The discovery of sweet rice flour has changed my life! You might say that I’m slightly addicted…and proud of it, thank you very much.
This vegan banana mochi cake is just my latest jackpot win using this fantastic flour. When blended with a wheat based flour and baked into a cake or quick bread the result is heavenly. This cake is slightly chewy, super moist, substantial, and just plain delicious. I’ve had 6 taste testers so far who all agree!
Sweet rice flour is totally different than the rice flour, or brown rice flour, you may be familiar with for gluten-free baking. This flour is made using the same type of sweet glutinous rice that is used for traditionally made/pounded Japanese mochi (rice balls). Though it is described as “glutinous” rice, it doesn’t actually contain any gluten. The term is a great descriptor for its stickiness and thickness. The most highly recommended brand of sweet rice flour in the US is Mochiko which can be found at Japanese grocery stores, some local stores, and online. I buy mine at a little Japanese grocer/deli in west Midtown called Dainobu. If you happen to live in NYC, check it out, and don’t forget to stock up on their many varieties of mochi 🍡
Vegan Banana Mochi Cake
I think the marriage of Japanese sweets with western desserts, like this cake, is incredibly exciting. I first discovered the combination in a dessert at a new vegan restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called My Kitchen in Brooklyn. The owner/chef, who is from Japan, makes a mochi cake similar to mine that is amazing. When I first tried it I didn’t know how she was able to accomplish such a delightful texture. But after a little bit of research I discovered that the secret was Mochiko.
Now I’m addicted to this Banana Mochi Cake (I’ve got one in the oven right now!), and I can’t wait to play around with other American desserts made with sweet rice flour. Next up will be brownies and pound cake. How ya like that?!
Have some tips for using sweet rice flour in baking? Let me know please! Also, after you’ve tried this recipe, please tell me how you like it. And I always love to see your photos posted to Instagram #sweetpotatosoul 😊
Banana Mochi Cake
- 1 ¼ cup whole spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ¼ cup sweet rice flour I use Mochiko brand
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed + ¼ cup water blended together to thicken for at least 5 minutes
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tbsp instant espresso
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup unsweetened & unflavored non-dairy milk I use organic Westsoy soy milk
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° and grease a baking dish (around 8x8) with coconut oil.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and whisk well.
- In another large mixing bowl combine the wet ingredients, not including the chocolate chips, and mix until smooth.
- Pour the wet into the dry, and mix. Be careful not to over mix.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, then pour the batter into the greased baking dish.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes. I prefer this delicious cake when it has cooled completely.
Emily / September 23, 2021 at 1:25 am /
Thank you for this recipe!! I love all things mochi, but all mochi cake recipes I’ve seen thus far are packed with sugar and butter…not that that’s a bad thing ;). But, most of the time I just save those recipes for special occasions. I’ve been on the hunt for a lighter, dare I say less dessert-like, mochi cake recipe and here it is! My bananas were super ripe – I cut the sugar down to about 1/3 cup. I’m a bit of a purist and I just wanted banana mochi cake so I omitted the espresso and chocolate. I also made this GF swapping Bob Red Mill’s 1:1 baking flour for the spelt/whole wheat
Looking at your photos, I’m thinking that the mochi cake turns out more cake-y with a light bounce when using wheat flours. However, since most GF flours are a blend of rice flours, tapioca starch, etc., it sort of enhances the mochi texture with those types of starches. So, my mochi cake doesn’t have the cake-like crumb structure of yours, but I thoroughly enjoyed it – this just meant that it was even more mochi-like!
Also, both of my 8×8 pans were in use, so I used my muffin tin and the bake time cut down to about 30-32 minutes — worked perfectly!
Heather Duchemin / September 24, 2017 at 8:40 am /
Thanks for this awesome recipe! Made it for the second time but this time without oil (just used extra milk — hemp). My kids didn’t notice a difference and loved it just as much as the first time.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm /
I love that. I’ll try it without the oil using your extra milk hack too . I love this cake 🙂
Dareen Shehab / September 20, 2016 at 7:53 am /
Hi. My grade 6 class and I really enjoyed your blog. Thank you so much!.
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 24, 2016 at 4:58 pm /
Yippee!! That’s so great to hear 🙂 Thank you!
Linda / March 20, 2016 at 8:40 pm /
Great tip on the flour. My co-op didn’t carry the flour but had the rice so I chilled it and used the vitamix to make flour. (I sieved it and reground the chunks) I also reduced the oil to 1/4 and added 1/4 c applesauce, omitted the sugar and added 5 dates and a dropper of stevia and used 1 tsp soda and added 2 tsp baking powder for more poof. Just can’t add sugar and I will try it without oil next time by using some okara and silken tofu. I had to add walnuts – thanks for the starting point!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / March 24, 2016 at 8:15 pm /
Nice! Those subs sound great 🙂 Id be interested to make it with dates too. I love them so much!
Joy Nielsen / September 28, 2015 at 3:00 am /
Please tell me you have tried a gluten free version and what you replaced the spelt/wheat flour with? Just found your blog and this looks to die for. I’m already going to try your tahini cookies and black bean pizza but this this this… for a birthday coming up!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / September 28, 2015 at 4:07 am /
Great question! I made this cake 2 days ago (still enjoying it now), and I was thinking about how I need to experiment with making it totally gluten free. I think it would be great with just sweet rice flour + normal rice flour. Let me know if you try it, and I’ll let you know when I do so 🙂
Sarah | Well and Full / July 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm /
Mochi is one of my most favorite desserts! Unfortunately a lot of times they’re served with dairy ice cream in Japanese restaurants. So I love your vegan application of the sweet rice flour in this cake! 🙂
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / July 22, 2015 at 3:08 am /
Oh, isn’t it the best? Thank yo so much. This cake is one of my favorite recipes 🙂
Bree L / July 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm /
mmmm this looks so good! I’ve never even heard of sweet rice flour, but I am definitely going to scope it out. Thanks for the suggestion!
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul / July 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm /
Thanks so much Bree!! I hope you enjoy it. That flour is so much fun to use 🙂