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.
Mochi Ice Cream is a popular dessert served in some Japanese restaurants in the U.S. and can be purchased in US grocery stores including Trader Joe’s and Costco. Have you had a chance to try? This delightful dessert with refreshing cool ice cream inside a soft mochi shell is one of my family’s favorite, and not that hard to make at home yourself.
What’s the best part of the homemade mochi ice cream recipe? You can put your favorite ice cream inside the mochi!
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 avoid 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 short cuts until you are comfortable with making mochi ice cream.
- Do not expect to make a perfect shape mochi ice cream for the first few trials. Working fast is the most important when dealing with ice cream.
Difference Between Shiratamako vs. Mochiko
Shiratamako (白玉粉) vs. Mochiko flour (もち粉): I’ve tried making mochi ice cream recipe with both kinds of glutinous rice flour (also called sweet rice flour) but I have to say texture and flavor of mochi ice cream made with shiratamko is much better. To learn the difference between these two types of glutinous rice flour, please hop over to Shiratamako page to read more details.
Steaming vs. Microwave Method
Steaming vs. Microwave: Both methods work well, and it’s really a personal preference. I usually make it with the microwave because it only takes 2 and half minutes to cook mochi. My microwave is 1200W; make sure to adjust your microwave setting accordingly.
Once my children found out that I was making a mochi ice cream recipe, they volunteered right away to taste test all the different flavors. My daughter loves strawberries and my son likes vanilla. What’s your favorite?
Watch How to Make Mochi Ice Cream
Refreshing and delightful dessert with your favorite ice cream wrapped in a soft thin mochi shell.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Mochi Ice Cream
- ¾ cup shiratamako (glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour) (can be substituted with mochiko: These are glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour) made of Japanese short-grain glutinous rice. More about it here.)
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar (do not omit sugar as the moisture in the sugar helps mochi stay softer)
- ½ cup potato starch/cornstarch
- ice cream of your choice
Substitute for Shiratamako:
- Gather all the ingredients. Equipment you will need: 12 aluminum/silicone cupcake liners, a cookie dough scoop (smaller than an ice cream scooper), a rolling pin, and a 3.5 inch (9 cm) cookie cutter or a round bowl/glass cup.
- Using the cookie scoop, scoop out ice cream into aluminum/silicone cupcake liners. The ice cream will melt quickly so I recommend freezing them immediately for a few hours or until ice cream balls are completely frozen solid.
- Once the ice cream balls are frozen solid and ready, you can start making mochi. Combine shiratamako and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk all together.
- Add water and mix well until combined.
- Microwave Method: If you’re using a microwave to cook mochi, cover the bowl with some plastic wrap (do not cover too tight). Put the bowl in the microwave and heat it on high heat (1000w) for 1 minute. Take it out and stir with a wet rubber spatula. Cover again and cook for 1 minute. Stir again, cover, and cook for 30 seconds to finish cooking. The color of mochi should change from white to almost translucent.
- Steaming Method: If you’re using a steamer, cover the steamer lid with a towel so the condensation won’t drop into the mochi mixture. Put the bowl into a steamer basket and cover to cook for 15 minutes. Halfway cooking, stir with a wet rubber spatula and cover to finish cooking. The color of mochi should change from white to almost translucent.
- Cover the work surface with parchment paper and dust it generously with potato starch. Then transfer the cooked mochi on top.
- To prevent from sticking, sprinkle more potato starch on top of the mochi. Once it’s cool down a bit, you can spread the mochi into a thin layer with your hands or with a rolling pin. Make sure to apply potato starch on your hands and the rolling pin. I recommend using a rolling pin because it’s easier to evenly spread out.
- Transfer the mochi with parchment paper onto a large baking sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the mochi is set.
- Take out the mochi from the refrigerator and cut out 7-8 circles with the cookie cutter.
- Dust off the excess potato starch with a pastry brush. If you find some sticky part, cover the area with potato starch first then dust off. Place a plastic wrap on a plate and then mochi wrapper on top, then lay another layer of plastic wrapper down. Repeat for all wrappers. With leftover mochi dough, roll into a ball and then flatten into a thin layer again and cut out into more circle wrappers (I could make about 12 mochi wrappers).
- Now we’re ready to form mochi ice cream balls. On the work surface, place one sheet of plastic wrap with a mochi layer on top. Take out one ice cream ball from the freezer and put it on top of the mochi wrapper. Pinch the four corners of the mochi layer together to wrap the ice cream ball.
- When mochi gets sticky, put some potato starch on the sticky area and seal the opening. Quickly cover with the plastic wrap and twist to close. Place each mochi ice cream into a cupcake pan to keep the shape. You will need to work on one mochi ice cream at a time in order to keep the ice cream frozen at all times. Put mochi ice cream back into the freezer for at least 2-3 hours. When you’re ready to serve, keep them outside for a few minutes until outer mochi gets soften a little bit.
- You can keep the mochi ice cream in the freezer for 2-3 weeks. Be careful with freezer burns and make sure to store without air.