What are Oreo Mooncakes?
Oreo cookies are The Borg. An alien life form that roams the galaxy, conquering and assimilating civilizations (for the non-Trekkies). Sure, they’re not doing it by force – more like delicious seduction – but still, there’s no culture or food item that cannot or will not be Ore-ized. Churros, candy canes, matcha, and now – mooncakes. Resistance is futile.
Mooncakes are iconic Asian delicacies – baked pastry wrapped around a paste filling. They’re served during the Mid-Autumn Festival (October 1st this year) to celebrate the autumn full moon. While the cakes and the festival originated in China, they’re both celebrated and eaten across the continent. China, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines roll out the beloved mooncakes each year – often with variations of favorite fillings and styles. Japan and Korea celebrate related fall lunar festivals, but mooncakes are not a large part of their menus.
Mondelez (Oreo’s parent company) have become a player in the mooncake game in the past few years through their Vietnamese division, and you know Oreo just had to make an appearance! They’ve been exporting Oreo Mooncakes to China, Singapore, and Thailand since 2017 in flavors like brownie, strawberry jam, cocoa with milk, cappuccino, and pineapple custard.
I failed to source these last year, so I was thrilled to see them for sale online in America recently. Apparently importing mooncakes to the U.S. is a tricky business. Google this if you have time to go down a rabbit hole of egg yolks and customs regulations. I bought a 2-cake set with one Oreo brownie-flavored and one strawberry jam-flavored mooncake. While manufactured in Vietnam, it came via Thailand, so these mooncakes have more passport stamps than most people I know!
How are they?
It had been a while since I had regular mooncakes, so I decided to buy some from a Chinatown bakery to compare. They had flaky pastry shells, and heavy but delicious fillings – red bean, lotus and pineapple.
After opening the gorgeous Oreo gift box, I cut into the brownie mooncake first. The pastry shell was considerably doughier than a traditional mooncake, although definitely had that Oreo black cocoa flavor. It was the most Oreo-y element. The tan-colored filling might have been lotus paste, but it was hard to tell because the chocolate brownie center totally overwhelmed it. It was delicious, but more brownie than Oreo.
Next up, the strawberry jam mooncake. Its pastry was even softer, without much flakiness. The first few bites were bland strawberry, until I got to a small ribbon of the jam center. I wished there was more jam – it upped the flavor quite a bit, and turned it into a pretty decent little cake.
The fillings in both cakes were less dense than the traditional – very solid – mooncakes. The Oreo fillings felt more like half-baked cookie dough. They’re still enough to fill your belly quickly, though.
Overall, a unique experience, but they somehow lost a lot of the charm of both Oreo cookies and mooncakes in the combination.
Anything else you need to know?
This box was absolutely stunning and high-quality. There’s a magnetic closure on top, and it opens like wings. The side panels are laser cut with floral designs.
These are interesting, but without the classic Chinese flavors, there’s some context lost here – like those reproductions of historic sculptures covered in neon paint. They are shiny magenta Venus de Milos.
But, if you love traditional mooncakes, these are worth a try for the sheer audacity of them. If you love Oreo cookies, they’re worth trying for the completely different format. If you’re on the fence, give ‘em a try, but try a regular mooncake first for a frame of reference.
Purchased Price: $35.00 + shipping
Size: 2-cake gift box
Purchased at: Desert Drinks and Exotics
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Oreo Brownie)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Strawberry Jam)
Nutrition Facts:– (1 cake) Oreo Brownie Mooncake – 320 kcalories, 11 grams of fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Strawberry Jam Mooncake – 280 kcalories, 7 grams of fat, 65 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.