Skip to Content

31 Tasty Japanese Desserts You Can Make At Home

No matter where you’re from, Japanese desserts are a great way to expand your cooking skills and celebrate a culture rich in tasty, naturally sweet delicacies.

I used to be scared of trying something so far out of my comfort zone, but these desserts are so simple that you can make them in your kitchen. 

I chose desserts that have accessible ingredients as well as ones that require a little more effort for the seasoned home cook, so there’s something for everyone. 

It’s time to break into a new dessert arena with these traditional and modern Japanese desserts. Pretty soon, they will be part of your weekend dessert menu

Japanese Desserts: Quick Table 

RecipesCalories Preparation Time
Black Sesame Cookies 53 (per serving) 1hr 45
Matcha Mochi 90 (per serving)10 hrs 
Purin 321 (per serving)5 hrs
Matcha Swiss Rolls 288 (per serving)4hrs 12 min
Castella Cake 88 (per serving)1hr 5 min
Hanami Dango 168 (per serving)45 min
Japanese Cheesecake 329 (per serving)1hr 35 min
Dorayaki 452 (per serving)45 min
Japanese Fluffy Pancake 174 (per serving)40 min
Matcha Ice Cream 382 (per serving)35 min
Sakura Mochi324 (per serving)3hrs 30 min
Coffee Jelly 234 (per serving)20 min
Taiyaki133 (per serving)55 min
Castella Pudding 279 (per serving)1 hr
Japanese Strawberry Cream Roll269 (per serving)1hr 14 min
Anmitsu 147 (per serving)30 min
Ichigo Daifuku 105 (per serving)30 min
Pumpkin Manju Sweets 167 (per serving)1 hr
Daigaku Imo292 (per cup)45 min
Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Buns 167 (per serving)25 min
Japanese Parfait 595 (per serving)15 min
Melonpan 200 (per serving)2 hrs 
Ohagi 152 (per serving)2 hrs 
Japanese Milk Bread105 (per serving)2hrs 10 min
Kinako Brioche Donuts184 (per serving)2 hrs
Mizu Yokan 418 (per serving)1 hr
Kakigori 253 (per serving)20 min
Honey Toast 249 (per serving)18 min
Kabocha Squash Pie 260 (per serving)1hr 30 min
Miso Butter Cookies 74 (per serving)1 hr 10 min
Matcha Mille Crepe Cake 222 (per serving)2hrs 

1. Black Sesame Cookies

Crunchy, warm, and toasty, these black sesame cookies are the perfect snack morning, noon, or night. The high butter content ensures they’ll melt in your mouth, and the coarse sesame outside gives texture variation. 

The cookies are both savory and sweet, thanks to the sesame. The butter cookies are enhanced with almond flour, making them light and airy. Serve with a cup of tea and enjoy. 

Calories Per Serving: 53

Total Preparation Time: 1hr 45 min

2. Matcha Mochi 

These green tea desserts are more tasty and effortless than traditional ones full of coconut milk and earth mochi. In place of mochigome rice, the recipe calls for sweet rice flour, cutting down the cooking time.

Nevertheless, the mochi needs to be set and baked for quite a while, so choose this recipe if you have time.

For the matcha powder, you don’t need much. A teaspoon and a half should do it as matcha has a strong and sometimes bitter taste.   

Calories Per Serving: 90

Total Preparation Time: 10 hrs

3. Purin 

This Japanese take on the classic global “flan” dessert incorporates milk, eggs, and sugar with a clear caramel sauce. You can either bake, steam, or do a no-bake Japanese Purin.

The no-bake version requires gelatin, which can be challenging to handle for first-time cooks.

For the creamiest texture, use whole fat milk and vanilla extract. If you have the time, let these chill overnight and serve while cold. 

Calories Per Serving: 321

Total Preparation Time: 5 hrs 

4. Matcha Swiss Rolls 

The matcha swiss roll highlights matcha’s dry, fresh taste with the rich, creamy swiss interior. In addition, the matcha raises the bitterness in the taste profile, eliminating a sickly sweet experience. 

Slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to rolling your swiss cake. Let the cake cool, add some cream, and roll with a towel in hand to avoid bruising the cake.  

Calories Per Serving: 228 

Total Preparation Time: 4 hrs 12 min

5. Castella Cake 

It seems like every culture has its version of a pound cake, and Japan’s is as fluffy and light as you can imagine. Also known as a wagashi cake, this exceptionally soft and giggly dessert can be topped with almost any sweet syrup.  

You only need seven ingredients: eggs, sugar, honey, warm water, vanilla extract, salt, and cake flour. Serve with a hot cup of black coffee and whipped cream. 

Calories Per Serving: 88

Total Preparation Time: 1 hr 5 min

6. Hanami Dango 

Super easy to make, hanami dango is a great finger food option for a party. The Dango balls are chewy and tender and made with rice flour. You can color them with different food colors or add some matcha for the green versions. 

For the dango base, it’s best to go with glutinous rice flour. To keep the texture smooth, use powdered sugar as the sweetener. Serve while chilled for an ice cream feeling. 

Calories Per Serving: 168 

Total Preparation Time: 45 min

7. Japanese Cheesecake 

Japanese desserts are some of the fluffiest, so it’s no surprise that the cheesecake would be this voluminous and giggly. To get this height and lightness, gently fold the egg whites into the batter and bake the cheesecake in a water bath. 

If your cake is not giggly, try again with fluffy whites and slow folding. You can eat this cake plain, or add a fruit compote or syrup on top

Calories Per Serving: 329

Total Preparation Time: 1hr 35 min

8. Dorayaki 

Dorayaki is a traditional Japanese dessert featuring sweet red bean paste and fluffy honey pancake. I love the warm crispiness of the cake and the burst of natural flavors from the hidden bean paste. I would compare this snack to a date bar or fig dessert. 

To get the iconic golden pancake, dab off any extra oil on the pan. The excess oil causes uneven browning. Serve with green tea. 

Calories Per Serving: 452

Total Preparation Time: 45 min

9. Japanese Fluffy Pancake 

The Japanese pancake has gone viral several times for its sheer volume, giggly structure, and cloud-like texture. But, much like the cheesecake, your pancake’s volume and softness will depend on how you lightly fold in the fluffed egg whites. 

The egg whites should form soft peaks. They should also be added last to minimize overmixing and deflating the air bubbles. 

Calories Per Serving: 174

Total Preparation Time: 40 min

10. Matcha Ice Cream 

Up next is a favorite amongst Tokyo residents, the matcha soft serve ice cream. Matcha is a great way to balance the sweetness in vanilla ice cream, leaving a clean, refreshing taste and light

For the best results, use high-quality green tea powder. Then, mix that with sugar, egg yolks, heavy cream, and milk.

Calories Per Serving: 382

Total Preparation Time: 35 min

RELATED: 12 Japanese Inspired Sides To Serve With Sushi

11. Sakura Mochi

Sakura mochi combines two iconic symbols of Japanese cuisine to form a sweet and light dessert. Sakura mochi uses traditional glutinous rice and sakura (cherry blossoms) filled with red bean paste, making it relatively easy to assemble.  

It’s best to serve and eat the sakura mochi on the same day it’s made to enjoy the fresh taste of the pickled Sakura leaf. 

Calories Per Serving: 324

Total Preparation Time: 3hrs 30 min

12. Coffee Jelly 

This Instagram-worthy dessert is made from a simple combination of gelatin, sugar, and instant coffee. That’s it! It’s up to you to decide whether to use instant or brewed coffee, as each has its pros and cons. 

Instant coffee will reduce the recipe time, but it might be too weak or bitter, depending on the brand. Brewed coffee works for those who appreciate complexity in coffee.

Once your jelly is cooled and cut, drizzle condensed milk and cream on top and enjoy. 

Calories Per Serving: 234

Total Preparation Time: 20 min 

13. Taiyaki

Azuki bean paste is the star of many Japanese desserts, and Taiyaki is no different. These light waffles conceal a sweet, starchy surprise. If you have the fish-shaped waffle iron, you’re in luck. You can also make them in bulk and freeze them for a rainy day. 

Known as a celebratory snack that signifies health and wellness for children, Taiyaki is common and can be enjoyed on any occasion. 

Calories Per Serving: 133

Total Preparation Time: 55 min

14. Castella Pudding 

When you take the fluffy jiggle from a castella cake and add custard, you get the castella pudding. This dessert combines castella cake and Japanese Purin, so you can imagine the decadence. 

For individual portions, use small serving cups. You can pour the caramel sauce in and add the custard before topping things off with castella cake. 

Calories Per Serving: 279

Total Preparation Time: 1 hr 

15. Japanese Strawberry Cream Roll

This cream roll uses Japanese fluffy cake mix and fresh strawberries to create the perfect post-dinner meal. This cake batter uses oil in place of butter to increase fluffiness. Go for oil with little to no taste, like sunflower or canola oil. 

If you want the cream inside to hold up the cake, it’s best to stabilize it with either gelatin or powdered sugar. Serve with tea, coffee, or iced tea

Calories Per Serving: 269

Total Preparation Time: 1hr 14 min

16. Anmitsu 

You can tell it’s summertime in Japan when this fresh and fruity dessert shows up. Anmitsu is a melting pot of citrus flavors, Kanten jelly, mochi, red bean paste, red peas, matcha mochi, and black syrup. You can use whichever fruits are in season in your area. 

You can find Kanten jelly at any local Asian or Japanese store, so don’t worry about making it yourself.

Calories Per Serving: 147

Total Preparation Time: 30 min

17. Ichigo Daifuku 

Daifuku is a Japanese wagashi, or candy, that goes back centuries. Ichigo daifuku incorporates a ripe strawberry into the center coated with red bean paste and covered in mochi dough.

If you don’t have strawberries on hand, kiwi and grapes are popular alternatives. 

You can also stuff daifuku with ice cream for a frozen treat. Since mochi can be a sticky affair, use cornstarch or potato starch while dropping your daifuku to avoid a sticky mess. 

Calories Per Serving: 105 

Total Preparation Time: 30 min

18. Pumpkin Manju Sweets 

Traditional manju sweets have a bean paste filling, but this recipe uses fall favorites like sweet potato and pumpkin puree to make mini pies. They’re an excellent year-round snack, crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. 

For a flaky crust, brush your dough balls with a light eggwash and bake until golden brown. Let these cool for 5-10 minutes as the pumpkin puree mix will be hot to touch when removed from the oven. 

Calories Per Serving: 167

Total Preparation Time: 1 hr

19. Daigaku Imo 

Simple, sweet, and filing, this is one of the easiest recipes on this list. The potato skin crisps up once the sugar coating caramelizes, making a crunchy dessert with a soft, fluffy center.

You can oven bake or deep fry the potatoes before lightly coating them in sugar. 

For this snack, it’s best to use red-skinned sweet potatoes closer to the sweet potatoes used in Japan. 

Calories Per Serving: 292

Total Preparation Time: 45 min

20. Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Buns 

If you’re looking for something new in soft bread, try this purple sweet potato-infused Japanese bun. These potatoes are famous on Okinawa island and have a slightly earthy and delicate flavor. You don’t need extra food coloring to get these royal purple swirls. 

Add condensed milk and coconut milk to your steamed and mashed potatoes for the sweet filling. You can create your own shapes, but this swirly version is a classic. 

Calories Per Serving: 167

Total Preparation Time: 25 min

RELATED: 15 Great Japanese Side Dishes

21. Japanese Parfait 

The traditional french dessert has been adapted worldwide, and this Japanese version is creamy, refreshing, and delicious. Layer after layer of granola, whipped cream, castella cake, ice cream, and fruits will be devoured in no time. 

Parfait is beloved mainly because it’s so easy. All you need to do is layer a bunch of pre-made ingredients into a cup and enjoy. I like to use strawberries as a topper, but you can use any fruit. 

Calories Per Serving: 595 

Total Preparation Time: 15 min

22. Melonpan 

Soft on the inside and cookie-like on the outside, this milky Japanese bread shaped like melon is a classic sweet treat. Melonpan buns come in different flavors, but vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are the most popular. 

To pump up the flavor, add a little melon juice. Be sure to use milk powder to help with the cookie-like texture and coating. 

Calories Per Serving: 200 

Total Preparation Time: 2 hrs

23. Ohagi 

Also known as Botamochi during the springtime, Ohagi is a red bean paste and rice mixture often served to elders and enjoyed during the spring and autumn. You can enjoy the balls as they are or use different coatings. 

Ground black sesame seeds and soybean flour are standard coatings. To pound the cooked rice, use a mortar and pestle, or let the rice cool and use a food processor. 

Calories Per Serving: 152

Total Preparation Time: 2 hrs 

24. Japanese Milk Bread

There’s something special about Japanese milk bread. It’s light, fluffy, and slightly sweet, making it the perfect dessert bread that can easily crossover into a breakfast toast. All you need is bread flour, milk, yeast, sugar, and a dash of salt.

Depending on the occasion, you can bake the dough as one loaf or make individual buns. Serve when fresh and warm, directly from the oven with a slab of butter. 

Calories Per Serving: 105 

Total Preparation Time: 2hrs 10 min

25. Kinako Brioche Donuts  

This Japanese version of a Boston cream donut takes half the effort while tasting twice as good. Instead of cream as the filling, these donuts use Kinako, a soybean flour paste found in most Asian food stores. The great thing about this recipe is that the dough is a no-knead recipe. 

This brioche recipe doesn’t require a bread machine or heavy manual labor. Simply mix it, let it rise, then fry it. 

Calories Per Serving: 184

Total Preparation Time: 2 hrs

26. Mizu Yokan 

All hail the red bean! This Japanese favorite is so versatile that it’s been transferred into pastries, cookies, sweets, and jelly. The recipe is simple yet full of flavor from the red beans and added sugar.

You can use agar-agar or gelatin, but the consistency that comes from gelatin is much smoother. 

First, bloom your gelatin, then mix all of the ingredients and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Allow your gelatin to cool for 2-3 hours before serving. 

Calories Per Serving: 418

Total Preparation Time: 1hr 

27. Kakigori 

Kakigori, also known as shaved ice, is the most sought-after snack during long, hot Japanese summer days. The ice hits your lips, and you’re instantly transported to heaven.

Sweetened with condensed milk and topped with various fresh fruits, Kakigori is an all-natural slushie. 

To make this home, you need a shaved ice machine or tool and some strawberries for a simple syrup. Keep the stewed berries to use as a topping. 

Calories Per Serving: 253 

Total Preparation Time: 20 min

28. Honey Toast 

Indulgent, decadent, and super sweet, this honey toast is nothing like you’d imagined.

It resembles South Africa’s famous Bunny chow, except instead of a chicken filling, Shibuya’s honey toast is overflowing with ice cream, honey, and an assortment of sweets. 

You’ll need some unsliced sandwich bread for the base. Hollow out the bread, and cut the hollowed piece into cubes for baking. You can add whichever flavor of ice cream you want and a few wafer sticks for decoration. 

Calories Per Serving: 249

Total Preparation Time: 18 min

29. Kabocha Squash Pie 

Using the rich and smooth flavor of the Kabocha pumpkin, this Japanese pie has long been a favorite for gatherings and parties. Dense and filling, kabocha squash is a rare pumpkin with edible skin.

Warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice bring a fall flavor to what can be compared to American pumpkin pie

The pie uses a nut crust instead of a biscuit or shortbread crust, enriching the flavors. Serve a slice with some warm apple tea or cider. 

Calories Per Serving: 260

Total Preparation Time: 1 hr 30 min

30. Miso Butter Cookies 

Baked to perfection with the right amount of crunch and nutty taste, miso butter cookies are a hidden gem. The saltiness from the miso and the creamy texture from the butter makes this a cookie worth the hype it’s getting. 

You can find miso in most grocery stores or make your own at home, which takes longer. Roll the edges in sesame seeds before baking. You can send these to loved ones as a holiday gift. 

Calories Per Serving: 74 

Total Preparation Time: 1hr 10 min

RELATED: 17 Popular Japanese Appetizers

31. Matcha Mille Crepe Cake 

Now’s your chance if you’ve always wanted to make a crepe cake. This matcha version is super simple and super tasty. Though it’s a fifteen-layer cake, each layer takes seconds to cook, making this a fast process.

Of course, you’ll be fine if you get the crepe batter right. 

Calories Per Serving: 222

Total Preparation Time: 2 hrs

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Popular Dessert In Japan? 

Mochi is one of Japan’s most popular desserts. The sweet rice dessert can be found across the country in different sizes, flavors, and sweetness levels. Strawberry and matcha mochi are some of the most popular versions.

Still, many people consider sakura mochi particularly special, given its connection to the cherry blossom trees. 

Mochi is made with short grain white rice known as mochigome. The rice is steamed, cooled, and mashed until it combines into one dough. Water, sugar, and sometimes cornstarch are added to the mix. 

Afterward, the mochi is flavored with cocoa powder, matcha, strawberries, or whatever you desire. 

What Are Some Traditional Desserts In Japan? 

Traditional desserts in Japan include Mochi, Daifuku, Dango, and Dorayaki. Daifuku is made with mochi paste and stuffed with Anko, a sweet bean paste. Dango is pretty popular and even has its own emoji! Dorayaki is a bean paste stuffed pancake. 

Most traditional Japanese desserts feature short grain rice, matcha, fresh fruits like strawberries, and red bean paste.

These desserts relied on natural sweeteners like red beans or fruits, but today home cooks and chefs like to add their own flair with modern sweeteners like cane sugar or simple syrup. 

What Is The Most Popular Dessert In Tokyo? 

Tokyo loves sweets! From Mochi to Taiyaki, this city celebrates Japanese desserts, with Matcha soft serve ice cream as the king.

This summer treat has become an international symbol of Tokyo’s dessert trend and is simple to make. You’ve probably seen elaborately decorated cones with light green matcha ice cream. 

Toppings that go well with soft serve matcha include chocolate, mint, sprinkles, and biscuits.  

31 Tasty Japanese Desserts You Can Make At Home 

0 from 0 votes

You Can Try Tasty Japanese Desserts At Home Now.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith