Memories of Maui: Butter Mochi Dessert Recipe

Sitting in my kitchen after whipping up the sticky, sweet Butter Mochi, I was loving that my 1 ½ year old, who is currently refusing to eat anything besides cottage cheese and chicken nuggets (no, not healthily homemade like I’d prefer, but store bought and shaped like dinos), was grinding on as much Butter Mochi as he could slam into his mouth. Grinding? To Maui folks, “grinding” is eating and enjoying. As I snuck a square of warm Butter Mochi from his plate, I was instantly transported back to Maui. Simultaneously loving the simple flavor of this dessert and missing the place I was lucky enough to call home for 4 years.

The ocean, the mountains, and the food of Maui are all a far cry from the Plains (and often plain flavors) of Illinois. Thinking about the fresh fish and innovative sushi, the fanciest restaurants I’ve ever been to, and the incredible homemade dishes passed around every potluck make my mouth water. When I was pregnant with my 3 year old, having just moved back to the Mainland, I gave my food-loving friend on island a “cravings wish list” of what I would eat if I were still living on Maui so she could eat it for me and I could live vicariously through her. On top of that list was homemade Butter Mochi.

For my Mainland friends who have never heard of Butter Mochi, it’s time to welcome this little slice of heaven into your family’s life! Butter Mochi is a combination of creamy egg custard and sticky cake. Maybe it can best be described like a dense, cakey crème brulee that is to be sliced and eaten with your fingers. You probably have all but one ingredient in your cupboards right now: sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, eggs, milk, and butter. However, you will have to grab the sweet rice flour, Mochiko, to make this dish complete. If you’re not in Hawaii, you’ll most likely have to order it online­­—but don’t let that deter you from trying this sweet treat. (link to Mochiko)

This is a great recipe to let your little ones help you complete. It’s simple to make and my little ones scoop, pour, and mix in this recipe. Even the simplest kitchen task (like dumping the sugar in the bowl) makes them proud to have “made” the whole thing.   This is such a quick dish to throw together; it’s an easy 10 minutes to have your kiddos help you!

I hope trying Butter Mochi brings your heart to Maui like it does mine when I eat it. Aloha.


Butter Mochi

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 60-70 mins
Yields: Enough to feed a crowd


  • 1/2 Cup - Butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 Pound Box - Mochiko
  • 2 1/2 Cups - Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon - Baking Powder
  • 5 Eggs
  • 3 Cups - Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon - Vanilla Extract


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan with butter or cooking spray
  2. Melt butter, set aside to cool
  3. Mix together dry ingredients: mochiko, sugar, and baking powder
  4. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, and vanilla extract
  5. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix
  6. Add butter and mix
  7. Pour into a Greased 9 x 13 pan
  8. Bake for 60-70 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked through in center. Should be jello like consistency when a fork is put through the middle
  9. Let cool, slice into small bricks. (Hint: Use plastic knife or grease knife so it doesn’t stick.)
  10. Best if eaten the day it’s made!

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1 Comment

  • comment-avatar
    Irene October 26, 2016 (4:41 pm)

    Beautiful article, pictures, and recipe, Jill. You are a Movie Star