Mooncakes are a rich (read: gut bomb of a) pastry, commonly filled with duck egg yolks and either red bean or lotus seed paste. They are a traditional Chinese snack and always offered during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
If you grew up nibbling on them while sitting on your grandma’s lap and gazing up at the full harvest moon, you probably find them cozy and delicious.
Otherwise, mooncakes are an acquired taste.
Hostess Ding Dongs are similarly-sized and are also round-shaped, like the moon. The key differences between Ding Dongs and mooncakes being that duck egg yolks are replaced by cream, lotus paste by chocolate cake and pastry by chocolate icing. I grew up eating them in my grandma’s RV while gazing out at rain sodden campgrounds.
Thus, based on both flavor and nostalgia, I propose Ding Dongs as a lovely mooncake alternative.
(To those who would scold me for proposing an alternative to a traditional food that is not part of my own heritage: please, I’m begging you to please fix my traditional Thanksgiving turkey by replacing it with a steamer basket full of xiao long bao. And can you also propose a replacement for Christmas cake?)