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You may have never tried a Japanese dessert, but you will want to after reading this extended list of delicious delicacies. From traditional to modern, we’ll take you through 17 best Japanese desserts. From Fluffy Japanese Pancakes to Sesame Seed Cookies, Cheesecake, Ice Cream and more. Heck, even some vegan and plant-based desserts will show up on this list.
Expand your horizons, and taste buds, and read on!
What are Japanese Sweets Called?
Traditional Japanese sweets are called wagashi. Despite being called sweets, wagashi typically contains less sugar than western desserts and is said to have a refined flavor. This makes wagashi perfect for coffee, green tea, or black tea.
What is the National Sweet of Japan?
Served at a tea ceremony, the national sweet of Japan is called Namagashi. They are much like wagashi being made from red bean paste and they can be served with coffee or tea. Most often, Namagashi contains fruit jellies and is said to be an edible piece of art due to its beautiful shapes – from leaves to flowers.
Traditional Japanese Desserts That Are Incredibly Delicious
The most popular Japanese dessert, Daifuku is soft, tender, and chewy. A creamy, sweet anko red bean paste filling is covered with mochi cake. You will be in dessert heaven once you take a bite of this dessert!
Soft, sweet, chewy and delicious! Need we say more? You can customize the filling you want with this popular Japanese dessert. Did we mention they’re vegan? Remember the key here is to use the right sweet rice flour.
Chewy, sticky rice cake on the outside, and sweet red bean filling on the inside – Sakura Mochi is a quick and easy dessert. Rolled into pink mochi balls, and covered with an edible pickled cherry blossom leaf is the perfect dessert for the spring weather.
A 100-percent plant-based dessert? Believe it! Six ingredients is all you need, but you can add in what you’d like. This is super fun and fruitful dessert the whole family can and will enjoy!
Speaking of seasons, this Japanese Sweet Potato Dessert is perfect for Autumn. It’s sweet and creamy. Melt-in-you-mouth delicious!
Mochi Ice Cream has become so popular that you’ll easily find them at major grocery stores like Whole Foods. But it’s quite easy to make at home. Sweet and creamy ice cream are wrapped in smooth and pillowy mochi dough! Heavenly delicious!
You only need one pot to prepare this Japanese dessert!! A staple in many Japanese dishes, red bean paste is essential to learn how to make. Simply made by boiling red beans and sweetened with sugar. So go ahead, try your hand at making this delectable paste.
Perfectly chewy and tender, Dango provides the perfect amount of sweetness! Simple to make and requires just three ingredients – mochiko, tofu and white sugar.
You’ll quickly learn that sesame seeds are very popular in Asian, including Japanese, desserts. And these buttery, crunchy and nutty cookies won’t disappoint!
They do fall into the category of Icebox cookies, so after you’re done preparing them you can store them in the fridge before baking them.
Low in calories and refreshing, Anmitsu is the perfect cool dessert for those hot summer nights. The best part about this recipe is that you add in some fresh fruit – the first step here is to make some Japanese Agar.
If you’re a fan of cheesecake, then you will love this Japanese cheesecake. It’s the perfect combination of sponge cake and cheesecake in both texture and flavor. The best part about is that it isn’t overly sweet, but still provides a heavenly experience through the tart cream cheese and the fluffy cake. Pay attention here though, this recipe takes a bit of patience!
12. Mochi Cookies
Okay, picture your favorite chocolate chip cookies with a soft, chewy and delicious filling.
Have we intrigued you yet? Another favorite dessert in Japan, we promise they’ll be a regular go-to for your family too!
13. Castella Cake
Simply put, moist and gooey, Castella cake takes just 6 ingredients to prepare and pairs perfectly with coffee, green tea, or black tea. The tip here is to use bread flour to help keep a moist texture!
Like no-bake cakes? Let’s try this! They say patience is a virtue, and perseverance is key when constructing this crepe! Extra-thin crepes are the key here, to this melt-in-your-mouth dessert!!
Purin means pudding in Japanese. And although this recipe is called pudding it’s more like a flan. Two layers make up this dessert, custard and caramel. Seventeen ounces of pudding awaits you when you’re finished with this recipe.
Ladyfingers soaked in Matcha-marsala wine and then layered with matcha mascarpone, this Matcha Tiramisu is a dessert you won’t forget. The tip here is to use high-quality matcha or else you will experience a bitter taste and use savoiardi ladyfingers as they are a bit dryer and will soak up the marsala mixture.
An ‘OH MY’ might be exiting your mouth after these dandies enter it! These Japanese Pancakes taste like as airy cotton candy and are one of the most requested recipes.
Cook them low and slow. Enjoy!
Traditional Japanese Dessert Strawberry Mochi Recipe
- Rinse the strawberries and remove green leaves. Then dry them completely.
- Divide the red bean paste into 6 balls, then flatten each ball out.
- Wrap each strawberry with the red bean paste. Set them aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together mochiko, sugar, and water.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap loosely. Microwave at full power for 2 minutes.
- Take it out and mix it with a wet spatula. Cover and microwave for 30 more seconds until the dough becomes slightly translucent.
- Transfer the cooked dough onto the cornstarch-dusted parchment paper. Sprinkle a thin layer of cornstarch onto the dough.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and flatten each one into a circular shape.
- Place each red bean paste-covered strawberry in the center of each mochi wrapper. Make sure the pointing end is positioned at the center of the wrapper.
- Pinch the four corners of the mochi wrapper, and then pinch the remaining corners together.
- Tap the bottom of the mochi with cornstarch. Brush the assembled green tea mochi with a brush gently to remove excess cornstarch.
- Repeat this process for the rest of the dough and fillings. Serve and enjoy!