Mochi Donuts (Pon de Ring-Inspired)

Mochi Donuts are colorful, chewy, pull-apart fun! Their unique texture and fluffy interior makes them a snacking sensation.

Mochi Donuts

Mochi donuts are like no other donut you’ll try. The crisp, chewy, almost elastic exterior gives way to a soft, subtly sweet interior. If you’re looking to dip a toe in the water with homemade mochi donuts, then this is the perfect recipe. It makes six total, which is just enough to practice your forming, frying, and glazing techniques. Each donut is a generous serving. And even though six donuts may not sound like a lot, it’s plenty enough for sampling and even sharing.

Mochi Donuts

Origins.

The pastry’s origins are a bit winding. The first iterations can be traced to Honolulu in the early 90’s with Charmaine Ocasek’s homemade poi mochi. Later in 2003, the Japanese donut chain Mister Donut (which actually originated in the US in 1956) launched the flower-shaped ring of pull-apart dough balls, the “Pon de Ring”. Its popularity spread from Japan to the United States by route of Hawaii. Now mochi donuts are widely available. And people like me are enthusiastic about learning how to make them at home.

Mochi doughnuts are a cross between a traditional cake-like doughnut and chewy mochi dough similar to what’s wrapped around ice cream bonbons at sushi restaurants.

The hybrid batter makes for a doughnut that is fluffy and moist, with a satisfying chew.

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The dough.

Start by sifting together the dry ingredients. Mochi donut recipes are varied when it comes to flours, and this one uses all-purpose flour blended with mochiko (glutinous rice flour). Mochiko gives the donuts a soft, bready interior. You may remember this ingredient from my Lemon Mochi Chicks recipe.

Press silken tofu through a fine sieve. This ingredient creates a smooth batter and gives the donuts a lot of protein. Coincidentally, I must tell you that mochi donuts have half the calories of a regular donut. Personally, I’m not a calorie counter when it comes to donuts, but I know some people are.

Mix the tofu with some eggs and a little water. Then, stir it all together until a ragged dough forms, and then knead with your hands until smooth.

Iconic shape.

Cut six parchment sheets into 5×5 inch squares. Separate the dough into 36 even pieces (about 5 grams each, for my dough) and roll them into balls. Place 6 balls on each paper touching, in a ring shape. This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. There are mochi donut cutters for purchase, but I wouldn’t splurge until you’re sure you are a mochi donut fan.

Note: The original Pon de Ring-style donuts are made up of 8 dough balls. In this abbreviated recipe, I use just 6. If you wanted to make the balls a little smaller, you could do so to yield 8 per donut. However, it’s a bit more time consuming.

Fry ’em!

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a pan to about 375°F. I prefer using an electric skillet, which keeps the temperature even. If you’re using a stove-top burner, I suggest starting at 350°F, and testing the oil with an instant-read thermometer.

Slip the donuts on the parchment into the oil. Do this 2 at a time, if you have room in the pan. After a minute or two, slide the donut off of the parchment. Fry until golden brown on each side.

Flip the donuts gently with a pair of tongs, or some chopsticks. I prefer the later because it touches less surface area on the donut and helps retain the shape.

Glaze and garnish.

Glaze the donuts with a simple white chocolate ganache combined with fruit powder, vegetable powder, or tea powder. I used all three! Suncore Food’s Lilac Taro Yam Powder, will give you a beautiful lilac hued glaze. Dragonfruit powder yields a deep magenta. And my favorite – green tea powder imparts a grassy hue.

Garnishes are only limited to your imagination! I had some cookies and cream Pocky sticks, so I added those to the taro donuts. Almond flavor goes so well with matcha, so I topped those with sliced almonds. The dragonfruit-glazed donuts got a white chocolate drizzle and some sprinkles.

Mochi Donuts
Mochi Donuts

These donuts are subtly sweet. Aside from the round shape, they’re not much at all like your standard American donut. The glaze adds the sweetness, but even with a thick coating it’s not the sugar bomb you might imagine. Give them a try and you just might get hooked! For me, it’s the texture that I can’t resist.

Mochi Donuts (Pon de Ring – Inspired)

Heather Baird
Small batch, yields 6 donuts.
Mochi donuts are a combination of Japanese mochi and American doughnuts. Their unique shape, crisp exterior and soft interior gives them a texture that is completely unlike yeast or cake doughnuts. They are not as sweet as American doughnuts, but can be topped with all kinds of sweet glazes and toppings. The shape is inspired by the Pon de Ring donut from the chain Mister Donut.
There are many different recipes for mochi doughnuts with variable ingredients and techniques. If you’ve never made mochi donuts, this recipe is a good place to start. It’s easy and the ingredients are fairly accessible. If you can’t find mochiko locally, you can order it online or swap in tapioca flour (starch). However, it won't be a true mochi donut. The Mr. Donut chain states that they use tapioca flour, which makes this donut slightly lighter. The texture will be less bready than what mochiko provides.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 6

Equipment

  • tongs
  • slotted spatula

Ingredients
 
 

Donuts

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/8 cup mochiko glutinous rice flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt optional
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. silken tofu
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Oil for frying 2-3 cups

Glaze

  • 4 oz. white chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon taro purple yam powder or dragonfruit or matcha powder

Instructions
 

Donuts

  • In a large mixing bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, mochiko, baking powder, and salt if using. Whisk to combine. Sift the granulated sugar over the mixture. Whisk again.
  • Place a fine sieve over medium mixing bowl. Use a rubber spatula to press the tofu through the mesh. Scrape the bottom of the sieve to remove the all of the tofu into the bowl. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk until combined. Add the water and whisk again to combine.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the tofu mixture in the center. Stir until a ragged dough forms. When you can no longer stir the ingredients together, work the dough with your hands until a uniform dough is achieved. Form into a ball and let stand, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  • Cut 6 squares, 5×5 inches each from parchment paper.
  • Form the dough into 36 small, even balls. For me, this was about 5 grams each on a kitchen scale. If dough is sticky, lightly dust the dough rounds with a little AP flour. Place 6 dough balls in a ring on each piece of parchment, so that they touch.
  • Pour about 2 inches of oil in a skillet or in an electric skillet. (Depending on the size of your skillet, this could be 2-4 cups of oil). Preheat the oil to 350°F on the stove top, and test it using an instant-read thermometer. If using an electric skillet, which heats more evenly, preheat to 375°F.
  • Place one or two donuts on the parchment paper into the oil. After about 2 minutes, gently remove the parchment paper from under the donut. Fry until golden brown on each side, 2-3 minutes. Use tongs or chopsticks to flip the donuts to avoid splashing hot oil from the pan. Use a slotted spatula to remove the donuts to a paper towel-lined plate.

Glaze

  • Place the chopped white chocolate into a microwave-safe dish. Add the heavy cream. Microwave at 100% power for 1 minute. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute, then whisk together until smooth. Add the powder and mix again. Dip each donut into the glaze and turn upright. Use a spoon to scoop more glaze onto any bare spots.
  • Immediately garnish with your choice of topping. Mochi donuts are best eaten the same day they are fried. Leftovers can be stored airtight overnight, but will lose some of the elastic texture. See recipe notes for topping ideas.

Notes

Weights: Weigh the entire amount of dough to get an idea of how much each dough ball should weigh. My dough balls were about 5 grams each, and your should be too. But weight can vary with humidity and atmospheric conditions. 
Glazes: There are many different fruit, tea, and vegetable powders that can be used in the glaze. Despite being white chocolate ganache, the glaze isn’t as sweet as you might imagine. Sweeter glazes could include Nutella and purchased dulce de leche (both melted for glaze consistency).
Toppings: There are practically no limits to mochi donut toppings. Popular purveyors such as Mochinut in California top their donuts with fruity pebbles cereal, crushed Oreos, black sesame seeds, nuts, and cinnamon sugar. Just to name a few. Pocky sticks make these already beautiful donuts even prettier! A drizzle of white or dark chocolate is also lovely and tastes great.
This recipe was researched and adapted from a few different recipes online, with thanks to Honest Food Talks, and just about every homemade mochi donut video on YouTube. 
Keyword japanese donut, mochi donut, mochiko, mr. donut, pon de ring, silken tofu, taro glaze
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Lani Faulkner
Lani Faulkner
1 month ago

Thank you for this recipe? I was wondering which texture of silken tofu you used? Was it “soft”?

Vanessa
Vanessa
1 month ago

These sound amazing! What kind of oil do you use to fry them?