';

Rainbow rice cake

Mujigae-tteok 무지개떡

I’m going to introduce a beautiful Korean rice cake today. It’s called mujigae-tteok (무지개떡). Mujigae means rainbow, so my ancestors must have got the idea for the name from a rainbow! I love it! This is an example of how they incorporated natural beauty into their everyday life. Even though the name of the rice cake is “rainbow rice cake,” it is usually made with only 3-5 different colored layers. That’s why this rice cake is sometimes called “colorful rice cake” (색떡, saektteok).

In this recipe, I am using 5 different colors from bottom to top: brown, green, yellow, pink, and white.

This rice cake is made on special occasions like a baby’s 1 year old birthday, or a wedding. As you see in this video, making this rice cake takes a lot of effort and time, even though the ingredients are comparatively simple. However, if you make this rice cake for someone very special in your life, you wouldn’t care much about time and effort. : ) You may wish this while you’re rubbing the rice flour with your palms:

“I wish my baby becomes healthy, smart, and a good, warm-hearted person!”

“I wish my parents have healthy and long life!”

“To show my love for my lovely husband (or wife) !”

Leave a comment and let me know what you wish when you make this!

A note about short grain rice flour: the flour you buy at your local store or the flour you make may have more or less moisture in it than the rice flour I use in this recipe. This is because of many different things like how long it’s been in the freezer in the store, or the atmospheric conditions where you live. You may need to steam more or less, depending on how dry or wet your short grain rice flour is.

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

A 2 pound package of frozen rice flour (or make it at home), sugar, salt, water, liquid food coloring (green, pink, and yellow), lemon, mugwort powder (ssukgaru 쑥가루), cocoa powder.

Cooking utensils:
Steamer, sifter, 8 inch (20 cm) ring or springform.

Directions

  1. Thaw out frozen rice flour package and put it into a large bowl.
  2. Sift the rice flour.
  3. Add 10 cups of water in the bottom of a steamer, and place a wet cloth over the rack.
  4. Place the 8 inch cake ring in the center of the rack.
    whitericefloursifting

Brown layer (the bottom layer):

  1. Place 1 cup of rice flour in a medium sized bowl. Add 1 ts cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, 2 tbs of white sugar, and 4 ts of water.
  2. Mix it all up and press out any wet lumps by rubbing the lumps gently between your palms.
  3. Put the mixture into a sifter and sift into the center of the ring.
  4. Flatten out the mixture so it sits level in the ring.
    *tip: a business card works wellcocopowder
    brown

Green layer:

  1. Place 1½ cup of rice flour in a medium sized bowl. Add a pinch of salt, 2 tbs sugar, and 1 ts mugwort powder (ssukgaru).
    *tip: you can replace mugwort powder with green tea powdermugwortpackage
    mugwortpowder1
     
  2. Put 2 tbs of water and 1 drop of green liquid food coloring into a small bowl and mix well.
    *tip: Use a chopstick to get a very little amount of the food coloring
  3. Add the green water to the rice cake mixture and mix it all up. Press out any wet lumps by rubbing the lumps gently between your palms.
  4. Put the mixture into a sifter and sift into the center of the ring.
  5. Flatten out the mixture so it sits level in the ring.

Yellow layer:

  1. Place 1½ cup of rice flour in a medium sized bowl. Add a pinch of salt and 2 tbs sugar.
  2. Put 1tbs lemon juice, 1 tbs water, and 1 drop of yellow liquid food coloring into a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the yellow water to the rice cake mixture and mix it all up. Press out any wet lumps by rubbing the lumps gently between your palms.
  4. Put the mixture into a sifter and sift into the center of the ring.
  5. Flatten out the mixture so it sits level in the ring.greenandyellow

Pink layer:

  1. Place 1½ cup of rice flour in a medium sized bowl. Add a pinch of salt and 2 tbs sugar.
  2. Put 2 tbs water and 1 drop of hot pink (fuchsia) liquid food coloring into a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the pink water to the rice cake mixture and mix it all up. Press out any wet lumps by rubbing the lumps gently between your palms.
  4. Put the mixture into a sifter and sift into the center of the ring.
  5. Flatten out the mixture so it sits level in the ring.yellowandpink

White layer (the top layer):

  1. Place 1 cup of rice flour in a medium sized bowl. Add a pinch of salt, 2 tbs white sugar, and 4 ts water.
  2. Mix it up and press out any wet lumps by rubbing the lumps gently between your palms.
  3. Put the mixture into a sifter and sift into the center of the ring.
  4. Flatten out the mixture so it sits level in the ring.

Now let’s garnish!

decoration

  1. On the top of the cake place 5 dried cranberries to make flower petals. Put a few pine nuts in the center.
  2. Cut a dried apricot into a thin strip, and place it as a flower stem.beforesteaming

Finally, let’s steam it:

  1. Close the lid of the steamer and bring to a boil for 30 minutes over high heat.
  2. Turn down the heat and simmer another 5 minutes.
  3. Take out the rice cake and let it cool down. Serve with tea or coffee.done!
    colorfulpieceofmujigaeddueok

Advertisement

269 Comments:

  1. Miss Kim78 socali My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted June 22nd, 2015 at 8:08 pm | # |

    I am not too crazy about dduk. But once in a while, I eat it. And when I do, rainbow cake is among the ones I eat. The last time I had dduk was a few months ago when my new sister in law’s family gave dduk to my parents as an ebaji sunmool, which the new bride’s family presents to the in laws as a gesture of thanks and humble request to take good care of their daughter and such. http://www.behgopa.com/2015/03/the-meaning-behind-food-items-in-korean.html

  2. Gabby My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 28th, 2015 at 12:05 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi
    Can you please teach me Redbean Sirudeok. I guess I can use this Rainbow rice cake for the riceflour layer. Please advise how do I prepare the redbean layer. Thank you.

  3. Lynnjamin New York My profile page I'm a fan! joined 11/14
    Posted February 2nd, 2015 at 5:06 pm | # |

    I made the rice cake today and I learned a big lesson. Turns out, it takes a long time for the frozen rice flour to thaw. I thought I could just take it out of the freezer a few minutes before, but bad idea. When I added the water it immediately turned to soup. Only after about 5 hours did the rice start to absorb the water. Then I had a huge clump that took another hour to break apart to get through the sifter. The cake turned out snowy and fluffy, but man what a lot of needless labor. If I had paid better attention, Maangchi says she thaws the flour overnight in the fridge. Lesson learned!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 3rd, 2015 at 10:40 am | # |

      I can see all the hard work you put into making a good rice cake! I know you are very good at Korean cooking, so your comment will help & encourage those planning to make it, too. Cheers!

  4. arcdamia Philippines My profile page joined 5/14
    Posted May 8th, 2014 at 10:45 pm | # |

    hi maangchi. I tried doing this one using regular rice flour which is not frozen. Of course it was an epic fail. Do you know anyway how i can use the regular rice flour and turn it into the same frozen one? thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 11th, 2014 at 9:51 am | # |

      One of my readers made mujigaetteok with dried rice flour and posted the photo here. I hope it helps you. http://www.maangchi.com/photo/rainbow-rice-cake#comment-27409

    • severusx Philippines My profile page joined 12/14
      Posted December 25th, 2014 at 7:12 am | # |

      Hello Maangchi,

      I think your recipes are awesome and I have always had great results following them. My korean teacher(who taught me everything I know about hangul) is leaving and won’t be back for around 10 years. Is it possible to make a 10 layer cake? What advice would you give me if I try this and what colors would you suggest? Thanks!

      • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
        Posted December 26th, 2014 at 12:58 pm | # |

        “Is it possible to make a 10 layer cake?” I don’t think it will work well because the rice cake won’t steam all the layers thoroughly. Your teacher will come back in 10 years, so you like to make 10 layers of colorful rice cake? I think it’s a very cute idea though. : )

  5. Odhu-Sama California My profile page joined 12/13
    Posted December 22nd, 2013 at 5:57 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi~ I always love your recipes.
    I am taking cooking in our school and we have a home cooking assignment, and i decided to make this.
    I have a question for this, so can I use sweet rice flour instead of frozen rice flour?
    I have a lot of sweet rice flour because I made rice cake from your other recipes, however, we don’t have short grain rice flour nor short grain.

  6. Mizy Singapore My profile page joined 11/13
    Posted November 15th, 2013 at 10:29 pm | # |

    Hi,

    I happen to chance on our youtube channel and really loves your videos as I had been searching for Korean receipes.

    I would like to try to make this Rainbow Cake as a birthday cake for my mum and would like to check if I can use normal Rice Flour instead of Frozen Rice Flour and must it be Korean Rice Flour?

    Thanks. :)

  7. choe_annie VA My profile page joined 4/09
    Posted September 20th, 2013 at 10:46 am | # |

    Hi maangchi:::
    How many people does this recipe serve? I need to make a cake for 60!

  8. Little.Miss17 Asia My profile page joined 9/13
    Posted September 10th, 2013 at 10:34 pm | # |

    Hi, I hope you wont mind but I copied your recipe to my facebook note so I can share it with my friends :) Have your website link on it too!! I really love this cake!!! and thank you for the instructions on making frozen rice flour too, that helped a lot for me.

  9. maangchisyummyfood Vancouver My profile page joined 8/13
    Posted August 29th, 2013 at 11:01 pm | # |

    You make my mouth water! It looks great. Seems to be alot of work! ;)

  10. kittycopper United States My profile page joined 6/13
    Posted June 8th, 2013 at 2:04 pm | # |

    I really do love how this cake looks. I would love to try making this but I do not have a steamer as big as that. Would I be able to cook this cake in ramekins?

  11. hyojlee indiana My profile page joined 5/13
    Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 8:32 am | # |

    Hi

    I am a Korean and planning a wedding – most guests won’t be Koreans. Do you think this can work as a wedding cake? I want to bring some Korean idea into our wedding but I realized that we don’t have a place to order ddeok in my town.
    A few concerns are
    1. Will it be easy to cut and be served?
    2. How long will it be good? I think I need to make this by myself with some help of friends. To make cakes that will be 100-200 small pieces… I may need at least couple days.

    Thanks!!

  12. teesh uk My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted March 27th, 2013 at 4:51 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi, I really want to make this rainbow cake and i even bought rice flour.. the condition where the flour was stored was quite cold but it wasn’t frozen rice flour…
    Do you think that would still work??

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 5 6 7

Leave a Reply