Cute range makes all our anime wishes come true this winter. 

In Japan, Christmas cakes are totally different to the ones you’ll find in other countries, appearing to look more like birthday cakes, only with festive colours and decorations. This gives patissiers a wide gamut of creative freedom when it comes to making cakes for the holidays, and over at Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory, you’ll find some of the most unique Christmas cakes in all of Japan.

Shirohige’s is a bakery with two branches in Tokyo — one in Setagaya and one in Mitaka, the same neighbourhood as the Ghibli Museum — with close ties to Studio Ghibli. On a regular day, they sell cream puffs in the shape of Totoro, the beloved character from the Ghibli movie My Neighbour Totoro, and when the festive season rolls around, they release a special collection of Christmas cakes that look absolutely adorable.

The Strawberry Shortcake is perhaps the most traditional in the collection, in terms of Japanese Christmas cakes which are usually of this variety, given that the red-and-white colour scheme fits in with the hues of Santa’s costume. This shortcake puts a very Ghibli twist on the proceedings, with a custard cream Totoro perched on top, in a way that makes it look as if it’s sitting in a mound of snow.

Chocolate lovers will be tempted by a different shortcake — the Chocolate and Banana Shortcake, which combines top-quality bananas with the buttery goodness of couverture chocolate.

▼ The shortcakes are the most expensive options in the range, priced at 5,500 yen (US$37.22) each.

The cute custard cream Totoro will also be gracing the Souffle Cheesecake (5,200 yen), which contains plenty of Hokkaido cream cheese and is said to have a delicious, melt-in-the-mouth texture.

While the cakes above are designed to be shared by more than one person, solo diners can have the Small Totoro Chocolate Cake all to themselves. This mini cake contains a pastry base with a banana jam chocolate mousse, and retails for 1,100 yen.

Those who love the store’s signature Totoro Cream Puffs will want to pick up the special Christmas varieties, which come with a cute holly leaf decoration.

▼ The two Christmas varieties are: Custard Cream (600 yen) and Strawberry Cream (640 yen).

Rounding off the collection, we have the “Totoro and Tree” icing cookies (750 yen), which contain three cute cookies in every bag.

The cookies will be sold from 16-25 December, while the other items will only be available from 23-25 December. There are likely to be long queues outside on these days, though, so it’s highly recommended that you reserve your selections before the sales date, so you can simply walk in and pick them up and avoid the risk of leaving empty-handed.

Reservations are currently being accepted by phone (details below) until 7 p.m. on 18 December.

Cafe information
Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory / 白髭のシュークリーム工房
Address: Tokyo-to, Setagaya-ku, Daita 5-3-1
Open 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Tuesdays (or Wednesday if Tuesday is a holiday)
Telephone: 03-5787-6221

Source, images: Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory
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