Pumpkin Spice Mochi Pie -Gluten Free, Xanthan gum free

‘Tis the season for baking adventures!  And you know I love to bake!  Lately I have been trying new recipes that are truly meant to be gluten free- as in the deliciousness needs no substitutions.  Honestly, it started with trying to find out whether there was an Asian version of a doughnut.  Yup, there is!  Well, I baked the bejeebers out of those and spiced ’em up a bit to make apple fritters.  Yummmmmmmmmm…  still perfecting that recipe so you’ll have to wait for that!

In the process of making those, I began using what is known as “mochi flour” or “glutenous rice flour” or “sweet rice flour.”  Don’t let the “glutenous” part fool you.  Glutenous rice is made from a short grain rice which apparently has a higher starch content than the regular longer grain rice you see used in typical rice flour here in the United States.

When comparing the two, the readily available American rice flour is much more grainy/gritty.  The glutenous flour is super duper fine.  In my travels, I came across and tried two different brands of glutenous flour…


Koda Farms Sweet Rice Flour (California, USA)


Erwan brand Thai Rice Flour

Honestly, obtaining the sweet rice flour was the most difficult part of this recipe.  I found the Mochiko Blue Star at my local grocery store off hand.  It was not available when I looked for it two weeks later.  In researching recipes, I found a thumbs up for the Thai version so gave it a try, obtaining it from Amazon.com.  Both brands are labeled as “gluten free.” ( Here is a great conversation about rice flour (specifically Erwan.) Purchasing from amazon.com was a bit pricey considering I bought it locally for $3.  Worth looking at your local Asian food marts!

Mochi is a traditional Japanese dessert and the first time I had it was at a Japanese restaurant.  The texture is firm, yet chewy.  It is sort of like a baked custard/quiche/pie sort of texture… but not.  It is a unique and wonderful different sort of thing!  Typically, the mochi is filled with all sorts of goodness (even ice cream) and comes in all sorts of flavors.


Chocolate, orange and strawberry mochi

In trying to better understand this mochi rice dessert yumminess, I stumbled across a butter mochi cake recipe.  Turns out that the cake version is a traditional Hawaiian dessert as well.  Often made with coconut milk, it has a lovely but subtle flavor.  Then came chocolate mochi cake and finally pumpkin mochi cake.

With a serious craving for fall flavors, the pumpkin version had me at hello.  If you have done any pie baking, you will see that the basic ingredients are those of a lovely pumpkin pie filling- pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk and eggs. So, I decided to kick it up a notch as I would my pie and went all in on a gluten free pie version!


Pumpkin Spice Mochi pie


  • 1 3/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (14 – 15 ounces)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (optional)
  • 2 eggs (room temperature is best) whisked together until frothy
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottom and sides of a 9 inch round pie plate.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar. Add ginger. (optional) Add pumpkin pie spices, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired level of spice.*  Once it is spicy enough for you, add whisked eggs and vanilla.  Blend well.

Next, sift together the sugar, rice flour and baking powder.  (I sift right into the wet mixture).  Make sure to break up any pesky baking soda clumps.  Mix well, scraping down the sides and the bottom.

Pour mochi mixture into the greased pie plate (I used glass) and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.  Check at about 50 minutes.  (My oven took about 57 minutes.)  The top should be uniformly golden brown and have some bounce when you touch it.   (a knife inserted will come out clean like a pumpkin pie.) In the picture above, the mochi was slightly over cooked- bath time got in the way of checking- and you can see it started to split a little.) Let cool COMPLETELY before serving… about 2-3 hours.

Serve plain or with a dollap of your favorite vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  You really don’t need a big piece- but with a little one, you will likely want another!


This is how I really eat it… Pooh plate and all.

*Quick note: It turned out that I have 2 different types of pumpkin pie spice in my cabinet so I compared them.  They are quite different!  One has some more cinnamon (and cloves) and one has more nutmeg seemingly.  (I am still not great a differentiating spices by smell… so just know that yours may be different as well!)  Pumpkin pie spice generally consists of: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and then some have cloves, allspice and mace. To me, it can all go in!  I wanted this more like a gingerbread, hence the extra ginger for good measure.  Add your favorite!

Have you had mochi before?  What is your favorite?  I would love to hear if you try this recipe so be sure to leave a comment!  Want to print your recipe?  Click here… pumpkin-spice-mochi-pie

Thanks for stopping by!


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