Mung bean cake (lvdougao) is a traditional and popular Chinese dessert in summer. The main ingredient, mung beans or sometimes called as green mung bean is a common and daily ingredient in Chinese cooking. In traditional Chinese medicine, those little green beans have a cold property, which can further help to protect our body from hot temperature in summer.Personally, I love various recipes made with mung beans or related ingredients. For example, in Sichuan province, there is famous Liangfen made with Mung bean starch. And there is a national glass noodle—mung bean noodles. I have made two versions this time. One batch of the cakes are custard yellow while the other batch is matcha green( reproduce the green color of the cake).

Mung bean cake

Many varieties of mung bean cake are available in China from taste,  from color to shape. But in general, they are shaped by different cake moulds like mooncake moulds. For a smoother and fine taste, it is important to use unshelled green beans. Unshelled green beans are easy to find in baking ingredient store in China. You may try to search it in Asian stores, sometimes they are named as yellow mung beans (spilt mung beans). Another option is to pre-soak the green mung beans and peel by hand. But it is a really hard task requires patience and time. I have tried one time and do not recommend you doing this.

Pre-soak the yellow mung beans overnight. Rinse and dry.

mung bean cake steps

In a high pressure cooker, add clean water to slightly cover (3-4 cm higher) the beans and cook for a bean (or meat) procedure until the mung beans are easy to smash.

Mung bean cake

Then smash the mung bean until fine and smooth. It is quite easy when they are well cooked.

Mung bean cake

Transfer the mung bean into a pan, add butter and vegetable oil and keep frying over medium  slow fire.

Mung bean cake

Add sugar when the oil is well absorbed.

Mung bean cake

Continue frying over slow fire until the mixture can be easily shaped into a paste. Divide the mixture into two equal portions and transfer one portion out.

Mung bean cake

Add around 5-8g matcha powder for coloring.

Mung bean cake

Mix well.

Mung bean cake

Transfer the mixture into a strainer and then press with a spatula. You may ask help in this step or consider this as a way of body exercise. This will give your mung bean cake a super smooth taste.

Mung bean cake
Mung bean cake

And then divide the mixture into small portions around 30g-40g. If you want them to share similar size, use a kitchen scale to weight each portion or resort to a scoop. I wrap some of them with 10g red bean paste. But this step is optional.

Mung bean cake

Then shape it with a mooncake mould.   I am using this one :New Moon Cake Decoration Mold mould 50g & flowers Round 4 stamps DIY Tool. For tips about how to use this tool, you can check the video in snow skin mooncakes.

Mung bean cake

All the mung bean cakes need to be kept in small air-tight packages after cool down completely. They can be kept for around 1 week.

Mung bean cake

Mung Bean Cake

Chinese dessert mung bean cake is a perfect dessert in hot summer. Only natural ingredients are used.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Mung Bean
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Elaine


  • 250 g yellow mung beans ,unshelled mung beans
  • 40 g butter
  • 50 g vegetable oil
  • 110 g sugar or more if needed ,you can slightly adjust this amount
  • a small pinch of salt


  • 5-8 g matcha powder I use 5g


  • Pre-soak the yellow mung beans overnight. Rinse and dry in the next day.
  • In a high pressure cooker, add clean water to slightly cover the mung beans and cook with a bean procedure until the beans are soft and easy to smash. Then smash them with a spatula until a smooth and fine mixture. Transfer it to a non-stick pan.
  • Add pinch of salt, butter and vegetable oil to the mung bean mixture. Heat over medium slow fine and keep stirring in the process. Add sugar when the oil is well absorbed. Keep stirring until they can sticky together easily. Turn off the fire.

Optional for coloring

  • Divide the dough into two equal portions and then transfer one portion out. Add around 5-8g matcha powder to the another portion and mix well.

Straining and Shaping

  • Then transfer the mixture to a strain and press them with a spatula. You will see then come out from the small holes. This step can provide a super smooth and fine texture.
  • Divide the mixture into smaller doughs around 30g to 40g and then wrap 10 filling if you prefer to have some. Shape with a mooncake mould or any other mould you prefer. You need to operate this step when the mixture is not hot but still warm.


How to keep: wrap with plastic wrap and store in fridge up for 1 week.
You can also use this directly as a mung bean filling for mooncakes.
For vegan readers, you can skip butter and replace it with vegetable cooking oil.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 14.1g | Fat: 16.8g | Saturated Fat: 6.1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 439mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 12.5g | Sugar: 22g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Mung bean cake

For all sweet teeth!

mung bean cake
mung bean cake-6

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  1. Oh wow, these are so stunning! I always see these in Chinese grocery stores, I never thought to make them. Thanks for sharing this! I don’t have the mould but I might scavenge around my kitchen cupboards to see what else might do!

    1. Haha Nagi,
      Yes, I have seen them many times before and just start making some at home recently. Sure kitchen cupboards work fine too. Personally I love heart shape, flour shape etc. Moon cake shape tool is not a must.

  2. Hi Elaine, this really reminds me of something my grandma used to make many years ago when I was a child. She used to put some red bean paste in the centre though. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks.

  3. Hello Elaine
    I want to make mung bean paste and use it as a filling for bread. In Zhuhai, where I live, one of the bakeries sells bread that has mung bean paste in it and I want to try to make it myself. Can I use this recipe for the mung bean paste? Or should I follow the recipe for the red bean paste?
    Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi, Elaine, thanks for the recipe. I am preparing for my mooncake filling and I had just completed the cooking.
    The sweetness is just right for my liking. ? ?

    1. Thanks for trying out. We have not started putting together mooncakes for this years yet. But I will start mine soon. Happy cooking!

      1. Hi Elaine, last year I used this as my snowskin moon cake filling and it’s good to go with sesame powder. & I’m back here for this recipe again. A keeper for sure. Thks for the recipe.

  5. I have tried your recipe. It turns out soft and yummy. Some of my cakes crack after refrigeration.
    What has gone wrong?. Would appreciate your opinion.

    1. When placing it in refrigeration, the food usually get dried out. So there are cracks on surface. You need to pack them in air-tight bags or boxes. Or more oil can help to slow down the process.