There’s something about food that has a way of bringing people together, especially dessert.
Desserts are arguably the happiest dishes, and if you’re interested in learning more about other cultures, Japan has some of the most exciting and delicious desserts.
Whether you’re looking for a new dessert to bring to a party, serve after dinner, or are building your dessert recipe pile, these are the best modern and traditional Japanese desserts.
Red bean is one of the most common ingredients used throughout Japan for desserts and other dishes.
This red bean pancake is a perfect dessert.
Basically, it's one of the fluffiest Japanese pancakes filled with red bean paste.
The dish only takes 45 minutes to make and is also great for breakfast.
Cookies are one of the best desserts to make for parties.
These green tea cookies feature a beautiful matcha green color and take a little under three hours.
They're crispy and pair well with afternoon tea.
If you're feeling adventurous, adding white chocolate chips is a delicious addition.
Cheesecake is a popular dessert worldwide; many countries have their own take on cheesecake, even Japan.
It's fluffier than American cheesecake but still has all the classic flavoring.
It's made with cream cheese, sugar, and heavy whipping cream and then is topped with apricot jam.
If you want, you can leave the jam off, but I wouldn't skip it.
Who doesn't love a good strawberry shortcake? It's a classic strawberry dessert.
Next time you need to make a dessert for something, give this Japanese strawberry shortcake recipe a try.
Cake flour is the key ingredient for fluffy cake. You can use whatever liquor you want for the syrup, but Grand Marnier is common.
You'll have to try this take on tiramisu at some point if you love the popular Italian dessert.
The dish is easy to make and features a beautiful green color thanks to the matcha.
You'll need to plan five hours for the dish, but it's worth the wait. Some key ingredients are matcha tea, ladyfingers, and mascarpone cheese.
These miso butter cookies only take about an hour to make, so when you’re in a pinch, these will save your dessert needs.
The main ingredients are miso paste, toasted black and white sesame seeds, and plenty of sugar.
Before you bake the cookies, you’ll press the toasted sesame seeds into the edges of the cookies.
Japanese custard pudding is similar to flan.
It only takes 50 minutes to make but is sure to impress any guests you're entertaining.
A few ingredients include standard baking ingredients like milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
One step you will want to remember is to butter the pans, or you'll be stuck with a sticky and depressing mess.
This is a traditional Japanese dessert recipe that has been consumed for centuries.
The main ingredients for these cookies are sesame seeds, unsalted butter, flour, and almond meal.
The flavors are subtle, and the sesame seeds are the stars of the show with this dessert. When done correctly, you’ll have cookies in 45 minutes.
Melon pan is a beautiful Japanese dessert that looks like mochi on the outside, but it's more of a bread/bun than a gooey dessert.
The ingredients are simple, like flour, butter, milk, and sugar.
You'll be able to use food dye to make the desserts more visually appealing, but you don't have to if you don't want to.
Japanese castella cake is a giggly dessert that isn’t too sweet.
It’s perfect for a subtly sweet dessert with ingredients like vanilla extract, honey, and other baking necessities.
The vanilla and honey flavor are delicious, and this sponge cake is great by itself, or you can eat it with fruit.
Japanese raindrop cake went viral on the internet a few years ago because it’s delicious and looks impressive.
All you’ll need to make this dessert is agar-agar and water. That’s it.
When choosing your water, use spring water to get the clearest possible raindrop cake. You can serve it on any plate to make it look more magical than it already does.
Mitarashi Dango is a rice dumpling topped with an extra sweet soy glaze.
In Japan, this dessert is available throughout the year and is always served on a bamboo skewer, but you can ditch the skewer if you’re making it at home.
You’ll grill the dessert, and the sweet and char flavors pair well together.
This fresh strawberry cream Japanese cake roll has all sorts of textures that pair well together.
The cake is fluffy, and the cream is dense and sweet. It’s similar to a Swiss roll.
The prep time is the longest part of the recipe, taking about an hour. The recipe calls for organic strawberries, but you can use non-organic too.
Cookie butter daifuku is a modern take on daifuku.
The filling is cookie butter. It's super sweet and reminds me of cookie dough.
The recipe only takes 18 minutes to make, and the main ingredients are sweet rice flour and Speculoos cookie butter.
Sushi is famous throughout Japan, but dessert sushi is a great option when you want something sweet, and this banana sushi recipe is perfect for people of all ages.
The recipe is easy to make and features ingredients like bananas, peanut butter, and tortillas.
All you have to do is add the ingredients, roll them up, and cut them into little "sushi" pieces.
Mochi is one of the most famous Japanese desserts and little treats.
It's soft and gooey, and dozens of flavor options exist.
This one is a traditional flavor and includes ingredients like coconut milk, sugar, and mochiko flour.
The longest part of this recipe is baking the dessert, but it's easy to make and a hit with most people!
This Japanese coffee jelly is a modern dessert but requires a little patience.
Making the dish only takes five to ten minutes, but the cooling time is roughly five hours, so you'll want to ensure you make it early enough in the day.
You'll use plain gelatin and add coffee to correct the flavor and color.
Daifuku mochi is a take on the traditional mochi.
What makes daifuku mochi different is that the filling is a red bean paste, which is common in Japan.
The texture of the filling can be fine or coarse, depending on your preference. All in all, you can make this dessert in under an hour!
Combining the beloved mochi and donuts was one of Japan's best things on the dessert scene.
You get the fluffy texture of donuts on the outside and the smooth filling of mochi on the inside.
The recipe comes with a vanilla bean or strawberry glaze instruction, so try both.
Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes are similar to American cupcakes with icing on top, but they're much fluffier and almost feel like you're biting into the air.
Some ingredients you'll need include vanilla extract, sugar, and confectioner sugar to dust on top when you're finished.
Mizu Yokan is a chilled Japanese dessert that is usually served in the summertime.
It's a red bean jelly that they fill with chestnuts.
It's a little more challenging to make because there's a precise science to the ingredients, but as long as you pay close attention, you'll be fine.
Anmitsu is one of the most classic Japanese desserts. It only takes 30 minutes and is a delicious dessert you'll make time and time again.
The dish is typically consumed in warm weather because it has fresh fruit and a red bean paste that adds a different texture.
You can add whatever fruit, but it usually has kiwi, strawberries, and oranges.
Japan loves jelly dishes, and this hojicha tea jelly is a gelatinous dessert that utilizes hojicha tea as the main ingredient for flavor.
To make the dessert, you'll have to brew the tea first.
Like most jelly desserts, the longest part is letting the dish cool before consuming it.
If you love Japanese food, finish your meal with these classic Japanese desserts.
While some of these treats may sound foreign compared to the typical American dessert menu, you might just find your new favorite!
1. Choose your favorite recipe.
2. Gather the necessary ingredients.
3. Prep and cook your recipe.