Learn How to Easily Make Soft Fluffy Japanese Cake and Spread Joy of This Dessert This Holiday Season(2019)

Learn How to Easily Make Soft Fluffy Japanese Cake and Spread Joy of This Dessert This Holiday Season(2019)

If you've ever gawked at the display case at a Japanese bakery — all those magically perfect cakes and pastries! — you won't believe how easy it is to make some of them at home. And if you've never been to a Japanese bakery, get ready to be blown away.

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Popular Cake as Dessert in Japan

Japanese cuisine has a rich catalogue of desserts that have a unique flavour. When compared to western-style desserts, Japanese traditionally like to keep their desserts less sugary using natural sweeteners such as honey, sweet beans, flower nectar, fruits and much more.

Popular in Japan are not only traditional Japanese sweets called Wagashi but also western desserts. Western sweets gained popularity in Japan only after post the 1990s. An interesting aspect is that cakes were not introduced by westerners in Japan! Japanese are famous for making cheese with natural ingredients such as matcha cake, sweet rice cakes, roll cakes and much more. Moreover, the famous “jiggly” Japanese sponge cake is famous all over the world.

Origin of Japanese Cakes

According to legend, the Japanese created desserts based on the seasons present in the country. These desserts were made fresh with seasonal produce in a healthy manner. Moreover, natural sweeteners from flowers and fruits were added to incorporate sweetness to the desserts. When it comes to cakes, the Japanese presented to the world “mochi”, sticky rice considered to be the oldest food in Japan. These sweet treats gave rise to famous Chinese pastries and gradually western desserts were introduced. These natural cakes were served during tea ceremonies and were flavoured healthily using natural ingredients. Japanese cakes were available in three categories – unbaked, semi-baked and fully baked.

Equipments Required for Making Japanese Cakes

When it comes to making traditional Japanese cakes, the Japanese chefs used a specialized set of equipment. Japanese are obsessive over the aesthetics of presentation and love to exhibit their decorative skills as well. Here is a list of the commonly used equipment used by Japanese.

  • Hangiri – A type of bamboo basket that is used for cooling sushi rice. Sushi rice is one of the main ingredients for making a mocha cake.
  • Saibashi – Also known as long chopsticks that are used for mixing ingredients together.
  • These chopsticks are used for beating eggs and mixing the ingredients required for making a cake.
  • Makisu – A rolling mat that is used for making rolling out sushi cakes. It is also used for making roll cakes.
  • Zaru - A bamboo sieve used for sifting flour and other dry ingredients to make a cake.
  • Oroshigane – Graters that are used for grating items such as ginger, lemon zest and orange zest to flavour the cakes.
  • Usu – a traditional Japanese mortar that is used for making mochi cakes. The glutinous rice is placed in the mortar and pounded with a mallet until it takes the form of a cake.

How to Serve Japanese Cake

As mentioned earlier, the Japanese are obsessive over aesthetics of appeal. A traditional Japanese cake is served with the utmost care. The cake is cut into symmetric pieces and served on elegant cutlery along with a fork and a spoon. Moreover, the cakes are sprinkled with a generous amount of icing sugar or match powder. If one is not fond of sugar, natural honey is poured on top of the cake. Nowadays, Japanese decorate their cakes using attractive stencils. Additionally, soybean powder and fresh fruits are served along with Japanese cakes. In conclusion, the cake is finished with a steaming cup of Japanese tea.

Top Recipes For Making Japanese Cake

Here is a list of best recipes that are used for making Japanese cakes.

1. Uncle Tetsu's Cheesecake

Also known as ‘Cotton Cheesecake/Japanese Cheesecake’ is a famous dessert recipe in Japan.

Ingredients required :

  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch

How to Make Cotton Cheesecake :

  • Step – 1: Line the bottom and side of the springform pan with parchment paper.
  • Step – 2: Wrap the springform pan with several sheets of foil, sealing it completely, so that no air escapes.
  • Step – 3: Fill a large pan with water and place it in the oven and preheat it to 315 F.
  • Step – 4: Place the egg whites into the mixing bowl and the egg yolks into a separate container.
  • Step – 5: Beat the egg whites until they become foamy. Add the cream of tartar and sugar gradually. Beat until the mixture thickens and reaches soft peaks.
  • Step – 6: In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add the butter, remaining sugar and lemon juice.
  • Step – 7: Add the flour and cornstarch. Finally, add the egg yolks and fold in the batter.
  • Step – 8: Strain the batter using a sieve. Add 1/3 of the egg whites and gently fold into the batter until mostly incorporated.
  • Step – 9: Add the remaining eggs and fold gently.
  • Step – 10: Pour the batter into the pan and place it in the water bath for an hour or until done.
  • Step – 11: Bake the cake for an additional minute to brown the top.

2. Simplified Japanese Cheesecake

Making a Japanese cheesecake can be a tedious task. Here is an easy recipe for making the simplified version of Japanese cheesecake.


  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons milk
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup (3 3/4oz/105g) cake flour
  • 2 ½ tablespoons corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

How to Make Simplified Cheesecake?

  • Step – 1: Grease and line the springform tin.
  • Step – 2: Mix cream cheese, butter, and milk together.
  • Step – 3: Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and half a portion of sugar.
  • Step – 4: Sieve cake flour, corn starch, and salt into the cream mixture.
  • Step - 5: Whisk the egg whites separately until it foams and add cream of tartar. Proceed to beat the mixture until soft peaks are formed.
  • Step – 6: Fold in the meringue to the cream batter gently. The final batter must be light and fluffy.
  • Step – 7: Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan and place it in water that has been preheated to 400 F (200 C).
  • Step – 8: Bake the cake for 18 minutes for 400 F. and, lower the temperature for 320 F and bake for 12 minutes.

3. Twenty Minute Japanese Cake

Making a Japanese cake does not have to be a tedious process. Here is an easy Japanese cake that can be made under twenty minutes.


  • 100g cake flour
  • 75g melted butter
  • 60ml milk
  • Vanilla extract (optional)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 80g castor sugar

How to Make a Twenty-Minute Japanese Cake?

  • Step – 1: Sieve the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
  • Step – 2: Melt butter in a pan and add milk to the butter.
  • Step – 3: Best the egg yolks and add to the liquid mixture.
  • Step – 4: In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites together until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Step – 5:Pour the mixture into the baking pan that is lined with baking paper.
  • Step – 7: Bake the cake in a hot water bath at 300 F (150 C) for 60 minutes.

4. Mochi Japanese Rice Cake

A traditional Japanese cake that is made without flour or butter. The cake is made of rice and mochiko mixture.


  • 1 15-ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 16-ounce box Mochiko Sweet Rice
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • Optional: powdered sugar

How to Make Japanese Mochi Cake?

  • Step – 1: Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  • Step – 2: Beat coconut milk, water, vanilla extract, and sugar until all the ingredients are combined well.
  • Step – 3: Add baking powder and mochiko to the mixture and combine well until batter thickens.
  • Step – 4: Add the matcha powder and mix well.
  • Step – 5: Spray a baking tray with oil to prevent the mocha batter from sticking to the sides.
  • Step – 6: Bake the batter for an hour until it becomes brown and chewy.
  • Step – 7: Cool the baked mocha at room temperature and cut it into squares.
  • Step – 8: Sprinkle powdered sugar on mocha cubes and serve.

5. Japanese Castella Cake

A rich and elaborate Japanese cake that is tedious to make but the end result is sure to surprise your taste buds.


  • 6 large eggs
  • 200 g sugar (1 cup)
  • 200 g bread flour (1 ½ cup + 2 Tbsp.)
  • 80 ml honey (⅓ cup)
  • 2½ Tbsp. warm water
  • Honey Mixture for Brushing Castella
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ½ Tbsp. warm water

How to Bake Castella Cake?

  • Step – 1: Preheat oven to 320F (160 C).
  • Step – 2: Sift baking flour with a sieve thoroughly.
  • Step – 3: Whisk honey with 2.5 tablespoons of warm water.
  • Step – 4: Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until it turns pale yellow.
  • Step – 5: Add the honey mixture to the eggs and combine them well.
  • Step – 6:Add the baking flour gradually to the egg mixture and combine it well.
  • Step – 7: Dust the pan with baking flour and pour the mixture into the baking tray.
  • Step – 8: Pour the batter into the baking pan and drop it flat on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  • Step – 9: Bake the cake at 320F for 40 minutes or until done.
  • Step – 10: Combine honey and warm water in a bowl and apply the mixture on the top of the cake with a brush.
  • Step – 11: Wrap the cake with a plastic cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.

6. Japanese Fruit Sando Cake

Fruit sando cakes are famous all over Japan. The sando cake is a luxurious treat and follows a series of steps.


  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100 grams cake flour, or all-purpose
  • 150 grams white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Chantilly Cream

  • 470 grams cold heavy whipping cream
  • 50 grams white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or 2 vanilla bean pods
  • 6 grams powdered gelatin
  • 1 lemon

Simple Syrup

  • 200 grams of water
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cognac


  • 2 pounds of fruit

How to Make Fruit Sando Cake?

  • Step – 1: Whisk egg yolks with sugar until it becomes light and fluffy.
  • Step – 2: Sift all the dry ingredients together with such as flour, corn starch and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  • Step – 3: Add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and whisk the mixture until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Step – 4: Fold the meringue into the flour and ensure that there are no lumps.
  • Step – 5: Pour the batter into the baking tray dusted with baking flour and bake it for 350 F.
  • Step – 6: Once the cake is baked, trim off the edges using a knife.
  • Step – 7: Slice the cake into two equal portions and set aside.
  • Step – 8: Mix sugar and water together in a saucepan and allow it to boil.
  • Step – 9: Add a teaspoon of cognac to the sugar and water mixture. Add the sliced fruits in the mixture and allow them to soak.
  • Step – 10: Immerse gelatin into cold water and wait for it to expand.
  • Step – 11: In a mixing bowl, mix cold heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla essence until it peaks are formed.
  • Step – 12: Pour the gelatin mixture into the mixing bowl and combine it with the cream mixture.
  • Step – 13: Add the zest of one lemon and combine all the ingredients together. Assembling the cake
  • Step – 14: Brush the first layer of the cake with sugar syrup.
  • Step – 15: After the sugar syrup, apply the Chantilly cream as the second layer on the cake.
  • Step – 16: Place the soaked fruit pieces on top of the Chantilly cream.
  • Step – 17: Apply the second layer of Chantilly cream on the cake and place the other half of the cake on top.

7. Japanese Water Cake

A famous Japanese dessert that is made entirely of water and can be easily made at home.


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp + 1/16 tsp agar powder
  • Toppings
  • 1/2- 1 tbsp. roasted soybean flour
  • 1-2 tbsp. black sugar syrup

How to Make Japanese Water Cake?

  • Step – 1: In a saucepan, add water and agar powder. Stir well until the powder is dissolved.
  • Step – 2: Switch on the stove and boil the mixture until bubbles are formed.
  • Step – 3: Pour the mixture into the mold and place it in the refrigerator to cool overnight.
  • Step – 4: Once the cake is set, add soybean flour and black sugar syrup on the cake.

Bonus: Tips for Making Japanese Cakes

Baking a Japanese cake is considered to be an art. Here are a few tips that you can follow for baking a Japanese cake.

  • Always use eggs that are placed at room temperature.
  • Separate the egg yolks and egg whites and mix them separately.
  • While baking a Japanese cake use a springform pan for rather than normal cake tins.
  • Always fold the meringue into the baking flour gently so as not to disturb the air pockets in the cake.
  • The cake should be placed in a water bath and baked.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.
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There you have it! Almost everything you need to know about baking the perfect Japanese cake! May you not have to go through the same heartaches that most of the people had to go through while making a cake for the first time! Do let me know of your successes!