Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe (Local Style) (2024)

Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe (Local Style) (1)

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This is my favorite Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe– the way the locals like it! Yield- 24 nice sized squares of CHEWY mochi with the golden crinkly top we all love. These mochi bars taste amazing fresh out of the oven, and get chewier after they cool- really the perfect Hawaiian lunch treat.

Serve mochi at your next Luau themed party with a platter of Kalbi Ribs and Huli Huli Chicken skewers.Ooooooh-weee I hope I get an invite!!

For those of us who grew up in the islands, and probably for those of you that visit Hawaii too, the smell of fresh Hawaiian Butter Mochi is nostalgia 101. I picture the Filipino market on Kauai with big rectangles of soft mochi bars wrapped in plastic wrap next to the cash register. Like, no way could I leave without one a’those!

Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe (Local Style) (2)

Is Mochi Japanese or Hawaiian, really?

Mochi is a predominantly Japanese treat that plantation workers brought to Hawaii in the 1800’s- there are lots of different types of Mochi. Hawaii’s most famous take on the classic is Butter Mochi. There’s also Chichi Dango, which comes in a close second, but(besides for the kids in Hawaii) I think we can all agree that butter mochi has a lot more taste and flavor! (so it’s our favorite, k?)

Is Mochi hard to make?

Mochi is actually really easy to make. Some people insist on a dump and mix situation, but I like to cream my butter and sugar and slowly add the rest of the ingredients to make sure there are no lumps. Still, it is so easy, and once you have the right ingredients(and a taste for this special hawaiian treat), you can branch out and try all the other variations! Personally I love coffee and macha flavored mochi ice cream, chichi dango, lilikoi-butter mochi, and Azuki bean filled mochi. Dude, the possibilities are endless!

Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe (Local Style) (3)

Is the “Glutinous Rice Flour” important? Can I substitute it for rice flour?

No you cannot. I am all for substitutions but in this particular dessert, you cannot make a change with the main ingredient. Rice Flour is NOT the same as Glutinous Rice Flour. Regular labeled rice flour(which is yes, much easier to find), is made from long or medium grained rice, aka the rice you have in your pantry to serve with dinner.

Glutinous Rice Flour, on the other hand, is ground from short grain rice aka sushi rice, or sticky rice. Contrary to the name, glutinous rice flour is completely GLUTEN FREE. It simply contains more starch than regular rice flour. Theextra starch is what gives our mochi that sticky, famous texture and sweet flavor.

So- Which flour should I buy for Mochi?

Back in the day in Japan, Mochi was made by soaking glutinous rice, steaming it, and then pounding it into a thin powder. Today, you can go to the store and look for the bag or box labeled: “glutinous rice flour”, “sweet rice flour”, “sticky rice flour”, or “Mochiko rice flour”. Check the asian market, local health food store, or head to Amazon here.

The most famous brand of mochi flour, which is often carried in the regular super as well, is called “Mochiko”, and it comes in a box. But really any glutinous rice flour will do!

Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe (Local Style) (4)

Tips for making the perfect pan of mochi:

Add the ingredients in steps(follow the recipe!).

A lot of recipes for butter mochi will tell you to add all the ingredients together and mix. Or mix the wet and dry separately and then combine them. In order to get the smoothest mochi with no lumps, I advise first creaming the butter and sugar together, and then with the mixer on low adding the egg, then the coconut milk. Or if you are using a bowl and whisk, incorporating each ingredient in before adding the next.

Bake until the top is crinkly.

Does your pan of mochi need to have a crinkly top or does it. LOL! We love that crinkle top! The top will start to crinkle at around 50-60 minutes. The crinkle starts on the edges and the longer it bakes, the more it spreads to the centre. For the whole top of my pan to get the crackle it takes one hour and 10 minutes. Because ovens cook differently, check your mochi starting at 60 minutes(put on a timer!) and then check again in 5 minutes increments. If it takes your pan one hour and 15 minutes, that’s okay too.

This is a recipe for chewy mochi.

This recipe gives you a custardy chewy butter mochi bar. We use less baking powder and additional milk to keep the texture just right(the way I grew up eating it!). If you like a cake-y butter mochi, I suggest trying this recipe from Onolicious Hawaii.

Before you get to baking, I would like to say feel free to add a topping. The most popular additions(add before you place the pan in the oven) are flaked coconut and larger coconut shavings. Either way, you are going to love this popular Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe! Please leave a review below if you try it, and send a photo our way on Instagram– happy cooking loves!

Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe (Local Style) (5)

Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe


A simple but perfect recipe for chewy butter mochi bars with the coveted crinkly top!

Print RecipePin Recipe

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins

Course dessert

Cuisine Hawaiian

Servings 24 bars


  • 9x9 inch pan


  • 1/4 cup butter(58 grams)
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, minus 2 TBSP
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream/milk(1/2 can)
  • 1 1/2 cup mochiko rice flour-glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Preheat and Cream

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F(180˚C).

    Heat the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, it should be mostly melted. If you dont have a microwave you can leave it out on the counter till it is very soft.

  • Add to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

    To measure the sugar, add 2 TBSP brown sugar to a 3/4 cup measuring cup, and then fill the rest of the way with white sugar. (The brown sugar adds color and a light caramel flavour to the mochi. You can use only white sugar if that's what you have.)

    Add the sugars to the bowl with the butter and beat until fully combined and creamy(1-2 minutes).

Add ingredients

  • With the mixer set to low speed, add the eggs, milk, and coconut cream. Turn off the mixer and add the mochiko rice flour, and sprinkle in the baking powder and salt(try not to dump it in all in one spot.

  • Beat until fully comined, 1-2 minutes. Dont worry about over-mixing the batter because there is no gluten in it!

Pour and Bake

  • Butter a 9x9 inch pan, making sure to get the corners and sides.

    Pour in the butter mochi.

    Bake for one hour and then check the mochi every five minutes until you get the crinkly top all around. Mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool, slice, and serve! It will get chewier as it cools.

    Store: wrap the pan with plastic wrap and store the mochi in the fridge.

Hawaii Butter Mochi Recipe (Local Style) (2024)


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