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 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. So ono!
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, potluck parties, soccer games, 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 and top photo in this post) is just $3.75. Get other great desserts and a plate lunch while you're there.
Local Farmers Market (All Islands)
The market vendors are always changing, but you'll find at least 1-2 vendors offering butter mochi. Try them all and compare! On Oahu I like to visit the KCC Farmer's Market and the Kaka'ako Farmers Market.
Kahuku Farms (Oahu)
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! 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.)
Former Butter Mochi
Just want to give a shoutout to a few great butter mochi options that no longer exist (though here's hoping that they bring it back on day ^_^)
Hilton Hawaiian Village (the hotel snack shop)
The chocolate butter mochi at the hotel snack shop was SOOO good! They sold it by the giant square. Take home, slice up and share. Man I loved this butter mochi. Perfect balance, just enough chocolate to make you happy. This one was a gem.
Whole Foods Hawaii (Kahala Mall location)
Unexpected but yes! The bakery section sold containers butter mochi by the pound. I only ever saw it at the Kahala Mall location. It's really good and they also made chocolate butter mochi.
Butter Mochi Outside of Hawaii
I love seeking out Hawaii food outside of Hawaii! You can find butter mochi in many other cities.
In San Francisco, Liholiho Yacht Club makes a butter mochi that comes with a top layer of coconut custard. It comes out warm ^_^ So good. It's an off-menu item but all you have to do is just ask for it.
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 butter mochi at home? You're in luck. Butter Mochi is easy to make...
Mochiko flour is the most important ingredient! The coconut milk gives it that rich and nutty undertone. 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.
Step by Step Directions
Using a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
Mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth.
Pour and Bake.
Pour into a lightly greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 375F for one hour.
Cool and Eat.
Cool to room temperature and cut into squares for snacking. Enjoy!
FAQs and Tips
Make sure to use mochiko flour from Koda Farms.
You want the full fat coconut milk from a can.
Keep it in a sealed container, no need to refrigerate. It's perfect at room temperature (that's how we eat it 99% of the time), but also so onolicious when it's still slightly warm.
Butter Mochi Recipe
See below, this is the Butter Mochi recipe we've been using for decades. It's been adapted from a popular local cookbook called Hawaii's Best Local Desserts by Jean Hee ^_^
- 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.