Decadent slices of mochi with a caramelized exterior and chewy interior. Vegan, gluten-free, and just 6 simple ingredients!
What is Mochi Cake?
Although we’re calling this a cake, it by no means has the texture of a traditional cake. Instead of being light and fluffy, this vegan mochi cake is dense and chewy just like mochi, but it’s sweeter and richer than regular mochi. It’s like the perfect cross between a Japanese snack and an American dessert, so it’s no wonder it became such a popular treat in Hawaii. The traditional Hawaiian butter mochi is made with butter, eggs, milk, sugar, mochiko, and coconut milk, and sometimes even sweetened condensed or evaporated milk.
My mom made butter mochi a lot when I was growing up and it was one of my favorite desserts that she would make. Chewy, sweet, rich, and so addicting! Obviously regular butter mochi isn’t vegan, so naturally I had to make my own version without butter, eggs, or milk. And to my surprise it turned out deliciously rich and chewy just like I remember! No butter or even vegan butter needed. This vegan mochi cake is decadent without being overly rich or sweet, but remember mochi is filling so try not to eat too many slices at once 😉
- Sugar ⟶ Granulated white sugar is best for neutral flavor, but you can use coconut sugar if you like the flavor of it.
- Sugar Free: In my opinion, monkfruit* is the best tasting sugar alternative, but of course it doesn’t taste 100% like sugar. Sometimes I do half sugar and half monkfruit.
- Applesauce ⟶ Blended silken/soft tofu, sweet potato puree, or pumpkin puree also work. I haven’t tried flax eggs but that would probably work as well.
- Mochiko*⟶ Japanese sweet rice flour. I don’t recommend using other types of sweet/glutinous rice flour as they likely won’t be as chewy as mochiko.
- Full-Fat Coconut milk ⟶ Do not replace with other milks or lite coconut milk! You need all the fat to create a rich mochi cake.
- That being said, if you’re in a pinch and you only have lite coconut milk, reduce the amount by 2 tbsp and add 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
Mochi Cake Tips
Make sure your batter is smooth.
Mochiko has a tendency to clump together once added to liquid, so make sure you whisk constantly until smooth, or use a sieve to smooth out the clumps. I like to pour my batter through a sieve and use a spatula to press down and smooth out the clumps.
Cool completely before slicing.
As tempting as it is, if you cut into the cake before it’s cooled, you’ll end up with a sticky, gooey mess. The mochi cake will set and firm up as it cools.
Shake the can of coconut milk and do NOT refrigerate.
You want to have one coherent mixture. You do not need to separate the fatty cream from the liquid, you will use all of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I store mochi cake?
Mochi cake will usually keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. However, if you live in a very moist environment, I recommend refrigerating or freezing after the first day. The mochi cake in my house always gets gobbled up within 2-3 days, so I’ve never tried refrigerating or freezing them. But if you decide to go this route, keep in mind the mochi cake will dry out in the fridge/freezer, so I recommend microwaving, toasting, or baking them to reheat.
How do I know when mochi cake is done cooking?
The top should start to crack and the edges should be browned and caramelized. You can also check with a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake — if it comes out mostly clean or with just a few crumbs (but not gooey batter) then it’s done. The texture is of course different from a normal cake, but the inside should be set before you remove it from the oven.
Is this mochi cake gluten-free?
Yes! Despite being called glutinous rice flour (or sweet rice flour/mochiko), there is no gluten in it.
Where can I buy sweet rice flour?
Mochiko can be found at Japanese markets and other Asian markets, or on Amazon*.
More Tasty Vegan Treats!
- Pumpkin Mochi Cake
- Sweet Potato Mochi Cake
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Easy Vegan Snickerdoodles
- Vegan Melon Pan
If you try out this vegan mochi cake, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and leave comment down below letting me know how you liked it! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy baking!
Vegan Mochi Cake
- ⅓ cup (65g) sugar
- ¼ cup (60g) applesauce
- ¾ cup (180ml) full-fat coconut milk
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup (160g)
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×6" pyrex dish and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, coconut milk, and vanilla.
- Use a sieve to sift in the flour and baking powder, then whisk until smooth.
- Mochiko has a tendency to clump together, so if your batter has lumps of flour in it, arrange a sieve over your baking dish or a bowl. Pour some batter in the sieve and use a spatula to press the batter down, smoothing out any clumps. Repeat with remaining batter. OR if your batter is fairly smooth, just transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Tap the dish on the countertop a few times to release air bubbles from the batter. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the top begins to crack and the edges are slightly brown.
- Let the mochi cake cool completely to room temperature before slicing. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!
Save for later!