Butter Mochi is a local treat (like a cross between cake and mochi) that you can find in Hawaii. See below for our favorite butter mochi spots (including places for chocolate butter mochi and lilikoi butter-butter mochi!) and a recipe you can make at home.
Today we're talking about one of my favorite subjects: Butter Mochi!
We grew up with Butter Mochi everywhere in Hawaii. At the school cafeteria/snack bar. You'll see butter mochi at potluck parties and bake sales. Someone's mom/aunty/grandma always had a fresh tray of butter mochi at home. It's available at all the local bakeries. It's easy to make and super delicious.
What is Butter Mochi?
Think of Butter Mochi as Hawaii's version of the blondie/brownie. It has a deep golden top, and is just a bit chewy and sweet. Imagine vanilla butter cake crossed with mochi. Heavenly! Butter Mochi is usually baked in a 9x13 tray and cut into squares for snacking. It's meant to be shared and eaten at room temperature.
The two main ingredients in Butter Mochi are mochiko flour and coconut milk...
What is Mochiko Flour?
Mochiko flour is what gives Butter Mochi that chewy mochi-esque texture. Mochiko flour also goes by the name "sweet rice flour" and "glutinous rice flour."
Where to get Butter Mochi
If you're in Hawaii...anywhere! Bakeries, the local farmer's markets, a friend's house, you name it. There's no single place that has "the best" butter mochi (mainly because everyone also makes it at home). Here are a few places where I like to buy butter mochi:
- Diamond Head Market and Grill (Oahu) - Look for the giant rack of baked goods next to the cash register. A nice 3x3" square of butter mochi (pictured above) is just $3.75.
- KCC Farmer's Market (Oahu) - The market vendors are always changing, but guarantee you'll find 2-3 vendors offering butter mochi. Try them all and compare!
- Whole Foods Hawaii (Kahala Mall location) - Unexpected but yes! Look in the bakery section for boxes of butter mochi slices (pictured above, they sell it by the pound). I've checked other Whole Foods locations but have only found it at Whole Foods Kahala. It's really good and they even make chocolate butter mochi.
- Kahuku Farms - Once you've tried classic butter mochi, you'll want to branch out and try the many variations found in Hawaii. I really love the Lilikoi (passion fruit) Butter-Butter Mochi from Kahuku Farms (pictured above)! It comes in a four pack, individual butter mochi rounds with a dollop of lilikoi butter on top. There's also lilikoi butter mixed into the batter. (Pro tip: Kahuku Farms is right across the street from Romy's Kahuku Prawns and Shrimp, so get a garlic shrimp plate while you're there.)
Butter mochi at Liholiho Yacht Club in San Francisco
Butter Mochi Outside of Hawaii
I love hunting for Hawaii food outside of Hawaii! You can butter mochi in so many other cities. In San Francisco, Liholiho Yacht Club has an off-menu (just ask for it) butter mochi that comes with a top layer of coconut custard.
Brown butter mochi at Porridge and Puffs in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, Porridge and Puffs makes an amazing brown butter mochi (thin slices of butter mochi are pan-fried) that comes to the table hot and crisp with miso caramel.
What if you just want to make it at home? You're in luck. Butter Mochi is easy to make...
Butter Mochi Recipe
Make sure to use mochiko flour from Koda Farms. The coconut milk gives it that rich and nutty undertone. And the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples like butter, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, and sugar. Mix everything in one bowl and bake away. It couldn't be easier.
See below, this is the Butter Mochi recipe we've been using for decades ^_^
- Using a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth.
- Pour into a lightly greased 9x13" pan.
- Bake at 375F for one hour.
- Cool to room temperature and cut into squares for snacking. Enjoy!
Adapted from Hawaii's Best Local Desserts by Jean Hee