Chewy, moist, and flavorful Hawaiian butter mochi with shredded coconut.
Is it a cake? Or, it is more like a blondie bar? Does it taste like mochi?
It’s a combination of all three!
Butter mochi originates from Hawaii. It can be found everywhere from the farmers market to lunch plate restaurants and nearly every bakery. And of course, because it’s so easy to make, you’re bound to find it at home!
Gluten Free Mochi Cake
Hawaiian butter mochi is similar to Filipino Bibingka and Cassava Cake.
It has the same ingredients of bibingka (rice flour, butter, coconut milk, and milk), but resembles the texture of cassava cake (moist and chewy).
There are several variations on this popular treat. It is easy to customize to your liking.
The Hawaiian food we know today is a mixture and blending of several cuisines including Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, and Korean. The ingredients used in butter mochi is a great example of that blending.
Hawaiian Butter Mochi Cake Ingredients:
Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
Koda Farms Mochiko is the most popular and widely available sweet rice flour brand in the United States. If you cannot find this brand, simply use product labeled as “glutinous sweet rice flour.”
Sweet rice flour is milled glutinous rice or sticky rice. Its high starch content gives butter mochi cake its iconic chewy texture.
Use granulated sugar or light brown sugar for best results.
This recipe does not work well with sugar substitutes or sugar alternatives. It will affect the texture of the baked cake.
Canned Coconut Milk
Use full-fat canned unsweetened coconut milk. Check the label to ensure coconut is the first ingredient.
Do not use light coconut milk. Do not use the refrigerated coconut milk sold in cartons. These lighter coconut milks will not produce the same creamy results
Canned Evaporated Milk
Evaporated milk is shelf stable milk that has been cooked to remove much of its water content. It is sometimes called “unsweetened condensed milk.”
Evaporated milk is slightly sweeter and thicker than regular milk. Whole milk or 2% milk may be used in place of canned evaporated milk.
You could substitute margarine or other butter alternatives. But, this recipe tastes best with real deal butter!
Sweetened Shredded Coconut
This is an optional ingredient. The additional of the shredded coconut adds texture. It also adds just a hint more coconut flavor.
What is mochiko?
Mochiko is the most popular brand of sweet rice flour. Koda Farms Mochiko is found at most supermarkets and big box stores. My local Ralphs, Vons, and Target sell it.
Sweet rice flour is also known as glutinous rice flour. If you cannot find the Koda Farms version, make sure to use SWEET rice flour. Do not use anything simply labeled as “rice flour.”
Rice flour is made from medium or long-grain rice, not glutinous sweet rice flour. Regular rice flour will not produce the same chewy texture.
What else can you make with mochiko?
Perhaps the most well known mochiko recipe is for mochiko chicken!
How to mix together butter mochi
There are various ways to mix this batter together. I was taught to simply mix all the ingredients together in one bowl.
Start by whisking together all the dry ingredients: sweet rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Next, whisk in the wet ingredients.
Mix everything until smooth. Fold in optional sweetened shredded coconut. That’s it!
Is it possible to overmix the butter mochi batter?
Since this batter is gluten-free, there is no worry about overmixing. Simply mix the batter together until smooth.
Glass Dish vs Metal Baking Pan
Choice of baking pan affects cooking time. I suggest baking this mochi butter cake in a 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan.
Glass bakeware will result in a firmer, browner crust along the exterior of the cake. However, the interior of the cake will remain soft and chewy.
One thing to note about glass bakeware- the glass retains heat and stays warmer than metal. As a result, the butter mochi cake will continue to “bake” after you remove it from the oven.
Metal bakeware is more versatile and can withstand much higher temperatures than glass bakeware. The metal heats up quickly and also cools down faster than glass.
Other baking vessel options
This butter mochi cake recipe can also be used to bake two 8-inch square pans.
For a smaller batch, you may divide the recipe in half and bake batter in one 8-inch square pan.
Slicing Mochi Cake
The mochi butter cake can be left in the pan to cool, or unmolded and cooled on a wire rack.
Cool cake to room temperature before slicing. The cake will be soft while warm, making it difficult to slice clean cuts.
Use a sharp knife or a serrated knife to cut cooled mochi cake into desired portions.
Storage and Leftovers
Keep leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Once you’ve fallen in love with chewy Hawaiian butter mochi, try the chocolate version.
This chocolate butter mochi cake features a chewy brownie topped with peanut butter frosting and a generous amount of rainbow sprinkles!
- 454 grams (16 oz box) mochiko ,glutinous sweet rice flour*
- 300 grams (1 ½ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 13.5 oz can coconut milk (full-fat)
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 115 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (85 grams) sweetened shredded coconut , optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9×13-inch glass casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sweet rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add in coconut milk, evaporate milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth and there are no longer any dry streaks of rice flour. Be sure to scape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure thorough mixing. Fold in sweetened shredded coconut.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake in the center of oven for 45-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before slicing.
- I recommend using Koda Farms Mochiko. Otherwise, look for glutinous sweet rice flour or sweet rice flour. DO NOT USE plain rice flour.
- Whole milk or 2% milk may be used in place of evaporated milk. However, evaporate milk is slightly sweeter.
- Use full-fat canned unsweetened coconut milk. Do not use light coconut milk. It will not produce the same creamy results.
- For an even creamier butter mochi, use canned coconut cream. Stay away from “cream of coconut” which is a different product loaded with sugar.