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mochi, mochi donut

Mochi Desserts For Some Sweet Chewy Treats

Karina Ikedo

Karina Ikedo


Mochi is a traditional Japanese dessert made out of mochigome – a Japanese short-grain rice. It can also be used to make other treats, so mochi desserts can be found in many different variations thanks to its one-of-a-kind texture. The flavor of mochi itself is pretty subtle. But the subtle flavor is actually a desirable characteristic, allowing it to work well with many different sweet ingredients. 

The mochi trend has taken a life of its own, being found in all shapes and forms, from mochi cake to mochi donuts. Keep on reading to find out more about our favorite chewy and delicious mochi desserts.

Mochi Cake

A pile of Hawaiian mochi desserts called mochi cake or butter mochi sits on a light brown table with many of the cakes showing a golden-brown crust.
You may recognize these tasty mochi desserts if you or a loved one are from Hawaii. Image via Shutterstock

Mochi cake, also known as butter mochi, is a traditional Hawaiian dessert that is believed to have both Japanese and Filipino roots since it is a combination of mochi and bibingka (Filipino rice cake). This combination creates a soft and slightly chewy rice cake. Tender and chewy, this dessert is as comforting as cake and as fun as cookie bars, making it one of the most popular mochi desserts abroad.

Mochi cake is completely gluten-free since it uses sweet rice flour instead of regular wheat flour. You can also use different types of mochi to make your mochi cake even more unique! Perfectly sweet and almost fudgy, you’ll keep sneaking back to the pan for another piece.

The coconut custard glutinous rice cake is perfectly chewy, slightly sticky, and just dense enough, with a hint of vanilla and salt. Even better, butter mochi evolves over the course of 24 hours, so it’s like having two treats in one. The first day, it’s got a gorgeous, golden-brown, crispy-crunchy crust, but come day two, the crust transforms into a soft, almost-melty topping. Talk about having the best of both worlds.

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Mochi Brownies

If you love a dense and chewy brownie filled with chocolate flavor, this one is for you. Chocolatey, fudgy, chewy mochi brownies are a perfect blend of chocolate brownies and butter mochi cake. They look just like traditional brownies, but they have a chewy texture when you bite into it. It has a crackly shiny crust, crispy edges, a rich chocolate flavor and a chewy texture, being the perfect blend of brownie and mochi.

Mochi Waffle

Brown waffle sections with hints of purple, made with a mochi and ube batter, sits on a plate next to a fork with a mochi cake in the middle.
This waffle doesn’t just use mochi but adds purple potato to the mix for added flavor and color. Image via Shutterstock

Mochi waffles have a lovely chewy texture on the inside and a crispy outside for a perfect balance of all things wonderful about homemade waffles. These sweet rice flour waffles are a unique version of a classic breakfast that may become your new tasty obsession. The mochi waffle goes so well with some honey, chocolate sauce, or condensed milk. Throw on some fresh fruit, and you have a breakfast made in heaven.

Mochi Pancakes

Japanese fluffy pancakes made with mochi sit on a wooden plate alongside ice cream, red bean paste, and a bowl of green tea on a cafe table.
Not only can you make pancakes, you can also make Japanese-style fluffy pancakes with mochi. Image via Shutterstock

Mochi pancakes are another breakfast or brunch staple that won’t disappoint, being unlike your average pancake as they are chewy and uniquely delicious. Combining a light golden outside and soft, chewy inside makes for an amazing pancake. They’re also naturally dairy-free and can easily be made gluten-free. Plus, pancakes are considered more of a dessert in Japan, so you can enjoy them after lunch or dinner too. 

Just like traditional pancakes, half the fun is with the toppings! You can top pancakes with fresh berries, whipped cream, sprinkles, granola, bits of choco banana, Nutella, peanut butter, chocolate chips, maple syrup, or strawberry sauce for a delicious and unique breakfast!

Mochi Donuts

Two different mochi donuts, one of the most popular mochi desserts, sit on a plate, one with a sugar coating and the other with a green tea-flavored frosting
How can we not add this classic Japanese treat that is now all over Japan? Image via Shutterstock

If you haven’t heard of mochi donuts yet, you must be living under a rock because these are the best of both the worlds of donuts and mochi desserts! These donuts were popularized in Japan from Mister Donut and known as “pon de ring”, becoming famous for their bubble-ring shape. It’s also well-loved for its similar mochi-like texture on the inside and deep-fried donut crust. They tend to come in flavors like green tea, black sesame, and other popular Japanese flavors.

Have you tried any of the mochi desserts above? What mochi dessert is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 Responses

Tina says
August 03, 2022, 8:09 AM

What an insightful take on one of my favorite desserts. I appreciate your thoughts on each variation of mochi goods. I am sold on the mochi waffles and pancakes! Yum!!

David says
September 10, 2022, 9:58 PM

Everything looks so amazing!
My girlfriend and I are lucky enough to have tried Mochi Donuts at a place that recently opened in our city and they are amazing!

Zumi says
September 10, 2022, 11:46 PM

Everytime I went to Japan I need to buy Mochi dounut..I love its chewy and not very sweet compare to the traditional ones!


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