Matcha & Coconut Mochi Cake

April  2, 2015
10 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Makes about 2 dozen squares
Author Notes

To embark on this chewy cake journey with me, you need to first assure me that you are down with your baked good being green, and then affirm that you are on board with a cake texture unlike any cake in your past (unless you've made this before). Dense and gummy in a good way—the kind of cake you can really sink your teeth into and entirely without "crumb"— this is a block of coconut-y, green tea goodness that I couldn't get enough of. —Kendra Vaculin

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups glutinous rice flour, like Mochiko (available at Japanese markets)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 1 handful shredded coconut (I used a sweetened variety because I love that stuff—and this dessert, despite the 2 cups of sugar, is not innately that sweet — but you do you!), for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a rectangular 9- by 13-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and eggs together with a whisk until smooth. Then add the milks and the vanilla, stirring to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and matcha together in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet, and mix until you have a thick-ish, almost pancake-like batter—except, you know, it's green and smells like tea and loveliness.
  5. Pour the batter into prepared pan and baked for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a fork stuck into the center comes out clean (it will still be jiggly-ish though! It’s mochi) and the edges have browned slightly and are peeling away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before removing cake from pan (pull it out by the parchment paper overhang). Top with a liberal sprinkling of shredded coconut. Allow to cool completely, then cut up into 24 small squares. You may need to flour the sides of your knife to be able to cut though, especially right after the cake has cooled.
  7. Mochi cake freezes super well! Store it in an airtight container with layers separated by parchment paper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emi Suzuki
    Emi Suzuki
  • Erika
  • bhilz
  • Andrea Love
    Andrea Love
  • May Tan
    May Tan
A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.

44 Reviews

Louise January 2, 2023
This is a fabulous recipe for a Uber-delicious cake -- a super-easy foolproof recipe I have made many times to much acclaim. (it's embarrassing really how easy this is in relation to the appreciation expressed!) Coconut and matcha okay, in a green gelatinous format which is peculiar, but in a welcome way, I find. You don't have to tell everyone how simple it was to bake, just bask in the compliments. Thanks to Kendra for this recipe! I have purchased Mochiko online but this time purchased "sweet rice flour" at my food coop which is exactly the same thing!
Emi S. May 6, 2020
These are definitely one of my favorite desserts to make. They're not too sweet and the texture is perfect. So easy and people are usually impressed, even though they are not difficult! I recommend toasting the coconut first.
Fran August 11, 2019
Love these matcha mochis!! I have made it 3 times now. Last 2 times, I had problems with the butter and eggs not coming together smoothly. Maybe my eggs and my kitchen are too cold? In the end, the mochis still come out. The results are soooooo delicious. It has that mochi texture that is chewy and soft with a perfect not overly sweet deliciousness.
Megan B. October 19, 2019
So glad to see your note: I had the same chunky cool butter problem this time (4th time to make the cake / 1st time for this to happen). It’s in the oven now. Fingers crossed it works out!
Amy July 5, 2019
Great recipe!
So different to any other cake I've tried.
I was worried when putting it in the oven as the mixture seemed a little too runny but it turned out perfect.
I used vanilla flavoured matcha powder too so extra vanilla flavour.
Erika January 28, 2019
I love this cake! It is very unique and the texture is awesome and satisfying. As other reviewers have mentioned, I would definitely taste the batter before baking and add more matcha as needed. I don’t have an exact amount, so I add a little more at a time until I can taste the matcha. This is due to the differences among matcha brands - I have made this with two different brands and one I needed very little and the other I needed quite a lot... that said, it is very easy to adjust and this cake is pretty foolproof.
RP February 14, 2020
Please share the brands of Matcha and which was stronger/weaker.
SoilLady June 18, 2020
Good fresh matcha should be refrigerated. I am weary to buy any that isn’t. I buy it in bulk at the local natural food store.
R G. January 25, 2019
Fantastic recipe! I've made this several times and it's always a hit. I like more matcha flavor so I double the amount in the recipe and then added some to the shredded coconut that you top the cake with. I also tend to like things less sweet to bumped down the sugar to 1.5 cups and it was still plenty sweet.
CeCe January 17, 2018
I had made other Mochi recipes with glutinous flour but this is THE WINNER. Using Macha Tea powder GENIUS.
bhilz July 15, 2017
Finally got around to making this after ages of it idling in my bookmarks! After reading all of the comments about the butter, I decided to use the standard approach for cookies and cakes with butter and simply cream the softened butter with the sugar before adding the eggs. I used a handheld mixer and it came together nicely! I then added the vanilla and milks, followed by the other dry ingredients. I also cut the sugar to 1.5 cups and upped the matcha to 5T. It turned out really well - not too sweet, great texture, with a pronounced matcha flavor.
Quynh April 24, 2016
I'm also questioning whether I should have melted the butter because mine solidified once I mixed in the eggs and now the bits of butter are bubbling in the oven. Also my cake is rising like crazy and is quite lumpy right now (it's about halfway through baking.) Thankfully nothing has spilled over but it's probably about an inch above the top of the pan right now. I double checked and I definitely put in the right amount of baking powder. Anyone else run into the same issue?
Quynh April 25, 2016
As an update, the cake sank quite a lot as it was cooling and ended up looking fine. I'd give it a 7 out of 10.

Only changes I made her to triple the matcha from 1 Tbs to 3 Tbs and reduced the sugar to 1 3/4 cups instead of 2 cups. The cake came out as green as the picture here but I couldn't discern any matcha flavor due to the coconut milk and sugar. I would also cut back the sugar to 1 1/2 cups next time.

All in all, would make again with a couple tweaks - more matcha, less sugar, less butter and melted instead of softened. The texture was great and I especially loved the crispness along the edges and the flakiness on top.
Andrea L. April 13, 2016
Would this possibly work with cocoa powder rather than matcha powder? Not sure if I have matcha powder at home and I really want to try this cake ASAP to get a feel for the texture!
tekkie22 December 4, 2023
Why not? It should work fine. Add a shot of espresso or espresso powder, too, to enhance the flavor.
Alev E. March 19, 2016
Is the butter supposed to be melted? Softened butter does not work.
Elisa June 4, 2015
How do I store it? In the fridge or room temperature and how long can I keep it for? If I freeze it, do I need to reheat it or warm it up to room temperature and serve?
Sly B. May 29, 2015
Yay May Tan!! I too read William O'Brien's post glad someone perfected the recipe now I will give it a try!! My husband loves mochi!!!!!
May T. May 28, 2015
I finally perfected this cake and very happy. I was using the salted butter which complemented the taste of the shredded coconut. Thanks to William OBrien for the 3 Tbs Matcha ( got a very good Matcha from Amazon $25/113 grams). The sweetness is just perfect;not too sweet.
May T. May 27, 2015
Do you use unsalted or salted butter???
CocoJuju May 23, 2015
How sweet is this cake? I tend to prefer my cakes lightly sweetened. Will this recipe work with less sugar? 2 cups of sugar plus the condensed milk sounds really sweet.
Michelle B. May 25, 2015
Evaporated milk - not condensed milk! :-)
CocoJuju May 27, 2015
Ah ha! Thanks for pointing that out. I'll try and make it this weekend.
William O. May 2, 2015
This was awesome! Loved the texture. I did up the matcha when I tasted the batter to 3T total. Finished with powdered sugar/matcha mixed powder instead of coconut.
super G. April 21, 2015
I want to make this to share with my GF, dairy-free friend. What do you think about subbing an oil for the butter? Maybe coconut oil?
RP February 14, 2020
Yes, do you think this is adaptable to dairy, grain, sugar free? Would almond flour work or is the gluten absolutely necessary? Some other nut or coconut flour? Erythritol? Any rule of thumb to keep in mind on making substitutions?
Transcendancing April 19, 2015
I had some issues cooking this in a colder kitchen yesterday morning, but despite the butter curdling, the cake did come together in the end. I cooled it in the tin but it still sunk dramatically, so maybe next time I will cool in an ajar oven. Cake was delicious and I topped it with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk and shredded coconut.
peony April 18, 2015