Making mochi from scratch has always been simple, but it turns out making healthy mochi is easy, too! Here’s a quick and simple, gluten-free, vegan APPLESAUCE mochi recipe you can make in the microwave in under 5 minutes, using only 4 ingredients: sweet rice flour, applesauce, sugar and cornstarch.
What is Mochi Made of?
I love mochi, a sweet and sticky Asian dessert made of sweet rice, sugar and water. Unfortunately, the first two main ingredients in mochi are high in refined carbs, with virtually no protein or fiber. I wanted to come up with a recipe that made mochi more nutritious, but what could I possibly change in a recipe that only requires 3 ingredients? It turns out that there are A LOT of different ingredients that could substitute sugar and water.
Using mashed tofu into my mochi recipe (instead of the water) was my first step. The result was an unbelievably smooth, tender and chewy mochi. No one, not even my dad, could figure out there was tofu in that thing. They were gone in about 30 seconds! That’s when I started thinking, “Hey, if tofu worked, why not applesauce?”
Ingredients Used to Make Applesauce Mochi
**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 🙂
Applesauce – unsweetened applesauce is one of my all time favorite pantry staple. Applesauce can be used to replace some of the oils in the recipe to cut calories and fat, but even for mochi recipes like this one, the large amount of pectin naturally in apples help seal in more moisture and keeps the mochi nice and soft.
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!!!
Sugar– you can use any granulated sugar of choice. I used honey powder, but for vegan options, you can also use brown sugar or coconut sugar. You can also use sugar-free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener.
More Applesauce Recipes
What to Use for Filling
- My coffee-flavored white bean paste – the sweet and slightly bitter coffee flavor pairs so perfectly with this applesauce mochi. You can find the recipe here
How to Make Applesauce Mochi
How to Make Applesauce Mochi
In a microwave-safe bowl (preferably glass, like pyrex), mix the sweet rice flour with the sugar (I used honey powder) and unsweetened applesauce
Microwave the combined dough in the microwave for 2 minutes. Use a solid metal spoon to stir the cooked mochi mixture. Return to microwave and heat for additional 1 minute.
Drop the hot mochi dough onto a surface floured with corn starch. Handle with care, or use vinyl gloves, as the mochi dough will be HOT. Unfortunately, you have to work quickly to shape the mochi before they cool.
Use kitchen shears/ scissors to cut the mochi into 5 pieces.
Fill with prepared filling such as sweetened adzuki paste.
Wrap the mochi dough around the prepared filling and dust the finished mochi with more corn starch
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- You can add different flavorings to the applesauce mochi dough before cooking. For example, you can add either a teaspoon of coffee extract or espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon or Cardamom Powder. They’re not typically added in a traditional recipe, but you’re welcome to experiment!
- Other filling ideas
- Sweetened Red Bean Paste (a.k.a. Koshi An): I eat this stuff by spoonfuls! It’s a versatile ingredient that goes inside my sweet rice mochi recipe as well my tofu mochi recipe, but it’s also used as fillings inside sweet breads, pancakes, cookies and more. You can find Sweetened Red Bean paste in most Asian grocery stores, and online (Amazon).
- Sweetened White Bean Paste (a.k.a. Shiro An)
More variations on my blog
How to Store Applesauce Mochi
- The mochi can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours. For longer storage, I would freeze the mochi in a plastic freezer bag or an airtight container, then defrost at room temperature when ready to eat.
- The reason I don’t recommend storing them in the fridge is that mochi usually tend to develop a weird waxy, hard texture when stored in the fridge. So eat within a day or freeze for best results.
- Use a solid metal spoon (wooden spoons might break!) to stir the cooked applesauce mochi mixture so that the cooked and uncooked parts are evenly mixed
- Use a microwave-safe bowl, preferably glass like pyrex
More Mochi Recipes You’ll Love
Applesauce Mochi with Coffee Bean Paste Filling
- 1/4 cup corn, potato or tapioca starch
- 1 recipe coffee bean paste filling go to recipe
Before You Make the Mochi
- Prepare mochi filling by rolling about 1-2 Tablespoons of prepared coffee bean paste filling into balls. Set aside. If you would like to eat the mochi plain, you can skip this step.
- Sprinkle the starch onto a clean dish or baking pan. Set aside.
Make the Mochi
- In a microwaveable glass bowl (like Pyrex), mix the applesauce with sugar and mochiko flour until a smooth dough forms
- Microwave the applesauce-mochi mixture for 2 minutes
- Use a SOLID METAL spoon (wooden spoons might break!) to stir the cooked mochi so that the cooked and uncooked parts are evenly mixed
- Microwave the mochi mixture again, this time for 1 minute
- Pour the cooked mochi onto the baking pan sprinkled with starch
- Cut the mochi into 6 pieces using scissors
- Eat as is, or fill with prepared coffee bean paste filling. Enjoy!