cake

【TBT】Doing it wrong: 20 laughably bad Chinese character cakes

【TBT】Doing it wrong: 20 laughably bad Chinese character cakes

The aesthetic quality of a character cake can be judged by the degree of reluctance felt before cutting into it. Some cakes are so well-crafted that taking a knife to them would be nothing other than desecration of art. Conversely, some cakes are so insultingly terrible that basic survival instincts would compel most people to take knife in hand and stab them out of their misery.

A series of images recently shared on Chinese Facebook ripoff social networking site Renren suggests character cakes in China fall into the latter camp.

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Just when you thought fried panda cakes couldn’t get any cuter: Strawberry milk fried panda cakes

Just when you thought fried panda cakes couldn’t get any cuter: Strawberry milk fried panda cakes

What could be cuter than a fluffy, rolly-polly panda? A panda full of gooey strawberry-milk flavored cream of course. That’s just what Ginza Cozy Corner is cooking up at their L’Ueno shop this month.

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The Potato Salad Christmas Tree and other strange Christmas traditions in Japan

The Potato Salad Christmas Tree and other strange Christmas traditions in Japan

According to many people, Japan doesn’t celebrate Christmas the “right” way. We’re not sure what that means exactly, but even Japanese folks seem to agree that a Christmas in the Land of the Rising Sun isn’t quite what you might expect to find in most other countries. And there’s nothing wrong with that, of course! Who can complain about adding a new spin on some old fun, right?

But just how strange is a Japanese Christmas? Well, it’s no little green men from Mars, but we have four words for you: Potato Salad Christmas Tree.

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We cook a Christmas cake in a rice cooker to ring in the holidays

We cook a Christmas cake in a rice cooker to ring in the holidays

When discussing Christmas in Japan it would be remiss not to mention the traditional cake that families and individuals buy during this time of the year. RocketNews24 also purchased a cute Santa cake to please our collective sweet teeth and warm our bellies in the cold winter.

However, it wouldn’t be a RocketNews24 Christmas with cooking that bad boy up in a rice cooker. Heck, if Big Macs or Oreos work, then rice-cooker-cooked Christmas cake should be a grand slam. Unsurprisingly (for us at least) the results were both festively pretty and delicious!

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New banana shake-flavored Tokyo Banana cakes come out — in bright prints!

New banana shake-flavored Tokyo Banana cakes come out — in bright prints!

Visitors to Tokyo may be aware of a popular local sweet called Tokyo Banana sold here in the city. They’re cute, yellow, banana-shaped sponge cakes with banana custard cream filling inside. And yes, they’re as good as the description sounds, which is why the cakes are a well-loved treat in Japan, and seemingly in other  parts of the world as well, as I’ve actually heard people from Singapore and Malaysia mention that they’re fans of the cake.

One of the reporters at our sister site Pouch is also apparently a big fan, so when a new version of Tokyo Banana came out this month, she naturally had to get her hands on some! And what’s so special about the new Tokyo Banana cakes? Well, to start with, they’re only sold at one location — Tokyo Station to be exact — and not only do they come in a different flavor from the regular cakes, they come in beautiful, colorful prints!

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The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

The adventures of Mami in the land of picture books at Pennennenemu Green Café

Once upon a time in the magical kingdom of Japan there lived a young girl named Mami. Always she would ask her parents to read a children’s book by the name of Guri & Gura in which two field mice share good times together. Her most favorite story of all was the one in which Guri and Gura find a large egg and make a big fluffy cake out of it. However, as the years passed by and Mami grew into a woman, she gradually stopped reading the adventures of Guri and Gura and eventually went to work as a reporter for RocketNews24.

One day, her wicked step-editor called out, “Maaaaamiiii! Write me something about food! I’m hungry!” Checking the internet for something to write about, Mami learned of a famous café in Osaka. Other women wrote marvelous things about it saying, “It’s a real picture book world!” and “Everything about it is cute!” Thinking this was a nice place, Mami boarded a train for the land of Umeda not knowing what was waiting in store for her.

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From Slime to Hello Kitty: Themed pastries and desserts too gorgeous to eat

From Slime to Hello Kitty: Themed pastries and desserts too gorgeous to eat

The best part of any meal is dessert. In fact, there are some days that we just skip the rest of the meal and go right for the cake! And there’s nothing better than a delicious pastry…except maybe delicious pastries in the forms of our favorite characters!

Are you ready for Totoro cakes, Alice In Wonderland cupcakes, and kitty lattes? If so, click below for the best photos of themed pastries as selected by Japanese Twitter users. They’re sure to set your mouth watering and your stomach rumbling!

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Limited edition Gundam cake up for preorder, comes with Char’s custom plate and fork!

Limited edition Gundam cake up for preorder, comes with Char’s custom plate and fork!

Some of the lesser-known joys of Japan are the occasional anime/video game and cake collaborations. Sure, taking your favorite hobby and injecting it with some cake is a no-brainer, but these limited offers always bring some very unique collectables with them. Monster Hunter fans who pre-ordered their Rathalos cakes should be getting them next month.

Now we present to you the Char Zaku Cake Set. It’s a cake in the shape of Char Aznable’s custom MS-06S Zaku II Commander Type served on Char’s custom cake dish and fork.

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Let them eat cake! 32 sweet treats from around the world

Let them eat cake! 32 sweet treats from around the world

You may think you know your own country. And you may think you know cake. But it may surprise you to find out what others think of that sugary lumps of carbs we all call “cake.” For a unique perspective on the ubiquitous dessert, here are 32 of the top image results on Google when you search “cake” and a country’s name in Japanese. Get ready to get hungry or very confused!

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Bandai gets a head start on Christmas cakes

Bandai gets a head start on Christmas cakes

After years of living in Japan, I’ve noticed that the island nation has quite a few merry misconceptions about what it means to have a Western Christmas celebrationReplacing Santa’s cookies with a strawberry-topped Christmas cake is just one of their many mix-ups, though at least they have the gift-giving part right.

Now, you might be wondering why it is that we’re posting about Christmas when it’s barely even October! As it turns out, Japanese parents hoping to surprise their kids with a sweet treat from Bandai have to start planning for the holidays NOW. The Premium Bandai online store has just opened up reservations for their 2013 line of character-themed Christmas cakes called Chara Deco Christmas. These cakes come with toys and other neat treats suited to young fans of everything from Kamen Rider to Pokemon.

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Pass the sick bucket! Could you stomach this ultra-realistic Pokémon cake?

Pass the sick bucket! Could you stomach this ultra-realistic Pokémon cake?

You can find pretty much anything on self-styled “front page of the Internet” Reddit, which means from time to time you’ll probably stumble across something you’d rather un-see. One poster in a Pokémon subreddit uploaded this gem, sharing a cake her boyfriend had made for her. Make sure you have a strong stomach before reading on…

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Monster Hunter Rathalos cake available for pre-order, comes with Epitaph Knife and 49 res points

Monster Hunter Rathalos cake available for pre-order, comes with Epitaph Knife and 49 res points

So you’ve slain the mighty King of the Sky Rathalos in one or all of the Monster Hunter series of games, and you probably felt pretty satisfied the first time you did it. But something was missing, wasn’t it? Being simply a mere video game you couldn’t feast on the dragon’s meat like a true hunter should.

Now website Premium Bandai and cake maker Chara Shoku Net are offering monster hunters a chance to live that dream with the King of the Sky Rathalos Cake which comes with a knife in the likeness of the Epitaph Blade.

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Suica Penguin now a cake — See his face transform as you eat!

Suica Penguin now a cake — See his face transform as you eat!

You may recall we reported a while ago on JR East’s Suica penguin mascot character being turned into a totally yummy-licious looking cream-filled bread. Now, Suica Penguin, as the mascot is known, has become a beautiful cake that’s attracted a fair bit of attention on the Japanese Internet recently. Of course, we couldn’t ignore such buzz involving a confection that’s bound to look adorable as well as taste delectably sweet, so we sent one of our reporters off on a mission to try the penguin cake everyone seemed to be talking about and provide our readers with a first-hand account. So, was the cake as cute and tasty as we expected?

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Can you bring yourself to eat the art on these awesome anime cakes?

Can you bring yourself to eat the art on these awesome anime cakes?

A quick glance at the name of Japanese cake maker Priroll should tell you that they specialize in roll cakes. What might not be so readily apparent is that the “Pri” stands for “printing.” Customers can include a photo when ordering, which Priroll will then reproduce on the side of one of its desserts, making it a great choice for birthdays, graduations, or other celebrations.

Being able to reproduce any image on this sweet, spongy canvas, though, means that the folks at Priroll aren’t limited to using just photographs, though. If you want, they can also whip you up an anime cake.

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Super Mario Brothers: the final cake tier

Super Mario Brothers: the final cake tier

“Dear Mario, please come to the castle. I have baked a cake for you!” reads the letter from Princess Peach during the opening sequence of Super Mario 64. Well thanks very much, Peachy-hime, but we’ve actually had a better offer from Australia where – spiders, jellyfish and marsupials with the power to kick your face off included – it’s probably safer than a land populated by mushrooms with teeth, hammer-throwing turtles and a fire-breathing king.

Besides, this is without a doubt the cake of our 8-bit childhood dreams.

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Baskin Robbins Japan releases eye-catching Monsters University ice cream cake

Baskin Robbins Japan releases eye-catching Monsters University ice cream cake

In celebration of the release of Monsters University, Baskin Robbins Japan has created an ice cream cake featuring the movie’s main character, Mike Wazowski. We know that this movie is all about scary monsters learning how to terrify children, but this Mike cake is almost too cute to eat.

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As Stocks Rise, so do the Hem Lines: Japan’s New Incentive for Economic Growth

As Stocks Rise, so do the Hem Lines: Japan’s New Incentive for Economic Growth

In the face of our global economy’s seemingly never-ending nosedive, Japan has come up with a hip, new way to stimulate growth in its local communities: by starting up a band!

Machikado Keiki☆JAPAN, a group name that roughly translates to “Street Corner Conditions JAPAN,” is the latest and greatest four-girl idol group to hit the media. I know it sounds a bit like a band full of hookers, but just wait until you hear their pitch! Basically, the better the nation’s stocks are doing, the shorter their skirts get! Clearly, the idea of having enough money for food and rent is not enough of an incentive to get some economic stimulus going; what the country really needs is more half-naked women! Read More

Only 100 Limited Edition Matcha Green Tea Moon Pies On Sale, Cost More Than You Can Imagine

Only 100 Limited Edition Matcha Green Tea Moon Pies On Sale, Cost More Than You Can Imagine

Japan’s version of the Moon Pie, the Choco Pie, is almost identical to the American classic – sweet filling nestled between two pieces of white cake covered in chocolate. They are made by Lotte and have been delighting Japanese sweet lovers for 30 years.

Much like the Japanese versions of Pepsi, Kit Kats and Pringles, Choco Pies are getting a new limited edition makeover. Marketed under the name “Wa Choco Pie” (Wa meaning both “peace” and, in this case, “Japanese-style”), these special Choco Pies have been supersized to 12 cm (4.7in) and filled with matcha creme. However, unlike most limited edition foods in Japan, these special Choco Pies can only be purchased by entering into a lottery draw. They will also be sold for a ridiculous price.

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Two Men, One Cake: Things get Awkward when a 65cm-long Baumkuchen Arrives in the Office

Two Men, One Cake: Things get Awkward when a 65cm-long Baumkuchen Arrives in the Office

Before arriving in Japan, I had no idea that the country took sweets so seriously. For a country where many households get by without a conventional oven or stove (but as a result has come up with some pretty ingenious cooking solutions), there is a staggering amount of confection and baked goods available to buy, and people are perfectly happy to drop considerable sums of money of beautifully crafted western-style cakes and cookies.

Quite why it was skipped over by many other Asian countries yet so warmly received here, we’re not sure, but the German cake baumkuchen is a firm favourite in Japan. Its soft, multi-layered rings of sponge are both filling and moreish, and it goes well with practically any type of tea or coffee, meaning that the cake can be picked up everywhere from dedicated bakeries to convenience stores. So you can imagine our staff’s delight when Japanese confectioner Cozy Corner announced that it was launching a new 65cm (25.5 inches)-long baumkuchen to commemorate its 65 years in the business.

Still buzzing after receiving a free top-of-the-range notebook computer from Acer, our reporter Tashiro-kun ran out to pick up one of the mammoth desserts for the team to share. When he arrived back at the office with the cake, however, things got a little bit awkward…

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Beautiful Japanese Christmas Confectioneries if You’re Tired of Regular Christmas Cake

Beautiful Japanese Christmas Confectioneries if You’re Tired of Regular Christmas Cake

With Christmas now just a few short days away, I’m sure many of us are still frantically trying to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done. There’s also Christmas dinner to think about, right? And of course, the Christmas cake, which the children (and yes, adults too) are all looking forward to. But wait, who said you have to have cake for Christmas? Japanese wagashi creators, Japan’s version of patissiers,  offer a choice of delectable looking Christmas treats that should be just as sweet as cake.  Read More

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