Mini Okara Gateaux Chocolat

デコレーションケーキ (dekorêshon kêki): a decorated cake; a fancy cake.

Gateau is one of those non-Japanese foods that I never had till I came here, but defining what gateaux are is a bit hard. To me, a gateau is a dense flourless chocolate cake made with cream and almond flour. To other Americans, gateaux seem to be chocolate-goo-filled cakes with fruit. The dictionary tells me that gateaux are anything in the shape of a cake. Confused? Me, too.

While looking for recipes the first time I bought okara, I had found several for okara gateaux. This recipe is the result of experimenting with a number of these, particularly the amount of sugar and cocoa. The texture is quite different than a traditional chocolate gateau, but if you like desserts that have been remade with healthier ingredients (tofu, soy milk, etc.), this is bound to be a hit.

Yield: ~20 5-cm cakes
Time: 35 minutes
15 minutes preparation, 20 min baking

250 g raw okara (おから)

50 g cocoa powder (kokoa paudâ, ココア・パウダー)

2 tsp baking powder (bêkingu paudâ, ベーキング・パウダー)

¼ tsp ground cloves (kurôbu, クローブ)

1 tsp cinnamon (shinamon, シナモン)

50 g brown sugar (sanontô, 三温糖)

60 g caster (fine) sugar (jôhakutô, 上白糖)

½ tsp almond extract (âmondo ekisu, アーモンド・エキス)

Optional: powdered sugar for garnish (paudâ shugâ , パウダー・シュガー OR konazatô, 粉砂糖)


~5-cm cookie cutter (or larger, if you prefer)
1 large mixing bowl
A cutting board or clean surface for cutting out the cakes
A cookie sheet (or your oven range’s cooking sheet with wax paper to cover it)
A butter knife to level the tops of the cakes

1. Preheat the oven or oven range to 180 degrees C.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients with a sturdy spoon, then your hands, until incorporated.
3. On a clean surface, press some of the mixture down with your hands (no rolling pin necessary) until it’s the same height as the cookie cutter; level the top with a knife; then place the cut outs onto a cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes.
5. If using powdered sugar, cool before sprinkling on top.

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.

This recipe calls for fresh okara, not to be confused with the dried kind.

If you cook this too long, the cakes will dry out and crumble. I imagine eating crumbly chocolate okara cakes on top of ice cream would be delicious, or using them in place of crushed Oreos in one of those dirt pies that were so popular when I was a kid, but if you plan to serve them as-is, don’t overcook them.

Serving suggestions

Add sprinkles or powdered sugar after baking to dress up these cakes a bit. You could also add finely crushed or powdered peanuts or almonds to this for a different flavor; swap the almond extract for vanilla or rum; chop up some fresh or dried cherries and mix them in or decorate with them. As long as the mixture stays moist enough to hold the cakes together but stays solid enough to cut, you can experiment with add-ins and toppings.

5 thoughts on “Mini Okara Gateaux Chocolat

  1. This sounds yummy! I’ll definitely try this out—I’m always looking for okara recipes since I can often get it for free at a supermarket in my neighborhood.

  2. Just discovered your blog this morning, and I love the idea! Wish that you had been writing this when I was doing JET. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy reading about Japanese food vicariously. :) Thanks!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! I really hope this blog helps expats enjoy the food here in Japan, and I bet some of these could be back at home with the help of an East Asian grocery store. ^^ You’re very welcome!

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