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4.55 from 37 votes

Hawaiian butter mochi is an easy lightly sweet dessert made with coconut and butter in a rice flour base. This butter mochi cake recipe makes a great gluten free dessert for any time. I also include a dairy-free option!

A stack of 3 butter mochi on a cookie sheet.

What Is Butter Mochi?

“Bata Mochi,” also known as Butter Mochi, is a naturally gluten free Hawaiian local treat. You may be surprised how easy this butter mochi recipe is to make. Hawaiian mochi cake is naturally gluten-free; our kids love it as a snack or dessert.

A lot of people have never heard of butter mochi. Think of it like a baked custard made with sweet rice flour. Butter mochi is a soft cake made with coconut (or regular) milk, sweet rice flour, sugar, and eggs.

When Chef Nagano of Skool restaurant in San Francisco shared her amazing gluten free Black Sesame Banana Bread recipe with me, she also shared her Auntie Ellen’s family mochi recipe. I knew this was special and asked if I could write up this recipe for the blog.

If you haven’t tried mochi, this super easy butter mochi recipe is worth trying. Soft and creamy, this butter mochi melts in your mouth. If you love this matcha recipe, wait until you try my matcha mochi recipe.

Why You Need To Try Mochi:

  1. This mochi recipe is seriously good! It is made with very few ingredients, and it tastes delicious!
  2. This is the best Mochiko flour recipe.
  3. The creamy texture and flavor can’t be beaten! My mochi recipe is lightly sweet and has a subtle coconut flavor.
  4. This mochi tastes like you are on a tropical vacation in Hawaii! Every time I make it, I fondly remember our Hawaiian vacation.
Photos of the mochi ingredients on the counter.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Sweet rice flour – Also called Mochiko. Mochiko is the ingredient that gives this Hawaiian butter mochi its creamy texture. DO NOT substitute this with regular rice flour or brown rice flour, or your mochi will not turn out. Trust me on this. You can find sweet rice flour at many grocery stores. I prefer this brand by Koda Farms.
  • Milk – I prefer to use coconut milk because it adds a little sweetness and flavor. You can use regular milk if you prefer, but the flavor will not have the famous light creamy coconut taste.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter. For dairy-free, use vegan butter!
  • Eggs – Size Large.
  • Baking powder – Be sure to use aluminum-free baking powder!

How to Make Hawaiian Butter Mochi:

The mochi dry ingredients.

Step 1: Set the oven rack to the middle and preheat the oven to 325º F. Add the sweet rice flour (Mochiko), cane sugar, and other dry ingredients to a large bowl or standing mixer.

The mochi wet and dry ingredients.

Step 2: Add your coconut milk, eggs, and melted butter to a small mixing bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.

If you are using a standing mixer, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Be sure to use the paddle attachment.

The mochi cake batter in a glass bowl.

Step 3: Use a spoon to mix the wet and dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.

Here is a photo of the Hawaiian butter mochi batter to see the creamy consistency. The batter texture is creamy and smooth.

Mochi batter in an 8x8 baking pan.

Step 4: You can either grease an 8×8 pan or line the pan with parchment paper. This butter mochi is easier to remove from the pan using parchment paper.

Carefully pour the mochi batter into a greased 8×8 baking pan. Bake the mochi cake for 25 minutes. Remove the mochi from the oven.

TIP: Allow cooling before cutting the mochi cake! Due to the texture, it will stick to the knife if you slice the mochi while it is warm.

Four pieces of butter mochi on a cutting board.

If you love the texture of mochi, you will love these homemade black sesame mochi muffins, too!

Mochi Tips and Recipe FAQ:

Is mochi gluten free?

Most mochi should be gluten free, but you will want to check the ingredients label every time!! Note the mochi at Whole Foods is not gluten free, at least in the Whole Foods near our store.

Does butter mochi need to be refrigerated?

Some people say bata mochi should be refrigerated, while others don’t. Refrigerating the gluten free butter mochi is fine, but it will dry it out a little bit. Please reheat it before serving or eating. I like to microwave it for a few seconds to warm it up.

How do you store Hawaiian mochi?

You can store your Hawaiian mochi on the countertop, but I really recommend storing it in the refrigerator. It will last for a few days. You will know when the mochi goes bad because it will seem dry, hard, and potentially have mold.

Can you freeze mochi?

Yes, you can freeze Hawaiian butter mochi. It’s best to wrap the gluten free butter mochi in individual-sized pieces with plastic wrap. Then, place it in a freezer bag or other airtight container. It will last around 1 month in the freezer. Toss it in the microwave for a few seconds when you are ready to serve.

Can you make mochi in a cupcake pan?

Yes, you can make butter mochi in a cupcake pan. This is ideal if you are serving a crowd and want individual portions. Just follow the instructions as directed.

They don’t take as long to cook when they are in cupcake tins unless you fill each section full. A muffin tin filled no more than 1/2 way should take about 30 minutes but up to 45 minutes if filled higher.

Does shredded coconut taste good in butter mochi?

If you love coconut, you should try adding some shredded coconut. Put up to 1 cup of shredded coconut into the batter. You can go a little bit less if you want a subtle coconut texture. Another option is to toast some coconut and put it on top. Either way, it’s really.

What does mochi taste like?

Mochi is sweet and chewy. Hawaiian butter mochi has a sweet, buttery flavor.

What is the difference between Japanese mochi and Hawaiian Butter Mochi?

Japanese mochi is typically filled with a sweetened mung bean or other fillings, while Hawaiian mochi is baked cake style without a filling.

Mochiko Substitute:

As much as I wish there were a good Mochiko substitute, there really isn’t. Some recipe sites will say to use potato or cornstarch, but I tested those replacements, which tasted like garbage. (Sorry, just the truth.) Mochiko is special, and it really can’t be replaced.

The good news is you can find Mochiko at many grocery stores and online.

If you love mochi, check out these mochi waffles too!

Hawaiian Bata - Hawaiian Butter Mochi squares stacked on a grey plate.
Here is an old photo from 2016, when I first shared this recipe on the blog.

Reader Reviews:

Yessa! So good!

Bailey, Pinterest user
a stack of 3 butter mochi on a cookie sheet

Hawaiian Butter Mochi Recipe

Sandi Gaertner
You are going to love the subtle sweet flavors of this delicious Hawaiian butter mochi recipe. It is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
Love this recipe?Give it a star rating!
4.55 from 37 votes
dairy free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cookies and Bar Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 14 pieces
Calories 120 kcal

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sweet white rice flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk or regular milk
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder aluminum free!

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Mix together rice flour, baking powder, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to blend it together. You can also use a standing mixer if you prefer.
  • Add egg, coconut milk, and melted butter and mix well.
  • Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish. You can line the baking pan with parchment paper instead of greasing hte pan.
  • Bake at 325º F for 25 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
  • Allow the mochi to completely cool before slicing.

Video

Notes

1. Sweet rice flour, also called Mochiko, is the main ingredient for this dessert. DO NOT substitute this with regular rice flour or brown rice flour or your mochi will not turn out. Trust me. You can find sweet rice flour at many grocery stores. I prefer the brand by Koda Farms.
2. You can use regular milk, but it will not taste as good. I prefer to use full-fat canned coconut milk for added sweetness. 
3. Feel free to sprinkle the butter mochi with cinnamon.
4. This mochi will keep fresh in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. You can also freeze this Hawaiian mochi in a freezer bag for up to 5 months.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 21mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 67IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

Fearless Dining

Your go-to haven for gluten-free living, where I share hundreds of delicious, family-friendly recipes, helpful gluten-free resources, and allergen-friendly options for everyone!

(*This post was updated from a December 2016 post.)

23 Comments

  1. I made both the Matcha mochi and the Hawaiian mochi. They both tasted delicious but they didn’t look like yours. Mine were much thinner and flat. I thought of using baking soda to lift them the second go round but didn’t have any. What happened. Any ideas? I did use Lite coconut milk and Swerve natural sweetener in place of the sugar.

    1. Hi Catherine, I have not tested Swerve in any of my recipes, I do not use it, so I do not know how it behaves in baking compared to sugar. I recommend checking to see if your baking powder is expired, that is often a big reason for things not rising.

  2. My grandparents pounded fresh mochi every New Year. One of my favorite desserts at my grandmother’s was Zenzai Sweet Red Bean Soup with Mochi. Every New Year morning we had fried mochi with a slather of butter and a sprinkle of sugar or kinako.

    Living in the Inland Northwest, fresh mochi is not available. This year, my mochi-loving 11-year-old granddaughter and I used your Butter Mochi recipe- it was a big hit with the family. She asked for the recipe so she can make it for her family!

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