Last updated on July 25th, 2020
Matcha mochi cake is all at once savory and sweet. Sweet chewy sticky butter mochi cake with earthy nutty matcha notes and a crisp toasted coconut topping holding bits of flaky salt. From Alana Kysar’s Aloha Kitchen (with matcha added), butter mochi cake could not be any easier to make with only about 5 minutes of active time!
When I was working at her preschool earlier this week, Zoella powderized a piece of green chalk through a mesh sifter and announced to everyone, “this looks like matcha!!” She giggled wildly, pleased with her observation. The three other kids at the art table exchanged puzzling glances.
This was my proud mama moment of the day. I was just as pleased as her. For matcha has become part of her daily lexicon. It’s also become her morning ritual to ask to dip a finger in my matcha (which, she’ll tell you, is decidedly better than daddy’s coffee).
Traditional Hawaiian Butter Mochi Cake
This recipe comes very slightly adapted from the Butter Mochi recipe in my friend Alana’s latest cookbook Aloha Kitchen. The original butter mochi is the stuff of dreams. Here I’ve given it a Matcha March twist by adding a heavy dose of matcha to the batter. Make both. And pick up a copy of her book. Also follow her blog for all the butter mochi inspiration!
Her cookbook is filled with 85 recipes from the cultures influencing Hawai’i and was named one of the best cookbooks of 2019 by NPR and NYT. Every single beautifully photographed recipe will give you the itch to travel. Or hunker down in your kitchen to make it smell and taste like Hawai’i.
This spin on her recipe combines two of my all-time favorite dessert elements into one super dessert: matcha and mochi. And with this matcha mochi recipe, Matcha March 2020 is finally underway!
To get the mixing process nailed down, I made two pans of this matcha mochi cake in one day. Each pan makes at least 24 bars. More if you cut them smaller. That is a lot of matcha mochi cake. Fortunately, we had a preschool co-op meeting with 60ish hungry parents that night. Every last mochi cake bar disappeared.
That’s the great thing about this recipe. As a traditional dessert found at any Hawaiian party, butter mochi cake feeds a crowd and is so super simple to whip up.
Coconut Mochi Cake
This matcha mochi cake is all at once savory and sweet. Earthy matcha adds nuttiness that balances with the sweet coconuty sticky rice cake. Shredded coconut on top creates a crisp toasted coconut shell and holds little bits of flaky salt. As it sits, the topping softens into a caramel-like toasted coconut blanket on the second day.
The center is sticky and chewy in a way that makes people say aloud, “what is this?” while going back for more and messaging you the next day for the recipe.
How to Make Matcha Mochi Cake
With only about 5 minutes of active time, butter mochi cake could not be any easier to make. Unlike some recipes, Alana’s butter mochi doesn’t require any evaporated milk, which makes the recipe all that much more approachable. This is a theme for all the recipes I’ve tried in Aloha Kitchen: super flavorful and super approachable. You need this book in your kitchen.
A full box of mochiko, a full stick of butter, a full can of coconut milk + matcha, eggs, milk, sugar, baking powder. That’s the base of this recipe. And, it turns out, the order you mix them doesn’t really make much difference in the final baked cake (though the order in the recipe below makes mixing just a bit easier).
Matcha Butter Mochi
To avoid clumps of matcha powder in the batter, rub the matcha powder into the sugar until evenly distributed before adding it to the mochiko. For the most appealing green color, use a high-quality matcha powder. To read more about choosing matcha and to find more matcha recipes, check out my ultimate guide to matcha.
More Coconut Matcha Recipes
- Coconut Matcha Ice Cream
- Healthy Mint Matcha Milkshake
- Coconut Matcha Rice Pudding
- Coconut Matcha Horchata
And for everything you want to know about matcha with so many more matcha recipes, check out my ultimate guide to matcha.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 1½ tablespoons high-quality matcha powder
- One 1-pound box Mochiko flour (also called "sweet rice flour")
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon more for pan
- One 13.5oz can coconut milk, warmed, if needed, until smooth
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- A few pinches flaky salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a 9x13 baking pan generously with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, and milk.
- In another large bowl, whisk together sugar and matcha until completely mixed. Whisk in mochiko, baking powder, and kosher salt. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined.
- Add melted butter and coconut milk and mix fully incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and rap the pan on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
- Evenly sprinkle the shredded coconut on top and sprinkle with a few pinches of flaky salt.
- Being careful not to jiggle the pan too much so the coconut stays on top, transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake until mochi is set and golden brown on top, about 1 hour. Set the pan to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into rectangles, about 1-2 hours. Cut into 20-24 squares using a plastic knife or oiled knife to minimize sticking. (4 columns by 5 or 6 rows works well!).
- Store up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.