Even if enjoying gourmet foods isn't your primary objective for a trip to Hokkaido, you should definitely take the opportunity to try sweets that are native to this area. Hokkaido confectionery is a perfect gift from Japan, and it is often said that many Japanese tourists who visit Hokkaido, even flight attendants, buy at least one of these before taking their journey back home.
There are tons of Hokkaido sweets that have gained a large popularity domestically and globally. In this article, we would like to show the 15 most popular confections from Hokkaido. Make sure to read this blog post when you visit Hokkaido!
Best of the best, an ultimate standard Hokkaido sweet, the regular top three snacks in Hokkaido…, Shiroi Koibito has many favorable bywords and is no doubt in the Hokkaido snack’s Hall of Fame. It is a langue de chat cookie that is filled with a square-cut white chocolate. Its soft and crispy texture and delicate sweetness is definitely a must-try. Shiroi Koibito offers two variations: White (white chocolate) and Mix (assortment of white and black chocolates).
Recognized as a flagship product of Hokkaido confection maker Rokkatei, the Marusei Butter Sand sandwich cookie is another prominent Hokkaido sweet. What makes this product excellent is its contrast of biscuit and cream filling: the biscuit has a pleasant moist feeling when you bite it, with a mild sweetness, while the sour-sweet cream is made with white chocolate, butter, and raisins. Enjoy its unique but matching flavor and texture.
This potato snack is a relative newcomer in the history of Hokkaido confectionery, but it has become one of the most popular snacks that was repeatedly out-of-stock in the past. Jagga Pokkuru features an irresistible crispiness and mild saltiness with a punch of kombu umami. The word “Pokkuru” derives from an Ainu (the native people of Hokkaido) term Koropokkuru, a legendary fairy who is said to bring happiness.
Sanporoku - Sponge Cake
Ryugetsu, another famous sweet producer in Hokkaido, offers a wonderful sponge cake beloved by people across the nation. Sanporoku consists of fluffy Baumkuchen (German layered tree cake) and a coating of marbled chocolate which resembles the bark of white beech. It is a perfect choice for a luxury snack when you want to treat yourself or want a present for others.
Royce Nama Chocolate - Raw Chocolate
If your favorite snack is chocolate, you should not miss Royce’s raw chocolate. The water and raw cream composition is carefully calculated to make this chocolate extra-creamy and silky-smooth so that you will never forget its unique texture when you have your very first bite. Royce Nama Chocolate has many taste variations, but it is highly recommended that you try the No.1 popular Au Lait flavor first.
Daiheigen - Madeleine Sponge Cake
This European-style sponge cake has been loved by many Japanese people for a long time. Rich in Hokkaido’s exceptional butter, this pastry offers you a moist feeling when you bite it and the extra rich aroma of the butter instantly spreads in your mouth. Although it is tasty when eaten at room temperature, you can enjoy this product even more by microwaving it for approximately 10 seconds.
Sapporo Nogakko (Agricultural College) Milk Cookie is made with fresh butter and flour produced in Hokkaido. Like many Hokkaido sweets, this cookie has a rich milky flavor without being too heavy. It has a pleasant melty texture and you can enjoy this without chewing it. This cookie is the best choice for those who wish to experience the original taste of the ingredients.
Hanabatake Bokujyo Nama Caramel - Raw Caramel
Perfectly handmade by artisans, this raw caramel provides an extremely soft and melty texture not found in conventional caramel. It is made with a premium fresh cream from Tokachi, one of Hokkaido's greatest dairy production sites. What you may not know about this dessert is that it won a Grand Gold Prize from the Monde Selection for 10 consecutive years (between 2011 and 2020).
Yubari Melon Pure Jelly - Jelly
Yubari Melon, a brand fruit in Hokkaido, is well-known for its mellow flavor and refreshing aftertaste, but maybe the jelly made from this premium melon is more famous than the real fruit itself. This Japanese jelly not only recreates the taste and aroma of the fruit, but also its texture, so you may feel like you are eating the melon flesh. You can also enjoy this product when frozen.
Letao Double Fromage - Cheese Cake
What is the best cheesecake in Hokkaido? When you ask a question like this, most Japanese will answer LeTAO Double Fromage. As its name indicates, this Hokkaido cheesecake has two different layers of rare cheese and baked cheese. It is difficult to resist this combo of rich Hokkaido dairy cream, slightly sour Australian cream cheese, and delicate Italian mascarpone cheese.
Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki - Rice Cracker
Hokkaido Kaitaku Okaki is made with glutinous rice, salt, and seafood all harvested in Hokkaido. It is a great savory snack that goes perfectly with any alcoholic evening drink. Rich in umami, you can fully enjoy the flavor of rice crackers and dried seafood by chewing it well. It has 10 variations: kombu, salmon, scallop, sweet shrimp, squid, octopus, tarako (salted cod roe), Hokkai shrimp, hair crab, and sea urchin.
An irresistible combination of crispy okaki crackers and yakitokibi (grilled corn; a standard street food in Sapporo) allows you to experience sweetness and saltiness at the same time. Designed to enjoy the corn, this snack contains the real dried corn seasoned with a sweetened soy sauce. What’s more, even the rice crackers include a corn paste.
Wakasaimo - White Bean Paste Cake
A roasted sweet potato snack without using sweet potato. Sounds odd? This snack recreates the taste and texture of sweet potato without containing any. Here is the trick: the paste is made of quality Ofuku beans (white kidney beans) and it contains kombu that recreates the potato’s stringy fiber. This paste is wrapped with egg seasoned with sweet soy sauce, and the egg coating is similar to the skin of the sweet potato when roasted.
Yamaoyaji - Semi-Western Rice Cracker
Maybe Yamaoyaji is less popular than the top three sweets described above nowadays, but it is still regarded as one of the classic types of Hokkaido confectionery for decades. This is a semi-foreign cracker that is made of butter, milk, egg, flour, and shiratamako (glutinous rice flour), and has a crunchy texture. Each cracker has a picture of a bear with a salmon on its back and a pair of skis on its legs.
Yoitomake - Rolled Castella Cake
The Haskap berry is an oval-shaped fruit that is native to cold regions like Siberia and Sakhalin, that tastes sourer than a blueberry. In Japan, it is said that haskap grows wild only in Hokkaido, so there are many sweets that contain this fruit. This dessert is a tasty castella roll with haskap jam on the outer side of the cake. Its sweet and sour taste goes perfectly with black tea, coffee, and cold milk.