Mochi (Japanese Rice Cake) Recipes

Sakura mochi cherry blossom sweet rice cake recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Mochi, also known as Japanese rice cake, is one of Japan's favorite foods. Because there are so many different ways to make and incorporate mochi in Japanese cuisine, you'll find them in lots of traditional as well as western-style dishes, and international iterations as well. While all manner of sweet mochi desserts have become popular, mochi can also appear in savory preparations. Try some of the following recipes to experience the many wonderful and varied ways to enjoy these delicious rice cakes.

  • 01 of 15

    Matcha Mochi Bars

    Matcha (Green Tea) Mochi Bars

    The Spruce / Mateja Kobescak

    Matcha mochi bars, made with glutinous rice flour and matcha powder, get their consistency from baking in the oven until a light crust forms over the chewy, gooey center. While not strictly traditional, they do have a delightful texture and flavor. Serve them on the same day you bake them for the crispest crust.

  • 02 of 15

    Sakura Mochi (Cherry Blossom Sweet Rice Cakes)

    Sakura mochi cherry blossom sweet rice cake recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Japanese people often enjoy sakura mochi, or cherry blossom rice cakes, on Girls' Day, also known as Hinamatsuri. Made with sweet glutinous rice, filled with sweet red bean paste, and wrapped in an edible sakura leaf, they look as good as they taste.

  • 03 of 15

    Mochi Ice Cream

    Mochi Ice Cream

     Kristina Vanni

    Mochi ice cream wraps Japanese sweet glutinous rice flour around an ice cream ball. You'll find them in western flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, or in Asian flavors such as Kona coffee, green tea, plum wine, and red bean.

  • 04 of 15

    Chi Chi Dango

    Chi Chi Dango Mochi in a bowl with potato starch

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

    Bite-sized chi chi dango mochi, also known as coconut mochi, have a pillowy-soft consistency that children particularly love. You'll often find them pre-made at Japanese grocery stores, but you can make them yourself. Eat them within a day or so for the best texture.

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  • 05 of 15

    Manju (Steamed Cake with Red Bean Filling)

    Manju (Steamed Cake With Sweet Red Bean Filling)

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Steamed and filled with sweet red bean paste, manju use wheat, rice, or another flour and result in a cakier consistency than chewy, glutinous-flour-based mochi. Almost every Japanese region has its own manju, often flavored with matcha or other combinations.

  • 06 of 15

    Butter Mochi Cake

    Hawaiian Butter Mochi (Mochi Cake)

    The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

    While not indigenous to the islands, people often refer to this butter cake as Hawaiian mochi cake because that's where the confection first became popular. Because it uses sweet rice flour, this tender, fudgy cake has no gluten. You'll find yourself slivering away just one more perfectly sweet bite after another.

  • 07 of 15

    Mochi Waffles

    Mochi Waffles

    Leah Maroney

    With their crispy exterior and chewy interior, these mochi waffles will make breakfast feel like an occasion. You can find the mochiko or sweet rice flour in Asian grocery stores or the Asian section of any larger supermarket. Try them with just about any favorite fruit, whipped cream, or syrup topping.

  • 08 of 15

    Daifuku with Anko Filling

    Daifuku Mochi

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

    A popular type of wagashi, or Japanese sweet, daifuku usually have a red bean or white bean paste filling wrapped in a glutinous flour exterior. Steaming the water and flour mixture in the microwave means you can make it in a snap.

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  • 09 of 15

    Mitarashi Kushi Dango (Round Rice Dumplings)

    Mitarashi Kushi Dango

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    These skewered rice dumplings, called kushi dango, are glazed with a sweet soy mixture called mitarashi. They most commonly appear as a spring or summer treat, although the Japanese eat them year-round. Many home cooks have their own flavor profile and preparation. Ours use two types of flour for that perfectly chewy and soft consistency.

  • 10 of 15

    Ohagi or Botamochi (Sweet Rice Balls)

    Ohagi botamochi recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Commonly eaten during higan, a Buddhist holiday celebrated during both equinoxes, ohagi (also called botamochi) gets its texture from both Japanese (or uruchimai) rice flour and glutinous (or mochigome) rice flour. You can use either a rice cooker or stovetop for this recipe. just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  • 11 of 15

    Yaki Mochi (Grilled Rice Cake)

    Yaki Mochi (Grilled Japanese Rice Cake) on a plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Start with store-bought mochi and then top it with three sweet toppings for a quick and easy Japanese treat. Grilling these cakes gives them a soft and chewy texture, one of the common rustic preparations. Chew carefully; they can present a choking hazard.

  • 12 of 15

    Nian Gao (Lunar New Year Cake)

    Glutinous rice flour cake
    Nian Gao. Getty Images/MelindaChan

    Often made for Lunar New Year, a nian gao cake symbolizes growth, progress, and advancement. People often give the simple, sweet cake as a gift. While the traditional recipe only requires water, sugar, and rice flours, this recipe include Western-style cake ingredients as well.

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  • 13 of 15


    Pan Fried Rice Cake in Olive Oil and Soy Sauce (Isobeyaki). Photo Credit: © Judy Ung

    Often enjoyed during the winter months, isobeyaki involves drizzling warmed, toasted, or grilled mochi with savory soy sauce and then wrapping it in a piece of dried seasoned seaweed, or ajinori, for a warming, filling snack or side dish.

  • 14 of 15

    Norimaki Mochi

    Sweet Soy Glazed Rice Cake with Seaweed

    The Spruce / Judy Ung

    Norimaki mochi consists of a toasted rice cake seasoned with a sweet soy sauce glaze and wrapped in a crisp piece of dried seaweed (nori) for a texture and flavor contrast that makes a delicious snack, side dish, or starter.

  • 15 of 15

    Tofu Mochi with Sweet Kinako

    Tofu mochi with honey drizzle

    The Spruce / Judy Ung

    Tofu mochi is made by kneading tofu into the mochi dough; then the cakes get seasoned with a light dusting of sugar and kinako, roasted soybean flour. These mochi have a denser texture than some of the more pillowy mochi made strictly with rice or glutinous rice.