Everyone in my family, particularly my Mom, adores anything mochi and its sticky, chewy and "glutinous" texture. So whenever I'm home, I try experimenting on new ways for her to enjoy mochi healthily. This recipe ended up being the one that we both loved: baked pumpkin mochi with raisins. Even though mochi flour (a.k.a. glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour) is usually known for its high glycemic index, the addition of pumpkin puree, almond flour and egg whites help boost the protein, fiber and nutrition content--ultimately lowering the GI value. The best part? You don't lose much of the mochi's chewy texture! A win win for both of us 🙂
Ingredients used to make this
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Glutinous Rice Flour - this goes by many names. You'll see Glutinous Rice Flour and Mochiko Flour (my favorite) in Asian grocery stores, and Sweet White Rice Flour in most other stores. ***Please note that regular white rice flour or brown rice flour is NOT the same thing as glutinous rice flour!!!
- Almond flour – I used blanched almond flour. But you can also make your own by blending raw or blanched, slivered almonds in the food processor and sifting them through a sieve. If don't have almond flour at home, you can use equal amounts of oat flour, whole wheat flour, plain flour or more sweet rice flour.
- Pumpkin puree - I used mashed kabocha squash which I had at home at the time, but I've also used canned pumpkin puree with great results, which you can find in the baking aisle. **note: this is really a versatile recipe and I've made this recipe many times using different fruit and vegetable purees. For example, you can use mashed sweet potato, bananas, or applesauce instead of pumpkin puree!
- Eggs – I used regular large eggs. I haven't tried using egg replacements like flax or chia yet, so you might not get the same results if you decide to substitute.
- Salt – Pink Himalayan salt is what I have at home, so it’s what I use, but you can use any kind for this recipe.
- Sugar – You can use any granulated sugar of your choice, but coconut, date and maple sugars are less processed sugars I would recommend. Honey and maple syrup should also work. For keto options, you could also use stevia (but be sure to convert according to package instructions). For this recipe I used honey powder.
- Olive Oil – Instead of olive oil, you can use coconut oil, or avocado oil here if you'd like.
For the Add-Ins I used
- Walnuts and Raisins – these are absolutely substitute-able. I love the chew and extra nutrition they provide to the bars and there are plenty of other ingredients that can be used instead. For example, you can use cranberries (I recommend the lower sugar kind) or chopped dates or dried figs if you don’t have raisins. You can use pecans if you don’t have walnuts.
More Pumpkin Recipes
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- You don’t have to keep this plain. Add some nuts, dried fruits or mini chocolate chips to keep this cake interesting.
- Chocolate Chip mochi! Just fold in some chocolate chips to the batter.
- Love cinnamon, chai or cardamom flavors? They go well with the pumpkin mochi! Try adding 1 tsp of Cardamom spice, or even Chai Tea Powder.
- With natural flavoring / extracts. Feel free to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (I didn't feel like it was essential so I left it out in this recipe), or other flavorings or extracts, such as cinnamon extract or orange peels.
- Feel free to experiment on using different nut butter. Instead of almond butter you can also use pecan butter, walnut butter, cashew butter, mixed nut butter, or seed butter like sunflower or pumpkin seed butter.
- You can also bake this in a muffin pan instead of a cake pan as I did in the above photos.
How to Make this Healthier
- Add antioxidants: Did you know that cinnamon, matcha and turmeric are all good sources of antioxidants? Add a teaspoon or two of some of these superfood powders to make this recipe even better!
- Increase fiber: Add a Tablespoon of ground flaxseed or coconut flour.. Add a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition to the cake.
- For a protein boost, you can also add 1 scoop of protein powder of your choice. I've tried using an unsweetened plant-based protein powder.
- Reduce sugar: You can also reduce the sugar by half (to make this less sweet), or replace it altogether with a sugar-free substitute.
Can You Make this Mochi Nut-Free and without Almond Flour?
You can! I used almond flour in this recipe because I wanted to boost the nutrition of mochi (because usually they're high carb, no fiber). If you have nut-allergies, or don't have almond flour at home, you can use equal amounts of oat flour, whole wheat flour, plain flour or more sweet rice flour. The results are slightly different but not that noticeable.
What are some ways you can eat these?
- Plain and warm. Microwave before eating if cold.
- Frosted with my 2-Ingredient Almond Butter Frosting , or this Healthy Powdered Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting
- Drizzled with honey, maple syrup, caramel or chocolate syrup
- Dusted with powdered sugar or sugar-free powdered sugar. Just make sure you use a sieve to sift the sugar on top!
3/ 10/ 2021 Updates:
I doubled the eggs (used 4 eggs instead of 2), added cinnamon (not in the original recipe) and baked these in well-greased donut pans 350F for 20 minutes in a silicone donut pan = yields 12 donuts. The glaze is maple extract + powdered sugar. Separate recipe posted here!
How to Store
- You can store mochi covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours. For longer storage, you can place them in the fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze up to 4 months. Be sure to microwave them (30-60 seconds until hot) before eating, to restore the mochi's "chewy" texture.
- Baking time (as well as serving size) will vary based on the size of your cake or muffin pan, the material (silicone vs metal) of the pan, and thickness! Bake the mochi muffins/cakes until the color is golden-brown on the top, or until a toothpick comes out clean/dry when poked into the middle.
You Might Also Like these Mochi Recipes
Healthy Pumpkin Mochi Muffins with Raisins (Gluten-Free)
- Mix mochiko flour, almond flour, sugar together in a bowl
- Then add the wet ingredients (eggs, oil, pumpkin puree) into the bowl
- Use a whisk to stir the ingredients together until well incorporated and the batter is smooth.
- Add the raisins.
- Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to portion the batter into a well-greased muffin pan **
- Bake 350F for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
**I used olive oil cooking spray to grease my muffin pan. Just make sure that you get the sides of the pan, too! If you don’t have olive oil cooking spray you can use other vegetable oil sprays. You can also grease the pans with melted coconut oil. ** this is really a versatile recipe and I've made this recipe many times using different fruit and vegetable purees. For example, you can use mashed sweet potato, bananas, or applesauce instead of pumpkin puree! ***note: to turn these into baked mochi donuts. I doubled the eggs (used 4 eggs instead of 2), added cinnamon (not in the original recipe) and baked these in well-greased donut pans 350F for 20 minutes in a silicone donut pan = yields 12 donuts. The glaze is maple extract + powdered sugar. Separate recipe to be posted soon!