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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Trader Joe's Mochi Cake Mix

Really, the faces said it all.

I was first. I imagine I squinted my eyes, pursed my lips and had a somewhat perplexed look. That it is to say, even more than usual. Others then followed suit on the quixotic quest set forth. A few wrinkled noses. A few shaking heads, with a little air of uncertainty. Some of the kids took a bite then promptly looked for the nearest trashcan. There was an absolutely palpable mix of uncertainty and mild acceptance at best.

Such as it is with Trader Joe's Mochi Cake Mix.

I baked a cake up precisely according to package instructions last week for a little potluck dinner we attended last week. It was extremely simple - mix with a little water, half a stick of butter, and a couple eggs. Bake for something like 45 minutes. So easy I could do it with the "help' of a couple four year olds.

But yeah...I won't say it went over well at our get-together. It's definitely a supremely odd cake. Really, it's the texture - you hear the word "cake" and think soft and crumbly and whatnot. It's so not the case here. If you're familiar with mochi at all, you know how it is: Chewy. Rubbery. Kinda dense. Moist. And in a thickish cake form, the word "slab" comes to mind instead of "slice."

I guess all that really ought to be expected...but expectation and experience can be two different things. Just weird, odd texture. Took some getting used to for sure.

Really, that's the novelty selling point for the mochi cake mix. Otherwise, it's pretty nondescript for its flavor. Some might even say basic. It's slightly sweet, and with the amount of added eggs and butter it's, well, kinda eggy and kinda buttery. Go figure. Kinda boring. I suppose that's why I've read on other forums to experiment some with the mix, like...adding berries. Making with pineapple juice instead of water. Cinnamon. Chocolate. And so on. It's probably a good base for all those, and probably many more ideas...if you got 'em, share 'em.

It's $3.99 for the mix, which from what I understand isn't an awful price for something like this. Gluten-free, of course. I'm on the fence about buying it again, but not Sandy. She loves oddball stuff like this and insists we will and will experiment and report back. Fine, yes dear. My pic of the nutritional facts and ingredients were potato quality so check here for that info. May as well just face it now and give the mochi cake a mixed seven.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Mochi Cake Mix: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. I was wary but considering trying this. Now I don't know who to believe! There are other products that get a much more enthusiastic review though, so might just skip this one.

  2. My family made this--per my request--for Mother's Day and I think it's one of those cakes that you cut in small pieces to enjoy, rather than the usual size pieces you'd get from a fluffy, flour-based cake. It is very dense, but if you like mochi a lot (as I do) then it's interesting. I think baking it in cupcakes, so you get more crispy edges, might be interesting, and agree that adding pineapple would take the edge off the butteriness.

  3. It's basically the same recipes/taste as a Filipino dessert my mom makes called bibingka, which is great served with shredded coconut on top.

  4. Mochi is oddball to the American palate for sure, mostly because the chewy, sticky dense texture isn't really found in the western diet. It's a common dessert in a lot of Asian cuisines (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, etc) but calling it a "cake" is a little misleading for those that aren't familiar with it.

  5. OMG I love bibingka! Now I just get this! ��

  6. there's a little japanese place near me that sells the traditional mochi with the bean paste inside and they also sell something called 'butter mochi' which looks almost exactly like the picture on the box. it's sweet and chewy and the crisp edges are very nice

  7. Have to jump in here as a Hawaiian-born. This is almost exactly like what my auntie makes for all special occasions and yes, it is called "butter mochi". The flavor here is very nostalgic for me, and I know my entire family in Hawaii would stock up on this...if only there were TJs there! It is really misleading to advertise this as cake, it's meant to be eaten in small pieces, and I'm actually considering calling them about it...after I stock up on a million boxes. But trust me, this is exactly what this is supposed to taste like.