Chawan Muah Piah or Sesame Cake (诏安麻饼)



I am contemplating whether or not I should issued this recipe… This is one of the childhood mooncakes that I can only find in Kuching. After due consideration and requests from members of my Facebook Group, I have decided to issue this recipe and keep a record in my blog.


However, I am unsure about the name this simple moon cake with no filling.. I remember my late parents called it as generic as mid autumn mooncake (tiong qiu gue pia) .. But at least 3 members in the Facebook Group called it muah pia aka sesame cake.. Since i have no better name for this cake, I shall called it sesame cake or muah pia.


This is a mooncake that is hard to trace the origins. I suspect that it is a dialect related mooncake belong to the Chawan (Zhao An 诏安)。 It is definitely not a common mooncake, even thus elders who lives in Kuching but do not belong to this dialect may not know this mooncake at all.. It is slightly fudgy and can turn hard if it is put in the dining table for too long. When i was young, we used to “barbecue” this biscuit over the charcoal stove to make is softer before we consumed it.


After I posted my picture, one of my Facebook friends – Mr. Edgar Ong from Kuching, managed to get hold of some being sold in the shop. i wish to take this opportunity to thank him for letting use his pictures to show all of you.


This is a cake that I have not eaten for a long time and I have forgotten how it looks like. When I saw the picture that was sold in the stores, I realized that only one side was coated with sesame seeds as opposed to my illustration here. I remembered very clearly that in the olden days, the bottom side was written with red Chinese characters but I was told that such practises was abandoned because foodies nowadays do not like to have cakes that has food colouring in it. Well, is it not the traditional practise has lost in the battle to the current health trend? To me, it is a very sad fact if the reason is true.


I have posted in one Chinese Food Group  and written what I knew  and felt about this biscuit: “这是很小时候贫穷人家的月饼。简单朴实耐放,符合以前辛苦的年代。人穷,中秋还要过,莲蓉不必妄想,那是大户人家的专利。一般穷苦人家就一个无馅圆饼写个红字就可以当月饼拜拜。 现在呢,有钱要买还要也不一定能够买得到,还有碰运气。现在吃起来回味无穷。 再回想起来,这些月饼很耐饿,适合工人,农夫,虽然简单,比起现在甜甜的月饼的确健康许多。”


Before you tried this recipe, you must be somebody who like simple food .. The cake is slightly sweet, floury and yeast flavoured. It is addictive and I really love this biscuit for its simplicity.



Servings: About 25 biscuits depending on size


Starter Dough

  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 300 grams of sugar
  • 260 grams of lukewarm water
  • 10 grams of instant yeast
  • 50 grams of cooking oil

Second portion

  • 300 grams of plain flour
  • Adequate sesame seeds for coating



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Put all the ingredients of starter dough in a mixing bowl, stir until well combined. Let it proof for at least 1.5 hours. Ensure that you saw some bubbles. It will be better if you have the time to proof for 2-3 hours until the dough turns a bit sour.

  • Once the starter dough is ready, pre-heat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.

  • Add in the remaining plain flour, use the machine to knead until it forms a pliable smooth dough. If the dough is too wet, add flour tablespoon by tablespoon and knead until it leaves the side of the mixing bowl.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead and divide the dough to about 50-60 grams. Shape round and coat with sesame seeds , use a rolling pin to roll flat the dough with about 0.5-1 mm thick.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes. It is ok if the centre remain slightly soft .



  • It is up to you if you want to coat the biscuit double or single side. 

  • You are advised to test bake one biscuit and see if it fluff up , if no, let it proof for 10-15 minutes before baking.

  • The biscuits are supposed to be slightly under baked. It is softer in the centre. It can keep for a long period of time in a container.



This recipe is doable and whether or not you like it will very much depends if you have ever tasted it before. It is supposing to be simple, rather soft, not extremely fluffy and yeast flavoured simple cake.  In my next attempt, I would have to brush up with the shaping of the biscuits  .  To me, it is very addictive and I usually ended up eating 3-4 pieces per session.. What surprised me is my boy liked this biscuits too. If you are game enough, do give it a try.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


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  • If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.


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