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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogAnmitsu and More: Seven Japanese Desserts!

Anmitsu and More: Seven Japanese Desserts!

Savannah WalkerSavannah Walker
Published Time
Posted on 
September 28, 2023
A bowl of anmitsu with someone pouring kuromitsu syrup on it.

Are you ready to embark on a tasty journey through the sweetest side of Japan? Hold onto your taste buds because we’re about to dive headfirst into a world of traditional delights, such as anmitsu, that will leave you craving more!

Anmitsu: Simplicity and Elegance

Anmitsu is a delightful and traditional Japanese dessert that captures the essence of simplicity and elegance. This dish is usually enjoyed during the summer and has various flavors!

These include kanten jelly, anko, mochi, red endo mame peas, fruits, and brown sugar syrup called kuromitsu. This captivating ensemble of flavors, textures, and colors creates a delicious experience that shows Japanese culture and the appreciation of natural ingredients!

A bowl of anmitsu.
Anmitsu is similar to a parfait. Image via Shutterstock

Anmitsu’s origins date back to when sweet-toothed customers demanded sweeter desserts. In response, the Tokyo store named “Wakamatsu” created this delightful dish by adding red bean paste to the original mitsumame.

Japanese confectionaries also have a special type of anmitsu called omiyage, which translates to souvenir anmitsu, which is beautifully wrapped so you can bring this traditional aspect as a present for family and friends.

Dorayaki: Pancake Perfection!

Dorayaki is a popular and delightful Japanese dessert with two fluffy, pancake-like layers surrounding a sweet red bean paste filling known as anko! The name, a playful pun on the word “gong,” promises a delightful experience. Dorayaki is also well-known because of one of the cutest Japanese anime characters, Doraemon! This character helped the delicious treat gain popularity throughout Japan due to his love for dorayaki.

A bunch of dorayaki, which is sweet like anmitsu.
Some dorayaki has candied chestnuts. Image via Shutterstock

To make these mouthwatering pancakes, you mix flour, eggs, sugar, and sometimes a touch of honey for added flavor to create a batter. You then cook the batter in circular molds on a grill to achieve the signature round shape of the pancakes. Once cooked, you sandwich the two pancakes with a large portion of the anko filling.

While the red bean paste, anko, is the traditional filling, modern twists include custard, chocolate, or fruit preserves fillings that will send your taste buds on a wild adventure. The soft, slightly chewy pancakes against the rich sweetness of the filling create a symphony of textures and flavors that’s simply irresistible.

Shiruko: Warmth and Comfort in Every Spoonful!

Shiruko, also known as oshiruko, is a beloved Japanese dessert that holds a special place in the hearts of many. This dish is often enjoyed during the cold winter months during the New Year holiday and consists of a warm, thick red bean soup made from boiled azuki beans with sugar until they become tender and creamy. The resulting soup is a smooth and slightly textured dish, offering a delightful contrast! 

A bowl of shiruko mochi soup, which is sweet like anmitsu.
People usually eat shiruko during New Year’s. Image via Shutterstock

The sweetness of the red bean soup is balanced with the addition of chewy mochi rice cakes, which provide a satisfying bite and an enjoyable play of textures! Its soothing flavors and heartwarming qualities make it a cherished dessert that brings comfort and a sense of cultural appreciation to those who savor it.

Are you looking to enjoy even more Japanese desserts? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat delivers limited-edition Japanese noodles, snacks, drinks, and sweets right to your door so you can enjoy the latest treats directly from Japan!


Manju: A Sweet Embrace in Every Bite

Manju is like a sweet hug in the form of a dumpling-like pastry. It comes in a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, and flavors, leaving you spoiled for choice. Traditional red bean paste, matcha, custard, sweet potato – you name it, manju has it!

A cutting board with manju, a sweet bun.
One of most common fillings for manju is sweet bun. Image via Shutterstock

One of the best things about manju is its pairing with green tea or coffee. The delicate sweetness of the filling complements the tea’s earthy, slightly bitter notes, creating a harmonious taste experience. So, if you’re a fan of afternoon tea or coffee breaks, Manju should be your go-to snack.

Making manju is not just about the taste; it’s also about the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating these tiny masterpieces. Skilled artisans carefully mold and shape the dough, ensuring each Manju is not only delicious but also a work of edible art.

Daifuku: A Sweet Surprise Awaits!

Daifuku is the embodiment of “great luck.” It’s a chewy outer layer of glutinous rice flour, mochi, with a delicious filling! The mochi has a variety of fillings, often including sweet red bean paste (“anko”), but also incorporating modern twists like ice cream, fruit, or even matcha-flavored cream. The result is a satisfying interplay of textures and tastes, where the subtle sweetness of the filling harmonizes with the mochi’s gentle chewiness. 

A plate of strawberry daifuku.
Dafuku uses red bean paste and fruit! Image via Shutterstock

Daifuku comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors, reflecting the changing seasons and the creativity of Japanese cuisine. Whether enjoyed with tea or as a dessert, daifuku is a testament to the joy of savoring simple yet delightful flavors.

Kasutera: Portuguese/Japanese Fusion!

Kasutera, known as “Castella” in Portuguese, is a sponge cake with a fascinating history rooted in cultural exchange. It has evolved into a unique Japanese confection introduced by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. Kasutera’s moist, tender texture results from the meticulous blending of flour, sugar, eggs, and sometimes honey. The result is a cake with a golden-brown crust contrasting beautifully with its soft interior. 

A plate of castella cake.
Castella originally came from Portugal! Image via Shutterstock

Traditionally, kasutera is made in rectangular or square shapes and has a golden-brown crust that adds a delightful contrast to its soft interior. While the original version was plain, new variations include flavors like matcha or chestnut! This cake exemplifies the melding of cultures and showcases Japan’s penchant for refining and elevating foreign influences into unique culinary treasures.

Dango: Simplicity Meets Aesthetics!

Dango, the charming chewy rice dumplings, are not just a treat for your palate but also for your eyes. Skewered onto bamboo sticks in groups of three to five, they create a visually pleasing presentation. There are various types, each with its own preparation and flavors. Mitarashi dango with sweet soy glaze, hanami dango with pastel colors, and kinako dango rolled in roasted soybean flour are just a few examples.

A plate of colorful skewered dango.
Dango uses glutinous rice! Image via Shutterstock

Its versatility makes it perfect for festivals or simple afternoon snacks. Its gentle flavors and playful presentation showcase Japan’s culinary artistry and cultural appreciation for harmony in taste and aesthetics.

So, are you ready to embark on this dessert adventure through Japan? These sweet treasures, such as anmitsu are not just food; they celebrate culture, creativity, and the joy of savoring life’s simplest pleasures. Leave a comment below if you’ve tried these treats!

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