Extra buttery and chewy Hawaiian Butter Mochi with a delightful coconut flavor. This original butter mochi cake is a delightful fusion of Japanese mochi and local Hawaiian coconut cake.
Table of contents
Hawaiian butter mochi is a delicious dessert found across the islands of Hawaii. It combines the chewy texture of Japanese mochi with the richness and sweetness of a traditional Hawaiian coconut cake. Made with glutinous rice flour and coconut milk, it has a unique flavor an irresistible texture that will have you reaching for seconds - and maybe even thirds!
There are many variations to this dessert, from earthy Ube Butter Mochi, to refreshing Matcha Butter Mochi, decadent Chocolate Butter Mochi and the seasonal Pumpkin Mochi Cake. Having tried all of them, I have to say that the original flavor – plain coconut, is simply the best.
The texture is a little like baked custard, but much chewier and bouncy in texture and with a rich coconut flavor. This coconut mochi cake recipe is really simple to make and doesn’t require any expert skills. It will only take you about 10 minutes to make the most unique Hawaiian dessert.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Unique Texture: Coconut butter mochi cake is unique because it has a distinct chewy and soft texture. It’s similar to traditional Japanese mochi, but much more buttery.
- Natural Flavors: This Hawaiian butter mochi cake is made with coconut milk and topped with shredded coconut. The natural flavors work together to create the most delicious tropical flavour!
- Easy Preparation: No fancy techniques are needed for this easy butter mochi recipe! Simply mix all ingredients together, pour into a baking pan, and bake until golden brown. It's really easy!
- Versatile: Enjoy it as a dessert, snack, or even breakfast. Plus, you can customize it with your favorite add-ins or toppings.
- Gluten-free: This chewy mochi butter cake recipe is an entirely gluten free dessert. Despite its name, glutinous rice flour does not contain any gluten.
- Mochiko flour: Also known as glutinous rice flour, it’s a type of sweet rice flour that gives mochi butter cake its unique chewy texture. You can find it in most Asian grocery stores or online.
- Coconut milk: Coconut milk adds a rich, creamy flavor to the cake and enhances its moistness. Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk for the best results.
- Coconut flakes: This mochi cake recipe wouldn’t be complete without a generous topping of coconut flakes. They add a lot of flavor and a make a crispy crust.
- Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter for richness and moisture.
How to make Hawaiian Mochi Cake
1. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven. In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until combined.
2. In a separate bowl sift all the dry ingredients to remove lumps, then whisk to combine.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients, then whisk until smooth and lump free.
4. Pour the mochi cake batter into a prepared pan and top with lots of shredded coconut. Bake until golden brown in color, then cool and slice.
Substitutions & Variations
This Hawaiian butter mochi recipe is great because it can be easily customized. Feel free to make substitutions based on dietary needs or personal preferences:
- Dairy-free: replace regular butter with vegan butter.
- Add-ins: Mix in chocolate chips or chopped nuts into the batter for added crunch.
- Vanilla extract: Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to enhance the coconut flavor.
- Sweetness: Reduce the sugar by ¼ cup if you prefer a less sweet mochi cake.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Ingredient Temperature: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before starting. This ensures even mixing and helps achieve the perfect texture. The melted butter should also be cooled to room temperature.
- Air Bubbles: To prevent air bubbles from forming in your mochi cake, tap the baking pan gently on your countertop before placing it in the oven. This will help you achieve a smooth top surface.
- Avoid overmixing: Be sure not to overmix your batter as this can result in a dense and heavy cake.
- Baking: Only bake this Hawaiian butter mochi until edges are crispy, but center of the cake remains bouncy. This gives the mochi cake the best chewy and soft texture.
- Chilling: No matter how tempting it is to taste, always let the mochi butter cake cool down completely on a wire rack before slicing. Whilst cooling, the cake hardens a bit, so it’s easier to get clean slices.
Frequently asked questions
No, regular rice flour won't give you that chewy texture unique to mochi cakes. Always use mochiko rice flour when making butter mochi.
To store leftover mochi butter cake, keep it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
You can also freeze butter mochi if you want to enjoy later. I recommend freezing the slices as early as possible, preferably on day one. Wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1-2 months.
Thaw in the fridge overnight. To reheat, either microwave for 10-15 seconds or air-fry for 1-2 minutes.
You can use coconut cream in place of coconut milk, but it needs to be thinned out with some whole milk. Ensure the overall liquid is the same as the coconut milk. However, keep in mind that coconut cream has a higher fat content and may result in a richer and denser cake.
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Easy Hawaiian Butter Mochi (Coconut Mochi Cake)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 ¾ cups coconut milk 14 oz can
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste optional
- 2 cups mochiko sweet rice flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare a 9 x 13 inches baking tray by either lining it with parchment paper or brushing with butter and dusting with mochiko flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, whisking until pale in color. Add in the melted butter, mixing again to combine.2 large eggs, 1 cup sugar, 5 tablespoons butter
- Pour in the milk, coconut milk and vanilla bean paste, then whisk well until fully combined.1 ¾ cups coconut milk, ½ cup milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- In a separate large bowl, sift the mochiko flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk all the dry ingredients together.2 cups mochiko sweet rice flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Add the flour into the wet mixture, then use a whisk to mix combine until silky and lump-free.
- Slowly pour the mochi batter into the lined tray, then use a skewer to run it through the batter to remove air bubbles. Top with shredded coconut.½ cup shredded coconut
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top looks golden-brown and there is little bobble in the middle.
- Once baked, allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tray, then transfer to a wire rack and cool for another hour.
- To slice, use an oiled knife to prevent sticking.
- For the best results, I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams. To see metric measurements >> toggle on Metric in recipe card.
- Mochiko rice flour: also known as glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour. Plain rice flour cannot be used.
- Storing: Consume fresh for the best texture. To store, cover in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days maximum.
- Nutritional value is estimative and is calculated per serving, without any optional ingredients. This recipe makes 16 large servings.