Mochi Ice Cream (Video) もちアイス – Just One Cookbook

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Video Mochi ice cream balls

Looking for a fun cooking project with your children? Try Mochi ice cream! The popular Japanese dessert is easier to make than you think. Imagine your kids smiling faces when they bite into their favorite ice cream inside the soft mochi shell.

Vanilla, strawberry, and matcha mochi ice cream served on a glass plate.

Sweet little rice dumpling balls with creamy ice cream filling, mochi ice cream is the cool treat of the summer! After making its first debut in Hawaii in 1994, it didn’t take long for this unique and delicious treat to become the trendy frozen dessert item that took the world by storm.

In the US, you can find mochi ice cream at Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and of course, at Asian grocery stores. The original brand of mochi ice cream, Mikawaya, offers many creative flavors such as green tea, chocolate, and mango, making them so fun to eat.

But did you know you can make mochi ice cream at home? If you enjoy making ice cream at home, this is a super fun project to tackle as a family. It’s relatively simple, so let’s make this sweet dessert truly your own today.

What’s Mochi Ice Cream?

Mochi ice cream is small, round shaped confection made of sticky rice dumpling with an ice cream filling. The rice dumpling is called mochi (餅), a traditional Japanese pounded rice cake made of mochigome (糯米) —a short-grain glutinous rice—known for its sticky, elastic, and chewy texture.

As a mochi-loving child, I loved eating Yukimi Daifuku (雪見だいふく), which is a vanilla ice cream wrapped in gyuhi, a type of mochi. It was a popular Japanese dessert back in the 80s and I was addicted to it.

In the early 1990s, a Japanese American named Frances Hashimoto, who was the former president and CEO of Mikawaya, expanded on the idea of traditional mochi sweets and invented mochi ice cream.

This handheld and super kawaii (cute) dessert is indeed a delicious result of fusion creation! When you bite into the pillowy and delicate sweet rice dough with its creamy ice cream filling, it’s happiness in the mouth! The dreamy combo is what makes mochi ice cream so irresistible, and it’s hard to stop at one!

Variouso mochi ice cream cut in half and placed on the marble cutting board.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour) – I used shiratamako as it yields the best texture. If you can only find mochiko, you can use it. More on the sweet rice flours below.
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Potato starch or cornstarch – I used Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch
  • Ice cream of your choice – store-bought or homemade

Glutinous Rice Flour: Shiratamako vs. Mochiko

Mochiko and Shiratamako

There are two different types of Japanese glutinous rice flours used to make mochi: shiratamako (白玉粉) and mochiko (もち粉).

Both flours are known for their stickiness and chewy texture and are used to make Japanese pastry and sweets. However, the flours do differ in texture and flavor.

When it comes to making best-tasting mochi, I always prefer using shiratamako as it is easier to work with and has a better elasticity and consistency. However, mochiko is more widely available in the US, and most people are familiar with this sweet flour.

As part of my recipe testing process, I’ve made mochi ice cream with both kinds of glutinous rice flour to see the difference. When I asked my friends for their feedback, the majority agreed that the texture and flavor of mochi ice cream made with shiratamko are far superior. So if you can get shiratamako at a Japanese grocery store or online, I highly recommend it.

To learn the difference between these two types of glutinous rice flour, please hop over to shiratamako page to read more details.

Vanilla, strawberry, and matcha mochi ice cream served on a glass plate.

Important Tips for Making Mochi Ice Cream

I know you probably don’t believe me when I say it’s not that hard to make … but you have to trust me! If you follow my tips below, you CAN make decent mochi ice cream even at the first try!


  • Keep your kitchen cool when you are working with ice cream.
  • Get this cookie scoop (portioning scoop) for creating the same portions and nice half-round-shaped ice cream for mochi filling.
  • Use a generous amount of potato/corn starch on your hands and working surface to prevent sticking.
  • Use a cookie cutter (or small bowl) to cut out mochi into a round shape. A round shape (instead of square cut) seals the mochi neatly and avoids an excess amount of mochi on the bottom.
  • And here’s the secret tip! Wear thin latex gloves to insulate warm hands from ice cream and to prevent your hands from sticking to mochi.


  • Do not take shortcuts until you are comfortable with making mochi ice cream.
  • Do not expect to make a perfect shape of mochi ice cream for the first few trials. Working fast is the most important when dealing with ice cream.

Cooking Mochi with a Steamer or Microwave

Both steaming and microwaving methods work well, and it’s really a personal preference. I usually make it with the microwave because it only takes 2.5 minutes to cook mochi. My microwave is 1200W; make sure to adjust your microwave setting accordingly.

Green tea mochi ice cream on a glass plate.

Popular Mochi Ice Cream Flavors

For homemade mochi ice cream, you can choose to use high quality store-bought ice cream or make your own ice cream (if you’re up for it). There are endless flavors, but in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the classics. Here are some of the popular flavors:

  • Matcha Green Tea – My personal favorite and I have a homemade matcha ice cream recipe here.
  • Azuki Red Bean Ice Cream – This is also my favorite. See my red bean ice cream recipe here.
  • Vanilla – My son’s favorite
  • Chocolate – Find my dark chocolate ice cream recipe.
  • Sweet Mango
  • Strawberry – My daughter’s favorite. Or try my strawberry cheesecake recipe.
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Coffee – Find my coffee ice cream here.
  • Dulce de Leche

What’s your favorite? Will you make mochi ice cream from scratch? Or do you have a favorite store-bought brand? Please share in the comments below!

More Delicious Mochi Recipes You’ll Love

White plates containing strawberry mochi cut in half.
  • Daifuku (Small Mochi with Red Bean Paste)
  • How to Make Mochi with a Stand Mixer
  • Green Tea Mochi
  • Strawberry Mochi

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