Japanese desserts are quite popular in Japan, including both traditional Japanese wagashi and Western sweets. People in Japan used to make sweets using whatever they had on hand, from rice and sweet beans to naturally sweet plant sap and flower nectar, even before the contemporary introduction of sugar.

When sugar came in Japan via Europe, this desire for dessert grew even stronger, and Japan saw a surge in the production of Western-style sweets, but with a lower sugar content than their Western counterparts.

Continue reading for a list of some of Japan’s most popular desserts.

1. Parfait

Strawberry Parfait - Traditional Japanese desserts

Strawberry Japanese parfait

This dish, originally from France, has been modified to Japanese tastes and has become a popular Japanese treat. In a parfait glass, ice cream is served on a bed of corn flakes with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Syrups or fruit jellies are other options, while more luxurious parfaits may contain cookies, waffles, and pieces of spongy cake. Matcha green tea parfaits are one of the Japanese desserts more popular in Kyoto.

Parfaits are actually quite a popular dessert at maid cafés, being able to get them in very creative shapes like animal faces. If you haven’t been to a maid café yet, I recommend checking out this list of the most popular maid cafes in Akihabara.

2. Castella

Castella- Traditional Japanese desserts


Castella is a Japanese desserts sponge cake based on pastries brought to Japan by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century.

Castella is a light and firm cake with a delicate sweetness created with eggs, flour, and sugar. Nagasaki, Japan’s “castella capital“, is famed for its Castella cake, which you can take with you as a souvenir (also known as “omiyage” 御 土産, which means “memory” in Japanese).

3. Furutsu Sando (Fruit Sandwich)

Furutsu sando- Traditional Japanese desserts

Furutsu sando

Most sandwiches in Western cuisine are savory rather than sweet, but furutsu sando (fruit sandwiches) are a popular sweet treat in Japan.

These sandwiches are made with whipped cream and fresh fruit sandwiched between two slices of crustless sandwich bread. Strawberry, kiwi, banana, and mango are all popular fruit choices.

4. Anko-Filled Cakes and Pastries (Taiyaki, Dorayaki, Imagawayaki)

Taiyaki- Traditional Japanese desserts


In Japan, Anko (sweetened red bean paste) cakes and pastries are quite popular.

Taiyaki, it’s a dessert filled with red beans shaped like a snapper fish, which is said to bring good luck in Japan.

Dorayaki, it´s a pastry made of Anko sandwiched between two pancakes. In another hand, Imagawayaki it´s a baked circular disc packed with Anko.

5. Wagashi

Wagashi- Traditional Japanese desserts


Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets that are served with tea. Daifuku is a mochi rice cake filled with sweetened bean paste; Dango is a sweet rice dumpling served on a skewer in three or four pieces, and yokan is a jelly delicacy flavored with native Japanese flavors.

Most people buy wagashi in a confectionery rather than create it at home since it is difficult and time-consuming to prepare.

Now tell us, which is your favorite? Would you dare to try to recreate any of these delicious desserts?


Until next post.

Sayōnara (さようなら)


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