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mooncake filling: white lotus paste from scratch

Don’t want to use store-bought mooncake filling or can’t find it at your local Asian supermarket? Here’s how you can make your own lotus paste mooncake filling from scratch!

Once you have this lotus paste made, you can proceed to my full mooncake recipe here

What are the benefits of making mooncake filling from scratch?

Mama Smelly is back to show us how to make lotus paste mooncake filling… from scratch! Before the Mid-Autumn Festival, I shared a mooncake recipe that used all store-bought ingredients (to make it as simple as possible).

However, my mom actually likes making the lotus paste filling from scratch because she can control the sweetness, and there aren’t any added filler ingredients or preservatives. It’s also a good option if nut allergies are a concern at home.

What do I need to make white lotus paste?

  • Dried lotus seeds: You can usually this in the dried goods section of the Asian grocery store.
  • White granulated sugar: For red lotus paste, you can substitute brown sugar.
  • Vegetable oil or peanut oil: Vegetable oil is more accessible, but peanut oil is more flavorful.
  • Salt

How do I make red lotus paste?

This recipe uses white granulated sugar to make white lotus paste, but you can substitute brown sugar to achieve the more popular, darker red lotus paste filling.

How to make homemade salted egg yolks (in bulk)

My parents actually prepare for mooncakes 2 months ahead of time by making their own salted egg yolks. Here’s a quick tutorial for how they make their homemade salted egg yolks:

for 50 eggs (we make more than we need, in case some crack):

  • Bring 3 gallons of water to boil. Dissolve 3 ¼ lb of salt (this is 2 containers of Morton iodized salt) into the water. Make sure the salt fully dissolves, then turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • The eggs need to be washed well and very carefully. If there are any cracks, these won’t work. Drain until dry, then dip in a bowl of Chinese white liquor, also known as baijiu (~50% ABV), to disinfect the shells. Drain until dry.
  • Pour the room temperature salt water into a large bucket or container (we use a 5 gallon bucket). Carefully add all eggs to bucket. If the eggs float to the top, weigh them down with something like a colander or plate.
  • Cover and let sit in room temp dark place for 50-55 days (mark the date)! If you soak for longer than that, the yolk might dissolve. If you don’t plan on using it yet but have been soaking it for 50-55 days, remove it from the salt water and separate the yolks from whites, then store them in the fridge until you need them.

How to buy store-bought salted egg yolks

If you buy store-bought salted egg yolks, the tastier (but often more expensive) kinds are the ones that come packaged in the whole egg (see below on the left). The ones that are just the yolks vacuum-sealed (on the right) don’t always have the same great taste or texture. That’s just our personal experience though!

How do I make the rest of the mooncake?

Once you have this lotus paste made, you can proceed to my full mooncake recipe here.

Mooncake Filling: White Lotus Paste

If you have the time to do so, making your own mooncake filling can be very rewarding — there are no added fillers, the sweetness is customizable, and it's more delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Inactive Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 18 50g mooncakes


  • blender


  • 150 grams dried lotus seed
  • 120 grams white granulated sugar for red lotus paste, use brown sugar
  • 80 grams vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Preparing the lotus seeds

  • Soak the dried lotus seed for a few hours or overnight. The longer you soak, the less time it needs to boil in step 3. 
    150 grams dried lotus seed
  • Split the lotus seed and remove any sprouts (these are bitter). 

Making the lotus paste

  • In a pot, add the lotus seeds and fill the pot with enough water to cover the lotus seeds about an inch. Bring the pot up to a boil, then lower down and simmer for 45 min to 1 hour or until softened and breaks apart easily if pressed with a fork.
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then pour the lotus seeds and water into a blender. Blend until texture is smooth, ideally with no visible particles. If the blender is having trouble blending because it’s too thick, add a bit of water. 
  • Once you have a smooth paste, transfer it to a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add the oil in 3 batches, making sure each batch is incorporated well before adding the next.
    80 grams vegetable oil
  • Add the salt and sugar and mix well. Keep cooking the paste, stirring and folding continuously until most of the water has evaporated (this should take about 30-45 min). The end result should be a smooth, thick paste that stays stuck together. If it starts cracking or looks dry, add some water gradually. 
    1/2 tsp salt, 120 grams white granulated sugar
  • Remove from heat and let cool. If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. 


Once you have this lotus paste made, you can proceed to my full mooncake recipe here
Keyword mooncake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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