Doraemon Dora Cakes (or Dorayaki), these Japanese pancakes with red bean paste filling are cherished by both young and old, especially who are a big fan of the adorable cat robot Doraemon.
Through multiple tests and adjustments, I have achieved a delicate ratio of ingredients and a cooking method that ensures the pancakes remain wonderfully soft and fluffy even after a day.
Dora Cakes (or Dorayaki, どら焼き) are a well-known and popular traditional Wagashi (Japanese sweets). A classic Dora Cake is made of two hand-sized fluffy and soft pancakes sandwiched together with a sweet red bean paste filling (Anko). (You could try my not-so-sweet chunky Anko . It’s very simple to make)
For me, Dora Cakes are more than just a delicious sweet. It’s a sweet childhood memory about my favorite anime character, Doraemon.
Like many of Asian kids, I grew up watching this lovable robotic cat and his crazy adventures. And of course, who could forget Doraemon’s insatiable love for Dora cakes? As a child, I always wanted to try this treat, and now I can make it myself!
If you’re a fan of chocolate, you should definitely give this Chocolate Dorayaki a try.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
This Dora Cake recipe is a must-try for several reasons:
- Easy and accessible: No fancy cooking equipment or rare ingredients needed. You likely have everything in your kitchen already, and no advanced culinary skills are required.
- Long-lasting softness: You might have tried some Dora cake recipes before, but trust me, my recipe is different. Unlike most online recipes that use Baking Powder or Baking Soda as leavening agents, resulting in pancakes that become tough and dense after a mere day, I have taken great care to refine and perfect this recipe. With multiple successful tests, I guarantee their deliciousness.
- Endless customization: While Anko (sweet red bean paste) is the classic filling, you can get creative with Nutella, matcha cream, chestnut cream, or fresh fruits with whipping cream. This recipe allows for endless possibilities and experimentation.
- Low-gluten flour (Cake flour) or All purpose flour. I live in Germany where I can’t find proper cake flour with low gluten content, so I use “Type 405” Flour which is equivalent to All purpose flour.
- Sugar. I use granulated sugar. The sugar helps to whip the egg white (a crucial step in achieving light and fluffy Dorayaki). Sugar also helps the process of caramelization and browning.
- Mirin. This sweet Japanese rice wine lends a delightful aroma to the batter. If it’s not available, honey and sake (or water) make for great substitutes.
- Egg. Eggs contribute richness and help to create fluffy pancakes.
- Vinegar or Lemon Juice. An acid can add stability to your egg whites.
- Cooking oil, Milk and Water. These ingredients help to adjust the consistency of the batter.
- Baking soda. This leavening agent also helps encourage the airiness and the browning of the pancakes.
- Salt. A small pinch of salt balances the overall flavor of the dish.
- Sweet red bean paste (Anko paste). This is the traditional filling for Dorayaki. You also could substitute Anko with nutella, pastry cream or any other fillings you like.
Maybe you will need this not-so-sweet Japanese red bean (Anko) paste recipe:
Make the batter:
- Separate the egg yolk and egg white of two eggs.
- In a bow, mix one egg yolk with cooking oil, milk, and mirin together. Sift flour to the mixture. whisk until you just get a smooth batter. Don’t overmix the batter because mixing any longer will make gluten develope, resulting in denser pancakes.
- Combine baking soda and water, then add the mixture to the batter and mix until fully incorporated. Cover the batter (1) and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
- Whisk the two egg whites in a separate bowl with some drops of lemon juice/ vinegar, a pinch of salt and sugar. Make sure your bowl and whisk are completely clean, with no residue from the egg yolks or other fat. Add salt at first, then add lemon juice/ vinegar during the foaming stage. When your egg whites reach the foamy stage, gradually add sugar to your whipped egg whites.
- You don’t need to whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks (which leads to more sponge-like pancakes). Stop when the egg whites start to turn white and opaque and the big bubbles of egg whites disappear. When you lift the whisk, a peak should briefly rise before collapsing, but still retain some shape.
- Add the remaining egg yolk to the egg white mixture and gently fold them together, being careful not to overmix and lose the airiness.
- Finally, carefully combine the egg white and the batter (1) by folding them together.
Fry the pancakes
- Preheat your non-stick pan over medium heat and add a few drops of oil. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel to ensure even browning pancakes. Lower the heat to between medium-low and low.
- Use a ladle to drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto the pan. Put the lid on and let the pancake cook until small bubbles form on the surface. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat, as this can result in uneven browning. Cooking time should be around 2 minutes.
- Once small bubbles appear all over the pancake and the edges are no longer wet, flip the pancake over and cook for an additional minute.
- Remove the cooked pancakes from the pan and place them on a plate. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to prevent drying out. Repeat until all pancakes are cooked. Don’t forget to give a batter a fold every time before you fry a new pancake to ensure that the batter is evenly combined.
- Assemble the Dora cakes by making a sandwich using two pancakes and Anko paste (the sweet red bean paste) as filling. Add more red bean paste in the center to create a mountain shape, with the middle thicker than the edges.
- Wrap the Dora cakes with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Enjoy your delicious homemade Dora cakes!
📹 Instructional Video
🌟 Helpful Tips
- Highly recommend using a scale to weigh all ingredients accurately.
- Avoid making a large batch of batter. I recommend making the batter with two eggs at a time since the pancakes rise from the whipped egg whites and baking soda. If the batter sits for too long, the bubbles in the egg whites may collapse and baking soda also loses its effectiveness.
- Gently combine the whipped egg whites with the batter mixture. Be careful not to overbeat or underbeat the egg whites, as this will affect the texture of your pancakes.
- Temperature is very important. Your pan temperature shouldn’t be too high or too low. If your pan is too hot, try adding a teaspoon of water to cool it down.
- When dropping the batter onto the pan, aim for a distance of about 10cm (4 inches) to create evenly round pancakes.
- If you have a high-quality nonstick pan, you won’t need any cooking oil for frying your pancakes.
How to store
If stored in an airtight container, Dora cakes can stay fresh for a few days. If you want to store them for a longer period, you can wrap them individually with cling wrap and then put them in a zip lock bag. These sweet Japanese pancakes can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
If you’ve tried this recipe or any others from my blog, please share your creations with me on Instagram by tagging #savour_thepho or mentioning me in your stories with @savour_thepho . I would be thrilled to see what you’ve made and it would definitely brighten my day! Don’t forget to stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube 🥰.
Doraemon Dora Cakes (Dorayaki) – Japanese Red Bean Pancakes
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Whisk
- 1 non-stick pan
- 1 Ladle
- 2 eggs (separate egg yolks and egg whites)
- 20 g sugar (1tbsp + 1 tsp)
- 35 g cake flour (or all purpose flour) (around 1/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp mirin (substitute with 1 tsp honey + 2 tsp sake rice wine / 2 tsp water)
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 2 tsp milk
- ½ tsp water
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp lemon juice / vinegar (5%)
- 300 g Sweet red bean paste (Anko paste)
Prepare the batter:
- Start by separating the yolks and whites of two eggs.
- In a bowl, combine one egg yolk with cooking oil, milk, and mirin. Sift flour into the mixture and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Be careful not to overmix, as excessive mixing can lead to denser pancakes due to gluten development.
- Next, mix baking soda and water together, then add this mixture to the batter. Stir until fully incorporated. Cover the batter (1) and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the two egg whites with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar, a pinch of salt, and sugar. Ensure that the bowl and whisk are clean, without any residue from the egg yolks or fat. Add the salt initially and then incorporate the lemon juice or vinegar when the egg whites begin to foam. Gradually add sugar as you continue to whip the egg whites.
- You don't need to whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks, as this can result in more sponge-like pancakes. Stop whisking when the egg whites turn white and opaque, and the large bubbles disappear. When you lift the whisk, a peak should briefly rise before collapsing, while still retaining some shape.
- Add the remaining egg yolk to the egg white mixture and gently fold them together, being careful not to overmix and lose the airy texture.
- Finally, combine the egg white mixture with the batter (1) by folding them together carefully.
Cook the pancakes as follows:
- Preheat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add a few drops of oil. Remove any excess oil by wiping the pan with a paper towel, ensuring that the pancakes brown evenly. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low.
- Use a ladle to drop approximately 2 tablespoons of batter onto the pan. Place the lid on and allow the pancake to cook until small bubbles form on the surface. Resist the temptation to increase the heat, as this can lead to uneven browning. The cooking time should be around 2 minutes.
- When small bubbles form all over the pancake and the edges are no longer wet, flip it over and cook for an additional minute.
- Remove the cooked pancakes from the pan and place them on a plate. Cover them with a damp towel or cling wrap to prevent them from drying out. Repeat this process until all the pancakes are cooked. Remember to gently fold the batter before frying each new pancake to ensure an even distribution.
- Assemble the Dora Cakes by creating a sandwich with two pancakes and using Anko paste (the sweet red bean paste) as the filling. Add more red bean paste in the center to create a mound shape, with the center thicker than the edges.
- Wrap the Dora Cakes with plastic wrap and keep them covered until you're ready to serve. Now, it's time to enjoy your homemade Dora Cakes!
- Precision is key, so I highly recommend using a scale to weigh all ingredients.
- Avoid preparing a large batch of batter; I suggest working with just two eggs at a time. The pancakes rise thanks to the whipped egg whites and baking soda, and letting the batter sit for too long could cause the bubbles in the egg whites to collapse and the baking soda to lose its effectiveness.
- Carefully combine the whipped egg whites with the batter mixture. Don’t overbeat or underbeat the egg whites, as this can impact your pancakes’ texture.
- Maintaining the right temperature is crucial. Ensure your pan isn’t too hot or too cold. If it’s too hot, consider adding a teaspoon of water to cool it down.
- When dropping the batter onto the pan, aim for a distance of approximately 10 cm (4 inches) to achieve evenly round pancakes.
- If you have a high-quality nonstick pan, there’s no need for cooking oil when frying your pancakes.