zenDine Logo

68 Most Popular Japanese Sweets and Desserts to Try in 2024

Table of Contents

In 2024, the allure of Japanese confectionery continues to enchant sweet lovers worldwide, with its delightful array of treats that blend tradition with innovation. These desserts, deeply rooted in Japan's rich cultural tapestry, offer a harmonious balance of flavors and textures, making them a must-try for anyone seeking a unique gustatory experience. From the velvety matcha-infused delights to the delicate mochi creations, Japanese sweets and desserts are a testament to the country's dedication to the art of dessert-making.

This comprehensive guide unveils the 68 most coveted Japanese sweets and desserts set to tantalize your taste buds this year. Whether you're a seasoned dessert aficionado or just beginning your journey into the world of Japanese confectionery, prepare to embark on a sweet exploration that showcases the intricate craftsmanship and diverse palate of Japan's dessert scene.

Japanese Sweets and Desserts


Anmitsu (あんみつ)

  • Dessert with agar jelly, fruit, and sweet beans

Amanattō (甘納豆)

  • Glazed sweet beans

Azuki Ice Cream (小豆アイスクリーム)

  • Ice cream flavored with azuki bean paste

Azuki Shiratama Dango (小豆白玉団子)

  • Rice flour dumplings filled with sweet azuki paste


Bakudan Mochi (爆弾餅)

  • Mochi balls with sweet bean filling

Black Sesame Pudding (黒胡麻プリン)

  • Black sesame seed flavored pudding

Brown Sugar Mochi (黒糖餅)

  • Mochi with brown sugar syrup

Budo Mochi (ブドウ餅)

  • Mochi with grape filling

Buko Pandan (ブコパンダン)

  • Coconut jelly with pandan leaf


Castella (カステラ)

  • Japanese sponge cake

Cherry Blossom Daifuku (桜大福)

  • Mochi with cherry blossom and bean paste filling

Chestnut Mont Blanc (栗のモンブラン)

  • Chestnut puree cake

Cream Anmitsu (クリームあんみつ)

  • Anmitsu with whipped cream topping


Dango (団子)

  • Sweet rice dumplings on a skewer

Dorayaki (どら焼き)

  • Pancake sandwich with red bean paste filling


Goma Pudding (胡麻プリン)

  • Sesame seed flavored pudding

Green Tea Cake (抹茶ケーキ)

  • Sponge cake flavored with matcha powder

Green Tea Ice Cream (抹茶アイスクリーム)

  • Ice cream flavored with matcha powder


Hakuto Jelly (白桃ゼリー)

  • Peach flavored jelly

Hanabiramochi (花びら餅)

  • Thin folded mochi with sweet filling

Higashi (干菓子)

  • Small dried sugar candies

Hōjicha Pudding (ほうじ茶プリン)

  • Roasted green tea pudding


Ichigo Daifuku (苺大福)

  • Mochi filled with strawberry and sweet paste

Imagawayaki (今川焼き)

  • Round pancake filled with sweet azuki paste


Kakigōri (かき氷)

  • Shaved ice dessert with flavored syrup

Kashiwa Mochi (柏餅)

  • Cake stuffed with sweet azuki paste

Kintsuba (金つば)

  • Sweet azuki bean paste dessert

Kiritampo (きりたんぽ)

  • Pounded rice cakes on a skewer

Kuzumochi (葛餅)

  • Kudzu starch jelly cakes


Matcha Chocolate (抹茶チョコレート)

  • Green tea infused chocolate

Matcha Cookies (抹茶クッキー)

  • Green tea flavored cookies

Matcha Ice Cream (抹茶アイスクリーム)

  • Green tea ice cream

Mitarashi Dango (みたらし団子)

  • Rice dumplings with sweet soy glaze

Mizuame (水飴)

  • Sweet syrup made from glutinous rice

Mizu Yōkan (水羊羹)

  • Soft azuki bean jelly

Mochi (餅)

  • Soft pounded rice cakes

Mochi Ice Cream (餅アイスクリーム)

  • Ice cream encased in a mochi covering

Monaka (最中)

  • Crispy rice wafer with sweet azuki filling


Obanyaki (おばなゆき)

  • Banana cakes baked in molds

Oshiruko (おしるこ)

  • Azuki bean soup with mochi


Pumpkin Pudding (かぼちゃプリン)

  • Pumpkin flavored custard pudding

Pudding (プリン)

  • Custard dessert

Purin (フルーツプリン)

  • Fruit flavored custard pudding


Rainbow Mochi (虹もち)

  • Layered colored rice cake

Red Bean Paste (餡子/小豆餡)

  • Sweet paste made from azuki beans


Sakuramochi (桜餅)

  • Pink rice cake with cherry blossom leaf wrapping

Satsumaimo Pudding (さつまいもプリン)

  • Sweet potato pudding

Shiratama Dango (白玉団子)

  • Glutinous rice flour dumplings

Shirokuma Ice Cream (白熊アイス)

  • Vanilla ice cream with condensed milk

Strawberry Daifuku (イチゴ大福)

  • Mochi stuffed with strawberries

Sweet Potato Cake (サツマイモケーキ)

  • Cake made with Japanese sweet potato


Taiyaki (たい焼き)

  • Fish shaped cakes filled with azuki bean paste

Takoyaki (たこ焼き)

  • Ball-shaped batter with octopus


Uirō (ういろう)

  • Steamed rice flour and sugar cakes

Umegaemochi (梅がえもち)

  • Mochi sandwiched with sweetened bean paste

Umeshu (梅酒)

  • Plum wine


Wagashi (和菓子)

  • Traditional Japanese confectionery

Warabimochi (蕨餅)

  • Jelly-like rice cake dessert

Wasanbon (和三盆)

  • Fine-grained Japanese sugar

Water Cake (水切りケーキ)

  • Light sponge cake


Yaki Mochi (焼き餅)

  • Grilled mochi rice cakes

Yōkan (羊羹)

  • Sweet red bean jelly

Yubeshi (湯伴子)

  • Gelatin cubes in sweet soup

Yuzu Jelly (柚子ゼリー)

  • Yuzu citrus flavored jelly


Zenzai (甜菜)

  • Sweet azuki bean soup

Zenzai Oshiruko (甜菜お汁粉)

  • Zenzai with mochi balls

Zenzai Warabimochi (甜菜蕨餅)

  • Zenzai soup with warabimochi

Zundamochi (ずんだ餅)

  • Ball-shaped mochi with sweet bean filling

Getting the Most out of Japanese Sweets and Desserts

Firstly, recognize the significance of traditional Japanese ingredients. Many Japanese sweets, like mochi and dorayaki, are often filled with sweet red bean paste, a staple in Japanese confectionery. Familiarizing yourself with these core ingredients will enhance your appreciation of each bite.

Matcha, or green tea, is not just for drinking. This vibrant powder is a key component in many Japanese desserts, from matcha-infused pancakes to the velvety layers of Japanese cheesecake. When trying a matcha dessert, take a moment to savor its subtle bitterness balanced with sweetness.

Dorayaki, one of the most popular Japanese sweets, is best enjoyed fresh. Look for a soft pancake exterior complemented by the smooth texture of sweet red bean paste inside. It's a classic Japanese treat that's a testament to the harmony of simple ingredients.

While many Japanese desserts are sweet, don't be surprised to find savory notes. Soy sauce, for instance, can be drizzled on certain desserts, offering a delightful contrast that's deeply rooted in Japanese cuisine.

Lastly, when indulging in traditional Japanese sweets, remember to enjoy them with a cup of green tea. The slight bitterness of the tea pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the dessert, creating a balanced palate experience.

Savoring Japanese sweets and desserts in this manner not only offers a delightful taste journey but also provides a window into the heart of Japanese dessert craftsmanship and tradition.