LA Style Sweet Rice Cake Bars

by Beyond Kimchee on January 9, 2013 · 45 comments

LA style sweet rice cakesBaked goodies with NO gluten and NO butter or oil…

Would it be possible? Yes.

I want you to try these sweet rice cake bars. They originated from the Koreans living in Los Angeles, California many years ago. Their craving of traditional Korean rice cakes, which sometimes is hard to achieve in a home kitchen, turned this bars more like ‘east meets west’ version of rice cakes.

There is no wheat flour nor any butter or oil, but still creates the crisp texture on the outside and chewy (almost mochi-like) inside.

LA style sweet rice cake barsThe filling can be adapted to any choice of nuts, seeds and dried fruits for your liking. You can adjust the amount of sugar depends on the sweetness you desire. That makes this bars great for snacks, quick breakfast, and even a dessert.

The best part? You can whip the batch in less than 10 minutes before you put in the oven to bake.

An easy, chic, gluten free, and low fat baked treat… Let’s do with the L.A Style!!!!

Get ready for your horse dance. :)


Here are my chosen plant based (?) filling. Walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, raisins, almonds and pistachios. Use any nuts, edible seeds, and dried fruits. You can throw some chocolate chips if you like.


Coarsely chop your nuts.


In a large bowl, mix rice flower, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. I only used 1-1/2 cup of brown sugar for 3 cups of rice flower. It gave very subtle sweetness. If you prefer sweeter treat, add more sugar as you desire.


Mix well with a whisk.


Pour milk to the flour mixture, add 1teaspoon vanilla, and mix until everything is well combined. It will be a thin batter.

UPDATE: If using Mochiko flour, which is from short grain rice, you will need more milk to get the right consistency.


Add your chopped nuts…


Seeds and dried fruits, and other wonders of nature if you like. Mix well.


Pour on a well greased 9×13 pan.


Make sure you even out the nutty goodness. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 30-35 minutes.


Voila! You’ve got a cake! Or bars…

Make sure to cool down completely before you cut.


Here is the finished product. Let’s pay a moment of adoration…


Then cut into any size bars you desire. I like my bars long and skinny. That reminds me the lyrics of the song.

“♪♫♫♪ Heeeeeey, sexy la-dy…! Oppan L.A style!! ♪♫♫♪”


“Here! Take a bite!” I gave it  to my kids but UNFORTUNATELY they did not like it that much. It must be too healthy for them.

“You said it’s healthy. That means it is not supposed to taste good…”  My little son responded after he ate half of it.


Wrap these bars with plastic wrap and they will keep fresh for a few days. They can be stored in the freezer for a couple of month.

They will be my breakfast, afternoon snack, and midnight munch for the next few days. And I am very happy about that.


My family and I had a wonderful trip to Penang, Malaysia and Bali, Indonsia over the holidays. I will try to post some pictures soon to share with you. I had a great time and the ‘FOOD’ was just amazing in both places.

Hope all of you had a great season with your family and friends over a scrumptious feast.

And I wish you a very very Happy New Year!






LA style sweet rice cakes

LA Style Sweet Rice Cake Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 20 bars
  • 3 cup glutenous rice flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup low fat milk (if using Mochiko flour, add 1-1.5 cup more milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup walnuts coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup pecan coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup almond coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup pistachios coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. In a large bowl whisk together rice flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour milk and vanilla and stir to mix well.
  3. Add the assorted nuts, sunflower seeds and raisins. Mix well.
  4. Pour the batter over well greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top gets brown and crisp.
  5. Cool completely and cut into bars. Wrap leftover bars with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Hoa N January 9, 2013 at 5:45 am

Hi Holly,
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I will definitely try this recipe. Your blog is my number one on the list as I’ve tried many of your recipes. We were together w/ my side of the families over the Holidays and I made all of your apple desserts along w/ other dishes and everyone enjoyed very much. Thank you!


Holly January 14, 2013 at 7:47 am

Thank you Hoa. That is just fantastic. It makes me very happy to hear that.


john@kitchenriffs January 9, 2013 at 8:21 am

Welcome back! And Happy New Year! You’re starting the year with a terrific recipe – this looks so good. Easy (and tasty!) too. Really good stuff – thanks.


Dumpling Love January 9, 2013 at 8:53 am

This is great, Holly! I love how there’s no butter or oil, plus the chewy mochi-like texture sounds perfect. Definitely going to try this – thanks for sharing!


Secret Crystals January 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm


Your photo are awesome! well done…keep it up.

I am from Singapore ;)


Sarah January 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm

yummmm I remember my mom bringing these bars home from the Korean bakery and just loving the chewy texture. I will definitely make these soon!!! :)


Purabi Naha January 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Wonderful job! I loved your rice cake bars…would be a superhit on a kids’ picnic as well!


Caitlin January 10, 2013 at 2:08 am

these look delicious! i’ve never had a sweet rice bar, but now i wish i did! the nuts must make an amazing contrast in texture.


Tammy January 10, 2013 at 5:10 am

Looks absolutely amazing. Really like it that it’s easy and healthy too!


happioca January 13, 2013 at 2:59 am

I was looking for a recipe for a treat I bought at an LA Koreatown market that I’m still dreaming about – this is close, thanks! Your blog is great – I really love how you express yourself – keep up the good work


Carmen January 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I am so happy to find your blog…. I love Korean food , but dont know how to make the dishes. Your recipes are easy to follow and all look so yummy. Cant wait to start !!!


Aaren January 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Can’t wait to try this recipe! Did you use raw or roasted nuts for this? Or does it not matter which kind you use?


Holly January 16, 2013 at 12:06 am

It doesn’t really matter. But I think if you roast/toast the nuts, I bet it will bring nuttier fragrance.


Nancy Emmerson January 19, 2013 at 4:49 am

Holly, this looks good! I will try it.

I will be making Korean dishes this Monday to serve with for my son’s Scout troop family heritage night presentation on Tuesday. I will keep looking on your blog, but wondered if you have any suggestions for easy dishes to introduce non Koreans to delicious Korean food? I plan to make three things. All will be small samples for roughly 50 attendees.

Overall, my experience with cooking Korean food is limited, but I want to expand!

thanks for any advice you can provide.


Holly January 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm
Michelle January 20, 2013 at 5:53 am

Looks yummy. I’m going to try this out. Can I substitute the milk with Almond Milk? I’m lactose-intorelant.



Holly January 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

Yes, Almond milk will be a great substitution to this recipe.


jenny January 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

Thanks for the recipe but something is wrong. I made it and it was a mess. 3 cups of flour and 2 cups of milk does not make a thin batter… :(


Holly January 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Did you use rice flour? It should be quit thin. I wonder what type of flour you used.


jenny January 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Yes, I used mochiko (rice flour). I looked up other sweet rice flour recipes and found that the recipes tend to require equal or more of the liquid compared to the rice flour. So, did you mean to write 3 cups of flour and 3-4 cups of milk?


jenny January 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Yes, I used mochiko (rice flour). I looked up other sweet rice flour recipes and found that the recipes tend to require equal or more of the liquid compared to the rice flour. So, did you mean to write 3 cups of flour and 3-4 cups of milk?


Holly January 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Jenny, I wonder it could be the rice flour itself. I used sweet glutenous rice flour manufactured in Malaysia where they consume long grains. Mochiko flour is originated from Japan and they eat short grains. I have not tried this recipe with mochiko rice flour so I can’t tell how thin or thick the batter will turn out. When I tried with my rice flour it was actually quite loose.
Increase the amount of milk to get the thinner consistency. You can always pour more milk as you mix to get the right consistency. The batter should be almost like pancake batter.
Hope you can give another shot.


jenny January 28, 2013 at 4:04 am

Ahhh, good to know! I didn’t think there was any difference in rice flours. I appreciate the advice and will try ti again!


Nadia February 9, 2013 at 7:30 am

I had a craving for something chewy and sweet and this looked so good!! It is currently smelling good right now….happily baking in oven. I also had a craving for coconut so made a slight adaptation to your recipe by adding 1 cup sweetened coconut and reduced sugar to 1/2 cup. Here’s to hoping for excellent results!! Thanks for the recipe :)


Joe February 17, 2013 at 7:12 am

Whether intentionally or not, you have created the perfect sports bar. High carb and protein, and low fat, this is the best for pre- and post-race snack; and unlike the branded stuff it tastes amazing!

Thanks for boosting my performance!


H park February 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I love love this kind of cchap seal dduk, I get disappointed when I go to grocery stores and buy their dduk, doesn’t taste as good as my mom used to make it, she’s too busy too make it for me….but getting all those nuts seems like a lot of work..maybe I buy a can of trial mix nuts….thx for the recipe


H park February 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I used mochiko also and had the same problem as mentioned in a previous post, it was not watery at all but I added 1.5 cup more water It turned out soooooooo good, thank u


Holly February 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I used long grain glutenous flour so I guess mochiko flour, which is from the short grain, will need more water. I am glad that you added more water to make right consistency. Thanks for the comment.


Gina August 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

These were ssooooooo good, I put in sesame seeds and cooked red beans. Delish!


Irene August 5, 2013 at 4:35 am

This is a fantastic recipe, Abigail hit for parties and lunch boxes. Can’t believe there is no butter , oil, or eggs.


Eunice August 14, 2013 at 2:08 am

I made these today after finally found something I can make with ingredients that I have around the house!

So delicious. I love the texture of the crunch and the chewiness. I didn’t have regular milk (lactose intolerant) so I used almond milk instead. I also halved the recipe because I hate making a big batch.

It came out so good. I also put some frozen blueberries because they were in the freezer and needed to be used. I kind of just dumped everything that my very Korean mother would freeze various things to preserve (dried cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, slivered almonds, etc.)


RosyIvory August 15, 2013 at 8:44 am

Hi Holly,

In my quest of trying Korean food I came by your blog, and ever since I got stuck. I liked the recipes so much. You make them look easy to make that I’m determined now to try many of them – even though I’m not that much of a competent when it comes to cooking :P – and this recipe is my first.
I made it, and it was so delicious. I used dates, walnuts, hazelnuts, raisins and finally the hero if them all….. dried fig.
Though it didn’t look like the images posted here: it didn’t have crust nor it was gooey.. on the contrary: I think it was dense and wasn’t that much crispy.

This is how it looked:

What do you think are they good enough or something went wrong?


Holly August 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

Hi RosyIvory
What type of flour did you use? I can see the texture doesn’t look right. I wonder if you used plain rice flour, not the gluteneous(sweet rice flour).


RosyIvory August 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Hi Holly,
Yes, it’s plain rice flour – the kind available in my area – but the package said for desserts so I figured it’s OK. Can I find a way around this or it’s essential to make it with glutenous rice flour?


Holly August 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Plain rice flour won’t give the mochi-like chewiness and the texture. The taste would be similar, though.


RosyIvory August 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Thanks Holly!
I’ll be looking for glutenous rice flour around to get a taste of the whole experience :)

bjy November 6, 2013 at 10:28 am

Yep, same thing happened to me – bought the regular rice flour at the local supermarket, and got the same texture as your bars. Nonetheless, the bars were yummy! It was a bit of a pleasant surprise, and they kept well in the freezer, too.

I’ve managed to grab a few bags of mochiko from an Asian grocery, so I’ll be attempting this recipe again with that flour.


Jennifer Lee May 8, 2014 at 11:48 am

I’d heard it when I was in Korea but I couldn’t remember the recipe. Now I am staying in America as a visiting teacher. I want to introduce the rice cake for my school teachers. Thanks to your recipe, I made it and shared with my school teachers. They love it. It is really great because they feel more familiar to this crispy rice cake. Thank you so much!!


Jennifer Lee May 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

I’d heard it when I was in Korea. But I didn’t know the recipe of it. Now I am staying in America as a visiting teacher. I wanted to introduce Korean rice cake for my school teachers. Fortunately I found your website. Thanks to your recipe, I made it and shared with my school teachers. They love it!!

It’s really good as it was the first time to try the rice cake for some teachers. Instead of nuts, I put green, red and black beans because some people have allergies to nuts. Crispy, chewy and healthy. It’s perfect. Thank you so much!!

Hope to share good ideas more : )


md May 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Given the comments from other bakers, I made sure I used a 16 oz bag of glutinous rice flour. The “batter” was more like a soft dough, not pourable at all. The rice flour bag had green writing and an elephant on it. I spread it out on the plan and baked it anyway. It came out ok but I wonder if I should have added more liquid.


Holly May 16, 2014 at 8:39 am

Hi, I think the consistency depends on the type of the glutenous rice you use, whether it is from short grain or long grain. Adding more liquid to get the right texture will help.


Jennifer Lee May 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Yes, you are right. I missed it. I also experienced same thing as you. At that time, I used 6cups of glutinous rice flour and 2cups of milk. But as you said, the batter was not pourable. So, I added more milk until it turned to be pourable. 3.5cups of milk made the pourable batter and rice cake was good.


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