Vegan and Gluten Free Coconut Mochi
I get cravings for these coconut mochi squares. Like, “I gotta have it now” cravings. (I guess that’s why I keep a box of Mochiko flour and a can of coconut in my pantry at all times!) Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, with just the right amount of coconut flavor; it’s not overpowering. It’s *basically* irresistible.
These mochi squares are the perfect treat for a time like this, when we’re staying safe inside with our loved ones and need a little pick me up.
How does this recipe compare to other mochi?
The sweetness level in this coconut mochi is more subdued, not sugary. Its profile is more in line with red bean and sesame Asian desserts. Are you a sweets kind of person? No problem! This recipe is so flexible it’s find to add extra sugar and adjust how you like it.
This mochi is less heavy and rich than Hawaiian butter mochi; it’s lighter and doesn’t make you feel greasy afterwards.
Author of the Recipe: Cynthia Lin
I discovered this recipe from Cynthia Lin when going egg-free and gluten free during my elimination diet. I love how super simple and foolproof this recipe is; half the appeal is having fresh mochi with so little effort. (I’ve tried making mochi in the microwave and rolling balls–yikes! This is soooo much easier.) In this recipe, you mix everything into a pan and bake it–easy peasy. And it feeds a *crowd* of people, with a whopping 24-28 servings! (Ok, I won’t deny it. I’ve also eaten most of a 9×13″ pan myself before.)
I really haven’t tweaked Cynthia Lin’s original recipe–just added some measurements and some extra coconut into the batter. Here’s her cooking video, if you’d rather watch how she makes it.
Is it Kid Friendly?
The second these came out of the oven, all three kids raced to the table yelling, “Mochi, mochi, mochi!” I had to shoo them away so I could let it cool before cutting into it with a pizza cutter! (See below.) They buzzed around like bees to honey or moths to a flame or… ok, I’m out of insect metaphors. They couldn’t wait to dig in.
I also like that it’s not overly greasy (like some butter mochi). If you use lite coconut milk like I do, then it doesn’t feel too heavy either.
Is it Allergy & IBS Friendly?
This is vegan (no butter, no milk) and gluten free (sweet glutinous flour is naturally gluten free). WINNER!
If you’re trying to avoid sugar, you can substitute the sugar 1:1 with Monkfruit. It still tastes just as delicious and is 0 calories and 0 sugar!
Grease the 9×13 inch baking pan on the bottom and the sides with your favorite oil or (if you’re not vegan), butter! Sprinkle coconut liberally on the bottom. This prevents the mochi flour from sticking to the pan.
Make sure to use Sweet Rice Flour; I usually get Mochiko. I use unsweetened coconut flakes and Lite coconut milk, but you are welcome to use full fat coconut milk (if you like your mochi richer), and sweetened coconut flakes (if you like your mochi sweeter). There’s no need to measure–just dump the whole box of flour in!
Combine the dry ingredients so that the flour, baking powder and sugar are evenly mixed.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry. The batter should be slightly thick but a pourable consistency. Feel free to add more water to make the consistency right, if yours is too thick. Lumps are totally okay! You won’t see or taste lumps after it bakes. This recipe is very forgiving.
After the mixture is combined, add 1/2 cup of coconut flakes into the mixture. (Again, add coconut to taste. Play around with how much coconut flavor you like!)
Pour the mixture into the pan and generously sprinkle the top with coconut. This creates a pretty layer of toasted coconut with the added bonus of textural crunch, biting into each piece.
Bake at 350F for one hour. After it’s done, set the mochi on the counter and let it rest for at least 30 minutes to a few hours before turning it upside down on a cutting board for slicing.
(If you’re like me, waiting for the mochi to cool will be hard. Really hard. Really, really hard!) If you just can’t wait that long, the mochi can still be cut into pieces (it’ll just be more challenging to cut because the hot mochi is soft and sticky).
Loosen the sides with a knife and upend it onto a cutting board.
Use a pizza cutter to slice into approximately 2 inch squares. If you don’t have a pizza cutter, a sharp chef’s knife should also work.
Storing and Reheating
These taste even better the next day! Flavors meld together and it becomes denser. Keep them on the counter in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Or, do as I do, and freeze them into blocks! Saran wrap them first, then cover in foil.
To get back the soft gooey texture (whether from the counter top or from the freezer), reheat it in the microwave.
Recipe from Cynthia Lin.
Vegan and gluten free, this mochi is just the right amount of crispy outside and chewy soft inside. Not overly sweet, it's the perfect amount of coconut flavor without being overpowering.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Keyword: dessert, feed a crowd, gluten free, vegan
- a bit of coconut oil for greasing the pan (you can use butter or your favorite oil)
- 16 oz sweet glutinous flour (about 3 cups) I use Mochiko flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ cups white sugar (add more sugar if you like sweeter mochi). If you're trying to avoid sugar, you can replace 1:1 with Monkfruit.
- 13 oz canned coconut milk (one can) (I use lite coconut milk, but you can use full fat if you like a richer mochi)
- 10 oz water (approximately)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus more for sprinkling)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan on the bottom and sides
Lightly sprinkle coconut over the bottom to prevent the mochi from sticking
Make the Mochi
Combine the dry ingredients (sweet glutinous flour, sugar, baking powder)
Add wet ingredients to the dry (coconut milk, water, vanilla extract)
Batter should be slightly thick and pourable, lumps are fine! Feel free to add more water until you get the right consistency
Fold in the ½ cup of coconut flakes (optional, add to your taste preference)
Pour evenly into the pan
Sprinkle the top with coconut flakes for a toasted crunch
Bake for 1 hour at 350F until fully set and coconut is lightly toasted
Let the mochi cool for at least 30 minutes to a few hours. Use a knife to loosen it around the edges, then upend the mochi onto a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter or sharp chef's knife to cut into (roughly) 2 inch squares. Makes 24-28 squares. The flavor gets even better the next day!
I would love to hear any feedback, comments, questions! Comment below. And tag me in your instagram–I would love to see what you make!