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Mochi is a delicious Japanese treat made from sweet rice flour, sugar, and water. Some genius had the bright idea to combine it with ice cream 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.

Mochi ice cream on small plate.

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 mochi recipe to teach you everything you’ll need to create these fabulous frozen mochi balls using your favorite ice cream from scratch.

What is Mochi Ice Cream?

Mochi ice cream cut open on small plate close up.

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; it’s unique and delicious!

Traditionally, the mochi dough is steamed on the stove, but it 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 Mochi Ingredients

Prepped ingredients for mochi ice cream on kitchen counter.
  • ¾ cup glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • Cornstarch
  • 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.

Step #2. Scoop out Ice Cream Portions

Mint ice cream balls in a muffin tray with a small tub of ice cream and a scoop on the side, marble background.

Scoop out the ice cream into 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).

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

Step #3. Mix Rice Flour, Sugar & Water

Flour and water in small bowl on marble background.

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

Flour and water mixture in small glass bowl on marble background.

Step #4. Cook the Mochi Dough in Microwave

Flour mixture in small glass bowl with plastic wrap on top, on marble background.

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).

Mochi dough in small glass bowl with spatula.
Mochi dough in small glass bowl with spatula.
Small glass bowl with sticky mochi dough and a spatula on marble background.

Step #5. Roll Out Mochi Dough

Rolling pin on mochi dough ball on floured surface.

Cover the work surface and your hands with corn starch (be generous with it). Transfer the cooked mochi to the work surface. Cover the dough completely with more corn starch and roll it until flat (about 2 mm thick).

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

Step #6. Cut the Dough into Circles

Dough circles on floured surface.

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.

Dough circles on floured surface.

Step #7. Scoop Ice Cream into Mochi Dough Circles

Mochi dough circle on plastic wrap in a hand.

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.

Mochi dough circle with mint chocolate chip ice cream on plastic wrap in a hand.
Hands tying up mochi ice cream ball in plastic wrap.

Step #8. Freeze & Remove Plastic Wrap

Hands removing mochi ice cream ball from plastic wrap.

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

Step #9. Serve & Enjoy!

Mochi ice cream on small plate.

Serve and enjoy!

Mochi ice cream cut open on small plate.

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!

Mochi ice cream ball on small plate.

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.

What flavor of ice cream did you use? If you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make mochi ice cream, please share the recipe!

Mochi ice cream on small plate close up.

Mochi Ice Cream

Joss D
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.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Freeze Time 30 mins
Total Time 58 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 10 mochi balls
Calories 117 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ¾ cup glutinous rice flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • Cornstarch
  • Your favorite ice cream - we used mint chocolate chip

Instructions
 

  • Scoop out the ice cream into 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).
    Mint ice cream balls in a muffin tray with a small tub of ice cream and a scoop on the side, marble background.
  • Pour the rice flour, sugar and water in a bowl and mix well until it has dissolved completely.
    Flour and water mixture in small glass bowl on marble background.
  • 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).
    Flour mixture in small glass bowl with plastic wrap on top, on marble background.
  • Cover the work surface and your hands with corn starch (be generous with it). Transfer the cooked mochi to the work surface. Cover the dough completely with more corn starch and roll it until flat (about 2 mm thick).
    Rolling pin on mochi dough ball on floured surface.
  • 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).
    Dough circles on floured surface.
  • 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.
    Mochi dough circle with mint chocolate chip ice cream on plastic wrap in a hand.
  • Close the circle with the help of the plastic wrap and place it on a tray. Repeat for the rest of them.
    Hands tying up mochi ice cream ball in plastic wrap.
  • Freeze for 30 more minutes. Remove plastic wrap and serve.
    Hands removing mochi ice cream ball from plastic wrap.
  • Serve & enjoy!
    Mochi ice cream cut open on small plate close up.

Equipment

Round cookie cutters
Plastic wrap pieces
Muffin pan

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 22mgPotassium: 61mgSugar: 10gVitamin A: 110IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 0.1mg

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is mochi ice cream made of?

Mochi ice cream consists of dough that is made from glutinous rice flour, water and sugar wrapped around ice cream.

How do you eat mochi ice cream?

You can eat mochi ice cream frozen by hand, after thawing for about one minute to let the dough soften. You can also cut it into pieces or in half, but eat it up quickly before the ice cream melts!

What does mochi ice cream taste like?

The taste can differ depending on the type of ice cream in the center. The dough itself has a slightly sweet taste with a neutral flavor from the rice flour.

Where is mochi ice cream from?

It’s a Japanese treat.

Who invented mochi ice cream?

It was invented by a Japanese-American business woman named Frances Hashimoto.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Although I love mochi as a treat, I’ve never made it. You make it look so easy, and I like the step by step instructions. Saving to give it a try!

    1. Thanks Colleen! It’s a delicious little treat and fun to make. I’m glad you find the step by step easy to follow.

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