Sugar Syrup (for mooncake)

Mid Autumn Festival is coming. This is Thanksgiving of Asians. People will gather together to give thanks and pray for brighter future. To celebrate this festival, people usually carry lit lanterns, eat mooncakes and enjoy dragon dance.

Mooncake is a special dish shared between family members. Today, it can be found in most of Asian supermarkets one or two months before the festival. However, not all areas have an Asian supermarkets. If you want to try mooncake but you can’t find a place to buy, you can make it at home. It is not easy to make and it is time wasting. It requires a lot of efforts and precision, but the result is worth your try.

To make a mooncake, we need to make sugar syrup first. This is an important step. It decides whether your mooncake will be a success. Usually, I make this syrup at least a month before I make the mooncake. The longer the syrup is, the better the mooncake is. Some of my friends make this syrup a year ahead and it still tastes perfect. If you are not a patient person, you can make this syrup and wait for 2 weeks. Otherwise, your cake will become soggy.

Today, I will show you how to make sugar syrup first. And next month, when my syrup is ready, I will show you how to make mooncake.

Let’s start!


  • 5 cups of brown sugar (you can use regular sugar but it won’t give your syrup and your cake a beautiful color)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 lemon


  • Use a thick pan to boil 2 1/2 cups of water.
  • When the water is boiling, add the sugar and stir a little bit (the sugar will dissolve automatically)
  • Cut the lemon, squeeze the lemon.
  • When the sugar is dissolved and the solution is boiling, add the lemon juice that is just squeezed and the lemon peel to the pan. DON’T stir. The lemon juice will dissolve in the solution itself. The acid in the lemon juice will keep your syrup from crystallization.
  • Turn down the heat to medium low and let the solution shimmer for 60 minutes.
  • Use a spoon to take all the bubbles on the solution surface out without stirring it.
  • After 60 minutes, drop some of your sugar solution into a bowl of water.
  • If your solution dissolves completely in the water, you need to boil it for 10-15 minutes more then test it again.
  • If your solution doesn’t dissolve but spread at the bottom of the bowl and form a circle, your solution is done. Turn off the heat, let it cool. When your solution is completely cool, you will get a golden syrup (its color will get more like amber. Keep your syrup in an airtight glass container and store it in a cool dry place.
  • If your solution doesn’t dissolve or spread at the bottom of the bowl but form a drop in the water, then you solution is too thick. You need to add a little bit of hot water, mix them well, let it shimmer for a minute, then test it again.
  • If there are some sugar crystals in your syrup when it cools, you need to add a little bit of hot water and lemon juice to your syrup, mix it and let it shimmer, then test the solution again.

This recipe needs ver few ingredients but it requires a lot of time. Moreover, your syrup will not be ready until at least 2 weeks later. So be patient. I will come back in a month for the mooncake recipe.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

See you next time!



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