Is carrot cake about to become Japan’s newest food trend?

Japan is world-renowned for its beautiful, delicious sweets, but one thing that’s hard to come by here is carrot cake. Originally hailing from England, the humble carrot cake is yet to become a household name in Japan — in fact, a lot of people here don’t even know what it is.

So you can imagine our delight when we found out that 7-Eleven is now selling carrot cakes in Japan. To be exact, the new product is called “Carrot Cake & Walnut” in English, although its Japanese name, which is far more descriptive, translates to “Cinnamon-scented Moist Carrot Cake with Walnuts“.

Cinnamon and walnuts are at the heart of any good carrot cake, so we were already onto a good start, and judging by the looks of things, there seemed to be a good amount of icing in there too. At least we hoped it was icing, because so many convenience store sweets are filled with whipped cream.

▼ With two layers of cake and two layers of icing, this was like two servings of cake in one cup.

Lifting the lid, we were greeted by a tiny topping of glacéed carrots, a cute and simple decoration that would no doubt surprise first-time carrot cake eaters in Japan.

Taking a big spoonful out of the cup, we got a taste of the icing, which was the cream cheese icing we’d been hoping for. It was so delicious we could’ve eaten a cup of it on its own, but the moist cake beneath it was equally delicious, with a pronounced hit of cinnamon and the perfect amount of grated carrots adding a slight savoury sweetness to it all.

This carrot cake tasted as good as any you’d find in a British bakery, and at 300 yen (US$2.12) per tub, it’s a small price to pay for a cake so rare. With such a big chain getting behind the humble carrot cake, here’s hoping it’s the start of a carrot cake boom in Japan…because maritozzos are sooo 2021.

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