How to Make Mochi Ice Cream

Mochi is a delicious Japanese treat made from sweet rice flour, sugar, and water. Often compared to ice cream based on its texture, sweetness, and how good it is when chilled, some genius had the bright idea to combine the two and give us the amazing dessert that is mochi ice cream - little balls of ice cream wrapped up in a sweet and sticky layer of mochi.

While professionally produced mochi might seem out of reach for anyone not living in Japan, it's actually quite simple to learn how to make mochi ice cream at home with only a few ingredients and supplies. Simply follow this recipe to teach you everything you'll need to create these fabulous frozen mochi balls using your favorite ice cream from scratch.

Mint green mochi ice cream that has been cut open, on a mint-colored dish.

Servings: 10 mochi ice cream balls, approximately

Prep Time: 30 mins.

Freeze Time: 30 mins.

What is Mochi Ice Cream?

Mochi ice cream is a delightful Japanese confection made with ice cream that is enveloped into a dough in a shape similar to a purse-shaped dumpling! The mochi dough itself is made with glutinous rice flour or 'sweet rice flour'. It goes through a process of steaming and then being rolled and cut out into circles to be later filled with a ball of your favorite ice cream; unique and delicious!

Traditionally, the mochi dough is steamed, but in can also be cooked in the microwave (which is how we will be showing you in this tutorial) or even with a mochi maker.

What is Glutinous Rice Flour?

A bag of glutinous rice flour.

Glutinous rice flour is flour made from 'sweet rice' or 'sticky rice'; the rice that is used in sushi. The word glutinous in its name is pertaining to the stickiness of the rice and is actually gluten free. It is very starchy and therefore works well as a thickening agent for gravies, soups etc.

It is not to be confused with regular rice flour, which is made from the common white rice. However, It can also be used in gluten-free baking.

Step #1. Prepare Ingredients

Prepped ingredients for mochi ice cream on kitchen counter.
  • ¾ cup glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • Cornstarch (or glutinous rice flour)
  • Your favorite ice cream (we used mint chocolate chip)
  • Round cookie cutters
  • Plastic wrap pieces
  • Silicone mold or muffin pan (to freeze ice cream balls in)

Note: There is a slight difference in ​​glutinous rice flours. Shiratamako is more expensive but is easier to combine with the water and easier to work with when rolling out the dough. Mochiko is cheaper and more available, but harder to work with.

COOKING TIP: Keep the kitchen cool while working with the ice cream.

Step #2. Scoop out Ice Cream Portions

Scooped out ice cream balls into silicone mold on pan.

Scoop out the ice cream in smaller portions (you can use an ice cream scoop for this) and freeze it (this will help you work with the ice cream easily when forming the mochi - instead of working with the whole container).

Step #3. Mix Rice Flour, Sugar & Water

Glutinous flour in a bowl.

Pour the rice flour, sugar and water in a bowl and mix well until it has dissolved completely.

Sugar and rice flour in a bowl.
Sugar, rice flour and water in a bowl.
Sugar, flour and water mixed together in a bowl.

Step #4. Cook the Mochi Dough in Microwave

Plastic wrap covering bowl of flour mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and heat it on high heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Take it out and stir carefully with a spatula. Cover again and cook for 1 more minute at high heat. Stir again with the spatula and cook for 1 more minute. (Total 3 minutes).

Bowl of mochi dough mixture, just out of the microwave.
Bowl of mochi dough mixture, just out of the microwave.
Bowl of mochi dough mixture, just out of the microwave, spatula with some of the mixture on it.
Mochi dough forming in bowl, hands using spatula to mix.
Mochi dough formed in bowl, with spatula.

Step #5. Roll Out Mochi Dough

Rolling pin covered in corn starch, rolling out the dough.

Cover the work surface, and your hands, with corn starch or glutinous rice flour (it should be abundant) and transfer the cooked mochi. Cover it completely with more corn starch and roll it until flat (about 2 mm thick).

COOKING TIP: Whenever you feel the dough get sticky, add more of the starch.

Step #6. Cut the Dough into Circles

Rolled out dough, cut into circles.

Cut circles out of the dough using a cookie cutter. Pile the circles on top of each other, separating them with plastic wrap so they don’t stick (add more cornstarch if needed). You should get approximately 10 circles in total. We used a cutter that had a diameter of 11 cm (4.5 inches).

Be prepared to work quickly as mochi dough becomes less flexible and harder to work with the longer it sits.

COOKING TIP: You can combine the cut outs and roll them together again to make new circles.

Rolled out dough, cut into circles.

Step #7. Scoop Ice Cream into Mochi Dough Circles

Disc of dough on top of saran wrap in hand, mold of ice cream portions on the counter.

Scoop an ice cream portion out (There isn’t an exact amount. You can use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop the amount that fits into the mochi dough circle.) and place it over one circle. Close the circle with the help of the plastic wrap and place it on a tray. Repeat for the rest of them.

Woman's hand scooping out ice cream portion with a spoon.
Woman's hand holding mochi dough circle with a portion of ice cream in it.
Woman's hand wrapping the plastic wrap around the dough ball.
Woman's hand wrapping the plastic wrap around the dough ball.
Dough balls in plastic wrap on a pan, silicone mold on the side.

Step #8. Freeze & Remove Plastic Wrap

Hands holding a dough ball wrapped in plastic.

Freeze for 30 more minutes. Remove plastic wrap and serve.

Woman's hand opening up the plastic around a mochi ice cream ball.

Serve & Enjoy!

Mint green mochi ice cream on a mint-colored dish.
Mint green mochi ice cream on a mint-colored dish.
Mint green mochi ice cream that has been cut open, on a mint-colored dish.
Mint green mochi ice cream that has been cut open, on a mint-colored dish.
Mint green mochi ice cream that has been cut open, on a mint-colored dish.
Mint green mochi ice cream that has been cut open, on a mint-colored dish.
Mint green mochi ice cream that has been cut open, on a mint-colored dish.

Now you know how to craft fantastic homemade mochi dough and mochi ice cream, perfect for cooling down in the summer when it's hot. That soft, supple mochi exterior blends perfectly with the creamy and decadent ice cream center resulting in what's sure to become your new favorite dessert. Kids may not find this recipe so easy to help out with, but they will surely enjoy eating it!

The great thing about this recipe is just how customizable it is, though. Mochi ice cream flavors are pretty much limitless since you can use any flavor of ice cream you like when you're making them. You could also add food coloring to the dough for something a little more vibrant.  This makes them a simple treat you can create without a fuss, so there's no reason to hesitate when it comes to experimenting.

It is possible to buy a mochi maker online. We haven't tested the use of it, therefore we cannot fully recommend using it, but you might find it helpful if mochi is something you will be preparing often.

Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out...How to Make Cake Pops with Cake Mix

Mochi Ice Cream

While professionally produced mochi might seem out of reach for anyone not living in Japan, it's actually quite simple to learn how to make mochi ice cream at home with only a few ingredients and supplies. Simply follow this recipe to teach you everything you'll need to create these fabulous frozen mochi balls using your favorite ice cream from scratch.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 27 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Freeze Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10 mochi balls
Calories 117kcal
Author Joss D

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • Cornstarch (or glutinous rice flour)
  • Your favorite ice cream, we used mint chocolate chip
  • Round cookie cutters
  • Plastic wrap pieces
  • Silicone mold or muffin pan, to freeze ice cream balls in

Instructions

  • Scoop out the ice cream in smaller portions (you can use an ice cream scoop for this) and freeze it (this will help you work with the ice cream easily when forming the mochi - instead of working with the whole container).
    Scooped out ice cream balls into silicone mold on pan.
  • Pour the rice flour, sugar and water in a bowl and mix well until it has dissolved completely.
    Sugar, rice flour and water in a bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and heat it on high heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Take it out and stir carefully with a spatula. Cover again and cook for 1 more minute at high heat. Stir again with the spatula and cook for 1 more minute. (Total 3 minutes).
    Plastic wrap covering bowl of flour mixture.
  • Cover the work surface, and your hands, with corn starch or glutinous rice flour (it should be abundant) and transfer the cooked mochi. Cover it completely with more corn starch and roll it until flat (about 2 mm thick).
    Rolling pin covered in corn starch, rolling out the dough.
  • Cut circles out of the dough using a cookie cutter. Pile the circles on top of each other, separating them with plastic wrap so they don’t stick (add more cornstarch if needed). You should get approximately 10 circles in total. We used a cutter that had a diameter of 11 cm (4.5 inches).
    Rolled out dough, cut into circles.
  • Scoop an ice cream portion out (There isn’t an exact amount. You can use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop the amount that fits into the mochi dough circle.) and place it over one circle. Close the circle with the help of the plastic wrap and place it on a tray. Repeat for the rest of them.
    Woman's hand holding mochi dough circle with a portion of ice cream in it.
  • Freeze for 30 more minutes. Remove plastic wrap and serve.
    Hands holding a dough ball wrapped in plastic.
  • Serve & enjoy!
    Mint green mochi ice cream that has been cut open, on a mint-colored dish.
Nutrition Facts
Mochi Ice Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 117 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 22mg 1%
Potassium 61mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Sugars 10g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2.2%
Vitamin C 0.2%
Calcium 3.5%
Iron 0.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or dipping sauce.

Tried this recipe?Mention @inthekitchdotnet or tag #inthekitchgrams!

Tutorial Images Credit: In the Kitch

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