Gluten-Free Sweet Sticky Rice Cake

Sticky Rice Cake
Joyosity/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake (6 to 8 servings)

This recipe for glutinous rice cakes—also known as sweet sticky rice cakes—is simple to make and easier if you leave off the Asian-style 'icing', although that's yummy too. Sticky rice is a true Asian culinary experience, one that shouldn't be missed, and so satisfying in its chewy-yummy texture.

Wonderful as a dessert or with tea or coffee, this simple glutinous rice cake can be served to company or made just for yourself as a true Asian comfort food treat. It's healthier than most Western desserts, too.


  • For the Sticky Rice Cake(s):
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil (for greasing pan/ramekins)
  • 1 cup sweet rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (preferably not ‘lite’)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • For the Optional Topping:
  • 4 tbsp. rice flour (available in any baking aisle)
  • 1/2 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Steps to Make It

  1. Cover rice with water and soak at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

  2. Grease 6 to 8 ramekins OR an 8-inch square cake pan with a little vegetable oil (if you happen to have coconut oil, use that).

  3. Drain rice and distribute among ramekins or in cake pan. Rice should be at least 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep in each ramekin. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  4. Place coconut milk, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl. Crack in the eggs and stir everything together until sugar dissolves. Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if desired. Pour over rice in the pan/ramekins (if using ramekins, distribute it as evenly as you can), stirring to combine.

  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes (an inserted fork should come out clean or nearly clean). If you're adding the topping, the cake(s) can remain a little undercooked at this stage, as they will be going back in the oven. While baking, prepare topping (if using).

  6. For the topping (optional): Place topping ingredients in a pot or saucepan. Stir with a whisk over medium heat until mixture begins to lightly bubble. Reduce heat to low, whisking continuously for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and continue whisking until it thickens and most of the lumps are gone. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

  7. When rice layer is done baking, spread on the topping. Take another baking dish and fill at least 1 inch deep with hot water from the tap. Place this on a lower rack and set cake(s) on a higher rack. Bake 15 minutes, until topping feels firm when lightly touched. Serve either warm or at room temperature. This cake is best stored outside the refrigerator and eaten within 3 days.