Vanilla-Glazed Mochi Donuts Recipe

You may be familiar with mochi ice cream now that it's standard in supermarket freezer sections, but have you tried mochi donuts? While you might think these donuts come from Japan, it seems the recipe is a more or less American creation –- the first version was developed in Hawaii (also the home of butter mochi) and made with both poi and mochi, although it may have taken its inspiration from the donuts sold at a Japanese chain founded by an American. Well, whoever or however these donuts came to be, they're some of the prettiest, tastiest ones you'll find anywhere.

According to developer Chanel Murphy, "Readers should try this recipe because it offers a unique twist on traditional donuts due to its chewy texture." As for the signature chewiness, she explains that this comes from the glutinous rice flour, aka mochi. She also notes that "The technique of forming the pon de ring shape with eight small mochi balls is a unique feature." While Murphy opts for a plain white glaze here, you can add a drop or two of food coloring if you'd like more vibrantly-hued pics to post on your Instagram.

Gather the ingredients for the vanilla-glazed mochi donuts

The donut dough is made with glutinous rice flour (mochi) plus all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, an egg, milk, vanilla, and vegetable oil, with this same oil being used for frying. You're also going to need powdered sugar to make the glaze.

Make the mochi donut dough

Mix the rice flour with the sugar and baking powder. Beat the egg with the milk, vanilla, and ½ cup oil in a different bowl, then gradually mix this into the bowl with the flour. Once the mochi mix is well combined, add a little bit of the flour at a time. Start with just ½ cup of the stuff, adding up to ¼ cup more as needed. As Murphy describes it, "The dough should be smooth and pliable but not overly sticky."

Shape the donuts

Once the dough is pliable enough so that you can shape it, divide it into 64 equal parts and roll each one into a 1-inch ball. Take 8 balls and stick them together into the shape of a ring, then do the same with the next 8 balls and so on until you have 8 ring-shaped donuts.

Fry the donuts

Pour the oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and heat it to 350 F. If your pot is on the smaller side, you may only need about 3 cups of vegetable oil here rather than the full 4. Conversely, if your pot is large, you may need more oil.

Once the oil is hot, add a few donuts to the pot, but don't overcrowd the pan. Cook them for 3 to 4 minutes until they are cooked through and golden brown in color. Murphy advises, "When frying, monitor the donuts and flip them over to ensure they cook evenly and do not burn." As each batch of donuts finishes, fish them out of the pot using a slotted spoon or strainer and set them on a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain. Continue the process until all of the donuts have been cooked.

Glaze the donuts

Mix the powdered sugar and vanilla, then stir in just as much milk as is needed to get a proper drizzling consistency. (You may only need about 2 tablespoons rather than the 3 given here.) Sprinkle powdered sugar over the donuts, then drizzle them with the glaze. They're now ready to eat, possibly with a side of fruit or maybe a cup of tea or coffee.

Murphy says, unsurprisingly, "These donuts are best enjoyed fresh." She does say that leftovers can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days or frozen for longer storage. Should you do so, though, she cautions, "They may lose some of their texture upon thawing."

Vanilla-Glazed Mochi Donuts Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
With its signature chewiness from the mochi, its gorgeous glaze, and its elegant pon de ring shape, this glutinous rice flour donut tastes as good as it looks.
Prep Time
Cook Time
mochi donuts with vanilla glaze
Total time: 40 minutes
  • For the Mochi Donuts
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ¼ cups vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Vanilla Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  1. Combine the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. Beat the egg, ¼ cup vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  3. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.
  4. Gradually add ½ cup all-purpose flour while kneading the dough until it becomes smooth and pliable. (Add up to ¼ more flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.)
  5. Divide the dough into 64 portions and roll each one into a ball about 1 inch in diameter.
  6. Arrange 8 of these balls in a circle to form a ring, then repeat until you have 8 rings.
  7. Heat the remaining vegetable oil to 350 F in a deep, heavy pot. (You may only need 3 cups of oil, depending on the size of the pot.)
  8. Fry the donuts for about 3 to 4 minutes or until they're golden brown and cooked through, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
  9. Remove the donuts from the oil and drain them on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  10. Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, and as much milk as is needed to get the desired consistency.
  11. Sprinkle the donuts with powdered sugar, then drizzle them with glaze.
  12. Eat the donuts alone, with fruit, or enjoy them with coffee.
Calories per Serving 433
Total Fat 40.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.8 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 7.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 9.5 g
Sodium 51.2 mg
Protein 1.2 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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