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Image of Spiced Cranberry Orange Mooncakes

Spiced Cranberry-Orange Mooncakes

Image of Spiced Cranberry Orange Mooncakes

Perfect for celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, these Spiced Cranberry-Orange Mooncakes offer a scrumptious twist on traditional Chinese fare. Tart and sweet spiced cranberry filling is baked inside cranberry or orange sugar cookie dough molded into beautiful floral designs, then finished in your choice of orange or cranberry sugar glaze.

Recipe by: Joan Repato

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

Yield: 24 Mooncakes

Prep Time: 1 hour

Bake Time: 15-22 minutes

Glazing Time: 15 minutes




Cranberry Spiced Filling

235g                            Dried unsweetened sliced cranberries, no sugar added

45g                              Light brown sugar

45 ml                           Water

2g                                Pumpkin Spice Baking Flavor

120g                            Pistachios, raw and shelled

120g                            Belgian 29% White Chocolate


Orange or Cranberry Sugar Cookie

 360g                          Unsalted butter, room temperature  

320g                           Granulated sugar

50g                             Orange Flavor Paste OR Cranberry Flavor Paste

2                                 Large eggs

576g                           All purpose flour

4g                               Fine sea salt

11g                             Baking powder


Orange or Cranberry Sugar Glaze

180g                           Sifted powdered sugar

50-60g                        Milk, more or less to reach desired consistency  

10g                             Orange Flavor Paste OR Cranberry Flavor Paste


Special Equipment and Assembly

Bench scraper or butter knife to portion out cookie dough

Rubber spatula

Food processor

Small cookie scoop or teaspoon

Cookie rack




Spiced Cranberry Filling

1.) In a saucepan, add cranberries, brown sugar, water, and Pumpkin Spice Baking Flavor; mix well and bring to a simmer.

2.) Continue to mix while on low heat and allow sugar to dissolve.

3.) Remove from heat and allow to cool; stir occasionally, ensuring all cranberries are rehydrated.

4.) While cranberry mixture is cooling, place pistachios in a food processor and finely chop.

5.) Add white chocolate to the food processor and finely chop, along with pistachios.

6.) Add the cooled cranberry mixture and pulse the machine until all ingredients are combined.

7.) Using an extra small cookie scoop or teaspoon, separate the filling into 24 pieces and roll each one into a ball. Each ball should weigh approximately 23 grams.


Orange or Cranberry Sugar Cookie

1.) Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and cream together for about 3 minutes until smooth.

2.) Beat in Orange or Cranberry Flavor Paste and eggs.

3.) In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk together until well combined.

4.) Add flour mixture a little at a time to the butter-sugar mixture and mix on low to medium speed until all flour mixture has been added.

5.) Turn out the cookie dough onto a clean countertop surface and finish off the kneading of the dough by hand.

6.) Separate the dough ball into 24 equal pieces, each weighing approximately 56 grams and roll each piece into a ball.

7.) Place all balls on a pan and cover with plastic to prevent cookie dough from drying out.

8.) Take one ball of cookie dough and place it between two pieces of plastic wrap; flatten with your palm until it is about 2½" in diameter. 

9.) Remove one side of the plastic wrap and place a ball of the spiced cranberry filling in the center of the cookie dough. Bring all sides of the cookie dough up to enclose spiced cranberry filling completely.

10.) Roll the ball in sifted flour, remove excess and place inside of your mooncake mold. Press down on a sheet pan with parchment paper.

11.) Repeat steps 8-10 with all 24 mooncakes and place on a sheet pan.

12.) Place sheet pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This step will help keep the molded pattern when baked. Preheat the oven to 350°F. *See recipe notes

13.) Bake frozen mooncakes in the oven at 350°F. Bake one sheet at a time in the center of oven for about 15-18 minutes (may take up to 20-22 minutes if baking from completely frozen). 

14.) Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely before glazing.


Orange or Cranberry Sugar Glaze

1.) In a small bowl, whisk together 180g of powdered sugar, 50g milk and 10g Orange OR Cranberry Flavor Paste. If a thinner consistency for the glaze is desired, add the remaining 10g of milk.

2.) Dip the molded side of the mooncakes into the flavored sugar glaze, remove excess and allow to set on cookie rack on top of a sheet pan to catch excess glaze.

  Image of Cranberry Spiced Mooncakes with Cranberry Glaze

Pictured above: A beautiful autumnal treat; glazed cranberry sugar cookies are stamped with elegant floral designs and reveal a sweet, spiced cranberry filling inside.

Recipe Notes:


*For storage: If you wish to bake your mooncakes later, you can wrap unbaked molded mooncakes and keep them in the freezer until you are ready to bake. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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