Most Popular Japanese Desserts

From zenzai -unique and delicious to very popular soft mochi here are top 10 most popular Japanese desserts of all time.


Zenzai Most Popular Japanese Desserts

Japanese zenzai is an unusual dessert that combines thick red bean soup with mochi, the famous sticky rice cake . It can be prepared by boiling dried red beans or diluting anko (sweet red bean paste) in water. The soup can be coarse or completely smooth in texture.

Zenzai can be fortified with different flavors, such as orange zest , but the flavor should generally be subtle and earthy with a hint of sweetness. Before serving, warm mochi cakes that have been heated or toasted are placed in this hearty liquid dessert.


Taiyaki Most Popular Japanese Desserts

Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake , often eaten as a snack, made from flour and filled with sweet adzuki bean paste . It is usually served hot and can be found at most taiyaki stands during any winter festival in Japan. Most people think this delicacy originated in Tokyo during the Meiji era, but taiyaki became hugely popular in 1976 with the appearance of a much-loved children’s song called Oyoge!

 It is said that the best taiyaki is characterized by a crispy shell that has been cooked to a golden brown color, and although there are many flavors and varieties of taiyaki today, the basic taiyaki is still a favorite.



Kaminari -okoshi , often referred to simply as okoshi , is a popular Japanese confectionery, similar to crispy rice treats . The main ingredient of okoshi is puffed rice, made by roasting rice grains until they pop. A mixture of sugar and butter or corn syrup is used to hold the rice together, and after the other ingredients have been added, the mixture is formed or pressed into trays, left to dry, and then cut into square shapes.

This crispy Japanese delicacy appeared in the middle of the Edo period in Japan and was mainly sold by street vendors near Buddhist templesin Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s districts. Originally, peanuts were added to enrich okoshi, but modern versions also include other nuts, dried fruits , chocolate , or sesame seeds , as well as other exotic and interesting flavors like tea matcha green or caramel .

Japanese Snack Box



Monaka is a type of wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) consisting of a filling of adzuki bean jam sandwiched between two thin mochi wafers . The wafers are crispy, dry and neutral in flavor. They come in different shapes, colors and sizes. Traditionally, monaka are filled with adzuki bean jam, but they can also be filled with ice cream, whipped cream, cream cheese or chestnut paste .

These sweet treats are often served with tea and have a few unusual variations, such as suicide monaka, which is filled with shiny, jelly-like anko, and prosperity monaka, which is shaped like golden coins and is seasoned with brown sugar for flavoring. prosperity.



Dango is a traditional Japanese sweet, presented as dumplings of rice flour and sugar strung on a bamboo stalk . Some region-specific versions use other types of flour (such as potato or millet flour ) or different ingredients such as green tea or adzuki bean paste.

Dango has been eaten in Japan since the Jomon period, when nuts from the forest were ground into flour which was then used to prepare this dish. Today, there are many varieties of dango , such as anko, cha, kuri, niku, teppanyaki, denpun, bocchan, sasa, kinako, and hanami dango.



Kasutera is a traditional Japanese sponge cake made from sugar, flour , eggs and starch syrup. This Nagasaki specialty is raised by egg foam alone, with no added butter or oil, and has a soft, moist, and spongy texture. The cake is also known as Castella, and was brought to Japan in the 16th century by Portuguese merchants. Its name is derived from pao de Castela, which means bread from Castile. Today, it is common to find Nagasaki kasutera in many variations, with flavors such as chocolate , matcha green tea , brown sugar , or honey. It is a popular gift and a nice souvenir to give to friends or relatives.


Manju Most Popular Japanese Desserts

Manjū is a steamed Japanese confectionery product , shaped into various shapes and incorporating different ingredients and flavors Usually, manju consists of two main parts: the outer casing, created from kneaded wheat or rice flour, and the creamy dough hidden inside the fluffy outer layer.

The most common variety is produced with wheat flour and filled with red bean paste, popularly called anko or tsubuan. The origins of manjū are probably in China, but are today traditionally associated with Japan.

The origin story of this traditional sweet treat says that the original Chinese creation had a meat-based filling, but was later modified by Japanese vegetarian monks and stuffed with a semi-sweet red bean paste.


Daifuku Most Popular Japanese Desserts

Daifuku , often called daifukumochi , is a popular Japanese confectionery. It is usually shaped into small, round balls , consisting of a chewy outer layer and a creamy , sweet filling . The daifuku casing is made from mochi, a glutinous ingredient created by the tedious process of grinding boiled or steamed rice. It is often tinted in different colors, most often pale pink and light green, creating a decorative and attractive treat. Each daifuku cake is filled with luscious creamy and sweet content, and the most common is the traditional semi-sweet red bean paste, popularly called anko or tsubuan.


Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets usually made from natural, plant-based ingredients such as grains and adzuki beans These sweets are usually served with tea and are classified into three categories: namagashi (fresh confectionery), han namagashi (half-dry confectionery), and higashi (dry confectionery).

Wagashi is characterized by its design, so in the spring when the cherry trees are in full bloom, growers make wagashi in the shape of cherry blossoms , using cherry petals or leaves.

The origins of these sweets date back to the Yayoi era , when there was nothing but natural nuts, fruits, and berries. Wagashi was therefore influenced by grain processing techniques introduced from China.


Mochi , these tiny cakes made from glutinous rice, are an important part of Japanese cuisine and culture. Preparing mochi begins with a lengthy process of pounding boiled or steamed rice , usually of the glutinous variety mochigome , into a thick, smooth paste.

It is then rolled and shaped into small circular shapes. Although its origins may be in China, mochi has been associated with Japan for centuries.

It appeared during the Yayoi period, when it was enjoyed only by the aristocracy, until the Heian period, when it became a commonly prepared food and served at religious festivals, as people believed that it brought fortune and health.