These delicious Coconut Mochi cakes are chewy little treats made with sweet rice flour and coconut milk. They are soft, sweet, delightfully chewy and are just the perfect bite size!
My husband’s aunt used to make these coconut mochi every year during the holiday season. It’s one of my husband’s favorite treats so I adapted her recipe into a smaller batch for ourselves.
Table of Contents
What is mochi cake?
This mochi cake recipe is Hawaiian inspired. You’ll notice that it is very similar to my Hawaiian butter mochi but made in a smaller batch and a little lighter too.
However, this mochi cake is very different from Japanese mochi as it is a baked mochi recipe in the same way you would bake a cake. The difference between this and a regular cake is that it uses rice flour instead of wheat flour making it chewy and gluten free!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- If you need to avoid gluten or are baking for someone who can’t tolerate gluten, this recipe is perfect for you because sweet rice flour is naturally gluten free making these coconut mochi the perfect gluten free treats.
- This recipe is a small batch, yielding just 18-20 mini mochi muffins.
- It is super easy to whip up with just a couple of mixing bowls and a hand whisk.
- They bake up quickly in under 15 minutes, and you can enjoy these in just under 30 minutes!
Ingredients and Substitutions
As always, you’ll find the complete list of ingredients and quantities in the recipe card at the end of this post. Below are some notes and substitution tips for each ingredient:
- Butter – I used unsalted butter but you can use salted butter in a pinch. Since it is such a small amount, you don’t have to worry about it making the mochi too salty.
- Sugar – I just use regular granulated sugar this recipe.
- Egg – just 1 large egg is enough for these.
- Vanilla – I used just a splash of pure vanilla extract for additional flavor.
- Mochiko – mochiko is a brand of sweet rice flour. You can use any brand of sweet rice flour but make sure it is either sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour because regular rice flour is not the same and will not yield the same results.
- Salt – I use just a pinch of kosher salt, you can use sea salt or table salt.
- Baking powder – this will help the baked mochi rise.
- Coconut milk – make sure to use canned coconut milk. This has higher fat content than the stuff in the carton and gives the mochi their richness. If you need to make a substitution, I recommend evaporated milk, half and half, or cream.
How to make coconut mochi
The following instructions, step by step photos and tips are here to help you visualize how to make the recipe. You can always skip straight to the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
First, beat together egg, coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.
Next, mix together Mochiko, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
Divide coconut mochi batter into a greased mini muffin tin. Fill each muffin cavity to about ¾ way full.
Bake at 375°F for 13 – 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
- How to measure sweet rice flour – fluff the flour, spoon it into your measuring cup and level it.
- Don’t worry about over mixing – unlike regular cake or cupcakes, since sweet rice flour doesn’t contain gluten, you don’t have to worry about the mochi getting too tough due to over mixing.
- They don’t rise a lot – the mochi will rise a little bit but because the texture will be very dense, it doesn’t rise as much as regular cupcakes do so don’t panic if some come out flat.
Room temperature: store Mochiko cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These little cakes will still be soft for up to 5 days to a week but they will start to lose their elasticity and become drier. Reheating them can revive them and make them taste like fresh.
Freezer: you can also freeze coconut mochi for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature and reheat in the microwave to soften and warm them up before serving, they will taste like they were freshly baked.
No, you cannot! Sweet rice flour gives these gluten free mochi their chewy texture. Wheat flour will not yield the same results.
Yes, this recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc. Make as much as you wish. However, it can be quite tedious to bake so many mini mochi muffins. If you aren’t able to bake everything on the same day, you can refrigerate the batter overnight and continue baking the next day.
If you’ve kept your coconut mochi over 5 days or just thawed it from frozen, wrap it in a damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. This will revive it and make it taste just like freshly baked.
More baked mochi recipes
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📖 Recipe card
- Mini Muffin Pan
- ⅔ cup Mochiko (sweet rice flour, 100 g)
- ½ teaspoon "rounded" baking powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 g)
- A pinch of kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup coconut milk (114 g)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted, ½ oz, 13 g)
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Extra butter or nonstick spray for pan
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Prepare a mini cupcake pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Mop up excess oil or butter and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add mochiko, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a whisk to distribute evenly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add egg, coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla, whisk to combine.
- Add the mochiko mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. You will get a somewhat runny batter.
- Use a cookie scoop to divide batter into each cupcake cavity, fill it to about ¾ way full. There should be enough batter to fill 18 – 20 mini cupcakes.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 13 – 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. When the pan is cooled to the touch, use a butter knife to loosen the coconut mochi from the side, place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store coconut mochi in an airtight container, and consume within the week.
- How to measure sweet rice flour: fluff the flour, spoon it into your measuring cup and level it.
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Thank you! This was really yummy and I baked it in an 8 x 8 pan for 25 minutes in a gas stove. I also mixed in 1/3 cup shredded coconut. I put in less sugar since the coconut was sweetened. Thumbs up from the entire family! It’s delicious straight out of the oven, when it’s warm and edges are crispy!
So glad to hear you like it! The addition of shredded coconut sounds wonderful 🙂
First time making coconut mochi so I’m glad I found your recipe. I found a ziplock of young coconut meat in our freezer – leftovers from a backyard ‘nut husking adventure with our grandsons last fall, I’m guessing – and didn’t want to waste it, and coconut mochi came to mind. I ran the “spoon meat” through a processor and was able to strain out exactly one cup of creamy liquid, which I used in place of canned coconut milk for a double batch following your recipe. I don’t have any mini muffin tins, so I used full-sized muffin pans, filling 18 molds with 2 tablespoons of batter each. Turned out great! Had to adjust baking time to account for larger pans, etc., so I watched the edges brown and the discs rise and pulled them out after about 27 minutes. Discs popped out easily once cooled and began disappearing immediately. Thank you for sharing this recipe, and for including the helpful comments and replies from other bakers.
Thank you for your wonderful review Kekoa! I’m so glad you like the recipe and I love all the details you listed for the changes you made, they would help other readers so much!
Hi Trang! 😉
When I baked the mochi cupcakes, I noticed there were lots of bubbles around the cupcakes…it’s like they were drenched in butter…and when they came out from the oven, the bottom of the cupcakes were wet…not crunchy 🙁 Do you know what I did wrong? Thank you!
Hi Clare, I’m not so sure but it sounds like maybe they weren’t well mixed? This rice flour doesn’t have gluten so you don’t have to worry about overmixing the batter, make sure to mix it well until smooth. If the bottom is wet, it could be too much moisture. Perhaps one of your measurements was off?
thanks for your reply! I did make sure there were not lumps in my batter and I followed all the measurements. 🙁 The mochi cupcakes came out very oily. The bottom were wet with butter (need to blot them with kitchen towel) . Also, my mochi cupcakes were like baking in a pool of butter…oh my..
I’m sorry Clare, I’m not sure how that happens. I bake these every year so it’s really strange to me to hear this. Plus there is only 1 tablespoon of butter in the recipe for flavor, that’s only a small slab of butter for 20 small cupcakes, so I don’t know how they would be sitting in a pool of butter. Are you sure you use the correct measurement for butter?
no worries! I’ll give it a try again! not sure if it’s because I oiled the pan too much.. last question..do all the ingredients need to be at room temperature? thank you so much for your help! 😉
Yes, room temperature. Let me know how it goes the next time. Hopefully it will work out 🙂
I made these last week and absolutely love them. Can you tell me alittle more about the shelf life. I want to make them for a family event.
Can these be frozen? Should they be refrigerated or is room temp ok ?
Hi Nick! I think you emailed me your questions but I’ll answer here too: at room temp, these will last a few days, because they are quite moist, it is best to consume them asap so they don’t go moldy. You can refrigerate or freeze them, but when you do this they will harden and will require some microwaving to soften them before serving. I usually make these for our family Christmas party and would always make them the same day I bring them to the party because they are always best fresh. You could make the batter the day before, keep in the fridge and bake the next day if it helps.
Now because these are baked in mini muffin tins, they could be somewhat tedious to make for a big party, you will also need to double or triple the recipe since I would assume each person could eat 3-4 of these easily! I have this Hawaiian butter mochi recipe that is very similar and baked in a 9″x13″ pan which makes it a little easier to prepare. Hope this helps!
It actually sounds like it might not be done baking – perhaps it would be help to try leaving in longer. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but usually when making butter mochi I only take it out of the oven once the edges start to come apart from the pan or are really nice and brown.
Ovens can be quite different from another, so it would account for the difference considering you were meticulous in following the recipe.
I love this recipe! I just made it and it turned out great! I added a dash of black sesame seeds on top of the mochi batter before putting them in the oven. I baked them at 375F for 14 minutes. I actually scooped 21 mini cupcakes instead of 20 mini cupcakes from your recipe. The sides of the coconut mochi turned out golden in color and there weren’t much crumbs when I did the toothpick check in the center of the mochi. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
So tasty, Trang! I doubled the recipe because I knew they would be popular. My only change was that I used 1/2 the amount of sugar. I made sure to lightly push the batter into the cups to avoid of any air pockets that others experienced, and that seemed to do the trick. Thanks for a great recipe!
Is it possible to add fruit to this recipe?
I think fruits might release too much juice making it too watery when baked.
Hi! I don’t think you should add fruit to the batter itself due to fruit releasing stuff that makes it watered down but maybe add it on top some pineapple on top sounds really good lol 🙂
Hi! Thank you for this simple yet tasty recipe! Everyone loved it! The only problem I had was after taking them out of the oven, they all deflated and sunk in. What is the reason for that?
Hi Priscilla, did you beat the batter too much? I haven’t run into this issue personally but I do see pictures from readers sometimes and noticed this. I usually make this recipe by hand and not in a mixer or electric mixer. Make sure to use good baking powder, one that hasn’t expired yet.
If I were to add 1 can of evaporated milk how much of rice flour should I add?
Hey Angelique, this is a really big modification to the recipe and unfortunately, I can’t really give you an exact answer. When you change the liquid ratio, you also need to change how much eggs to add because the eggs bind the ingredients together, the amount of sugar, and other additional ingredients. Without testing this, I don’t know what else will need to change. But my Hawaiian Butter Mochi uses evaporated milk and coconut milk, it’s made in much larger quantity, maybe this would be more in line with what you’re looking for.
Hi! Look forward to trying this! Do you use the canned coconut milk which is thick and very coconuty or the more watery coconut Luik that comes in half gallon containers and is more watery?
HI Sarah, I use canned coconut milk.
Made it but it deflated too. Plus it formed a meringue like crust on top. It was good but didn’t look the same as yours. It was also sticky that you cant really take it out clean on the parchement paper. Any idea what i did wrong? The egg i used was straight from the fridge.
Sounds like you may have too much liquid or not enough flour. Sometimes when you measure with measuring cup, it can give different weight. If you have a scale, try to use the weight measurement for the flour (3.2 oz or 91 grams). I don’t usually use paper liner for these, I just butter the cupcake pan really well and use a butter knife to loosen them. They are stickier than your regular cupcakes because of the sweet rice flour, so it’s normal for them to stick to the paper if you use liner.
I love this mochi recipe and am so glad to have found it. thank you. Yes they are chewy and the added baking powder lightens the texture so they are a softer chewy than regular. I adjust the amount of sugar for my desired sweetness. Often I use coconut sugar. I love the flavor of coconut milk, eggs, ghee and vanilla. I delight in the custard flavor in something I can hold in my fingers!
Thanks Robin, I’m glad you like these!
I’ve made these multiple times! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My 10 year old son requests this all the time. My 12 year old niece just requested I make this for her birthday party. I’ve followed this to the “T” and comes out perfect every single time.
can i make this in a tray instead? i don’t own a muffin pan
One batch will probably fit in a 9″x5″ loaf pan, but too small for an 8″x8″ square pan, you might want to double the recipe if using a bigger pan. The baking time will need to be increased when you baking in a tray, 20 – 30 minutes, possibly, but watch your oven and check doneness with a toothpick.
I’ll have to try again, my first attempt I think the baking powder was old or the coconut milk wasn’t right. Do you mix the thick stuff in the canned coconut milk back into the liquid before adding it to the recipe?
Yes, you have to shake the can to make sure the cream and the water in the coconut milk are completely mixed before using.
can I also use not sweetend riceflour?
Whats the difference?
Hi Stefsnir, sweet rice flour is a type of rice flour, it is made from glutinous rice or sticky rice. It’s not the same as regular rice flour. If you have ever had Thai mango sticky rice, that’s the rice that sweet rice flour is made from. It gives that chewy texture when baked in this recipe. Make sure when you buy rice flour, look for Mochiko, or sweet rice flour, or glutinous rice flour in the name and packaging.
They are currently in the oven and as i started cleaning up the bench i found the melted butter… hopefully they’ll still turn out ok. If not, try again.
How did they turn out Carine? I hope still delicious!
Does “3.2 oz 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon of Mochiko (sweet rice flour)” mean 3.2 oz AND 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of Mochiko? Or is is 3.2 oz OR 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of Mochiko?
Can’t wait to try to make these!
If you have a scale, measure out 3.2 oz by weight, OR use the cup/tbsp/tsp measurement if you don’t have a scale. Let me know how it turns out 🙂
Hi! These look SO delicious. I started making them this morning, but I noticed in the oven just now that they started cracking and puffing up. Any thoughts on why this happened?
Hi there, that sounds like not enough liquid, wondering if you may have added too much flour?
Hi! I’m thinking of making these in bulk for the holidays and am wondering if you have Ryan’s aunt’s original recipe? Thank you!
Hi Tee, I’m so sorry I don’t have the original recipe anymore. I haven’t made that particular one for years. I usually just double or triple this recipe for the holidays since I usually make tons of other things. But if you want to use the entire box of mochiko which is typically 16 oz, just multiply all the rest of the ingredients by 5! I believe that’s about how I scale it up and down. Hope it helps. Let me know if you have any trouble with it.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been making it for years, and it has become my go-to dessert for celebrations. However, this time will be very special as I am realizing it is completely Kosher-friendly, and I can share it with a wonderful group of friends from all over the world. It’s fun to experiment with glaze flavors and toppings too as I adapt for different tastes. Your recipe has probably made millions of smiles over the years and many more to come!!
Awwwe thank you so much! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe has put smiles on many faces and I love that it will be shared with friends all over the world.
Thanks for the butter mocha/Babinka nod for us in Hawaii. Will try these like the individual bite size servings. But as an FYI you can try Nutiva organic steam pressed coconut oil. It has a higher flash point to organic cold pressed Virgin coconut oil and a neutral taste. They sell it here at our Costco besides their Kirkland organic cold pressed oil. You can find it it on Amazon too. Try it! I was like you didn’t like the taste in all my stuff but in baking Mochi it’s fine. But gotta have butter too And we add some grated coconut for texture too.
Kalena, thank you for all the tips! We tried butter mochi while in Oahu, and my husband is obsessed, I’d definitely need to try and make it one day, very very soon. This little bite size one is a family recipe from his aunt. It’s is a lighter kind of mochi 😉
These were SUPER delicious (and easy), and I’ll be making them over and over. Great recipe!!!
Thank you Caitlin! I’m so glad you enjoyed them 🙂
Thalia @ butter and brioche
I never have tried or made mochi before! They just look so delicious and addictive though – so I have to try out the recipe!
Thalia, I hope you do try these, they’re so easy and yummy!