Heart beats for cake


(Adzuki bean with vanilla, and hazelnut Pocky)

If you
If you could
If you could only
If you could only stop
If you could only stop your
If you could only stop your heart
If you could only stop your heart beat
If you could only stop your heart beat for
If you could only stop your heart beat for one heart
If you could only stop your heart beat for one heart beat.

–Too many birds, Bill Callahan.

Do you ever feel like sometimes you love a song so much that it’s hard to describe what it’s like to hear it. Is it like falling in love? That electric feeling that jolts your heart when fingers touch. That first kiss. The inexplicable sense of everything being right in the world.

My current obsession is Bill Callahan’s album, Sometimes I wish We were an Eagle. It is on rotation in my house every day. If I’m not listening to it, I’m humming it quietly under my breath – as I traipse down the street, while I wait on the platform for my train, or when I’m dealing with someone I do not enjoy interacting with. During these moments, Bill whispers. Joyfully.

I dread the moment I become oversaturated on Bill and finally get sick of that album. Later down the track, I know I can come back to it and rediscover how great each song is. And the heart will beat faster again.


(Black mochi cake with sesame)

Several bags of glutinous rice flour later, and I’m still not sick of mochi cake yet. I first made one from Elizabeth Falkner’s book, but did not like the result. My next attempt, using Food Librarian’s recipe for cherry mochi cakes was very successful. It planted the seed of interest, and the fact that her recipe is the easiest “one-bowl-wonder” ever, further enabled my obsession. I have also since adapted the recipe to suit my preferences, resulting in a slightly lighter and less sweet cake, which still maintains that elusive diplomatic balance between a Western cake and an Asian chewy dessert.


(Mochi blondie)

If like me, cake governs your heart as much as music does, then this recipe is for you. Once you’re hooked, you’ll probably find yourself playing around with the ingredients. Substitute mochiko for black glutinous rice flour or green pandan rice flour (both available from Thai grocery stores). Or substitute thin coconut cream for evaporated milk, throw in some cherries and top the batter with shredded coconut or chocolate chips, and you have a mochi cake version of the Cherry Ripe bar. Or add some melted white chocolate, and fold in white chocolate buttons and macadamia nuts, and you have a chewy mochi blondie.

Make this, and when you taste it, you will know what I mean. Mochi cake, be still, my beating heart.

Mochi Cake :

225g mochiko [I use Thai glutinous rice flour, available from most Asian grocery stores, to great effect]
85g unsalted butter, melted
175g caster sugar
187g evaporated milk (1/2 can)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
additional ingredients of choice eg. fresh berries, chocolate, nuts

Preheat the oven to 175’C. Grease and line a 12 x 8 x 1.5 inch rectangular baking tin.

Sift the mochiko and baking powder together. In an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the melted butter, then the evaporated milk and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients and any extra ingredients you wish to incorporate into the cake. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared baking tin.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack, then remove from tin and cut into desired shapes.

Variations :

Mochi blondie : Reduce sugar to 150g. Melt 100g white chocolate with the butter and proceed with the method above. Fold extra white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts into the batter at the end, if desired.


(::vanilla pannacotta, adzuki brownie, black mochi cake, adzuki snow, soy caramel dust, homemade Pocky)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. ilingc said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    hey y,
    mochi cake sounds intriguing!
    i think i saw a pack of glutionous rice flour at home when i was cleaning out the pantry, might put it to good use! πŸ™‚

  2. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    I hadn’t heard of mochi cake until now, when you and Zita have both made it look beautiful. Since it’s gluten free as well I should really give it a go.

  3. Steph said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

    How lovely, I’ve never tried mochi cake before. It sounds like a great change in texture from a regular cake! Loving all your different variations, what would you substitute for macadamias if you wanted a nut-free blondie? chickpeas?

  4. Trisha said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    Oh these are perfect, Y! I have a whole bag of glutinous rice waiting to be transformed into something wonderful and your cake variations are just perfect!

  5. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    Y – this looks so lovely. It’s like…. is it a brownie?….is it a slice?…..what is that chocolate looking wafer?….. Love the sound of a recipe that you can adapt with different flavours and such. I have never had anything like this before. I so have to give it a go. Or getting a chance to taste test, would be soooo worth not cancelling on a catch up! πŸ˜‰

  6. clumbsycookie said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

    Yes cake pretty much rules my heart too! I’m almost sure I can’t find that type of flour here (and that’s why I’ve actually never tasted a mochi before)… I love the name mochico ahahah!

  7. Jen @ MaplenCornbread said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

    I havent heard of mochi cake before now either but now I want to try! Beautiful pictures!!

  8. erin@dessert girl said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

    Yay mochi! I just wrote a post about mochi ice cream, which I haven’t posted yet, so I’m excited to see your mochi cake! Also, the homemade pocky made me smile. πŸ™‚

  9. anna said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 12:02 am

    Hooray for mochi cake! I would use the rest of my Mochiko for mochi cakes in a heartbeat if Z weren’t so obsessed with the idea of homemade daifuku. Which I am lousy at making. Because I have no dumpling skillz.

    The blondie sounds really good! I don’t think I’ve ever made blondies, mochi or no. Will have to keep that in mind.

  10. Manggy said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 12:14 am

    Okay, I finally saw glutinous rice flour (not explicitly Mochiko, but it is used in Southeast Asian desserts), and I’ve GOT to try this. Beautiful platings too– I love the flower, such attention to detail!

  11. Anh said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 1:32 am

    Absolutely beautiful! Love the idea of a baked mochi cake. And that home-made Pocky, you know I want it badly πŸ˜‰

  12. Sophie said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 1:39 am

    I have quite a few songs that do that to me :). My hubby is a big mochi fan…and you know what? I even named my guinea pig Mochi hehe!

  13. bowb said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 1:39 am

    holy moley! that looks amazing! hey, is the black mochi cake made with the black glutinous rice flour? i am totally going to a thai video grocery store tomorrow.

  14. Irene said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 2:08 am

    OH, I love this variation of skipping stones! Very beautiful.

  15. rose said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 3:06 am

    Seriously interesting! My bf loves mochi – this will blow his mind!!!!

  16. maybelles mom said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 10:52 am

    what a wonderfully evocative take on falling in love with music and cake. I totally understand.

  17. betty said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 11:48 am

    Wow, mochi cake! Sounds awesome! I’m passing on the Kreativ Blogger award to you! I always love seeing your amazing creations! Check out my blog for details!

  18. Veron said,

    July 19, 2009 @ 11:41 am

    I’ve never used glutinous rice flour in my baking but I’ve had it in Asian desserts and I love the texture and flavor. This looks like something my heart would skip a bit over too!

  19. Tim said,

    July 19, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

    I just looked up Bill Callahan on youtube, and yeah, iTunes Store here I come… Turns out I’d heard his voice before though. He sings backup vocals on one of my all-time favourite songs, “Only Skin” by Joanna Newsom. If you haven’t heard her before, I can’t recommend her album “Ys” emphatically enough.

  20. Zita said,

    July 20, 2009 @ 3:19 am

    Ooo… mochi cake blondie..that I must try… Iove the pic.. it’s like pond of mochiko fairy πŸ™‚

    ps: homemade pocky and Bill Callahan? you’re one cool girl Y! πŸ™‚

  21. cyn said,

    July 21, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

    wow this mochi cake sounds interesting! oh i do love the chewiness of asian desserts. πŸ™‚

  22. Caitlin said,

    July 23, 2009 @ 3:23 am

    Again with the mochi cake! It’s like you keep telling me “get thee to a store and buy mochiko!” As for music, I find myself listening to albums in streaks as well – I’d say ruts, but that just sounds negative.

  23. Jude said,

    July 24, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

    I find it hard to imagine what the texture is gonna be like on this cake. I’ll just have to find out, I guess πŸ™‚

  24. Hannah said,

    July 25, 2009 @ 1:40 am

    That mochi blondie sounds to-die for! I especially adore chewy bars like this, so I’ll absolutely have to try veganizing it…

  25. Julia said,

    August 2, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

    I love how you present your cake on tiles!! thats sooo creative and they look so pretty. I’m drooling over my keyboard now……

  26. Wendy said,

    March 6, 2010 @ 2:17 am

    Half a year later, but I made this yesterday – so yummy! I love the texture! I adapted so it is a matcha mochi cake with red beans. Thank you for the awesome recipe πŸ™‚ I love it!

  27. XiaoYen said,

    March 21, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

    I love these kinds of cake. My coworker made one coconut mochi cake but was reluctant to share the recipe. I’m glad I found this recipe!

  28. betty said,

    March 22, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    wow this looks great im gonna look around for different falvour variations :O)

  29. betty said,

    March 22, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    i really want to try these out this is the 4th blogpost ive seen on mochi cake :O)

  30. hanushi said,

    January 18, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    Hi lemonpi,

    I have just made some of these. I like them a lot and have linked to you. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  31. Ruby said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    Hi there,
    Pls explain how to make the variation for black sesame mochiko cakes, would you just sub black glutinous rice flour for the mochiko flour, and that’s it?


  32. Y said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    Hi Ruby, I substituted the mochi flour with black glutinous rice flour. The resulting cake was pretty fantastic. Not as ‘chewy’ as the regular mochi cake, and rises very evenly.

  33. alice said,

    December 3, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    Hi, big thanks for the recipe however when I tried it the cake didn’t rise at all and ended up as one big sticky cake, when mixing the sugar and egg any pointers to how fluffy it should be? For me it was glossy and frothy but didn’t seem to hold any volume and I had trouble folding in dry ingredients, it was real lumpy, so gave it a whirl with hand mixer (no paddle attachment available), wonder if that is a no-no?
    P.s.: I’m a Bill Callahan fan too!

  34. Y said,

    December 3, 2014 @ 10:47 am

    Hi alice! Strange that the cake didnt rise for you. I usually treat the recipe like I would, a normal sponge cake. So when whisking the sugar and egg, do it like you would for a sponge, and then fold in the other ingredients quickly and gently to prevent it from deflating too much. If you have trouble folding in the dry ingredients, try sifting it over the wet ingredients, which may assist in evenly distributing it on the surface, before it gets folded in. If the mixture gets worked too much, it may end up being dense (especially because of the mochi flour), but still delicious.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment