“Piglet Basket Cake” is a Close Cousin of Mooncakes in Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival??

Besides Mooncakes and Lanterns, there is another item which is related to Mid-Autumn Festival, that is “Piglet Cake” or “Piglet Basket Cake” (豬仔餅/豬籠餅). Some people call it “Lantern Cake”. Basically it is a cake in piglet shape put inside a basket. They mostly only appear during the Mid-Autumn Festival season.

Piglet Cake wasn’t created as a product at the very beginning. It is believed that back in the days when the temperature of the ovens were not computer-controlled. The chef had to use some mooncake dough to test if the temperature of the oven was ready to bake. Later the chef made the dough in piglet shape and then some shops started to give it to their customers as a gift and promotion, and eventually became a commercial product until now.

The basket has some stories behind too. In the old days, they were made of bamboos. Later plastic baskets with different designs appeared. Since Piglet Cake is not as popular and profitable as Mooncakes, not many factories were willing to manufacture the baskets. Only one last old plastic factory in Hong Kong was still making plastic baskets in recent years. In 2022, the owner of the factory announced retirement and cake shops have to use bamboo baskets back again.

Piglet Cakes may not be as tasty as Mooncakes, but the big fat smile of the piglet can always cheer you up in Mid-autumn Festival!

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!