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Sweet Potato Cake | イモ羊羹

 September 23rd is a Japanese national holiday known as “Ohigan”. The spring and autumn equinox, the time of year when the day and night are of equal length. It is also a time of transition, from the short days of winter to the long days of summer.

Aside from the seasonal aspect, the Ohigan also represents the transitions of human life, from the sunny summer of life to dark winter of death. Thus Ohigan is a time to remember those who have passed on, particularly our ancestors and loved ones.


時短派:芋羊羹の制作はいたって簡単。時短派は茹でるよりレンジでチンも可能。 (see video)

As long as you have a sweet and delicious sweet potato, it’s not difficult to make at home. (see video)


For those who are not so eager to make this at home, here are links to where you can get good sweet potato yokan.

The typical food prepared during Ohigan is the botamochi (ohagi) but this year, I decided to prepare this sweet potato cake called ‘imo-yokan (sweet potato gelled boxed cake)’ , also a traditional Japanese confectionery for my mother in law turned 100 years old and one of her favorite sweets.

Gelled Aduki Paste (Yokan) with Chestnuts (栗蒸し羊羹) is another variation which I make during the chestnut season.

Sweet Potato Cake | イモ羊羹

Course: DessertCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Medium
Prep time


Cooking time





  • Peel the sweet potato skin (thick), dice and soak in water for about 30 minutes.
  • Take about 50cc of water from the ingredient list and add gardena to extract the yellow color.
  • Boil the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes until nice and soft. Drain the water completely and let the potatoes dry, a bit.
  • Place the white sugar, brown sugar, salt and sweet potatoes in the food processor and mix until it becomes a smooth creamy mixture.
  • Remove from the food processor and in a heat-resistant bowl, heat the mixture in a microwave oven at 600W for 3 minutes.
  • In the meantime, combine the powder agar and water (including water of gardenia) into a pan and simmer to dissolve the agar.
  • Combine the heated sweet potatoes and mix well with a spatula. Flattened the surface with a scraper and refrigerate for about 12 hours.

Quick Recipe Video

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