We ate all 23, but when you can’t fit that many in your stomach, which should you choose?

Mujirushi Ryohin, or Muji, as it’s better known internationally, sells an amazing variety of products, including furniture, electronics, kitchenware, and clothing. They’re what you could call a lifestyle brand, and so of course they have something that’s an absolute necessity for our lifestyle: cake.

Now, given Muji’s penchant for understated simplicity in design, you might expect them to be similarly reserved in their cake selection, but nope. You know how sharks can’t stop swimming, or else they’ll die? Muji’s chefs apparently have a similar conditions, except that they have to keep coming up with new cake flavors if they want to stay alive. On our recent visit to our local branch, we counted 23 different flavors of Baumkuchen cake on Muji’s shelves.

▼ A partial sample of the Muji Baumkuchen cake lineup

So we did the only sensible thing and bought all 23 flavors, then brought them back to SoraNews24 headquarters and dumped them all on the desk of our reporter P.K. Sanjun. He then proceeded to stuff his face with them on a quest to find the et of the best.

▼ P.K. was suddenly very happy that he hadn’t decided to ditch work today.

The contenders were:
● Banana
● Banana with Chocolate
● Black Tea
● Black Tea with White Chocolate
● Butter
● Chai
● Cheese
● Coffee
● Ginger
● Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea)
● Kinako (Sweet Roasted Soybean Powder)
● Kokuto (Brown Sugar)
● Lemon
● Lemon Icing
● Maple
● Milk
● Murasaki Imo (Purple Potato)
● Orange with Chocolate
● Salt Caramel
● Sweet Potato
● Strawberry
● Strawberry with White Chocolate
● Uji Matcha

▼ All flavors are identically priced at 150 yen (US$1.45) per slice (that’s 12 slices here, further cut into bite-sized pieces),

When the taste testing was done and P.K. emerged from his deep, deep food coma, he gave the list of his top five, which actually contains six flavors.

Honorable mention: Banana

Even before this taste test, P.K. was already a huge fan of Muji’s banana Baumkuchen. Depending on your exact mood and craving at the moment, it might not be the most delicious dessert you’ve ever had, but it will never, ever disappoint, he says. He actually eats the banana flavor so frequently that he wasn’t able to evaluate it in relation to the others, so he’s giving it his honorable outside-the-ranking mention.

5. Uji Matcha

Muji’s matcha cake certainly looks the part, with an enticingly deep green hue. But looks can be deceiving, and P.K. wondered if maybe this was a case of Muji focusing on the appearance and forgetting flavor. Those worries turned out to be completely unnecessary, though. Not only does this deliver a strong and satisfying green tea flavor, it has a rich matcha aroma too.

4. Hojicha

Going from one Japanese tea to another, we come to hojicha, or roasted green tea. Like the matcha Baumkuchen, this one looks, tastes, and smells the part, with the extra complexity of the slightly nutty roasted tea elements.

3. Orange with Chocolate

There are a couple of “with Chocolate” cakes in the lineup, but for P.K., this one is clearly the best. The tart citrus and sweet chocolate notes play off each other perfectly, and P.K. can’t find any room for complaint here.

2. Salt Caramel

It’s the salt that makes this one special. It gives the sweet yet ever so slightly bitter caramel sensation a crisp, clean finish, and thanks to the moistness of the cake it doesn’t leave you feeling dried out and thirsty afterwards either.

1. Chai

Much to P.K.’s surprise, it’s Muji’s Chai Baumkuchen that comes out on top, and what sets it apart is what separates chai from other teas: the spices. There’s all sorts of cinnamon and cardamom action going on here, making for a very unique flavor profile. That uniqueness won’t make it everyone’s cup of tea, and if you’re buying a bunch of Muji cakes to stock an office break room or to have as munchies when getting together with friends, the banana or matcha flavors are likely to be the broadest crowd pleasers. But for sheer solo dessert dining pleasure, P.K. found the Chai Baumkuchen tough to beat.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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