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Homemade Dorayaki, Japanese Red Bean Pancake

Dorayaki is a popular Japanese confectionary made of fluffy, soft castella pancakes and a sweet filling. With this recipe, you can try an endless variety of fillings and flavors!

Homemade Dorayaki, Japanese Red Bean Pancake Top View

Homemade dorayaki is a great way to begin exploring Japanese wagashi (confections). The most popular version of dorayaki is an adzuki bean filling (Anko) sandwiched between two castella cakes. While many recipes refer to the cake part of this dessert as pancakes, they are more similar to castella cakes due to their softer, sponge-cake-like texture.

Dora means “gong” and yaki means “cooked on dry heat.” Dorayaki also has an interesting origin story about an elderly couple who served a cake cooked on a gong to an injured hero.

In Japan, dorayaki is a popular konbini (Japanese convenience store) snack. For example, you can find them sold at 7/11 or Lawsons. They come in a wide variety of flavors and fillings along with the classic red bean paste dorayaki. You can also find street vendors cooking up large batches of dorayaki

You may also recognize this sweet as Doraemon’s favorite dessert. Doraemon is the main character of the Japanese manga and anime with the same name. Doraemon loves dorayaki because both his and the sweet’s name includes the word “dora.” In the English version of the manga, dorayaki are also called Yummy Buns. 

How to Make Homemade Dorayaki

To make homemade dorayaki, combine the eggs, sugar, and honey in a bowl. Sift and gently whisk in the flour and baking powder until the batter is smooth. 

Cover and refrigerate the bowl for 15-20 minutes. Five minutes before the dorayaki pancake batter is done chilling, preheat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat.

Take the dorayaki batter out of the refrigerator and mix in the water. You may need to add more or less water depending on your eggs and flour. See the video below for reference.

Pour in a small amount of oil into the nonstick pan and use a paper towel to spread the oil into a thin layer and wipe off the excess.

For each pancake, add two tablespoons of batter into the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until the bubbles start appearing and popping on the surface of the pancakes. Then, flip the pancakes over and cook for roughly one more minute.

Pan-frying homemade dorayaki pt 1
Pan-frying homemade dorayaki pt 2

Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate and cover them with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out and getting tough.

Assembling Homemade Dorayaki

Spread a heaping tablespoon or two of red bean paste onto one pancake, keeping the center thicker. Add another pancake on top and pinch the edge of the pancakes together to create one sandwich. 

Store the homemade dorayaki in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. If there are still leftovers, you can wrap each Japanese red bean pancake individually in plastic wrap and freeze them for about one month. 

Dorayaki Alternative Fillings

If you want to try out this homemade dorayaki recipe, you can experiment with all different types of flavors and fillings. You can try combining any of the pancake flavors and filling variations below. You can also try using other flavors/fillings that are not listed! 

Dorayaki Pancake Flavors: honey (current recipe), matcha, chocolate, etc. To change the flavor, simply add one tablespoon of matcha, chocolate, etc.

Dorayaki Fillings: 

  • Red bean paste (Anko, store-bought or homemade)
    • Other bean pastes: white bean paste, mung bean paste
  • Nutella
  • Kuri (chestnuts, as a cream, chopped, or whole)
  • Jam (e.g. strawberry or apple)
  • Ice cream (e.g. matcha, chocolate, strawberry, etc.)
  • Purin (Japanese custard pudding)
  • Honey and butter
  • Whipped cream (plain, custard cream, matcha cream, maple syrup/fresh fruit added)
    • Whipped cream dorayaki are also called nama (fresh) dorayaki
  • Maple syrup
  • Mochi

Tips

  1. When oiling the pan, use a paper towel to spread a thin layer of oil across its surface. Then, use a clean towel to wipe off the excess. This technique will help the dorayaki develop a nice even-colored exterior rather than a textured or spotty one. However, this does not affect the taste.
  2. If the dorayaki is taking more time to cook than the mentioned times, you can increase the heat of your stove. Depending on which fire I use, the temperature can range from medium-low to halfway between medium-low and medium. 
  3. Remember to cover the pancakes with a damp towel after cooking to retain their soft and fluffy texture. Otherwise, they can turn tough and dry. 

Homemade Dorayaki, Japanese Red Bean Pancake

Dorayaki is a popular Japanese confectionary made of fluffy, soft castella pancakes and a sweet filling. With this easy recipe, you can try an endless variety of fillings and flavors!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: dorayaki fillings, dorayaki pancake, homemade dorayaki, japanese red bean pancake, red bean paste dorayaki
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 190kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g sugar 1/2 cup, Note 1
  • 63 g honey 3 tbsp
  • 160 g all-purpose flour 1 1/3 cup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 520 g red bean paste

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and honey. Whisk well until the sugar has dissolved. The eggs do not need to be fluffy.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Gently whisk the ingredients together until the batter is smooth. Note 2
  • Cover and refrigerate the bowl for 15-20 minutes. Five minutes before the dorayaki pancake batter is done chilling, preheat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat.
  • Take the dorayaki batter out of the refrigerator and stir in the water. You may need to add more or less water depending on your eggs and flour measurement. See the video in the post above to see the right consistency.
  • Pour in a small amount of oil into the nonstick pan and use a paper towel to spread the oil into a thin layer and wipe off excess oil. Note 3
  • Add 2 tbsp of the batter into the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until the bubbles start appearing and popping on the surface of the pancakes. Then, flip the pancakes over and cook for roughly one more minute. Note 4
  • Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate and cover them with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out and getting tough. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Spread a heaping tablespoon or two of red bean paste onto one pancake, keeping the center thicker. Add another pancake on top and pinch the edge of the pancakes together to create one sandwich. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
  • Store pancakes in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. If there are still leftover pancakes, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze the pancakes for up to one month.

Notes

  1. You can reduce this down to 1/4 cup (50 grams) if using store-bought red bean paste.
  2. Whisk gently to prevent the pancake from becoming tough.
  3. Wiping off the excess oil helps the dorayaki to develop a nice even-colored exterior. Otherwise, the outside may appear textured or spotty. So, this step is purely for aesthetic purposes.
  4. If the dorayaki is taking more time to cook than the mentioned times, you can increase the heat of your stove.

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