Coconut Butter Mochi Cake Recipe – Gluten Free

Savor a taste of the Hawaiian islands with this scrumptious coconut butter mochi cake which just happens to be gluten free. With extra coconut milk and sesame seeds, it’s a fantastic treat for any luau or tropical themed party!

piece of coconut mochi cake on plate

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Mochi is a Japanese cake made with sweet glutinous rice flour. Plain mochi is delicious and one of my most anticipated treats when going to Little Tokyo in downtown LA.

This buttery coconut rice cake takes plain mochi to a new level of moistness and flavor. A favorite in Hawaii and soon to be a favorite in your house.

I know what you’re thinking though; you see the words “Gluten Free” in a recipe and you may say, “That’s not for me, I can eat gluten, therefore, I should make a regular cake and not a gluten free cake”. I hear you. Although I only came across butter mochi cake when looking for a dessert to make for a friend with celiac disease, it quickly became one of my family and friends’ favorite treats.

And it’s also is a best seller at the church’s bake sale! It really stands out in an endless sea of breads, cookies, and brownies. I have included a free download of catchy tags for bake sales at the bottom of this post.

Cocomut butter mochi cakes wrapped with label

I’ve tweaked the original recipe to make it extra “coconuty” (like my daughter would say) and added the sesame seeds, which blend perfectly with the Asian theme.  A friend, whose wife is Hawaiian, admitted in confidence my butter mochi was better than his wife’s. (Well I hope she’s not reading this right now. No, really, yours is good too and was my first inspiration!).

Definitely, an easy cake to make and the perfect dessert for a tropical party.

Scroll down for a visual of the ingredients and of the finished product. Check out the full recipe at the bottom of this post. Jump to Recipe

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you use glutinous sweet rice flour and not just regular rice flour. They’re made of different types of rice and will yield very different results.

There are several brands of sweet rice flour but, although I used Bob’s Red Mill in the photo, I recommend using Mochiko flour. The box comes in a convenient 1lb weight and it makes a fabulous mochi texture.:

You probably won’t need to go to a Japanese market or Asian grocery stores to find these ingredients. Coconut milk and roasted sesame seeds are pretty common, and my Walmart, Krogers, and Whole Foods often carry the Mochiko flour too.

Ingredients for Hawaiian cocconut butter mochi cake recipe

Most of the ingredients are separated into wet and dry then mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, rum, coconut milk, and regular milk.

In a separate bowl, stir together the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. The melted butter and shredded coconut flakes go last.

Mix well and pour in a buttered pan.

Coconut mochi cake wet and dry ingredients in bowls

After the mixture is poured into the baking pan, the sesame seeds get sprinkled on the top like this:

Butter mochi cake with sesame seeds on top before baking

Which turns into a delicious crispy crust:

baked mochi cake


piece of coconut mochi cake on plate

Mochi is best served at room temperature and will keep for several days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Butter Mochi Cake recipe with coconut

coconut mochi cake - 25 Yummy Hawaiian luau party foods for your next backyard bash - tropical foods and recipes - Press Print Party!
5 from 1 vote

Hawaiian Coconut Butter Mochi Cake

This easy Hawaiian local-style treat is made with coconut, butter, and sweet rice flour. A great dessert for any tropical party!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, hawaiian, Japanese
Keyword butter mochi, cake, coconut, gluten free, mochi
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12
Author Nathalie Brown


  • 1 lb sweet rice flour Mochiko glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour
  • 2 1/2 cups white Sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 Tbs rum
  • 1 can coconut milk + enough milk to make 3 cups 3 cups includes coconut milk and milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Grease a 9"x13" baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, rum, coconut milk, and milk.

  3. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to blend well.

  5. Mix in melted butter and shredded coconut flakes. Pour into the prepared pan.

  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds on top.

  7. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Cool completed then cut into squares to serve.

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6 thoughts on “Coconut Butter Mochi Cake Recipe – Gluten Free

  1. Dena says:

    My husband is Hawaiian 🌺 and we have three children. Naturally they love the coconut mochi cake. His mother gave her her recipe , but I will be trying this one thanks for sharing

    • Press Print Party says:

      Thank you so much! There is no fascinating history behind the recipe. I just LOVE mochi and knew a Hawaiian gal who made mochi cake for her parties. I liked it but decided to make my recipe with lot more coconut flavor. It’s a true favorite at our house and gets real compliments when I bring it somewhere.

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