Food & Cooking Blog

Learn to Make a Japanese Pancake Snack: How to Make Dorayaki

Are you ready to take your love of pancakes to an international level? If so, it's time to learn how to make dorayaki, a sweet Japanese pancake sandwich snack.

Dorayaki

Learn how to make dorayaki, a delicious Japanese pancake snack!

Photos via CakeSpy

What is dorayaki?

First, picture a pancake. Then, top it with a generous dollop of jam — in Japan, it's often a sweet red bean paste jam — and stack a second pancake on top to form a sandwich. Now you've got the idea.

The word dora translates as “gong,” which likely refers to the round shape of the pancakes. I like to think it's also a testament to their resounding tastiness, too.

The eggs are vigorously beaten before you incorporate the flour that makes up their bulk; this gives them a unique, fluffy texture.

As noted above, a sweet red bean paste jam is a traditional filling in Japan, but you let your taste buds decide the filling. Try your favorite jam, peanut butter, Nutella or even ice cream! I divided my batch and filled some with cherry jam and some with red bean paste.

Dorayaki

Dorayaki recipe

Makes about 8 sandwiches

For the pancakes:

  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed 
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ cup flour 
  • A pinch of salt  

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup red bean paste, jam, or other filling of your choice (see filling notes, below)

Step 1:

Batter for dorayaki

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar and honey. Whisk by hand for 2 minutes, or using your mixer for about 1 minute on medium speed. The mixture will be foamy and thick. 

Step 2:

Dorayaki batter

Sift together the flour and salt; stir in by hand to the egg mixture. Mix just until evenly moistened — a few minor lumps are fine. If the batter seems too thick, add a teaspoon or so of milk. 

Step 3:

Heat a skillet over medium heat (you don't want it too hot for these delicate pancakes) and pour about a teaspoon of vegetable oil (or butter) on the skillet. Being very careful, use a paper towel to spread the oil across the surface. Basically, you want the thinnest layer possible of oil. 

Step 4:

Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter onto the hot skillet to form each pancake. You can cook a few at a time, as space permits.

Pancakes

The first side takes between 30 and 60 seconds to cook, depending on the heat of your pan and the size of your cakes. Look for a slight matte look around the edges and flip as soon as it feels like a spatula can slide under with little resistance.

Flip the cake and cook the second side, noting that the second side will cook quicker than the first. 

Step 5:

Remove the pancakes and transfer to a plate while you continue with the remaining batter. Replenish the oil/butter as needed. Pair together similarly sized pancakes.

Similar sized pancakes

Step 6:

To assemble, spoon some of your chosen filling on the top of one pancake, and sandwich a similarly sized pancake on top. Serve immediately.

Filling notes  

Dorayaki

Sweet red bean paste

One of the most traditional fillings for these sweet pancake sandwiches is sweetened red bean paste. You can purchase red bean paste at Asian grocery stores, or make your own by pureeing about ¾ cup of cooked Adzuki red beans with ¼ to ½ cup sugar (to taste). If the mixture is too thick, thin with a bit of vegetable oil.

Alternative filling ideas

However, if red bean paste isn't for you, you can choose to fill these pancakes however you like. Personally, I love them filled with raspberry or strawberry jam. 

Jam sandwiches

8 Comments

Cath

These would be great as a side to a nice veggie stir fry. I’ll make sure to not have other carbs, like rice, during that meal and eat these last, to minimize the carb hit. Since it’s an Asian inspired meal, I can’t miss the bean paste, too interesting to pass up. Bean pastes don’t show up in a lot of Americanized Asian cooking and it’s too bad. They add some variety to flavors. I’m enjoying some of the Asian cooking classes. Thank you, Craftsy

Reply
Irene Sulkowski

The pictures shows a thick pancake but how can it rise if there’s no powder sugar? Was it accidentally left out of the recipe?

Reply
Irene Sulkowski

I meant to say baking powder – not powder sugar.

Reply
Jessie Oleson Moore

Hi Irene,

You vigorously whisk the eggs to get the height. If you like them even fluffier, feel free to add a small amount of baking powder (1/2 teaspoon or so); sift it with the flour.

Reply
Bec

OMG! These look absolutely devine! I can’t say I’ve ever tried bean paste before or even seen in in the stores to buy here in Australia, but I will definitely be trying these with Jam or Nutella for breakfast tomorrow.

Reply
Megan Davis

This is so good! I made it right away after I read this article since I already got the ingredients , approved!

Reply
Brittany

omg, yum!! We are pancake fanatics, going to try some variations on this for sure!

Reply

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