Are you trying to find the best Japanese Christmas cake recipes? We’ve rounded up 11 Japanese Christmas cakes that are sure to inspire you. The only question is which dessert recipe you will choose to make first.
So, why is Japan known for its Christmas cake?
The answer has a fascinating Japanese history of the Christmas cake as it dates back to after Japan’s defeat in the Second World War.
They became absorbed with the idealized idea of American prosperity.
After the war, sugar, milk, and butter were hard to find, but as their economy rebounded and you could purchase these items once again, the making of the cake was the symbol that they had made it through.
The red and white colors are reflective of their flag.
Fun fact: the two cake emojis on your iPhone are from Japanese Christmas cake recipes!
The Japanese people do not celebrate Christmas the way Americans do.
Rather the sharing of a Christmas cake has become an important tradition. In Japanese culture, they typically promote it as a romantic holiday.
Nowadays, the Christmas cake could also be a Swiss roll cake, the Mont Blanc, or a fruit tart.
Other countries have also gotten in on the cake tradition with the German stollen, Italian panettone, and the French Buche de Noel.
In this post, we will explore 11 delicious versions and variations of the Japanese Christmas cake recipes, including the infamous Japanese Strawberry Shortcake, delightful Japanese Fruitcake, and bittersweet Strawberry Matcha Roll Cake!
It doesn’t end there, the rich and moist flavors of #8 will excite you too!
We begin with the quintessential traditional Japanese strawberry shortcake recipe.
Here, you will find all the necessary elements, including preparing the Japanese fluffy sponge cake, whipping cream, and fresh strawberries.
Overall this dessert is not very sweet but totally wins the Instagram game!
Fantastic step-by-step instructions with pictures guide you the whole way through.
I learned an interesting tip: to brush sugar syrup on the layers to keep it from drying out before adding the whipped heavy cream.
Powdered sugar sprinkled on top and stiff peaks of icing make for a beautiful presentation looking like freshly fallen snow.
Here is a similar Japanese strawberry shortcake recipe to create this airy sponge cake.
Great care is taken with separating the steps in the process and keeping things at optimum temperatures.
You can also find the best methods for incorporating ingredients like the egg mixture, warm milk, and sugar mixture in the recipe post.
Beautiful pictures accompany each step and are super helpful.
Sliced strawberries are used in the middle between the layers, while whole strawberries adorn the top of the cake.
It’s advisable to devour this national holiday cake when fresh.
But if you need to freeze some, remove the strawberries first because they will make the cake soggy when it defrosts.
Continuing down this road of Japanese Christmas Day cake recipes, this one has simplified the creation by converting it into a rustic roll cake!
Also known as Kurisumasu Keki, this recipe also has many steps and temperature checks.
But bonus, the recipe includes a video where the creator talks you through and shows you all the steps from preparing your batter in a large bowl to cream frosting!
Super important to wash and dry the strawberries.
So satisfying to roll the final product together!
There are several steps where you have to wait for the cake to cool on a wire rack or have the rest of the whipped cream to set.
It is also decorated with a Christmas-time theme of powdered sugar with dollops of whipped cream!
Rolling right along with the Japanese culture and tradition of sharing a Japanese sponge cake at Christmas, this beautiful chocolate roll cake is also light and fluffy with a chestnut whipped cream filling.
This one is more of a minimalist’s take on the dessert while following the tradition of a not-too-sweet cake.
It is also along the lines of a Mont Blanc Buche de Noel because of the addition of the chestnut cream.
There are instructions on how to do so with a wood grain stencil option to give it an authentic yule log look.
Also, a brilliant idea shared about sliding the rolled up cake inside a sturdy cardboard tube so it doesn’t expand while chilling!
If you have a penchant for chocolate, this might be the cake for you!
Variations for the Japanese light sponge cake at Christmas time abound, and this one is a raspberry pistachio Swiss roll.
This one adds more sweetness to the cake with a decadent white chocolate frosting, raspberries in a row, and pistachios sprinkled on the top!
An easy swap, if you want to stay more traditional, is strawberries and walnuts.
The almond extract also gives it a cozy nutty flavor.
Happily, this recipe also comes together in an hour as it inherently has fewer steps.
Another Japanese Christmas cake recipe is the Japanese fruitcake.
Quite a bit of a divergence from the traditional Japanese perfect sponge cake, but oh, the flavors this one includes are unique!
This version is a spice cake with raisins boasting a coconut and orange filling, giving this cake a tropical flare.
Place the cake in three well-greased 8” pans with parchment paper, then bake.
The filling is runny as fillings go, so do not worry about how it runs right over the edges of the layers.
It is supposed to!
Decorate the top as you like with extra coconut or cherries or pecans.
Ironically, this cake filled with colorful fruits needs to sit for a few hours in a cake pan after it is complete to let the cake absorb the liquid of the filling.
It may not be the most beautiful cake, but the carefully chosen fresh fruit and nut combinations will more than make up for it in taste!
This beautiful Japanese strawberry shortcake recipe has an entirely different shape than the traditional Japanese sponge cake!
It is an adorable dome, covered carefully in white icing and ringed on the serving plate with sliced strawberries!
Just like its counterpart, when you slice into it, you will indeed discover the surprise fresh cream and strawberries in the middle!
Lots of creative choices here with piped chocolate (or any other colored) icing saying Merry Christmas!
The instructions for making the dome shape from half the cake were a little fuzzy to me, but you creatives can certainly figure it out!
I do love how different it looks, which makes it special for Christmas time or any celebration.
Pretty sure we can all agree there are entirely too many terrible fruitcakes out there in the world, so many in fact that whole generations of folks will not even try one.
I know because I have lived with some.
Let’s change that perspective with this recipe that just might redeem the fruit cake!
Focusing on a hint of citrus, a fudgy and moist texture that may or may not have any icing because it tastes extraordinary on its own, while Japanese culture expects a shortcake for Christmas, it is widely accepted as a holiday cake.
Soaking the dried cherries, apricots, dates, raisins, and mixed peel in apple juice is the first step (and a touch of brandy if you want) with a cool one-hour trick.
Make the cake batter and be aware it needs to be baked for three hours and 15 minutes!
For the fancier presentation, the fruitcake was topped with marzipan and fondant and extra fresh cherries on top!
Christmas Eve cupcakes are up next as a super fun variation on the Japanese strawberry shortcake recipes we have looked at so far.
Single serving sizes make it so easy on a first time hostess!
Everyone will love these with non-flavored whipped cream and a touch of colored sprinkles with a beautiful strawberry on top.
Classic ingredients and good instructions will create a tasty Japanese sponge cake texture with a new look!
A little whipped cream on the nose never hurt anyone!
Japanese culture is as steeped in tea as it is in the ubiquitous Japanese sponge cake for Christmas.
So here we get to marry the two for a popular cake, the strawberry matcha roll cake!
It could be for any time of year, allowing people to interpret the green coloring as spring or Christmas.
The cake itself is flavored with Japanese green tea powder in addition to the traditional whipped cream and strawberries.
Fair warning is given to use a fresh good quality matcha powder since it does not have a long shelf life, and you do want the green color, not some off-shade.
The goal is to add a delicate earthy, slightly bitter flavor that you will balance with the whipped cream and cake.
This recipe is also serious about its strawberries using a lot more in the filling than most others.
Excellent instructions with beautiful slices.
What in the world?
That simply means there is no icing on the side of the cake, top only!
Gluten-free is fantastic for our gluten-intolerant friends, and these are the two changes in this Japanese Strawberry sponge cake recipe that set it apart from the others on this list.
Clicking through to the second recipe will give you the actual recipes for the cake and whipped cream.
There are a lot of steps, so read through carefully to be sure you have the necessary ingredients on hand and time available.
Japanese Christmas cake recipes for the win, which you can also place in a cake tin if you want to give it to your friends!
The bottom line
No matter where or how you celebrate Christmas or whether you have Japanese culture in your heritage, Japanese Christmas cake recipes are sure to be a family or crowd-pleasing choice!
Happy baking after finalizing all your Christmas decorations!
It is a memorable way to show others during your Christmas dinner just how much you appreciate them.
- Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
- Fresh Strawberry Cream Cake
- Japanese Christmas Roll Recipe
- Chocolate Chestnut Christmas Roll Cake
- Raspberry Pistachio Roulade (Rolled Cake)
- Japanese Fruitcake
- Dome Japanese Christmas Cake
- Christmas Cake - Moist, Easy Fruit Cake
- Japanese Christmas Cupcakes
- Strawberry Matcha Roll Cake
- Naked Gluten-Free Japanese Christmas Cake
- Choose one or more options from our list of Japanese Christmas cake recipes here!
- Create your new favorite dish.
- Pat yourself on the back for making food at home for you to enjoy!
- Share and comment! Did you make any tweaks so it’s all your own?