Japanese desserts are often overlooked in favor of their more famous cousin, sushi. But Japanese sweets are just as delicious as they are pretty to look at. The best part is that you don't need a degree in Japanese cuisine to make them at home.
These delicate treats are often less sweet than their Western counterparts but no less delicious. We'll share 15 recipes for Japanese desserts that you can make at home, from traditional favorites known as wagashi to contemporary twists and kawaii shapes. Whether you're a fan of green tea ice cream, mochi balls, or matcha cake, we've got something for you.
Japanese pancakes are made using soufflé techniques and are incredibly popular in Japan. They are fluffy, jiggly, sweet, soft, and oh so delicious. It takes a little more effort to make these, but they are worth it. The egg whites are whipped with sugar into a thick fluffy meringue and then mixed with a batter made with the yolks.
This results in a pancake that is unlike any other. So if you're looking for something new and exciting to try, be sure to give this recipe a go.
Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes are the perfect dessert for anyone who loves light, fluffy cakes. These cupcakes are soft, silky, and filled with delicate whipped cream.
These matcha muffins are special - not only are they full of healthy antioxidants, but they're also deliciously flavored. Made with real matcha powder, these muffins are perfect for a quick snack or a healthy treat.
Ichigo Daifuku, aka Strawberry mochi, is a trendy Japanese sweet that you'll love! Ichigo means "strawberry," and Daifuku translates to "great luck."
Ichigo daifuku is one of the most interesting Japanese mochi desserts as it uses whole strawberries. This sweet treat is the perfect combination of the juiciness of fresh strawberries and the flavorful sweetness of red bean paste wrapped in a soft mochi.
In Japan, Daifuku is a typical sweet snack or a dessert you can enjoy with a cup of refreshing green tea.
Japanese Honey Kasutera, aka Honey Castella, is a fine-textured Japanese sponge cake. This trendy dessert was first introduced to the Nagasaki region in Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. The name comes from Portuguese Pão de Castela, meaning “bread from Castile.”
Even though Castella cake only calls for four simple ingredients - flour, eggs, sugar, and honey, it rises much higher than any sponge cake and has an incredibly light, pillowy texture.
Matcha Mille Crepe Cake is the perfect way to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills! This Japanese take on a traditional French pastry is made of thin layers of green tea crepes stacked together with fresh whipped cream in-between.
The cake looks beautiful and tastes refreshing, with a hint of sweetness from the cream. Plus, it's oven-free, so you can make it any time on your stovetop.
Warabi Mochi is a chewy sweet, and nutty dessert popular in Japan during summer. It is different from typical mochi made using glutinous rice flour.
Warabi, aka bracken, is a fern whose root makes the main ingredient in this refreshing dessert. Traditionally warabi mochi uses bracken starch and roasted soybean flour (kinako) for dusting. Bracken starch makes this type of mochi chewier and almost jelly-like.
But this recipe is more accessible by using potato starch instead. So you can enjoy this unique Japanese treat without having to travel thousands of miles or grow your own bracken ferns at home.
Sweet red bean paste, also known as Anko paste in Japan, is a fantastic filling used in many Asian desserts. The paste has a chewy, almost creamy texture, perfect for holding together pastries, cakes, and other desserts.
The sweet potato-like flavor with hints of chocolate is simply irresistible, making this a popular choice for those looking to indulge in something healthy. The creamy texture makes it perfect as well - what more could you ask from your dessert?
One of the most famous Japanese desserts made using Anko sweet red bean paste is Dorayaki.
If you are familiar with the funny Japanese anime character Doraemon, then you know how addictive dorayaki is. Doraemon is obsessed with the delicious Japanese pancake sandwich and falls for any trap if it can promise him that yummy treat.
Dorayaki is made with two medium-sized American-style pancakes held together with a sweet red bean filling (Anko paste).
This dessert is perfect for someone who has never tried any traditional Japanese sweets because it doesn't contain any unusual ingredients. You can easily make dorayaki at home. The soft pancake with velvety Anko filling tastes even better with a cup of green tea.
Taiyaki is another delicious Japanese dessert made with sweet red bean paste. It is not only amazingly delicious but also almost too pretty to eat. The perfect sweet treat for any occasion, taiyaki is easy and simple yet excitingly different than your everyday fare!
Japan is home to some unique ice cream flavors, one that's especially popular with visitors and residents alike is black sesame. Black sesame seeds are a common ingredient in many Japanese desserts, but it is truly something special as an ice cream flavor.
The taste is nutty, almost peanut butter-like, with a slight sweetness from the sugar and pleasant hints of bitter dark chocolate.
This mochi treat with the chocolate mocha center is super easy to make and guaranteed to become one of your favorites.
My recipe for homemade mochi makes soft and plush rice cakes with a rich and delicious surprise center in under 30 minutes.
Black sesame is a fantastic flavor for a chiffon cake. When you roast black sesame seeds slightly, they provide that unique nutty flavor you will fall in love with. If you love that adorable Japanese anime character and feel adventurous, you can turn the black sesame chiffon cake into a Totoro chiffon cake.
Mizu Yokan is a traditional Japanese dessert (or wagashi) made from red azuki beans, agar-agar, and sugar.
Mizu Yokan is a type of jelly treat with higher water content, so it is often chilled and served during the hotter summer months and is quite a refreshing dessert.
This yummy Japanese sweet melts in the mouth and goes perfectly with some refreshing green tea!
This traditional Japanese dessert dates back to the Meiji era. It is a perfect treat for any occasion in the warmer months. It's made with kanten jelly, fruits, mochi (sticky rice cakes), red bean paste, and green tea ice cream topped off by sweet black sugar syrup!