Desserts / Snacks

Pumpkin Mochi

Next up on my list of pumpkin-flavored treats: Pumpkin Mochi. Most people I know have never made mochi before and therefore think it’s hard to do. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s so much easier than you think. I know I’m always saying that a recipe is easy, but I’m really not exaggerating with this one. You only need FIVE ingredients to make these and it’ll maybe take you 25 minutes. It’s the perfect recipe to have for those times when you need to whip something up last minute.

I had recently seen a post on Instagram of these but I personally used a recipe from my Grandma’s cookbook (of course). Weird fun fact: she actually got it from the PE teacher at the school she used to work at years ago. The original recipe only uses 3 ingredients but I decided to fill them with red bean paste and coat the outside in sesame seeds.

I love these because they’re chewy but still crunchy on the outside. You don’t have to use red bean for the filling, you can use something else or just leave them plain. I did half with filling and half without. They’ll be good either way. You can also make your own red bean paste or thicken the store-bought kind. You can also choose between smooth red bean paste (called koshian) or a more chunky, textured version (tsubushian). I honestly just used the tsubushian type straight out of the can and it tasted great.

I also shaped some of mine into hearts, using a cookie cutter and pressing some of the dough into it. If you want to do the same, it’s probably easiest when there’s no filling. And the dough is rather sticky, so just be gentle with it.

Some quick tips:

  • The amount of Mochiko flour you use does not need to be exact. Just add a little, stir to combine, and assess if you need to add more. It should look like a rather thick batter and you should be able to shape them easily.
  • It’s easier to work with the mochi and filling when they’re both cold. They firm up a little more in the refrigerator, so I would suggest letting them sit in there for a couple of minutes before shaping.
  • You can fry these longer or shorter than the recipe calls for. It all depends on how crispy you want them!
  • These start to get oily after a couple of days so they’re best enjoyed fresh!

Pumpkin Mochi

These have a beautiful crunch on the outside but are still soft and chewy on the inside. A great sweet snack to have on hand!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 20 servings


  • 1/2 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • more than 5 oz. Mochiko flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet red bean paste
  • sesame seeds


  • Mix the pumpkin puree, Mochiko flour, and sugar together. Keep adding Mochiko flour until it comes together as a dough and is firm enough for you to roll them into balls. It may help to let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple minutes.
  • If making without filling: Form oval patties and press down to flatten them (around 1/2 inch thick).
  • If making with filling: Roll into ball and flatten. Place approximately a teaspoon of red bean paste in the middle. Wrap the mochi dough around the filling and pinch to seal. Keep pinching to get rid of most of the seams. Roll into a ball and gently flatten again (around 1/2 inch thick).
  • Fill a bowl with a very thin layer of water. Fill another bowl with sesame seeds. Dip each mochi into the water and then coat in the sesame seeds. Press gently to make sure they stick.
  • Place about 2 tbsp of oil in a medium pan. Pan fry the mochi over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve warm or room temperature and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Keyword mochi, pumpkin, snack

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