Dorayaki are a traditional type of Japanese cake. They are made from two small flat cakes joined together with a filling. The most common filling is a sweet red paste made from azuki beans. The great thing about Dorayaki is that they are a fairly light snack and ideal with tea or coffee.
Watch Dorayaki being made in Kyoto.
The cake part is considered to be a form of Castella (kasutera), a sponge cake originally from Portugal. The azuki beans are cooked with sugar and can be considered a type of jam known as anko. The anko can be mashed (koshi) or beans left whole (tsubu).
Green tea (matcha) flavoured Dorayaki are very common. Mochi, a type of sticky rice, is also popular as part of the filling. During Autumn and Winter, chestnut Dorayaki are often found.
As I started to do some background research, it seems that dorayaki-zuki (Dorayaki lovers) are far more common than I imagined. The most famous is Doraemon, the cartoon cat. A well known university professor once told me he likes to pop Dorayaki in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up for breakfast. Not everyone likes Dorayaki though; some people don't like anko.
The word dora means gong. In the Kansai area of Japan, Dorayaki are called Mikasa due to an association with a mountain in Nara called Mikasa-yama, you can find it on this map (the recognised name is Wakakusa-yama).
I often see Dorayaki called Torayaki (tora written in katakana). These Dorayaki have a striped appearance to the castella, rather like the pattern on Tiger fur.
Since tora means tiger, I am guessing that this is the reason for the name shift (until I find a better answer). The appearance of the castella does not have a noticeable effect on the taste.
I heard that in Osaka city there is a 5 colour Dorayaki. I am also told that in Hirakata, they have a type of Dorayaki called akatsuki (red moon).
|1. Tear open packet.||2. Carefully remove.||3. Discard oxygen absorber.||4. Enjoy with tea.|
Please take care when removing your Dorayaki not to damage it and don't forget to remove the oxygen absorber. In most of the photos on this page the Dorayaki has been cut in order to show the filling, this is only for explanation. There is no need to cut Dorayaki.
|Anko (azuki beans)|
|Shiro Anko (white anko)|
|Matcha (green tea)|
|Oimo (sweet potato)|
|O-dora (large size), bought at Shop 99|
|Azuki Dorayaki (mini), bought in Shikoku|
|Mikasa (cinnamon mochi sandwich), from Kyoto|
|Mikasa (chestnut), from Nara|
|Mikasa (plain), from Kobe|
|Irodori Mame (coloured beans, including white kidney beans and chickpeas)|
|Yume Dora ("Dream dorayaki" made with fresh cream), from Kobe|
|Anko, from Nagoya|
|Kurenai Anko (crimson anko), from Nagoya|
|Matcha, from Nagoya|
|Mochi, from Osaka|
|Mini Mikasa, from Kyoto|
|"Mo" character, from Osaka|
|Whole chestnut, from Dazaifu|
|Anko, from Okinawa|
|Senfuto ("Fat Hermit") ?|
|Cream Custard, from Thailand. Only 10 Baht (27 Yen or 20 pence)! A dorayaki in a Japanese supermarket would normally cost about 150 Yen.|
|Almond Cream, from Thailand. The maneki neko on the packet is saying "Very delicious".|
|Green tea mascarpone (with anko), from Japan Centre in London, UK.|
|Sakura Mochi (cherry mochi), bought at Muji|
|Kinako Mochi (soybean flour mochi), bought at Muji|
|Matcha Mochi (green tea mochi), bought at Muji|
|Saku saku choco crunch ichigo cream (chocolate-strawberry), bought at Family Mart|
|Yuzu (Japanese lemon), from Akihabara|
|Custard made by Chiisana Okashiyasan, bought at Family Mart in Kyoto|
This section is included to help you identify manjyu that are not Dorayaki.
|Momiji (Maple leaf) Manjyu is from Hiroshima|
|Nokori tsuki (Remnants of the moon (?)), from Kyoto|
|Maru-yaki (Ring yaki) - this is my personal name for a generic manjyu made using a metal ring as a mould. Left: Kiyomizu-yaki from Kyoto, Right: Similar manjyu from Kanagawa|
|Ajari Mochi, from Kyoto|
|Taiyaki (bream), from Inari near Kyoto|
|Ningyo-yaki, left: custard, right: anko, from Tokyo|
|[Something] kurabe, (Sorry I can't read this kanji)|