We’re Sweet on the 8 Best Mochi Ice Creams

Mochi ice cream is an incredible innovation. If you’re not familiar with the creamy confection, it essentially consists of balls of ice cream wrapped in sweet, stretchy rice dough, and while it wasn’t a thing until the 1980s, it was preceded by filled treats like daifuku and manju. Humans may ultimately be responsible for the collapse of all of Earth’s ecosystems, but, hey, we devised a way you can eat ice cream with your hands, and that’s pretty cool.

For this taste test, we rounded up some of the biggest brands of mochi ice cream in multiple flavors and tasted them side by side, judging them on the quality of the mochi dough, the quality of the ice cream, and the overall flavor. I absolutely love mochi (mochi doughnuts are my favorite food and if you’ve never had them, please go find some immediately) but I aspire to never ever eat this much in a single sitting ever again. All the same, these were our faves.

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best mochi ice cream

Best of the Best

Mikawaya Vanilla Mochi Ice Cream

I know, I know—when we tasted everything from alphonso mango to Vietnamese coffee, how could vanilla take the top spot, right? Hear me out: Vanilla ice cream is only boring if it’s bad and, also, there’s something highly appealing about the way the almost marshmallow-y flavor of the mochi dough compliments a creamy, flavorful vanilla ice cream. Mikawaya—which makes a total of three appearances on this list—makes an excellent mochi ice cream. The balls themselves are sort of mini cupcake shaped rather than disc shaped like some of the other brands, which I personally liked a lot. Also, the vanilla flavor in these is big and bold without being overpowering. Our social media manager Mark Catangui though this one achieved the most authentic mochi ice cream experience, and I trust him on that.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best mochi ice cream

Best Strawberry

Mikawaya Strawberry

I know not everyone loves strawberry ice cream like I love strawberry ice cream, but wow these rule. Same as vanilla, the sweet, doughy flavor of the mochi really compliments the taste of the strawberry ice cream, which we decided was the most flavorful of all the strawberry ice creams we tried in the taste test. Mikawaya calls itself “the original and the best,” and they’re putting their money (and mochi) where their mouth is.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best mochi ice cream

Best Chocolate

My Mochi Double Chocolate

My Mochi is the brand I’m most accustomed to seeing at the grocery store. It’s super available, comes in lots of flavors, and I’m pleased to report that several of them are good as hell. For instance, this double chocolate, which achieved a much better chocolate flavor than any of the other chocolate mochi we tried. In others, the chocolate flavor felt sort of shoehorned in but worked perfectly in these. I also liked that the chocolate bits in the ice cream filling add a little texture beyond just “squish.” They’re super sweet and the mochi dough makes them taste kind of like an undercooked chocolate baked good. An excellent mochi ice cream.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best mochi ice cream

Best Mango

Bubbie’s Alphonso Mango

Mango is a popular flavor in the mochi ice cream realm, and Bubbies alphonso mango achieves the most genuine mango flavor by far. These are sweet, tart, and tropical tasting in the best way. (And since we eat with our eyes first, they also happen to be a beautiful color.) We got the impression that even within a brand’s line, the dough could seem a little different flavor by flavor, and this one was particularly squishy and good. If fruity flavored desserts are your thing, give these a shot.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best mochi ice cream

Best Green Tea

Mikawaya Green Tea

Not all matcha-slash-green tea-flavored mochi ice creams are created equal. We tried a handful, and this one had the most herbal, green tea flavor, along with a signature bitterness that was missing from other brands. To be perfectly honest, green tea isn’t my first choice in terms of flavor, but Mikawaya did such an excellent job of translating matcha into mochi that it had to make a good showing on the list.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best mochi ice cream

Best Coffee

Sweety Vietnamese Coffee

I’m not entirely sure what the distinction is between Vietnamese coffee and other coffees, but whatever Sweety did here totally works. This is a big, bold coffee flavor that’s perfect for fans of coffee with lots of cream and sugar. Sweety mochi ice cream also seemed to have a slightly thinner, stretchier layer of dough than some of the other brands, which I think might appeal to some people, particularly those who are new to the world of mochi ice cream.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best mochi ice cream

Best Cookies & Cream

My Mochi Cookies and Cream

Cookies & cream is an elite ice cream flavor, and I’m pleased to report it translates nicely to mochi form, at least in this case. (We also tried Bubbies cookies & cream mochi, but didn’t like the chocolate-flavored dough that encased them; the flavor works much better with the plain dough.) I didn’t detect any cookie bits in the ice cream filling, but it still tastes plenty like cookies & cream. Be forewarned that this particular flavor is very sweet, so if that’s a turn off, go for another flave.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best mochi ice cream

Best Vegan

My Mochi Vegan Neapolitan

We love a non-dairy option! These Neapolitan-flavored My Mochi blobs feature a slightly icy oat milk-based vanilla filling, a sweet strawberry interior, and chocolate mochi dough on the outside. The strawberry goo made these look a bit like a crime scene, but it was actually my favorite part and made the entire confection more interesting. Since I consume dairy, these probably wouldn’t be my first pick, but they’re an excellent option for anyone who avoids dairy for dietary or ethical reasons.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Sweety Simply Strawberry, Trader Joe’s Strawberry, My Mochi Strawberry, Bubbies Red Ripe Strawberry, My Mochi Vegan Strawberry, Bubbies Madagascar Vanilla, Trader Joe’s Vanilla, My Mochi Vanilla Bean, Trader Joe’s Green Tea, My Mochi Green Tea, My Mochi Sweet Mango, Mikawaya Mango, Trader Joe’s Ube, Bubbies Passion Fruit, Mikawaya Chocolate Chocolate,

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About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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