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With spring here in full action, and 3284323576 of my colleagues and friends jetting off to Tokyo and posting photos of their Japanese treats on Instagram, I found myself craving mochi and matcha all the time. I was also bombarded with photos from Third Culture Bakery in Berkeley, which specializes in mochi muffins and Japanese sweets. So with cravings came curiosity, and I decided to do a little bit of research on desserts I could make with the Mochiko rice flour I had lying around.
I attempted to recreate the mochi muffins at home—though I consider them to be "mochi cupcakes" because of how dainty and light they are. Several recipes online suggested using coconut milk instead of regular milk, and I found that the lighter, more refreshing flavor of the coconut was a great match for the heavier, more intense flavor of the matcha.
I tried a total of four different flavors. At the very top you can see the matcha mochi cupcakes with no filling. The plain ones were stuffed with passionfruit jam, guava jam, and cookie butter.
Prior to baking these, I happened to stop by Trader Joes and brought home a jar of cookie butter. If you haven't had cookie butter, well, what are even you doing reading this blog? You should be rushing to TJ's right this moment to buy a jar and experience your life change. Anyways, since I had an entirely new jar of cookie butter at my disposal, I couldn't help by try to incorporate it into these as well.
I purchased my guava and passionfruit jams from Nijiya Market. Before I discovered that Nijiya carried guava jam, I resorted to amazon to purchase guava paste and guava jam (which I used to make these guava pastries). Now I can simply make a trip to Japantown and find not only guava jam, but also the other exotic pineapple, passionfruit, papaya, and strawberry-guava jams by Hawaiian Sun.
Before adding the top layer of batter to cover each cupcake, I scooped a teaspoon of jam and cookie butter into each the plain mochi cupcakes. I found that the passionfruit and guava also worked really well with the faint coconut flavoring from the milk to create a tropical flavor. As for the cookie butter, well, I think we can all agree that goes with everything.
Instead of going out of my way to buy actual matcha powder, I cheated once again with an instant latte mix. If you've read my previous dessert posts, you'll know I'm quite a big fan of instant coffee and latte mixes and find them to be an easy but creative addition to a lot of different baked goods (you can see how I incorporated a cafe latte mix into my chocolate cheesecake cupcakes). I added a total of 2 small packets of instant matcha to my batter and I found it to be a bit less scary than adding raw matcha due to its strong flavor and coarse texture that may easily overwhelm the cupcakes.
The matcha flavored cupcakes had a nice, subtle green tint to them when they came out of the oven. To add a little more pizzaz to them, I dusted powdered sugar on top. The color scheme reminds me a little bit of Christmas. In fact, I'm sure you could just add a raspberry or strawberry on top to make these work for the holiday season. I know, I know, we still have a long ways to go till Christmas—but I'm letting you know in advance just in case.
Unfortunately, I ran out of cupcake liners and had to add the batter directly to the cupcake pan—so a few of plain ones turned out a bit flatter and more golden on the sides than the ones at the start of this post. But no worries—just remember to spray your cupcake pan with cooking spray before you add your batter. Also remember to wait for your cupcakes to chill before you flip them out of the pan. Difficult, I know, especially because these smell so damn good when they first come out of the oven. The cookie butter ones were the most popular amongst my family and friends, whom I ended up gifting these to.
Plain Mochi cake:
- 3 cups Mochiko Rice Flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 cups coconut milk (can replace with regular milk)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- 2 packets of matcha (optional)
- Passionfruit jam (optional)
- Gava jam (optional)
- Passionfruit jam (optional)
Takes , Makes 12 for a standard cupcake pan.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F (148˚C).
- Line a standard cupcake/muffin pan with baking cups. If you're adding the batter directly to the pan without the baking cups, make sure to grease your pan with cooking spray or butter so the cakes come out easily after baking.
- Combine all the wet ingredients (sugar, coconut milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract) together. Slowly add the Mochiko rice flour and mix until fully combined
- (Option 1) If you're making a batch that are matcha flavored, add in the two packets of the instant matcha latte mix and mix well.
- (Or, option 2) If you're planning to add fillings, fill up the muffin 1/2 of the way with the batter. Add 1-2 tsp of jam or cookie butter to each cup, then add more batter to cover the filling, until each is filled 3/4 of the way.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Do note that they are very delicate when they first come out of the oven, so wait until they're cool before taking them out of the muffin tin. Finish by dusting with powdered sugar.
For more cooking:
Sorry about my inactiveness this month on the blog! Work being a hot mess and practicing for various gigs has got me sleeping at around 2-3AM every night. So finding time to compose posts like this is quite the challenge. Hopefully May will be a better month :)