A classic Japanese confection, Dorayaki is a honey pancake sandwich filled with a sweet red bean paste. It’s wildly popular amongst children and adults alike in Japan.
Dorayaki (どら焼き) is best described as a dessert with red bean filling between two slices of sweet fluffy pancakes. If you are familiar with Japanese cartoons from the ’70s, you probably know this dessert from the anime character Doraemon who is crazy about this snack and falls for any trap involving them.
Different Types of Dorayaki
Besides Doraemon, my entire family including my children and husband all love this snack. This traditional Japanese confectionery is most commonly filled with sweet azuki red bean pastes; however, custard cream (recipe), chestnuts (kuri), and cream (matcha cream, cream with fruits, etc) are also popular.
The soft moist honey pancake with sweet red bean filling goes perfectly with warm and slightly bitter Japanese green tea. I am drooling just thinking about these tasty pancake snacks.
Golden Brown Dorayaki Pancakes
For perfect golden brown pancakes, make sure to wipe off all excess oil on the frying pan’s surface. If you leave oil streaks on the pan, the pancakes will not turn into nice golden color without spots. Don’t worry if the first few don’t turn out perfect, just keep going and you’ll get the hang of it very quickly.
Most of the Japanese confectionery stores in Japan carry these traditional sweets. Here in the U.S., Japanese and Asian grocery stores carry packaged dorayaki. They taste good, but homemade ones are very easy to make and I hope you give this homemade recipe a try!
Dorayaki (Japanese Red Bean Pancake)
- 4 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell)
- ⅔ cup sugar (⅔ cup + ½ Tbsp to be precise, for 6 Dorayaki)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour (plain flour) (I strongly encourage you to use a kitchen scale; if you're using a measuring cup, please follow this method to measure; otherwise, the amount of flour tends to be more than you need; 1 cup should weigh 120 g; use gluten-free flour for GF)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1-2 Tbsp water (adjust to achieve the desired batter consistency)
- neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (as needed for greasing the pan during cooking)
- 1.1 lb sweet red bean paste (anko) (you can make Homemade Anko)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and honey. Whisk well until the mixture becomes fluffy.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl with the egg mixture and mix until combined. Put the bowl in the refrigerator to rest the batter for 15 minutes.
- After resting, the batter should be relaxed and slightly smoother. Now, stir in half of the water and check the consistency. Add more of the measured water until you reach a pancake batter consistency. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter. Depending on the size of the eggs and how accurate your flour measurement is, the water amount may vary.
- Heat a large nonstick frying pan over low. It's best to take your time and heat the pan slowly; I keep the heat on the lowest setting for 5 minutes. When the pan is thoroughly heated (no hot spots), increase the heat to medium low. Dip a paper towel in the vegetable oil and coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. Then, use another paper towel to remove the oil completely (that's the key to evenly golden brown Dorayaki pancakes). With a ladle or a small measuring cup (I use a 4 Tbsp measuring cup), pour 3 Tbsp of the batter from 3 inches (8 cm) above the pan to create a pancake that's 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter. Cook one pancake at a time.
- When you see the surface of the batter starting to bubble, flip the pancake over and cook the other side. (With my stove and frying pan, it takes 1 minute and 15-30 seconds to cook one side and 20-30 seconds for the other side.) When done, transfer it to a plate and cover it with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Grease the pan between batches, as needed. Continue making the rest of the pancakes (you can make about 12 pancakes).
- Assemble the Dorayaki by making a sandwich using two pancakes and the sweet red bean paste as filling. Put more red bean paste in the center so the shape of the Dorayaki will be curved (the middle part should be thicker than the edges). Wrap the Dorayaki with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
- The leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored in a cool place for 2 days. They also can be put in a freezer bag and stored in the freezer for a month.
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on October 28, 2011. The new post includes updated images and the new video.