5 from 1 vote
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 8 cakes

Ingredients
 

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2-3 oz sugar
  • 7 oz cooked glutinous rice flour (a bit under 2 cups, this is for both the dough and for dusting)
  • 5.5 oz your choice of mooncake filling

Instructions
 

  • Add water and sugar to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely and turn off the stove once the mixture starts to boil and looks clear.
  • Pour the sugar syrup into a clean bowl and let it cool down slightly. Gradually add the cooked glutinous rice flour in batches. Stir to combine thoroughly before adding a new batch.
  • After you have added about 2/3 of the flour, you will have a clumpy, sticky dough. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle a third of the remaining flour on a clean surface and place the dough on top of the flour. Sprinkle another third of flour on top of the dough.
  • Make sure your hands are clean, or put on food-grade gloves. Press down on the dough, then fold in half top-to-bottom and then left-to-right. Press down again and repeat. The dough will gradually absorb the dusting flour, becoming heavier and smoother.
  • Once the dough looks smooth, feels heavy and dense (but not hard), press down to flatten it and roll into a log. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, about 1.4 oz (35-40gr) each. Lightly dust each dough piece and roll into a ball.
  • Divide the filling and shape into small balls. Flatten a dough ball and place the filling in the center and then seal. Dust your mooncake mold thoroughly and place the cake inside the mold. Press to shape the cake. Continue with the remaining dough and filling.
  • The cakes can be eaten after a few hours, but they will taste better the next day. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, and eat it within 3-4 days for the best taste and texture.

Notes

Cooked glutinous rice flour is not possible to make at home as far as I know. Glutinous rice is puffed up and toasted first, and then processed into fine flour. That’s why the flour has a distinct taste and texture compared to the one you make by toasting raw flour at home. You can try to find it at Asian grocery stores.
You can watch the video in the post to see how to prepare the dough. The exact amount of flour may differ, so you may need to adjust according to how the dough looks and feels. With the quantity suggested above, I have about 1 oz (30gr) of flour left to dust the dough balls and mooncake molds. 
My favorite filling for snow skin mooncakes is mixed nuts, the recipe for which can be found in my baked mooncakes recipe.
Right after making, you will find that the cakes taste very sweet, but the next day, the sweetness will be more pleasant. Traditional Vietnamese snow skin mooncakes are very sweet. I reduce the amount of sugar significantly in this recipe. 1.5-2oz (42-55g) of sugar is a reasonable level of sweetness for me while 3oz (80g) is plenty of sweetness if you have a sweet tooth. Please note that the more sugar you use, the denser the cakes will be.
This recipe makes about 8 cakes, 60-70gr (2.1-2.5oz) each. The usual ratio of dough to filling for Vietnamese snow skin mooncakes are 1.5:1 to 2:1.
Course: Dessert and Snack
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: homemade mooncakes
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks so much. I was looking for an English recipe of this and love how easy you make the instructions. Would be great to add instructions on how to make the bean filling too. 🙂

    1. Hi V,
      I’m glad you found it helpful :). The only bean filling I have made is mung bean filling. Here’s the recipe I used last year to make the mung bean filling for mooncakes.

      – 100gr (3.5oz) split mung bean – soak for several hours if you have time
      – 40ml (1 2/3 tablespoons) oil
      – 30gr (1oz) sugar – you can adjust to taste
      – 5gr (0.15oz) glutinous rice flour – it’s best to toast it for several minutes before using to make sure it’s cooked through

      You just need to cover the split mung bean with water and cook until it is very soft. Then blend or process until very fine. The next step is to cook the mung bean paste over medium-heat in a pan to reduce the water content while adding oil and sugar in batches. Keep cooking and stirring to incorporate, and then add the flour. The mung bean filling is ready when it can stick to itself and no longer stick to the pan. It should be firm enough to stand on its own while still soft to the touch. Once it has cooled down, you can use it for mooncakes. This makes about 280g (10oz) of filling.

      I hope this helps :). This year I only had enough time to make mixed nuts filling, but mung bean filling is also one of my favorites.

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