Red Bean Cake Recipe: Japanese Roll Cake with Chestnuts

A spongy Japanese roll cake is filled with sweet red bean paste, red bean whipped cream and chestnut pieces to make this Japanese red bean roll cake. One of my favorite red bean recipes, this beautiful dessert is easy to make in less than an hour. Learn how to make it at home and surprise your friends with a unique Japanese style treat!

Red bean chestnut roll cake

Roll cakes are so fun and cute! Today I’m sharing a recipe with you that is Japanese flavored: sweet red bean paste (Shirakiku is the brand I often see at the Asian store) and chestnut, which is a really great combination. Sweet red bean paste is a very common Japanese sweets ingredient, and you’ll often see it in mochi and daifuku. Take a look at some of my other red bean recipes that use red bean paste. Chestnuts are also a common treat in Japan, especially once the weather gets cold. They are big and sweet and ah-mazing!

You definitely can’t get freshly roasted large chestnuts around here where I live, in Kansas. Maybe you’d have better luck in a big city? But the other day I was perusing the aisles of Costco and found: organic roasted chestnuts ! And unlike this outrageous Amazon price, a four pack was $5.99. Not bad not bad! I picked a box up, thinking I’d make something with it, but my kids and I  (my husband got a couple pieces…) finished off all four bags in about four days… But no worries, I went back and picked up another box for the roll cake!

Japanese roll cake

Now these are not the same as the Japanese chestnuts that are used in most of their sweets making. They usually use chestnuts that are boiled and sweetened but, I gotta just work with what I have, right? These roasted chestnuts are a good alternative, since… you can actually get them, you don’t have to do a ton of prep work, and it still tastes really yummy!

Japanese roll cake with red bean paste and chestnuts

The cake is a simple sponge cake that I baked in a cookie sheet. I think the flavor and texture of a sponge cake is just incomparable, and it really pairs well with whipped cream. It takes a little bit of extra effort, because you need to whip the egg whites, but I promise you that it’s worth it! Inside, I used a whipped sweet red bean cream, which is just whipped cream mixed with the red bean paste. Easy peasy. Then I put blobs of the red bean paste and scattered the chestnuts over it. I did the blobs because I didn’t want to spread it out and figured it’d be fine. And it was, but my husband said if I make this again (I will), that he’d rather have it spread out evenly in the roll cake. Whatevvvs, maybe I will. 

To make the roll cake, you roll it up from short end to short end. So if we are looking at the pic above ^^^, you’d roll it from left to right (or right to left I spooose). I just lifted the left end up a bit and started peeling the parchment paper away, and then kept peeling it away as I rolled it up. The paper is sticky and coated with bits of the cake, so you need to fold the paper onto itself while rolling if you don’t want to get it all over your hands! When it’s all rolled up, you can use the parchment paper and your hands to shape it nicely. Then into the fridge it goes, to firm up. I finished it off with a layer of the cream on the outside, and topped with some whole chestnuts!

The roll cake is so fluffy and soft, and it goes perfectly with the whipped cream filling! And, like I said, red bean and chestnut are a match made in foodie heaven. Try this and my other cake recipes out!

Red bean chestnut roll cake

2 thoughts on “Red Bean Cake Recipe: Japanese Roll Cake with Chestnuts”

  1. i had a chocolate buche de noel with chestnuts the other day, and it was okay. the cake was pretty dry, the buttercream bland, but the chestnuts were delicious! this combo sounds even better (i’m addicted to anything red bean), and i love how light of a dessert this sounds (:

    • Thanks! I’m totally on a red bean kick right now! And yes, I think filling it with whipped cream vs buttercream makes it a lot lighter 🙂


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