Japanese Thick Pancakes

Japanese Atsuyaki Pancake

  • By
    Takako Gamazawa
  • Time
    30 minutes
Japanese Thick Pancakes

“Kissaten,” a Retro Japanese-Style Tea House with a Western Touch

What comes to mind when you think of cafes in Japan?

“Kissaten” and “jun-kissa,” coffee shops that don't serve alcohol, have been loved for a long time in Japan and have many unique and recognizable items on their menus. Ueno in Tokyo, for example, is known to have opened the first coffee shop in Japan in 1888. Back then, many coffee shops embraced a classy western image in their interior design, with foreign books and pool tables a common sight.

Since the widespread popularity of coffee, many coffee shops started to open one after the other, serving western-style food, which was unique and exotic to Japanese people at the time. These include naporitan (ketchup pasta), and omurice (rice-egg omelette), adapting western tastes. Over time, they were established as Japanese dishes.

A Trademark Food of Kissaten in Japan: Atsuyaki (Thick) Pancakes
Kissaten-style pancakes consist of thick dough and a warm color. They are usually baked using an iron plate, but this recipe does not require one, meaning you can easily cook it at home with a few easy steps.

Here is how to make delicious restaurant-like pancakes in the comfort of your own home. To begin with, use a paper carton, such as a milk carton, and cut it into a circle to use as a guide for the pancake’s shape. Whisk the mixture well until all the lumps are gone, and whip it until it’s light and fluffy. The butter brings a tantalizing scent. If you add extra butter and honey, it will increase the flavor.

Although pancakes are considered a western dish, you'll find atsuyaki pancakes are somewhat different from those served in restaurants overseas, both in appearance and flavor.

Try cooking your own pancakes and immersing yourself in the nostalgic atmosphere of a Japanese kissaten!

Nutrition per Serving
  • Calories
  • Sodium
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Carbs
  • Fiber
  • Cholesterol


  • Egg
  • 1.4  oz White sugar
  • 0.7  oz Butter
  • 0.3  cup Milk
  • 3.5  oz Flour
  • 0.2  oz Baking powder
  • as needed Vegetable oil
  • as desired Butter, honey, maple syrup, etc.


Step 1

Cut a milk carton as shown in the picture and staple it together to make a 4 inches (10cm) circle to use as a mold.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 2

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 3

Put the butter and milk in a small heatproof dish and microwave at 600w for 40 seconds to melt.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 4

Fill a large bowl with hot water. Add eggs and sugar into a smaller bowl. Let the smaller bowl float in the hot water of the larger bowl as the contents is whisked.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 5

When the mixture is foamy, add the melted butter from step 3 and mix well.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 6

Add the flour and whip until there are no lumps.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 7

Cover the inside of the mold with a baking sheet and apply a small amount of dough between the sheets to keep it from shifting.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 8

Heat a frying pan, add a thin layer of vegetable oil, reduce the heat to low, and pour the batter into the mold.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 9

Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and steam for 10 to 12 minutes.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 10

When bubbles form on top of the dough and the dough does not flow when tilted, remove the mold and baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

Japanese Thick Pancakes

Step 11

Place pancakes on a plate and garnish with butter or honey.


When whisking whole eggs, place smaller bowl in hot water to help eggs aerate and become frothy.

Japanese Local Culinary Expert

Takako worked as a cook in a hotel Japanese restaurant and a nursery school food service. Currently, in addition to holding cooking classes in Tokyo, she is also involved in a wide range of activities, including cooking classes for corporate events, instructors, recipe development, column writing, and food education classes at elementary schools. While visiting major production areas around the country and researching local cuisine and food culture, she concentrates on developing recipes that incorporate the charms and essences of local regions.