hand holding pon de ring donut over wire rack

About These Baked Mochi Pon De Ring Donuts

This recipe for baked mochi pon de ring donuts makes a small batch of 5 pon de ring mochi donuts with your choice of matcha, strawberry or ube glaze! The dough is made with a combination of tapioca flour and all-purpose flour, giving each donut a slightly chewier and bouncy crumb.

But let me warn you now—there is a reason why donuts are fried and not baked! Frying gives the pon de ring donuts their unique airy-and-chewy-on-the-inside-and-crispy-on-the-outside shell. You can’t really replicate that texture if you bake the donuts. So although this recipe makes pastries that LOOK like pon de ring donuts, their texture is more similar to that of a sweet bread bun. Think: Mexican conchas, Polish kolaches, and French brioche.

What is a pon de ring donut?

But hold the phone—what is a pon de ring donut, anyway? Pon de ring donuts were popularized by Mister Donut, a popular Japanese donut chain. They have a signature shape made by eight smaller donut balls connected together in a ring. I’ve heard them described as donut flowers, or bubble donuts.

Is a pon de ring donut gluten free?

No! Pon de ring donuts are NOT gluten free, sorry!

People often think that pon de ring donuts are gluten free because sometimes, they are also called mochi donuts. This is technically wrong. Mochi donuts are made with mochiko rice flour (like my recipe for Small Batch Ube Mochi Donuts), and are 100% gluten free. Pon de ring donuts, on the other hand, are made with a combination of both tapioca flour (which is gluten free) AND all purpose flour (which contains gluten).

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Here are all the reasons to make these pon de ring donuts:

This recipe is a “healthier” take on the fried classic.

Most recipes for homemade pon de ring donuts instruct you to deep fry the donuts. However, I *HATE* deep frying things at home—it’s scary, it’s messy, it wastes a lot of oil. So I worked hard to develop a pon de ring donut recipe that avoided deep frying completely.

So instead of deep frying the donuts in the oven, I instruct you to BAKE them in the oven. The result is a slightly healthier pastry. However, you still get the signature look and unique textures of a pon de ring mochi donut.

The recipe is also small batch.

Real Talk: pon de ring donuts, fried or baked, don’t keep well after a day. They dry out really quickly, and lose their signature chew unless reheated. Because of this, I figured it would be good to avoid leftovers. As a result, my pon de ring donut recipe only makes five donuts!

Don’t worry—if you are planning on baking these for a crowd, the recipe scales up easily. Simply double all the ingredient quantities to make twice as many donuts!

The recipe is easily customizeable.

I’ve already talked about how you can double the recipe to customize how many donuts you end up with. But there are a ton of other customizations you can make, too. Prefer a more traditional, fried version of the donut? I included instructions for deep frying in the recipe notes. Want to customize different flavors and glazes? I included three different glaze recipes for you to choose from, as well as instructions on how to make your own custom flavored glaze. The possibilities are endless!

pon de ring donuts on wire rack

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make these donuts, here’s everything you need to make them:

Shopping List For Baked Pon De Ring Mochi Donuts Recipe

  • tapioca flour
  • all-purpose flour
  • instant yeast
  • kosher salt
  • unsalted butter
  • large eggs
  • pure vanilla extract
  • whole milk
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • matcha powder
  • freeze-dried strawberries
  • ube extract
  • sprinkles

Common Ingredient Substitutions For The Recipe

Here are common substitutions for the ingredients in the recipe:

  • All-Purpose Flour. Substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite 1-1 Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I like the ones by Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Baking Company) to make the donuts gluten-free!

  • Kosher Salt. You can replace the kosher salt in the recipe with half its amount in table salt.

  • Unsalted Butter. You can substitute the unsalted butter with salted butter without any noticeable difference in taste. You can also use vegan butter sticks to make it dairy-free. However, it won’t be vegan (because the recipe contains eggs) and you’ll also need to replace the milk with a plant-based alternative.

  • Ube Extract. Check out this post on where to find ube extract!
close up of pon de ring mochi donuts on a wire rack

How To Make The Recipe

Here are the basic steps to make these mochi pon de ring donuts from scratch:

  1. Prep the ingredients. (Prep Time: 10 minutes)

  2. Make the donut dough. (Work Time: 10 minutes)

  3. Proof the dough. (Proof Time: Overnight)
    If you don’t have time to proof the dough overnight, check out the recipe tips below on how to make these donuts all in one day!

  4. Assemble the donuts. (Work Time: 20 minutes)

  5. Proof the donuts while you preheat the oven. (Proof Time: ~15 minutes)

  6. Bake the donuts. (Bake Time: 12 minutes)

  7. Make the donut glaze while the donuts cool slightly. (Work Time: 5 minutes)

  8. Glaze and garnish the donuts. (Work Time: 5 minutes)

Best Recipe Tips

How To Make The Recipe Fit Your Schedule

  • I proofed the dough overnight in the refrigerator because it is quite sticky and hard to work with if it’s not chilled. However, if you’re pressed for time and want to make these donuts all in one day, you can proof the dough at room temperature for 1 ½ to 2 hours before shaping them into donuts and baking them. But again, let me warn you now—forming the balls for the donuts will be a much harder task since the dough will be really, really sticky!

Ingredient Tip

  • Tapioca flour is also sold under the name “tapioca starch.” Tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same thing!

Tip About The Mochi Donut Glaze

  • I’ve included 3 recipes for different glaze flavors (matcha, strawberry, and ube) for you to choose from—each recipe makes enough to glaze all 5 donuts! But feel free to customize with other flavors of your choice using the recipes I provided. You can swap out the matcha for the same amount of a different flavored powder, the strawberry for the same amount of a different freeze-dried fruit, and the ube extract for the same amount of another extract.

    When making the glaze, note that it should be on the runny side. If the glaze is too thick and you pull the donut up and away, the donuts WILL break their unique shape (they’re on the delicate side). So be sure to keep extra milk on hand to thin out the glaze accordingly!

More Donut Recipes

Get the Recipe: Baked Pon De Ring Mochi Donuts Recipe

This pon de ring mochi donut recipe does NOT require any deep frying! Instead, the donuts are baked in the oven for a "healthier" version of the Japanese treat. The small batch recipe only makes 5 donuts and allows you to easily customize the donuts with a variety of flavored glazes.
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For The Dough

  • 1 ¼ cups (5.6 ounces or 160 grams) tapioca flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (3.15 ounces or 90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons (1.5 ounces or 43 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) whole milk, warmed to between 120°F and 130°F

For The Matcha Glaze

  • 1 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • sprinkles, for garnish

For The Strawberry Glaze

  • 1 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted if necessary
  • 2 Tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries, finely processed
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 to 2 drops red or pink food coloring
  • sprinkles, for garnish

For The Ube Glaze

  • 1 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted if necessary
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon ube extract
  • sprinkles, for garnish


  • First, make the donut dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the tapioca, flour, yeast, and salt. Beat on low until just combined, about 15 seconds.
    Press a tall glass into the center of the dry ingredients to make a well. Pour the butter, egg, and vanilla into the well and mix with a rubber spatula until a rough, shaggy dough forms.
    With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour the milk into the dough. Mix on low to combine, then increase to medium-high and mix for 5 minutes, until elastic and sticky, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Proof the dough. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Dust your hands lightly with flour and knead the dough once or twice into a rough ball. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to remove any excess dough. Spray the bowl with cooking spray and place the dough back in the bowl. Tightly cover with plastic wrap.
    Refrigerate overnight.
  • Make the dough balls. Uncover the dough and discard the plastic wrap. Tip it onto a lightly floured counter.
    Divide the dough, using your hands to pinch the dough or a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon, into 40 smaller pieces, weighing 0.35 ounces (10 grams) each.
    Lightly flour your hands. Working quickly, roll each piece in between your hands as you would clay or Play-Doh, rolling it back and forth in quick motions until it forms a smooth ball.
  • Shape the donuts. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Take 8 dough balls and place them on the sheet pan, forming them into a circle to make a single pon de ring donut—each dough ball should slightly touch the one next to it.
    Repeat with the remaining dough balls, using 8 dough balls per donut, and leaving at least 2 to 3 inches of space in between each donut.
    Loosely cover the sheet pan of donuts with plastic wrap. Proof the donuts at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  • Preheat the oven. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bake the donuts. Once the oven is preheated, uncover the donuts and discard the plastic wrap. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the donuts are puffy and ever-so-slightly browned.
    Cool the donuts on the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before glazing.
  • Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, mix together the ingredients for the glaze of your choice until you get a runny but still thick and homogeneous paste. To test the consistency of the glaze, dip the tip of a spatula in it and hold it over the bowl. The glaze should be thick, but drip off the spatula in a slow but steady stream.
  • Glaze the donuts. Working quickly, dip the top of a donut in the glaze and quickly flip it up so that the glazed side is upright. Place on a wire rack to let any excess glaze to drip off. Garnish immediately with sprinkles.
    Repeat with remaining donuts.
  • Serve and store. Serve immediately. The donuts are best on the day that they're made, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.