Gluten-Free Sweet Sticky Rice Cake

Sweet sticky rice cake recipe

The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
170 Calories
10g Fat
18g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 170
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 95mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 91mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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, also called sweet 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 sticky rice

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk, preferably not 'lite'

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Optional Topping:

  • 4 tablespoons rice flour

  • 1/2 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sweet sticky rice cake
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  2. Cover rice with water and soak at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

    Rice in pot
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  3. 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).

    Greased pan
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  4. 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.

    Rice in pan
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  5. 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.

    Cover in oil
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  6. 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).

    Bake rice cake
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  7. 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.

    Blend topping
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  8. 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.

    Baked cake
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic