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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…

“Ladies and gentlemen! Presenting: the Mega-kuchen!”

Mr. Sato confiscated the cake as soon as Tashiro-kun set it down on his desk, and demanded that we take a few commemorative shots – as is tradition in the 21st century – of its unboxing before allowing the rest of the staff anywhere near it.

Mr. Sato and his baumkuchen

▼Just for comparison, the team laid out a couple of iToys.

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▼So… much… cake!

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▼ Look at all of those delicious layers!

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Suggesting that they take a few snaps posing with the cake, Mr. Sato grabbed Tashiro-kun and the pair lifted the cake up to their hungry mouths. At first there were chuckles, but then the room went quiet. That’s when things got weird.

baumkuchen love

▼Overcome by the size the enormous treat, the pair fell silent.

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▼Tashiro-kun was swept away by the cake’s sweet aroma…


▼While Mr. Sato’s eyes burned with cakey passion.



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“Okay, okay, enough tooling around already; let’s cut the frickin’ cake!”

And jolly good it was, too! We don’t recommend trying to tackle one of these bad boys alone, but if you have a party or a few friends coming over in the next few days, we sure this would be a big hit. Just be sure not to lock eyes with anyone while you eat it.

The monster 65cm baumkuchen is available now from Cozy Corner, costing 3,500 yen (US$39) each.

enough tomfoolery! cut the cake
[ Read in Japanese ]