Soft and chewy strawberry cheesecake mochi stuffed with cream cheese, strawberry jam and topped with crushed biscuits. This dessert is perfect for hot summer days and tastes exactly like a strawberry cheesecake. Indulge yourself with this Little Moons strawberry cheesecake mochi copycat recipe!
With summer knocking on our doors, there's nothing I love more than having a refreshing strawberry dessert. This mochi recipe is like a bite-size strawberry cheesecake wrapped up in soft mochi. This recipe is so indulgent and tastes just like Little Moons Strawberry Cheesecake Mochi. Perfect for a hot summer day!
What is mochi?
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice. In Japan, 'mochi' is an umbrella term that can represent both sweet or savoury treats. However, in the rest of the world mochi is associated with Daifuku (大福), a sweet Japanese confection with a sweet filling.
Daifuku mochi are typically bite-size and shaped into cute little balls. The texture is elastic and chewy and the filling can be anything sweet. Traditionally, Japanese mochi are filled with red bean paste, but you can also use ice cream, cream cheese or custard.
If you want to learn more about mochi in Japan, head over to Just One Cookbook for extra information.
Mochi is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, water and cornstarch. Traditionally, mochi is made by steaming, then kneaded into a sticky paste. The dough is extremely sticky, so you need to dust it with plenty of cornstarch to be able to handle it.
Mochiko flour - it's really important to use Japanese mochiko flour, as it can differ from plain glutinous rice flour. Mochiko flour is very fine, which makes a very supple dough. You cannot replace mochiko flour with any other flour, so I recommend getting the real deal. I use this brand of Mochiko flour.
Cornstarch - used to dust the dough. Mochi dough is incredibly sticky and cannot be handled unless you dust it with cornstarch. Remember to dust off any excess before shaping the mochi.
Sugar - very important for the texture of your mochi. Sugar not only adds sweetness to the dough, but also helps keep the texture soft and pliable. Adding too little sugar will make the texture rubbery and tough. You can use either granulated sugar dissolved in milk or icing sugar to get a smooth texture.
Salt - used to balance out the sweetness and make the flavour pop even more. I use Himalayan extra fine salt, but any type of fine salt will work.
Strawberry milk - the only wet ingredient in this mochi dough. You can use store bought strawberry milk, but I strongly recommend making your own. Just add a few fresh strawberries and milk in a blender, then pulse until fully incorporated. Strain the mixture to remove seeds and lumps.
Strawberry cheesecake filling
Cream cheese - use full fat for best results. Full far cream cheese is much firmer, and it will hold its shape better. I use Philadelphia cream cheese, for its rich and creamy texture.
Heavy (double) cream - used to make the filling firmer and also creamier. Any kind of full fat heavy (or double) cream will work.
Icing sugar - added in limited quantity. Sugar adds sweetness to the cheesecake filling, but adding too much of it can make the cream cheese runny. Use icing sugar to obtain a super smooth texture.
Flavours - vanilla extract and lemon juice. Although they are optional, I recommend adding these flavours to enhance the overall taste of the strawberry cheesecake mochi.
Strawberry jam - use a fine jam with no lumps of fruit. We will be piping the jam into moulds, so you need a smooth jam to do this. Homemade or store bought jams can be used. Strawberry jam can be replaced with other types of jams, such as peach, blueberry or raspberry.
Biscuits - used for the crumb. Biscuits give the authentic taste of a strawberry cheesecake, so please do not skip them. You can use any type of plain or vanilla biscuits such as:
How to make strawberry cheesecake mochi
Making mochi is really easy and super fun. The recipe has two components: the mochi dough and the cheesecake filling.
We will begin by making the strawberry cheesecake filling, as this will need to harden in the freezer before assembling the Daifuku. The mochi dough takes only minutes to make, so it can be made right before you start assembling your final strawberry cheesecake mochi.
Making the filling
The cheesecake filling is made using a silicone mould. This way we can ensure the filling is round, resulting a perfect balls of mochi. I recommend using a 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) sphere mould. Make sure your mould is clean and grease-free.
Prepare the cheesecake filling by whipping up the cream cheese with some icing sugar until it looks pale and fluffy. Separately, whip up the heavy (double) cream, then fold it into the cream cheese. Place the filling in a piping bag. Pipe a dollop of cream on the bottom of the mould, followed by a ring on the outer edge all the way to the top (see image 3 upper). The hole in the middle of the cream cheese is for the jam.
For the strawberry jam you can use either homemade jam or store bought. It's important the jam is smooth, without any chunks of fruit pulp. I find it much easier to add the jam by placing it into a piping bag.
You can also replace the strawberry jam with other flavours, such as peach, apricot, blueberry or raspberry. Alternatively, if you don't want to use jam, place a chunk of fresh strawberry inside the cream cheese filling.
Once the silicone moulds are filled with cream cheese and jam, level the top with a spatula. Each sphere half needs to be flat, so we can join two of them together and make a full sphere. After levelling, place the mould in the freezer for 1 hour or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch. Do not un-mould until you're ready to assemble the final strawberry cheesecake mochi.
Making the mochi dough
I love making mochi dough because it's just so easy! You only need a microwave to cook the dough, so the process takes a few minutes. Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until you get a paste.
- Microwave round 1: cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the film. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove the foil, then use a spatula to mix the dough and loosen it up.
- Microwave round 2: repeat the same process. After cooking the dough again, mix it with a spatula until it's super elastic (like image 3 above).
- Kneading: sprinkle some cornstarch on your work surface, then tip over the mochi dough. Cover it with more cornstarch, then use your hands to gently knead or even punch a few times.
Assembling the strawberry cheesecake mochi
- Divide the dough into 12 equal parts. Roll out one ball of dough using a small rolling pin to a diameter of 12-13 cm (5 inches).
- Remove the cheesecake filling from the freezer and press two half spheres together to form a full sphere. Place it in the middle of the mochi dough.
- Wrap the dough around the cheesecake, using your fingers to pinch the dough and seal it together. Roll around in your palms a few times to make the mochi ball perfectly round.
- Apply a little vegetable oil to your palms, then roll the mochi ball in your hands to make the surface slightly sticky. Roll the strawberry mochi through crushed biscuits.
*Note: make sure the biscuits are crushed very finely. I recommend using a food processor to get a fine powder. You can also use a ziplock bag and rolling pin, but make sure you crush the biscuits finely.
How to eat mochi
You can eat mochi either chilled or partially frozen. I prefer to eat it after 10 minutes of removing it from the freezer. This way the cheesecake filling tastes like ice cream and it's absolutely delicious. You can also eat it from chilled and the filling will be much softer.
There's no right or wrong way of eating mochi, so you can either take a bite, eat a full mochi in one go or cut it into halves. All that matters is that you fully enjoy this strawberry cheesecake mochi!
Note: Make sure you chew the mochi properly. Due to its chewy and sticky consistency, it's important you chew it properly before swallowing it.
Mochi is best served fresh, the same day you've made it. However, there are a few options if you want to keep it for longer:
Store in fridge - not ideal, but can be done if needed. Mochi can harden if kept in the fridge, so you need to store it carefully. Wrap in plastic foil and store in an airtight container for 1-2 days maximum. Mochi can also get mouldy very quickly, so do not keep it for longer than indicated.
Store in freezer - the best option. Cover mochi in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container. Freeze mochi for up to 2-3 weeks, and consume after letting it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
Mochi is pronounces MHO-chee in Japanese. Although most English speakers pronounce it as MOE-chee, this pronunciation is incorrect. Here's an audio of how to say "mochi" correctly.
Traditional mochi is vegan, as it contains no dairy. This recipe is not vegan, as the dough is made with milk and the filling contains cream cheese. For a vegan alternative, use a plant based milk and cream cheese.
Mochi is made from Mochiko or glutinous rice flour, which despite its name is in fact gluten-free. So yes, mochi is gluten free. To make this recipe fully gluten free, use gluten-free biscuits for the crumb.
The mochi dough tastes like a gummy candy with a slightly starch taste due to the rice flour. The filling in this recipe makes the mochi tastes exactly like strawberry cheesecake.
To get the authentic, chewy mochi you will need Mochiko flour (Japanese sweet rice flour). Unfortunately this cannot be replaced with any other type of flour. You can, however, use glutinous rice and turn it into a paste by help of a stand mixer. This is a much more laborious method than the simple microwave cooking method.
Due to its sweet fillings, mochi isn't exactly healthy. However, this recipe contains minimal sugar, which makes it not as bad as most commercial sweets.
Mochi will go bad if left at room temperature or in the fridge for too long. In addition to the dough getting hard, it can also become mouldy. Furthermore, with this recipe, the cheesecake filling will go bad if left at room temperature for too long.
No, mochi will not kill you if you chew it properly. The dough is quite dense and sticky, so make sure you chew it thoroughly before swallowing to avoid any obstruction. (Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional)
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Strawberry Cheesecake Mochi Recipe
- 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) sphere silicone mould
- 100 g mochiko flour* (¾ cup)
- 120 g strawberry milk* (½ cup)
- 30 g sugar (2 ½ tbsp)
- 1 g salt (¼ tsp)
Strawberry cheesecake filling
- 150 g cream cheese* (⅔ cup)
- 100 g heavy (double) cream (½ cup)
- 40 g icing sugar (⅓ cup)
- 5 g lemon juice* (1 tsp)
- 5 g vanilla extract* (1 tsp)
- 50 g strawberry jam* (2 ½ tbsp)
- 20 plain vanilla biscuits*
Strawberry cheesecake filling
- Whip the cream cheese until pale and fluffy, whilst slowly incorporating the icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
- Separately, whip up the heavy (double) cream until medium peaks. Fold in the cream into the cream cheese using a spatula.
- Place the cream cheese filling into a piping bag. Make sure the silicone mould is clean and grease-free. Pipe a dollop of cream cheese in the bottom of the spheres, filling around halfway through. Pipe a ring of cream cheese around the outer edge of the sphere, leaving a hole in the middle for the jam.
- Place the strawberry jam in a piping bag, then pipe it in the middle of the cream cheese. Level out the half spheres with a spatula, then place the mould into the freezer. Set for a minimum of 1 hour before un-moulding.
- Combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl until you get a paste, without any lumps.
- Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the film, then microwave for 2-2:30 minutes. Afterwards, give the mixture a good mix to loosen it up. Cook for a further 2-2:30 minutes in the microwave, then fold the paste in on itself with a wooden spoon. Keep folding until the dough becomes sticky and stretchy.
- Place a little cornstarch on your work surface, then tip the dough over and also cover it in cornstarch. Knead the mochi dough a few times until the dough becomes firmer. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
Assembling the mochi
- Crush the biscuits in a a food processor until you get a fine powder.
- Take one ball of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until it's around 12-13 cm (5 inches) in diameter. We want the dough thin enough, but not so thin that it'll rip.
- Un-mould two half spheres of cheesecake filling and press them together to form a full sphere. Place them in the middle of the mochi dough, then wrap the dough around the sphere to cover it completely. Pinch the dough at the bottom to seal it completely, then roll the mochi in your hands a few times to level out all rough edges.
- Wet your hands with a little bit of sunflower oil, then roll the strawberry cheesecake mochi through the crushed biscuit powder.
- I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead.
- Mochiko flour cannot be substituted with any other type of flour. I use this type of mochiko flour, best for making authentic mochi.
- You can use either homemade or store bough strawberry milk. To make it at home, just add 5-6 strawberries and milk into a blender, then pulse until fully incorporated. Sieve to remove any fruit pulps and seeds.
- Use full fat cream cheese, such as Philadelphia.
- Lemon juice and vanilla extract are optional for flavour and can be left out.
- Please use a smooth type of strawberry jam or jelly, without any fruit pulp. This way you can use a piping bag to pipe the jam into the sphere mould.
- Use plain biscuits without any filling, such as Golden Oreo (remove cream), butter biscuit, petit beurre or graham crackers. Please see notes in the post for more details.