Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (2024)

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Buttery, flaky dough encasing a sweet potato filling and baked to golden brown perfection is what makes this Japanese sweet potato manju recipe so amazing.

Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (1)

Where do I start with manju? It’s like a single serving portion of pie packaged up perfectly for a grab and go sweet treat.

One of the first places that I remember trying manju at was Homemaid Bakery. It’s a little mom and pop bakery on Maui that makes delicious baked goods. If you’re ever on Maui stop by and give them a try.

What is manju?

Manju is a popular Japanese confection that originated in China. It is called matou in Chinese, however once making its way to Japan the name was converted to manju. It can be found in many Japanese sweet shops and its low price point makes it a great choice for many.

Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (2)

Ingredients for manju

  • For the shell
    • 2 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter
    • 6 tablespoons milk
    • 4 egg yolks
  • For the filling
    • 1 ½ cup Okinawan sweet potatoes
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • ¼ cup water
  • For the egg wash
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon water
Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (3)

There are two classic ways of making manju: baked and steamed. I like the baked method and will be sharing it in this recipe.

What’s the difference between mochi and manju?

Mochi is made from pounded glutinous rice or the homemade version uses glutinous rice flour. On the other hand, classic manju is made from rice powder, flour, and buckwheat flour. Both can be steamed or baked.

If you like mochi check out my other mochi recipes: butter mochi, poi mochi, ube mochi.

What type of fillings are used in manju?

This is where the possibilities are endless. The classic Japanese recipe uses anko (red or white bean paste). Here in Hawai’i a popular filling is Okinawan sweet potato. You can also use apples, coconut, custard, peach, peanut butter, black bean, chocolate, etc.

Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (4)

What is red bean paste?

Red bean paste is made from azuki beans, sugar, water, and salt. It is a popular ingredient in Japanese sweets.

What is white bean paste?

White bean paste is made from lima beans, sugar, and salt. The taste is milder than that of red bean paste and a good alternative if you do not care for azuki beans.

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How to store manju?

Manju are best eaten fresh, however can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Can you freeze manju?

As mentioned earlier these are best eaten fresh, but if you have extra you can freeze. Place in a zip top bag before freezing. This will keep for 4-6 months.

Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (6)

How to reheat manju?

When ready to eat you can remove from the freezer and defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator. You can also defrost in the microwave. To get the crunch back you can toast in the toaster oven for a few minutes once defrosted.

How to make manju?

For the dough: Add flour, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add butter. Using a dough cutter or by hand gradually incorporate butter to flour mixture. Mix until the dough resembles crumbly sand. Try to work quickly to keep the butter as cold as possible.

Next add milk and egg yolks. Mix until well combined and a dough ball can be formed. Roll dough into a log and place in plastic wrap or the plastic alternative of your choice and put in the refrigerator for an hour to set.

While the dough is in the refrigerator start your sweet potato filling. Place a small pot of water on the stove over medium high heat and heat to a rolling boil. Peel and cube up sweet potato and add to boiling water. Boil until fork tender or about 10-15 minutes.

While the potatoes are boiling start the simple syrup. To another small pan over medium high heat add sugar and water. Boil until sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear or about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Once potatoes have finished mash until a smooth consistency is reached. Then add your simple syrup and mix until well combined.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Once the dough has set you can begin to assemble the manju. Cut the dough log into 18 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a round disc keeping the center thicker and the edges thinner. Scoop about a tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture into the center of the dough and bring the edges to the center and smooth together. Shape dough into a round ball with a slightly flattened top.

Place manju on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

For the egg wash: whisk egg and water together. Brush the tops of the manju with the mixture.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and ENJOY!

Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (7)

Sweet Potato Manju

Relle Lum

Buttery, flaky dough encasing a sweet potato filling and baked to golden brown perfection is what makes this Japanese sweet potato manju recipe so amazing.

4.44 from 71 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr 35 minutes mins

Course Desserts

Cuisine Japanese

Servings 18 -20 pieces

Calories 272 kcal

Ingredients

For the dough

For the sweet potato filling

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  • For the dough: Add flour, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add butter. Using a dough cutter or by hands gradually incorporate butter to flour mixture. Mix until the dough resembles crumbly sand. Try to work quickly to keep the butter as cold as possible.

  • Next add milk and egg yolks. Mix until well combined and a dough ball can be formed. Roll dough into a log and place in plastic wrap or the plastic alternative of your choice and put in the refrigerator for an hour to set.

  • While the dough is in the refrigerator start your sweet potato filling. Place a small pot of water on the stove over medium high heat and heat to a rolling boil. Peel and cube up sweet potato and add to boiling water. Boil until fork tender or about 10-15 minutes.

  • While the potatoes are boiling start the simple syrup. To another small pan over medium high heat add sugar and water. Boil until sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear or about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  • Once potatoes have finished mash until a smooth consistency is reached. Then add your simple syrup and mix until well combined.

  • Preheat oven to 350F.

  • Once the dough has set you can begin to assemble the manju. Cut the dough log into 18 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a round disc keeping the center thicker and the edges thinner. Scoop about a tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture into the center of the dough and bring the edges to the center and smooth together. Shape dough in to a round ball with a slightly flattened top.

  • Place manju on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

  • For the egg wash: whisk egg and water together. Brush the tops of the manju with the mixture.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and ENJOY!

Notes

* You can use any filling you wish for this recipe. The possibilities are endless.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 83mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7g

Keyword desserts, Hawaii food, japanese desserts, japanese food, keeping it relle, manju, sweet potato, sweet potato manju

Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag @keeping.it.relle on Instagram so I can see all your delicious creations and Let me know how it was!

© Relle Lum for Keeping It Relle. Please do not copy and paste or screenshot recipes online or on social media. I’d love it if you share a link with a photo instead. Mahalo!

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Sweet Potato Manju Recipe (2024)
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