Easy Ice Cream Mochi Recipe

Mochi ice cream is a Japanese dessert that's been super-trendy in the U.S. of late. You no longer have to hunt for them in Asian grocery stores, as they are now available even at big box stores like Costco. The fun thing about making your own mochi, though, is that, as recipe developer Cecilia Ryu points out, "You can make it with your ice cream of choice."

While this recipe is billed as "easy," there is a caveat — it's easy for mochi, but is something that may require practice to get just right. As Ryu admits, "I will be honest; it took me a couple of tries to form the mochi without any problems." She does say that the key to doing it correctly is to work as fast as you can and keep everything as cold as possible, explaining, "The ice cream melts fast and the longer you handle it, the heat from your fingers will melt it even more." So it may be a good idea to crank up your AC before jumping into this one.

Gather the ingredients for ice cream mochi

For the mochi, you'll need the glutinous sweet rice flour known as mochiko, plus powdered sugar and salt as well as a generous amount of cornstarch to help keep it from sticking as you roll it out. For the filling, you can use any flavor of ice cream that you like — Ryu uses matcha green tea flavor.

Form the ice cream balls

The first thing you need to do when making these ice cream mochi balls is to roll the ice cream into balls. If you have an ice cream scoop, use that. If not, you can use a ¼ cup measure to scoop out the ice cream, then shape the balls by hand. You should have eight balls when you are done. Put the balls on a plate or baking sheet — if you like, you can line the sheet with parchment or wax paper, but the ice cream should come off pretty easily even if you don't. Stick the ice cream back in the freezer for at least an hour before you wrap it in mochi.

Make the mochi dough

The mochi dough does not need to bake, but it does require a bit of cooking in the microwave. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and water, stirring until smooth, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap (make sure it's a microwave-safe type!) and zap it for a minute. Uncover it, stir it a few times, then cook it for another minute. At this point, it'll be pretty sticky, so Ryu advises stirring it with a wet spatula or similar implement. Cover it and microwave it for yet another minute. By this time, Ryu says, "The cooked dough will be translucent and very sticky." If need be, you can continue microwaving it in 15-second increments until it achieves sufficient translucency and/or stickiness,

Roll out the mochi dough

Before you roll the dough, you might want to cover your work surface with something like wax or parchment paper since a cutting board won't be big enough to cut it (or roll it, as the case may be). Sprinkle about ½ cup of cornstarch over the surface, then spread the dough over the surface with a wet spatula. While the dough may still be hot, it will cool as you roll. Sprinkle more cornstarch over the dough and also over a rolling pin, then roll the dough to about ¼-inch thick.

Ryu cautions, "When rolling the mochi dough, make sure not to roll it too thin or else the dough will tear while wrapping the ice cream." If the dough keeps sticking to the rolling pin, use more cornstarch as needed. Once the dough is the proper thickness, move it to a baking sheet and stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up.

Cover the ice cream in mochi

Once the dough is chilled, cut out 8 circles using a round cookie cutter 3 ½ to 4 inches in diameter. As Ryu tells us, "Anything smaller won't be big enough to wrap the ice cream." Cut pieces of plastic wrap large enough to cover each dough circle, as well. Now take one ice cream ball at a time out of the freezer. Pick up a dough circle, brush off the excess cornstarch, wrap it around the ice cream, then pinch it closed, As Ryu explains the plastic, " This will help the mochi keep its shape." Wrap the mochi ball in a piece of plastic wrap, twisting to seal it shut, then put it back in the freezer with the seam side down.

Keep the rest of the ice cream balls in the freezer until they're ready to wrap. Yes, it's not great for the freezer to keep opening and closing the door, but it's hard to wrap ice cream that's starting to melt. Once all of the mochi balls are wrapped, let them freeze for at least 2 hours before you eat them. These balls are stored in the freezer, since they're ice cream, but Ryu advises taking them out a few minutes before you eat them so they can soften up a bit. And voila — you've made your own mochi! 

Easy Ice Cream Mochi Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
You don't need to buy ice cream mochi from a store — you can make it yourself at home and customize the flavors!
Prep Time
Cook Time
ice cream mochi with mint
Total time: 33 minutes
  • 1 pint ice cream, any flavor
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon glutinous sweet rice flour (mochiko)
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup corn starch
  1. ‌Scoop 8 tightly-packed ice cream balls, about ¼ cup in size, onto a plate or baking sheet. Return the ice cream balls to the freezer for at least an hour.
  2. Combine the rice flour, sugar, and salt, then stir in the hot water until smooth.
  3. Cover the rice flour mixture with plastic wrap (make sure it's microwave-safe) and microwave for 1 minute.
  4. Mix the dough, then cover and microwave for another minute.
  5. Mix the dough a few more times using a wet utensil, then cover and microwave for another minute.
  6. Cover a work surface in wax paper or parchment paper, then sprinkle about ½ cup of cornstarch over the surface.
  7. Turn the dough out onto the surface and spread with a wet spatula.
  8. Sprinkle cornstarch over the dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a thickness of ¼ Inch, using more cornstarch as necessary to prevent sticking.
  9. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes until cool and firm.
  10. Cut the dough into 8 circles using a round cookie cutter at least 3 ½ inches in diameter.
  11. Cut squares of plastic wrap large enough to cover the dough circles.
  12. Brush the excess cornstarch off each mochi circle, then wrap it around an ice cream ball and pinch to seal closed.
  13. Wrap each mochi ball in plastic wrap and twist to seal closed.
  14. Place each wrapped mochi back in the freezer seam side down.
  15. Freeze the mochi for at least 2 hours before eating.
Calories per Serving 286
Total Fat 5.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 19.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 56.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 18.2 g
Sodium 62.8 mg
Protein 2.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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