Artistic mooncakes by a Vietnamese home baker

The mid-autumn festival is fast approaching, which means it’s once again the season of glowing lanterns, lion dances, and of course, mooncakes.

But while most people are hitting up supermarkets or bakeries to bring home their favorite mooncake flavors, an amateur baker from Saigon has opted for something different. Using her artistic mind, she has created some gorgeous mooncakes that look so good you’d almost feel bad eating them.

The cakes come in 11 different flavors

Image credit: An Bùi

These beautifully adorned mooncakes are the products of Bùi Thúy An, a senior-year student at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture. An has harbored a passion for baking for years and has recently opened her own little bakery to pursue her interest.

Image credit: Mỹ Thiên

The first thing about An’s mooncakes that captures attention is their pitch-black color, which she created using bamboo charcoal powder. According to An, the blackness represents the night, while the golden and silvery patterns on top of the cakes reflect the color of moonlight during mid-autumn.

The patterns represent the colors of moonlight on a black sky
Image credit: An Bùi

“Black is generally considered an unappealing color when it comes to food, but if you know how to make use of it, it can help push the cakes’ presentation to a whole new level,” the young baker said.

Image credit: An Bùi

The cakes come in 11 different fillings, from matcha to Nutella to salted eggs. They sell for VND110,000 – VND140,000 (~USD4.75-USD6.04) each.

A mooncake with lava custard fillings
Image credit: An Bùi

An shared her works on Học Viện Bếp Bánh – a Facebook forum where baking enthusiasts discuss and share their experience – and was immediately met with a torrent of positive responses. Aside from comments praising the cakes as “đẹp” (beautiful), many are also asking her to share the recipe.

Netizens also share their own homemade mooncakes

Aside from An, many other aspiring home bakers also took to Học Viện Bếp Bánh to share their own homemade mooncakes, which are impressive in their own right.

For example, a member named Vũ Ngọc Ánh from Hanoi decorated her cakes with patterns of lotus flowers and carp. In Vietnamese belief, the image of carp cycling the moon is a symbol of prosperity, while the lotus flowers are also associated with traditional Vietnamese values.

Image credit: Vũ Ngọc Ánh

Meanwhile, Lê Thùy, a lady from Hồ Chí Minh City, molded mung bean paste into three-dimensional roses to adorn her products. The result was magnificent.

Image credit: Lê Thùy

On the other hand, there are also some hilarious fails as well. Facebook user Bảo Thúy, for example, overslept while baking her cakes, resulting in what she called “midnight mooncakes” for their charred surfaces. Still, many commenters actually found the ember-like color of the charred cakes unique and visually pleasing, saying that it’s impressive how evenly overcooked they were.

Image credit: Bảo Thúy

Vietnamese bakers make beautiful mooncakes

Mooncakes are an indispensable part of the mid-autumn festival. Not only are they delicious to eat, but they can also be a feast for the eyes as well – as these amateur Vietnamese bakers have proven with their homemade products.

And if you are on the lookout for some unique mooncakes to enjoy with friends and family this upcoming mid-autumn festival, check out our list of 13 best mooncake bakeries in Vietnam.

Read more Vietnamese-related stories here:

Cover image adapted from Mỹ Thiên and An Bùi

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