This sticky, chewy & sweet Baked Red Bean Mochi Cake is a decadent, vegan-friendly dessert that not only looks beautiful on the plate, but tastes delicious, too.
The texture is soft and chewy from the glutinous rice flour, and also creamy and fun to eat thanks to the added red bean paste inside. It's a simple, yet scrumptious dessert that's sure to be a hit.
Ingredients Used to Make Red Bean Mochi Cake (Baked Nian Gao)
**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 Asian grocery store. 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 brand) 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!!!
- Tapioca flour (flour but also called tapioca starch) - Arrowroot starch and Potato starch can also be used instead. I DO NOT recommend using cornstarch for this recipe.
- Sugar of choice – you can use granulated white, or raw cane sugar in this recipe. You can also use sugar-free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener in this recipe for a slightly lower-sugar / lower-carb option.
- Olive Oil - I like using light olive oil since it has a neutral flavor, but you can also any cooking oil of your choice like coconut oil, or avocado oil instead
- Milk of Choice – I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk (dairy or dairy free) works in this recipe.
- Coarse Sweetened Red Bean Paste: Red bean paste is a thick and smooth sweet paste made from cooked adzuki red beans that’s been mashed and then cooked down with sugar. The sweetened red bean paste has a sweet almost syrupy flavor with mild earthy notes. It has a creamy and hearty texture that pairs perfectly with East Asian dessert recipes, especially those made with rice flour. I used the Morinaga Ogura An (Sweetened Red Beans) 15.16 Oz (sold on Amazon).
More Recipes Using Glutinous Rice Flour (HERE)
How to Make Red Bean Mochi Cake (Baked Nian Gao)
In a clean bowl, mix glutinous rice flour (also called sweet rice flour or mochiko flour), tapioca flour and sugar. Set aside.
Heat almond milk in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup until hot, about 2 minutes.
Pour the almond milk into the flour-sugar mixture and use a whisk to mix well. Stir the olive oil into the batter
Whisk until smooth
Add the coarse red bean paste
Pour batter into the greased cake pan / pyrex containers, and bake in oven 340F for 40 minutes for TWO-4 cup cakes, or about 60 minutes for 7 cup cakes, or until the middle is set and the edges are crispy.
Let cool completely before serving, or cool the cakes in the freezer for 2-3 hours which helps to get clean slices of cakes.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- The add in options for this Red Bean Mochi Cake recipe are pretty much unlimited and you can easily customize the flavor and texture to fit your own tastes! Here are some awesome ways you can make this sweet rice cake your own
- Add more flavor! Add up to 1 Tbsp of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to bring out the fall flavors of this recipe. You can also add cocoa, ginger powder, cardamom powder, or a teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. They're not typically added to a traditional recipe, but you're welcome to experiment!
- Add more texture! Adding chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruits or oats is a fantastic way to increase the nutrition and flavor in rice cakes. If you’re feeling indulgent, you can also add chocolate chips.
- Turn them into muffins – instead of baking this recipe in a round pan, divide the batter into muffin pans and steam/bake. You’ll have to adjust the baking time (about 20-25 minutes).
- Change up the liquid. Try using full fat coconut milk instead of almond milk. The fat in the coconut milk will translate to a silky, glossy rice cake that is more decadent than just almond milk.
How to Store Red Bean Mochi Cake
- Mochi cakes can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Enjoy them fresh within this time for the best taste and texture.
- While it's possible to refrigerate mochi cakes, rice flour desserts like mochi tend to develop a waxy hard texture when stored in the fridge for more than 1-2 days.
- If your mochi cakes lose their soft and chewy texture after refrigeration, you can re-steam or pan-fry them until hot and completely translucent to revive their original texture.
- For longer storage, consider wrapping the sweet rice cakes completely in plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag and freezing them. When ready to enjoy, defrost the frozen mochi cakes at room temperature. Frozen mochi cakes do not require re-steaming.
Final Tips & Reminders
- Glutinous rice flour is known by several names. In Asian grocery stores, you'll find it labeled as Glutinous Rice Flour or Mochiko Flour, but sometimes it's called Sweet White Rice Flour. Be sure not to confuse glutinous rice flour from regular white rice flour or brown rice flour, as they are not interchangeable!
- When using liquid ingredients in mochi recipes like this one, it's best if the liquid is hot (but not boiling). The heat of the liquid helps the mochi / glutinous flour become even more chewy and also makes the final product develop a glossy sheen.
Vegan Red Bean Mochi Cake
- 1 ½ cup mochiko flour, sweet rice or glutinous rice flour (175g), read notes*
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour (45g)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar of choice (67g), or a sugar free alternative, such as granulated monk fruit sweetener
- 1 cup almond milk, regular milk or water (228g)
- 3 Tbsp light olive oil or melted coconut oil (42 g)
- 1 to 1 ¼ cup coarse red bean paste (430g), I used Ogura-An Sweetened Red Beans
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 8 x 8 inch square cake (I used a Pyrex glass dish) with some oil (spray oil works fine, too).
- In a clean bowl, mix glutinous rice flour (mochiko flour) with tapioca flour and sugar.
- Heat almond milk in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup until hot, about 2 minutes. (This is an optional step to make the mochi chewier. Read notes***)
- Pour the hot almond milk into the flour mixture and use a whisk to mix well.
- Stir the light olive oil into the batter
- Stir in coarse red bean paste
- Pour batter into the greased cake pan or oven safe pan, and bake in oven 350F for 50-60 minutes , or until the middle is set and the edges are crispy.
- For softer texture, you can also steam the mochi batter on medium heat for 45-60 mins, or until the center of the mochi cake is set.
- Let cool completely before serving, or cool the cakes in the freezer for 2-3 hours which helps to get clean slices of cakes.