Hawaiian Sweet-Rice-Flour Coconut Cake

March 22, 2011

I had no idea what to expect from this recipe! I was looking to make a cake that would be easy to throw together and get into the oven quickly, and also one that would be convenient to take to work in my lunchbox (i.e. no goopy frosting). This snack cake from Gourmet Today caught my eye since I had purchased a box of mochiko, the sweet rice flour used to make Japanese mochi, on a whim a couple months ago. The cake contains no wheat flour, and knowing the very chewy texture of mochi, I was very interested to see what the texture of the cake would be. Turns out that this is indeed a very chewy and springy cake – definitely reminiscent of mochi balls! Some may find the texture unappealing if they’re expecting cake with a more traditional crumb, but anticipating something very different, I was not at all displeased by the mouth feel. The flavor is not overly sweet and the coconut flavor is mild, so it’s the perfect after-lunch dessert. This cake also has the advantage of being gluten-free, if you are ever called on to make a dessert for those who have celiac disease or an allergy. Overall, a successful experiment in previously untried ingredients!

Mochi cake

Makes 24 squares

Can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated, covered. However, some crispiness around the edges of the cake pieces will be lost.


  • 3  cups (1 pound) mochiko (sweet rice flour)
  • 2 1/2  cups sugar
  • 2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 2  (14-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
  • 5  large eggs
  • 1/2  stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted andcooled
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together mochiko, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together coconut milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla in another bowl. Add coconut mixture to flour mixture, whisking until combined.
  4. Pour batter into ungreased baking pan (I still put some parchment paper on the bottom of my pan because I didn’t quite trust this instruction!), smoothing the top. Bake until the top is golden and cake is beginning to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.
  5. Cut into 24 squares before serving.

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