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.

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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

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287 Comments:

  1. deggkanan New York joined 7/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi, again! I’m going to prepare this sometime next week, so I went out and bought a few ingredients already. So, I was wondering! Is this steamer alright? I’ve never owned a steamer before, so..

    http://www.rivalproducts.com/product.aspx?pid=2420

    And is this cocoa powder alright, as well?
    http://www.gygi.com/shop/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/h/e/hershey_s-natural-cocoa-powder.gif

  2. OrionUnas Victoria, Canada BC joined 5/11 & has 2 comments

    I would love to try this recipe. My friend from Korea is visiting for a few months, and I want to make this for her. However, I don’t have a steamer, not like the one you have. I just have a very humble steamer that came with our cooking set, and it is dipped and not flat.

    I am trying to think of alternatives. We also have a jarring pot, now if I could only have a large enough steamer to fit the cake. Do you have any idea’s?

    Thanks!

  3. Kelsie4646 joined 5/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!
    There was rice flour on the outside shelf at korean store here. They didnt have it in the freezer section. Can I still use this? Thank you so much!!

  4. Yanyan Singapore joined 5/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi ~ !

    I couldn’t find any frozen rice flour in my place soI soaked rice grains , i”m making this for the mother’s day celebration for my mum ! Just need to know , do I really have to soak up to 10 hours ? :| I’ve soaked it in for the past 2 1/2 hours and i took out a few grains and try to grind it with the back of a knife . It can grind easily , so do I still have to soak it untill 10hrs have reached ??

    THANKSSS ~! :3

    • Cheonyong Indonesia joined 4/11 & has 28 comments

      I soaked it for 8 hour….
      the grain must be soaked so the grain absorbed the water and can easily cooked…
      umm, the longer you soaked it…
      the better it will be…

  5. Cheonyong Indonesia joined 4/11 & has 28 comments

    Maangchi, I made this cake…
    but something went wrong…
    my cake top is shrinking, and something like a chewy mochi was build up on top….
    did I do something wrong?
    is this because My Jelly mix in the red dough?

  6. ibjerm joined 12/10 & has 2 comments

    hi maangchi

    how long does it take to defrost the frozen rice flour?

    also, when I tried to add 5 teaspoons of water to 1 cup of frozen rice flour, it turned very gooey… almost liquid.

    thanks,

    – jeremy

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,772 comments

      I usually keep it in the refrigerator overnight when I thaw it out.

      ” it turned very gooey… ”
      Add less water then. Maybe your frozen rice flour doesn’t need any more water.

  7. inesno44 Sweden. Stockholm joined 3/11 & has 2 comments

    For all of you that wonders if it works with regular rice flour, it doesn’t. I made my own frozen rice flour and it was realy easy. I soaked the rice for 10h and then grind it, dryed it for a few minutes on a kitchen towel then start to grind it. I made a beautiful rice cake. I looked all over Stockholm and did’t find any frozen rice flour anywhere.

    Thank’s Maangchi for sharing all your wonderful recepies

    • itran joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

      Hi there. I live in US and don’t know if I can find this frozen rice flour at the grocery. As you made this from scratch using rice, I want to know what kind of rice (as there are many such as long/short grain, sweet rice, etc…), and what brand did you buy to make this cake? Also, Maangchi’s recipe asks for 2 pounds of frozen rice flour but I want to know how much rice did you use (cups, oz, pounds, etc..) before you soak the rice overnight? Please email me back at [email protected]. thank you so much.

    • Myeongwol Mexico joined 3/11 & has 14 comments

      Hi Inesno44!!! I couldn´t find rice flour either, i read you made your own flour just by soaking rice. I was wondering what kind of rice did you use for it?? and how much rice did you need for 2 pounds??? Also, did you grind it right away after being soaked??
      Thanks for sharing…I truly want to make Mujigaeddok!!!!

  8. angelmhae philippines joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    hi maangchi!
    i just want to ask if you know the certain food. i bought this at mall by a korean stall of Food. i saw it’s machine the food just popped out from it. its rounded and very big in diameter. i dont know what it is. but the owner plays the video of boys over flower from korea. the food jeum jandi selling. that the food what he’s describing. i want to make own that but i dont know what it is. it taste soft and not very much sweet and good smell. i just thought if it’s rice cake? is right? pls help me

  9. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09 & has 89 comments

    I have made mujigae ddeok twice now. I made it once for my 2 year old’s birthday celebration at home and then again for the celebration with our extended family. I’m glad I had a trial run, because even though I was pleased with it the first time, it really turned out fantastic the 2nd time around. You have seen the first attempt in pictures and I will send you the 2nd one I made and post it to your gallery too.

    I don’t have a big steamer, so although I had planned to make it using my new cake ring, I couldn’t because I didn’t have a big enough pan. Instead, I put a paper towel that I cut to size in the steamer basket for my rice cooker and steamed it in there. It worked quite well. I give this A+ for appearance and taste.

    My other substitutes were to use strawberry jello for the pink layer and to just use green food coloring (without the green tea powder or sook powder) for the green layer.

  10. kpopdancer joined 12/10 & has 2 comments

    안녕망치! I have been watching your videos and your cooking is OUTSTANDING! :D I want to make your 무지개꺽 for my friends’. Since they are in California and I’m all the way in Virginia, I was planning to ship you cakes to them. So, I was wondering, how long would the cake last? Like, how long would it take to get spoiled?
    Thank you~! (:

  11. Philip joined 12/10 & has 4 comments

    I went to my local Korean market and the manager said that frozen rice flower doesn’t exist.

  12. ibjerm joined 12/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi maangchi

    I’m thinking of making this for a friend’s bday, but a smaller version of it

    So instead of an 8 inch springform, I’ll be using a 5 inch pan, which will lower the volume of the cake.

    Keeping the ratios constant, how long should I steam it? Or alternatively, are there visible signs of doneness?

    Sorry for making it sound so much like a math question but cooking is as much science as art :P

  13. juulikesgikwang Melbourne joined 10/10 & has 1 comment

    Hiiii!
    I’m really into the korean lifestyle… so i chose the korean cuisine for my food assignment…yeah, im still in school ):

    Today, I made this cake but I used a commercial steamer instead.. and it didnt really cook.. the cake was still floury.. I took it home to finish it.. what can I use as a steamer cause I dont have one at home?

    Thanks :D

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,772 comments

      I’m sorry to hear that! You might have felt embarrassed in the class! There may be many reasons why your rice cake was not cooked fully. It could be the rice flour? Did you get soaked and ground rice flour? It’s sold in the freezer section.
      To make fluffy rice cake, you must sift it as I show in the video. BTW, was it cooked fully when you steamed it again at home?

  14. anonymous joined 9/10 & has 2 comments

    hi maangchi!
    i wondering that because i don’t have a cake tin where you can disconnect from the base and just use the edge, can i still use it with a base to steam the cake or will it effect the cake? and if so, do i need to buy a cake tin where the edge of the cake tin can disconnect to be steamed?
    thank-you:) and i’m a big fan of your cooking!

  15. annabanana Vancouver, Canada joined 2/09 & has 68 comments

    I’ve had such great success with Maangchi’s other recipes, but kept failing at this one…Today, I decided to look at the photo of the rice powder that Maangchi uses and read the ingredients list: rice flour. That’s it! My rice powder contains water (and salt), so that every time I would add the amount of water, as written in the recipe, the whole thing would turn into a sticky paste. One 4 lb bag of rice flour wasted=( I’m going to give it another go tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,772 comments

      This frozen rice flour contains water because soaked and drained rice is ground. I hope your next batch of mujigaeddeok turns out great!

      • annabanana Vancouver, Canada joined 2/09 & has 68 comments

        SUCCESS!
        Got plain rice powder and followed the recipe to the letter and it turned out!
        I even got the bouquet of flowers Maangchi suggested to give with the cake. Haha!
        Thanks!

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