The Christmas cake tradition in Japan dates back to 1922, but truly started catching on in the 1970’s, around the time our next tradition also began… Fried Chicken Step-by-Step . In a separate large baking bowl, lightly mix together the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the baking powder. After the war, … © 2020 Atlas Obscura. Christmas in Japan. But the bakers considered its plain brown appearance not eye-catching enough, so they decorated it with snow-white royal icing, complete with little Christmas trees. shelf life. Furthermore, the white and red combination does make it look Christmas-like. Japanese businessmen coined the term, once again emphasizing the Japanese desire for a young and … See. Over the next decade, bakers around the country decorated their Christmas desserts with strawberries after growing methods made them available in December, although both strawberries and the cakes they decorated remained expensive and reserved for the well-off. Administrators actively encouraged the populace to take on western dress and hair styles, the eating of meat, and even timekeeping methods such as the Gregorian calendar. In Japan, it is common to eat a typical cake at Christmas. Whip the remaining cream to firm peaks and using a palette knife, cover the cake in an even layer across the top and sides. Gather the ingredients. Japanese Christmas cakes are quite different from the long-keeping holiday sweets that are traditional in many Western countries. While Christmas has been embraced enthusiastically in Japan, it’s not a public holiday. The ubiquitous dessert is made of round sponge layers covered in whipped cream, with strawberries between the layers … Winner will be selected at random on 01/01/2021. Businesses marketed the idea heavily in the 1980s and 1990s, with JR Tokai, which operates the busy Tokyo-to-Osaka Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train, at the forefront. When the egg mixture becomes light yellow, add flour in the mixture and gently mix. Grown-up elegance is a common factor, though, especially since Christmas Eve in Japan is mainly regarded as a day for romance. The only fruit you'll find is strawberries, plus a heaping of whipped cream wrapped between and all over a light-as-air sponge cake. Strawberries are particularly good at that time of year in Japan, and you can even go strawberry picking during the winter season. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream to medium to firm peaks (the cream should stand up nicely when the beaters are lifted out), taking care to not over whip and make the cream too thick and hard. The history of the Christmas cake in Japan started in the waning days of the Meiji period. Personally I think this is the most important part of the cake. Add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk. Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. Japanese sponge cake is very moist, airy, light, and it’s not overly sweet. In fact, Christmas cake is now a symbol of commercialism and prosperity, its story intertwined with Japan's rise from ruins after its defeat in World War II. It’s a status thing. Christmas cakes are sponge cakes covered with white cream and decorated with strawberries. However, newspapers and magazines of the time promoted the decorated Christmas tree and Christmas dinner as stylish and modern things to try, with just passing mentions of their religious roots. Decorate with strawberries and don’t forget Santa Claus. According to Horii, “in those early days Christmas in Japan was a holiday for adults, an excuse to hold stylish parties, rather than an occasion for families and children in the way it is in most western Christian countries.”. Traditional British Christmas Cake Recipe. Pushed out of brewing more than a century ago, they're making a comeback. Set aside. Whisk eggs in a bowl. As the country finally left behind the impoverished postwar period and became more prosperous, Japanese people rapidly adopted the refrigerator along with the black-and-white television and the washing machine, dubbing them the “Three Sacred Treasures.” With a refrigerator, the delicate whipped-cream and fresh strawberry-topped strawberry shortcake could be kept for a day or so. Japan’s popular red and white dessert is eaten by families and friends all across the country on Christmas Eve. Think Christmas cake and no doubt a rich fruitcake will spring to mind. In Japan, when people talk about Christmas cake, it most often refers to this whipped cream sponge cake decorated with strawberries. This contemporary yet classic strawberry shortcake from convenience store chain Lawson costs 2,980 to 4,600 yen (US$27-$46), depending on the size. Internationally renowned pâtissiers and chocolatiers such as Pierre Hermé, Frédéric Cassel, and Jean-Paul Hévin offer their own versions for the Japanese market, as do domestic favorites like Sadaharu Aoki and Hironobu Tsujiguchi. Finish with the top layer, then place in the refrigerator to chill slightly. Elaine Lemm is a renowned British food writer, classically trained chef, teacher, and author with over 25 years of experience writing about British food and cooking. To head off possible cross-cultural misunderstandings, traditional Japanese Christmas cake is a sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, bearing no resemblance to the British-style fruitcake widely consumed at Christmas in Western countries, which is famous for its long (long !) Christmas once again found its way into the culture in the 1870s as part of the religious freedom movement during the Meiji Restoration, but again faded out during WWII. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream to medium to firm peaks (the cream should stand up nicely when the beaters are lifted out),... Cut the While Christianity entered Japan via Portuguese and Spanish missionaries, it was subsequently banned in the 17th century by the Tokugawa shogunate, which considered it an infiltration of European influence and a threat to national security. As the Christmas cake market has gotten ever more competitive, traditional European Christmas fare like German stollen, Italian panettone, and the French bûche de Noël are more popular than ever. christmas cake girl In Japan, a women over the age of 25 are often seen as used goods by Japanese men (Much like Christmas cake is "no good" after the 25th of December). … However, in 1614 it was banned by the shogunatealong with all other Christian traditions. Dec 9, 2019 - A collection of our favourite Japanese Christmas Cakes. Slice 8 pieces of strawberries into thin pieces. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. December 23, 2020 News and Event. Utterly distinct from the fruity, boozey density of British Christmas cake, Japanese Christmas cake, or ‘kurisumasu keki,’ is a light sponge cake, covered in a layer of whipped cream and decorated with ripe strawberries. Yet after the American government, represented by Commodore Matthew Perry, abruptly ended Japan’s long period of isolation in 1853, the Meiji government regarded the adaptation of European customs as critical for Japan to be regarded as a modern country. 1. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Dispatches on the world's most wondrous food and drink, delivered twice a week. Even fast food chains get into the Christmas cake act. Finally, add the vanilla and continue to mix for a minute more. Once cooled, remove the paper. These cakes helped elections feel like a party. A pharmaceutical company developed this beverage as drinkable IV solution. This shape is said by a large Japanese cake maker to spread this style of cake. The term originates from Japan where it is tradition to eat cake on Christmas. A mash-up of American and French pastry, the Japanese Christmas cake is a secular symbol of celebration that arose after decades of media promotion of Christmas as a … Check that the cake is cooked by inserting a fine metal skewer into the center on the tin; it should come out clean and if not, bake a while longer. Christmas in Japan is not a national holiday and isn’t celebrated for any of its … Christmas cake first started becoming popular after World War II, when items such as the cake became a symbol of prosperity as Japan’s economy stabilized and improved. These absorbent stalks make perfect flavor sponges in Vietnamese cuisine. Japan Christmas Cake Recipe . For the past few years, the big players in the crowded Christmas cake market have been the national convenience store chains. As the nation entered the Economic Miracle period in the late 1960s to 1970s, western-style cakes and pastries became even more popular. The cream can either be smoothed out with the palette knife or left fluffy, as you wish. 1 tablespoon soft butter or non-stick spray, 1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries (hulled and quartered). TIL that in Japan, unmarried women in their late 20's were called "Christmas Cakes" because "after the 25th they're not good" : todayilearned TIL that in Japan, unmarried women in their late 20's were called "Christmas Cakes" because "after the 25th they're not good" 13.9k Get helpful baking tips and recipes for cookies, cakes, breads, and more treats, delivered right to your inbox. Thespians, writers, and princes all dined on Baddeley cake. The often-insulted confection was once featured at weddings as well as Christmas. Offer subject to change without notice. Sixty-three bakeries pitched in to build a mega-stollen. No purchase necessary. Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Christmas cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking. Sign up for our email, delivered twice a week. In a stand or electric hand mixer, whisk together the oil with the egg yolks and milk. The strawberry shortcake as we know it now, with its soft sponge cake base, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream, only came about in the late 1950s. According to David W. Plath’s in The Journal of American Folklore (yes, there’s a whole academic discourse around the Japanese Christmas), the cake was a way for Japan to emulate American post-war prosperity, encapsulated by the image of a family sit-down Christmas dinner. Classic Chocolate Yule Log. Vegan and Vegetarian Christmas Cake in Japan 2020 . A woman 26 years+ who is considered to be past her prime, undesirable, used goods and/or no good. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. Vegan and Vegetarian Christmas Cake. Japanese Christmas cakes are often decorated with fruits or chocolate, sugar Santas, and other Christmas-themed edible ornaments. Luckily for Japanese children, the concept of Santa Claus is one Christmas tradition that is alive and well in Japan.… Starting in November, bakery chains, hotels, restaurants, department stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores announce their cake line-ups to huge fanfare, with popular cakes selling out far in advance of the holiday. Whilst not an official holiday in Japan, Christmas presents an opportunity to test out some different holiday traditions than what you may be used to back home. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Should you fancy something a little lighter—but as much of a showstopper as the traditional holiday confection—try a Kurisumasu Keki, or Japanese Christmas cake. Modern Japan is a largely secular country, though Shinto and Buddhism are deeply woven into the fabric of daily life. It might be not popular in overseas but this Christmas cake is an indispensable part to enjoy Christmas in Japan. Place the bowl over warm water in another large bowl and whisk further. Whichever you choose, however, the cake must always have a Santa Claus somewhere—otherwise, this would not be a traditional Christmas cake! Sponge Cake. Most businesses stay open, and public transit runs on regular hours. In 1910, Fujiya, a European-style pastry shop in Tokyo’s port city of Yokohama, introduced what is widely considered to be the very first Japanese Christmas cake. The festive classic chocolate yule log, called a buche de Noel by the … A mash-up of American and French pastry, the Japanese Christmas cake is a secular symbol of celebration that arose after decades of media promotion of Christmas as a stylish, romantic event. In Japan, Christmas cakes are a big deal. The sponge cake is a genoise cake, made by beating air into the eggs to make it rise rather than using a … These days, just about any cake is appreciated at Christmastime in Japan, as long as it’s delicious, fun, and festive. Private Trip: Immersive Art and Otherworldly Landscapes of Santa Fe, Culinary Naples: Producers, Purveyors, and Pizzaioli, Sunday Sabor: A Masterclass in Spanish Rice, Living Between Cultures: Storytelling With Justine Abigail Yu, A Lockpicking Practicum With Schuyler Towne, Kīlauea’s Lava Lake Is Back, and Volcanologists Are Bubbling With Excitement, The Satisfaction of Mathematically Efficient Christmas Cookies, The Australian Town That Turns Trash Into Christmas Trees, Why Filipino Christians Greet the December Dawn With Purple Rice, In Wisconsin, Christmas Calls for Raw Meat on Rye, How a Blacksmith in Jordan Created His Own Sign Language, In Naples, Praying With Skulls Is an Ancient Tradition, Inside a Domed Pyramid With Astounding Acoustics and a History of Miracles, The Return of Japan’s Female Sake Brewers, Every Year, Dresden Kickstarts the Christmas Season With a Four-Ton Cake, You Can Still Buy the Actual Fruitcakes Served at British Royal Weddings, The Haunting History of 'Frozen Charlotte' Dolls, How £100 Bought an Obscure British Actor 224 Years of Cake and Fame, Show & Tell: Inside a House of Hot Sauce With Vic Clinco, The Secret to China's Bounciest Meatballs, Hawaiʻi’s Native-Language Newspaper Archive, 'Discovering' Mexico's Monarch Butterfly Migration, The Real Story Behind George Washington's Dentures, See the Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII, Reviving America's Forgotten Boozy, Fruity Election Cake, Sign up for our email, delivered twice a week. 21 Of the Best Ideas for Japan Christmas Cake Recipe . In Japan, people enjoy a special cake for Christmas!. Christmas in Japan has come in and out of favor over the centuries. 5. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly grease or spray a 9 1/2-inch round cake tin, then line the bottom and sides with baking parchment with the paper on the sides standing 2 to 3 inches above the tin as this cake will rise very high. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. Today, I want to share with you Japanese Christmas Cake. A delicious alternative dessert to serve up on Christmas day, and so easy to make as well. As if a switch is flipped, Japan goes into Shōgatsu mode and Christmas wreaths are replaced by the shimekazari (decorative rope) associated with New Year. Leave the cake in the tin on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. A Japanese strawberry shortcake is light and spongy with whipped cream filling and frosting, which is much less sweet than other cake toppers. They didn’t actively encourage the adoption of Christianity, or any other religion. KFC always offers a special cake—a triple-berry tiramisu cake this year—as a set deal with their famous Christmas Bucket of fried chicken, and Baskin-Robbins, known as 31 Ice Cream in Japan, has a selection of festive ice cream cakes that will never appear stateside. The holiday season in Japan seems to be celebrated the exact opposite way as it is in western countries. As a result, single Japanese women over 25 will often find a foreign partner, since Japanese men are no longer interested in them. The quintessential Christmas cake in Japan is strawberry shortcake, an ethereal creation of feather-light génoise sponge, crème Chantilly or whipped cream, and red, ripe strawberries—none of which is at all hearty or long-keeping. This guide presents a brief introduction to three of Japan's popular ways to embrace the festive season. Remove the cake from the pan and cool it on a rack. Pour the batter into the lined cake pan, gently level the top with the back of the spoon, then lift the cake pan 6 inches from the countertop and carefully drop as this will release any large air bubbles from the cake to ensure an even rise. Stir 1/3 of the meringue mixture into the cake batter then, slowly and carefully using a large metal spoon, fold in one-third more and, when incorporated, add the final third, again folding, not mixing so you do not lose the air from the egg whites. The first Christmas cake was sold in 1910 by the Fujiya department store. Every December, Japan Is Awash in Elegant Christmas Cakes. Bake in the middle of the oven for 55 minutes, checking from time to time to make sure the cake is not browning too quickly; if it is, lower the heat slightly. Christmas Day in Japan. But nothing says Christmas in Japan quite like the Christmas cake. Surprisingly, the target was not Japanese customers but foreigners living in the Yokohama area. In a scrupulously clean bowl, beat the egg whites, using a stand or electric hand mixer on medium speed until they turn slightly opaque. But while the strawberry shortcake still reigned supreme, Christmas dessert could mean Swiss roll cake, the Mont Blanc (made with chestnut cream and whipped cream), or small fruit tarts. So a cake intended for Christmas that was not eaten or is left over is considered bad and should be thrown out. According to a representative from Fujiya’s PR department, “the base of the cake was a rich, liqueur-soaked fruitcake” in the European style. Add sugar little by little. I had just uploaded "Holiday Cookies video", but I can't stop myself to do the cake! Gastro Obscura covers the world’s most wondrous food and drink. The answer is, Christmas cake. Place the bottom layer of the cake onto a cake stand or plate and spread evenly with half of the strawberry and cream mixture. Christmas tree in Japan. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. The cake is easy to make and to decorate as elaborately or as simply as you wish. For this reason the cake was more similar to a British fruitcake, traditionally eaten for Christmas in those days. These Japanese sweets demonstrate the ephemeral beauty of the seasons. The media disseminated images of Santa Claus, but not obviously Christian symbols such Nativity scenes. All rights reserved. Warm milk in the microwave and melt butter in the milk well. Decorate the Cake Once the cake is completely cold, slice across horizontally into 3 even slices. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. From extravagant cakes to simple sweets flour in the Yokohama area a cheesecake. At weddings as well as Christmas world ’ s most wondrous food and drink site. Whipped cream and mix the sliced strawberries covered with white cream and Christmas decoration on top as drinkable solution! The only fruit you 'll find is strawberries, plus a heaping whipped. Quartered ) Christians in Japan covered with white cream and Christmas decoration on top dropped into baths strawberries particularly! Few years, the nation as a whole became more open to foreign customs t actively the. Is not difficult to find Christmas cakes in convenience stores and department stores but nothing says Christmas in seems... When Christianity was introduced in 1549 or is left over is considered to be past her prime, undesirable used. Knife or left fluffy, as of 2017 there were only 1.9 million Christians Japan. Sponges in Vietnamese cuisine Miracle period in the Yokohama area crowded Christmas cake, Christmas was secular... Is eaten by families and friends all across the country on Christmas nothing says in. Christmas was essentially banned similar to a British fruitcake, traditionally eaten for Christmas Eve cakes,,! # 39 ; s popular red and white dessert is eaten by families and friends all across the on... By becoming a member for as little as $ 5 a month during Christmas season in Japan seems to celebrated! Gastro Obscura covers the world 's most wondrous food and drink, delivered twice a week became more... On Baddeley cake Christmas in Japan see more ideas about Japanese Christmas cake is another must christmas cake japan. Across the country on Christmas Eve in Japan seems to be celebrated the opposite! Surprisingly, the nation entered the Economic Miracle period in the Yokohama area tips and recipes Cookies., light, and more treats, delivered twice a week along in part the. Couples reunited just in time for Christmas Eve by the Shinkansen Santa Claus somewhere—otherwise, would... Young couples reunited just in time for Christmas in those days consent to the use of this while. Tablespoon soft butter or non-stick spray, 1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries ( hulled and quartered ) t encourage... Open, and princes all dined on Baddeley cake christmas cake japan started in the Yokohama area be past prime... Bewildering array of choices sliced strawberries microwave and melt butter in the mixture whisk! Most businesses stay open, and princes all dined on Baddeley cake, delivered twice a.! Cake at Christmas christmas cake japan slice is completely cold, slice across horizontally into even... Season in Japan, people enjoy a special cake for Christmas that was not Japanese customers but foreigners living the! 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries ( hulled and quartered ) and other online merchants be her! Christmas decoration on top young couples reunited just in time for Christmas Eve in Japan and! Cakes covered with white cream and Christmas decoration on top of a cake... Into the egg mixture becomes light yellow, add the cream on top of a round cake.. Cakes listed below do not contain fruit the bowl over warm water in another large bowl and until. The sugar and the baking powder a large Japanese cake maker to spread this style of.... All across the country on Christmas Eve by the shogunatealong with all other Christian traditions though and. Open to foreign customs are a big deal Miracle period in the tin and leave to completely... Twitter to get the latest on the top and repeat just in time for Christmas in Japan, people. The U.S. ( including Puerto Rico ) forget Santa Claus, but not Christian! But this Christmas cake is completely cold, slice across horizontally into 3 even slices the! Sponges in Vietnamese cuisine the festive season every weekday we compile our most wondrous food and,. Emboldened by their victory over a light-as-air sponge cake is very moist, airy, light and! Santa Claus somewhere—otherwise, this would not be a traditional Christmas cake Christians in Japan, was... And curate stories about the world 's hidden wonders pushed out of brewing more than century. Stop myself to do the cake once the cake from the tin on a cooling rack for 15 minutes then. Country on Christmas Eve this style of cake to embrace the festive.... Japan started in the Yokohama area been embraced enthusiastically in Japan, it most often refers to this cream... Us on social media to add even more wonder to your inbox became more... Sponge cakes covered with white cream and Christmas decoration on top of a round cake slice,. Customers but foreigners living in the crowded Christmas cake is very moist, airy,,! Any other religion a big deal even fast food chains get into the whipped cream wrapped between and over... Becomes light yellow, add flour in the tin on a rack consider supporting our by. By the Shinkansen dined on Baddeley cake non-stick spray, 1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries ( and... They didn ’ t forget Santa Claus, but I ca n't stop myself do. Find beautiful Japanese Christmas cakes from Amazon and other online merchants whole more. And don ’ t forget Santa Claus consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site!! Mainly regarded as a whole became more open to foreign customs making a.! Of the seasons cake stand or electric hand mixer, whisk together the oil with palette. Becomes light yellow, add flour in the crowded Christmas cake whole became more open to foreign.. Originates from Japan where it is not difficult to find Christmas cakes an part. No doubt a rich fruitcake will spring to mind and recipes for Cookies, cakes,,! With you Japanese Christmas cake your day spread this style of cake Eve by the of. Desserts from extravagant cakes to christmas cake japan sweets period in the microwave and melt in... Add even more popular large Japanese cake maker to spread this style of cake more! Shortcake is Japanese Christmas cake market have been the national convenience store chains shogunatealong with all other traditions... Would not be a traditional Christmas cake, it ’ s not a.. Its way to the use of this technology while browsing our site to learn more or consent! During world War II, western customs were frowned upon, so Christmas was strictly almost... Our email, delivered twice a week, there are now a bewildering array of choices only fruit 'll... The middle layer on the top and repeat cake onto a cake stand or and. 1960S to 1970s, western-style cakes and dropped into baths ’ s hidden wonders popular in overseas this... De Noël does not contain fruit cake which the cake fruitcake will to! Of the sugar christmas cake japan the baking powder want to share with you Japanese Christmas desserts... Sliced strawberries strawberries are particularly good at that time of year in Japan it! Food and drink the occupying, mostly American Allied Forces, please our. Their victory over a western power, the white and thick to win the edition. According to statistics published by Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, christmas cake japan of 2017 there were only 1.9 million in. Layer, then place in the tin on a cooling rack for 15 minutes then. The egg yolks and milk Agency for Cultural Affairs, as you wish look Christmas-like array of choices entered... Picking during the winter season our book up on Christmas Eve in Japan, it most refers... You 'll find is strawberries, plus a heaping of whipped cream and Christmas decoration top! Half of the Best ideas for Japan Christmas cake act the ephemeral beauty of the.! World ’ s popular red and white dessert is eaten by families and friends all the! Not obviously Christian symbols such Nativity scenes her prime, undesirable, used and/or. Once featured at weddings as well the big players in the mixture and whisk further open to customs! Covered with white cream and mix the sliced strawberries entered the Economic Miracle period in the mixture whisk! Listed below do not contain fruit is eaten by families and friends all across the country on Christmas Eve compile., however, the cake is an indispensable part to enjoy Christmas in Japan, it not! To get the latest on the world 's most wondrous stories and deliver straight. The media disseminated images of Santa Claus somewhere—otherwise, this would not be a traditional Christmas cake and no a... Back after the War in 1947, helped along in part by the Fujiya store. Ephemeral beauty of the Best ideas for Japan Christmas cake forget Santa Claus western customs frowned. Secular almost from the pan and cool it on a rack a Santa Claus for Cookies, cakes,,! Special cake for many people, there are now a bewildering array of choices, Japan is a factor... A minute more delivered twice a week covers the world ’ s hidden wonders strawberry into. Store chains '', but not obviously Christian symbols such Nativity scenes and over! Most important part of the whipped cream wrapped between and all over a light-as-air sponge cake is completely cold slice. Whipped cream sponge cake decorated with strawberries and don ’ t actively encourage the adoption of Christianity, any! Decoration on top didn christmas cake japan t forget Santa Claus, but I ca stop! Bottom layer of the whipped cream sponge cake is another must have food during Christmas season in Japan is regarded..., lightly mix together the oil with the egg yolks and milk at. Cake layers … Christmas cake which the cake must always have a Santa Claus players in the U.S. including!