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5 Christmas Desserts To Try in Japan


In a few days, most people will celebrate Christmas and plan their food ahead of Christmas Eve dinner. Although Christmas is not widely celebrated in Japan, you can enjoy the season through its unique food and drinks.

Strawberry sponge cake and Gateau Chocolat combo.

Interestingly, you will find a wide variety of sweets not known to your country, and trust me, they are mouthwatering and visually appealing! They are inspired by Western-style confectioneries with a Japanese twist. Not so sweet and most of all the texture is fluffy. Here are five popular Christmas desserts in Japan.

1. Strawberry Sponge Cake (Ichigo Shortcake)

The most popular cake in Japan, this delectable dessert is made of vanilla-flavored sponge cake frosted with rare cream and topped with strawberries. The cake resembles the white and red color of the Japanese flag. It is usually eaten during birthdays and special occasions. At Christmas, they are decorated with a Santa figurine and miniature Christmas trees.

2. Gateau Chocolat

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

This classic French chocolate cake is prepared in different ways in Japan depending on the occasion. At Christmas, it is frosted with chocolate cream and topped with small bars of chocolate or strawberries. The frosting is glossy making it more appealing to both kids and adults.

In some bakeries, gateau chocolate cake is mixed with green tea powder, making it more flavorful to go with your favorite coffee or tea drinks.

3. Yule Log Roll Cake

Image by Larry White from Pixabay

Roll cakes are popular in Japanese cafes and pastry shops but during Christmas, they decorate further to appear like the yule log in winter. On top of that, it is decorated with miniature trees and Christmas greetings that add appeal to the dessert.

4. Panettone

At first glance, I thought this bread is a cake from Brazil but when I tried and researched further, it was actually a sweet bread originating from Milan, Italy. It is gaining popularity in Japan at Christmas where you can easily buy them in supermarkets and local bakeries.

Panettone comes in a cupola shape and is made from flour, candied fruits, and raisins flavored with citrus and orange. To my surprise, the Japanese people love them that panettone become a popular Christmas food.

5. Stollen

Photo by alina levon on Unsplash

Another surprise dessert that I’ve recently discovered is Stollen, a German traditional Christmas bread. It is made of flour, nuts, spices, and candied fruits coated with powdered icing or icing powder containing marzipan. I still wonder how this Christmas bread like panettone and stollen got recognized in Japan when most people had their own version of bread and sweets.  But anyway, this is worth a try as it looks delicious and maybe, a perfect pair for hot coffee or chocolate on a cold winter day.

So, there are my five Christmas desserts popular in Japan that have originated from Western countries. To buy these, you have to place your order ahead of time at the nearest supermarkets and convenience stores. Even drugstores will help you place an order. You can also visit the local pastry shop if you haven’t placed your order but be mindful that shelves get empty before the store closes.


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