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Japanese Cake

You may be surprised to learn that Japanese cake is not only hugely popular in Japan, it is absolutely delicious as well! So what’s the deal with this tasty Japanese dessert?

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What is Japanese Cake?

Japanese-style cake is actually much like Western-style cake. Many of the flavors, like chocolate and strawberry shortcake, are the same as the popular flavors enjoyed overseas. However, that’s about where the similarities end.

Japanese-style cake has a light, melt-in-our-mouth texture, and is also considerably less sweet than American-style cake, but this is a good thing. Cake in Japan has just the right amount of delicate sweetness. Many people, after experiencing Japanese-style cake, return to find that the cake they eat back home is too sweet!

Japanese cake is also distinguished by the artful way in which it is prepared. Like everything else in Japan, Japanese-style cake is prepared with Japan’s unparalleled level of finely detailed craftsmanship, and the end result is a unique Japanese dessert that is as much a work of art as it is food.

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Where to Buy Japanese Cake

You can buy cake at specialty Japanese cake shops (called “keekiya-san” in Japanese) located all over Japan. You’ll find cake shops in and around train stations, the foods section of major department stores (called “depachika“), and dotted along the streets of commercial and even residential areas. Some cake shops do their baking right in front of the customers, giving you the chance to view firsthand the amount of painstaking detail that goes into producing this delicious and artistic food item.

Japanese cake is more commonly sold as individual slices rather than whole cakes, although whole cakes are also sold. When you walk into a cake shop in Japan, you’ll notice how the cakes are artfully presented in special display cases, each labeled with the name of each cake and the price.

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Most cake shops in Japan are carry-out only. Cake shop staff will box up your cake up for you. They will also frequently ask how long it will be until you eat it, and then include dry ice so the cake doesn’t spoil. If at all possible, cake in Japan should be eaten on the day you purchase it or the next day at latest in order to enjoy the full freshness and flavor.

Prices for cake in Japan vary by type and by shop, and range from about 250 yen to 500 yen or more for individual slices. Whole cakes can start at around 1,000 yen and go up from there.

Cozy Corner Cake Shop

Cozy Corner, which originated in Tokyo’s Ginza district, is perhaps Japan’s largest and most recognizable cake shop chain. With some 350 locations nationwide, including about 175 in the greater Tokyo area, you can find a Cozy Corner cake shop in and around every major train station and shopping strip. Cozy Corner offers a huge variety of tasty Japanese-style cakes at reasonable prices.

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Varieties of Japanese Cake

You’ll find a mind-boggling assortment of cake varieties in Japan. Among the most popular are:

Japanese Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake in Japan has just the right amount of creamy sweetness.

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Japanese Strawberry Shortcake (Ichigo Cake)

Light, airy, fluffy and creamy, strawberry shortcake is one of the most popular flavors of cake in Japan.

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Japanese Fruit Tart Cake

These fruit concoctions are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat.

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Japanese Roll Cake

These log-shaped cakes are hugely popular in Japan, and some cake shops specialize exclusively in roll cakes. Popular roll-cake flavors include, chocolate, white cake, and green tea.

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Japanese Rice Cake

Cake made from rice flour is becoming increasingly popular in Japan. This cake has a somewhat more spongy texture but is no less tasty than its regular counterparts.

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Japanese Cheesecake

Cheesecake is another popular type of cake in Japan. One unique and very popular type of Japanese cheesecake is “rare cheesecake,” which is basically an unbaked and chilled cheesecake.

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Japanese Cupcakes

Gourmet cupcakes have become increasingly popular in Japan in recent years.

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Choux Cream Puffs (Shu Cream)

Though not technically cake, Japanese choux cream puffs are commonly sold at cake shops in Japan. These cream puffs have a delicately crisp, airy pastry shell and a sweet, creamy custard sauce that melts in your mouth.

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Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs

Beard Papa’s is a popular cream puff specialty chain with locations throughout Japan. Recently, Beard Papa’s has expanded worldwide, and now has locations throughout Asia and North America, so if you want to get a taste of Japanese cream puffs but can’t get to Japan, see if there’s a Beard Papa’s location near you.

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Japanese Mont Blanc Cake (Monburan)

An almost non-existent flavor in the U.S., Mont Blanc (pronounced “monburan” in Japanese) is a chestnut cream cake. Mont Blanc cake is so popular in Japan that there are cake shops devoted entirely to variations of this one type of cake, which include unique but tasty flavors like sweet potato and pumpkin. Monburan is our personal favorite type of Japanese cake, so be sure to give this cake a try!

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Japanese Christmas Cake

For some curious reason Japan has a unique tradition of eating cake (usually a strawberry shortcake because of its Christmas colors) on Christmas. Learn more about the unusual customs of Christmas in Japan.

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Hopefully this page has inspired you to seek out and sample Japanese cake during your visit or stay in Japan. We’re sure you’ll be glad you did!

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