What are these adorable little circular cakes that have taken the world by storm? What ingredients are used in making them, and what's the secret behind their charming decorations? And, most importantly, is there a simple lunchbox cake recipe for home preparation? In this article, we'll provide answers to all of these questions.

How to make a bento cake: an easy recipe

Bento Cake: Images and Design Concepts

Take a glimpse at these delightful petite cakes, each weighing no more than 400 grams! They represent one of the most influential trends in the world of baking today.

What is a bento cake?

Bento, a term borrowed from the Japanese language, signifies 'a single serving'. In Asian countries, it doesn't just apply to desserts; it also represents an individual meal box. Bento is a versatile counterpart to disposable lunchboxes and is typically crafted from eco-friendly materials like bamboo. In Asian countries, they often feature attached chopsticks and in the European ones — a bone or wooden spoon and fork.

In Japan, Korea, China, and various other countries, people frequently bring bento box cakes with them to school, university, work, or during travels. These bentos are more than mere nourishment for the body; they are culinary artworks. Every ingredient is meticulously chosen for its colour and size, complementing one another perfectly, and their appearance alone whets the appetite.

How did these mini-birthday desserts come about?

While the vanilla bento cake recipe originated in Japan, its worldwide popularity originated in Korea during 2020-2021, when people refrained from celebrating birthdays and gatherings due to the pandemic. During this period, pastry shops worldwide were flooded with orders, as people sent these tiny desserts to their loved ones along with good wishes.

Top 5 occasions to gift a Korean bento cake:

1. Birthdays, especially when the celebration falls on a weekday — or the celebrator prefers a low-key gathering.

2. The start of the school year; receiving a cake with a humorous message is delightful after a first day at school.

3. Wedding anniversaries or relationship milestones – a romantic gesture for couples in love.

4. Job promotions.

5. Reconciliation after an argument.

In reality, there's hardly an occasion where such a delightful, sweet greeting wouldn't be appropriate. They're convenient to enjoy when moving into a new apartment, after exams, on a picnic, for an engagement celebration, or when parents discover the gender of their forthcoming child.

Pastry chefs are delighted to accommodate any requests and are willing to craft any message on a mini bento cake using cream.

Top 5 occasions to gift a Korean bento cake

What are the key features of an authentic bento cake?

In essence, there are three of them:


The standard weight for this culinary creation is 400 grams. It's a substantial dessert portion for one person or a standard serving for two. Russian bakeries may sometimes offer slightly bigger versions, weighing 500-600 grams.


The cake must always arrive in an appealing box, typically constructed from robust cardboard, bamboo, or other eco-friendly materials. Biodegradable polymer packaging is also utilized. Inside the lid, you'll often find an attached utensil and a small candle to truly enhance the cake's festive quality.


This little treat is more than just food; it's a heartfelt, sweet message. Typically, it's adorned with modest decorations, avoiding elaborate creamy roses or architectural extravagance. A pastel-coloured backdrop, delicate cream decorations, and a kind message represent the standard design formula for this birthday dessert.

Bento Cake: Recipe

What Are the Filling Options?

The traditional filling comprises sponge cakes with creamy, strawberry, or chocolate fillings. Nevertheless, plenty of popular recipes offer an opportunity to create a high-quality dessert with creamy fillings and a robust structure.

Red Velvet

Dense and moist bright red sponge cakes soaked in a rich, creamy frosting.

Milk Girl

Multiple thin sponge cakes with a subtle moistening.


Based on chocolate or caramel sponge cake with chocolate, nuts, and salted caramel.


A porous dough with carrots, candied fruits, and nuts complemented by creamy or cheesy frosting.

Apple with Caramel

A harmonious blend of apple and warm spices such as cloves and cinnamon, accompanied by the aroma of caramelised sugar.

Chocolate Brownie

A dense, almost gingerbread-like chocolate sponge cake with a moist chocolate filling.

Cherry with Cinnamon

A popular choice featuring a not-overly-sweet sponge cake with natural cherry jam and spices.

Bento cakes toppings

Where to buy and how to order?

On Flowwow, you can find over 500 pastry shops and bakeries across 950 cities in Russia offering fresh, delectable Korean mini-cakes with imaginative and amusing decorations. Select a bakery in your city, and you can directly contact the seller through chat to clarify the specifics of your order or attach a picture of your desired dessert decoration.

How to make a bento cake at home? A quick recipe with photos

We advise those considering making this dessert themselves that even the easiest bento cake recipe requires a high level of culinary skill. Some techniques may require practice to achieve the same level of visual appeal seen in online photos.


For the cake:

- 75 grams of Flour

- 30 grams of Cocoa Powder

- 1 Egg

- 70 grams of Sugar

- 50 grams of Kefir

- 20 grams of Vegetable Oil

- 30 millilitres of Hot Water

- 0.5 teaspoon of Baking Soda or a Leavening Agent

- A Pinch of Salt

For soaking:

- 2 tablespoons of Condensed Milk

- 2 tablespoons of Water

For the jam:

- 100 grams of Frozen Cherries

- 30 grams of Sugar

- 1 teaspoon of Cornstarch

- 1 teaspoon of Water

For the cream:

- 300 grams of Cream Cheese

- 100 grams of Heavy Cream (33% fat)

- 75 grams of Powdered Sugar

You will also need:

- A round baking pan with a diameter of 10 cm and a height of 7.5 cm

- A pastry piping bag for decor

- Food colouring of your choice

Nutritional values per 100 grams:

- Protein: 9 grams

- Fat: 24 grams

- Carbohydrates: 28 grams

- Energy Value: 303 kcal


1. Prepare the Cake Base

Ensure the ingredients are at room temperature, and the water is freshly boiled, around 80 degrees Celsius. Start by combining baking soda with kefir and setting it aside. Whisk the egg until frothiness, then gradually mix in sugar and keep whisking until the colour becomes lighter. Finally, add vegetable oil, kefir and baking soda mix, and keep whisking until everything becomes fluffy and volume increases. Finally, add hot water and whisk again.

2. Bake the Chocolate Sponge Cake

Mix flour, cocoa powder and salt together, and gradually fold this into the egg mixture until it’s even. The oven should be preheated to a temperature of 175-180 degrees Celsius. Then, line parchment paper on a round baking tray, add the batter and bake it for 30-35 minutes. Once ready, let it sit at room temperature until it cools and carve out four mini cakes.

Chocolate sponge recipe

3. Prepare the Jam

In a saucepan or skillet, place the cherries (frozen ones can be used), and pour water and sugar; over low heat, let the mixture become thick. Then, add cornstarch, mix again, remove from heat, and set it aside.

4. Whip the Cream

Whip the cold cream cheese and heavy cream with powdered sugar using a mixer. The resulting cream will be very thick and dense.

Cream recipe

5. Assemble the Cake

Arrange the first layer on a plate and spread the soaking mixture on it (a silicone brush is a perfect choice during this step, especially when moistening the edges). Create a border of cream around the edges; in the centre, place your cherry jam. Apply more cream on top, spread it evenly, then combine it with the remaining layer.

6. Decorate

The cake needs to be covered with a layer of cream on both sides and the top. Use a spatula to smooth the edges. Mix the remaining cream with food colouring. Apply dense strokes of coloured cream over the surface. Place some of it in a pastry piping bag and write a message. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour before presenting or serving.

Flowwow on Pinterest.


How is bento cake different from cake? 

Bento cake differs from regular cake in its presentation and portion size. Bento cakes are significantly smaller, individually portioned, and often artistically decorated, whereas regular cake comes in larger slices or as a whole dessert.

What is bento cake made of? 

This mini-treat uses various cake flavours, such as chocolate, vanilla, or fruit.

What size is a bento cake? 

These desserts are typically small, individual servings that fit within a bento box or a similar container.

What distinguishes a mini cake from a bento cake? 

The primary difference is presentation. Only bento desserts are creatively designed and placed in a unique box for an aesthetically pleasing presentation.

Why are bento cakes so popular? 

They are popular thanks to their unique and visually appealing presentation. Decorative designs and individual serving sizes make them perfect for gifting and celebrations.

How long can a bento cake can be kept fresh? 

The shelf life depends on the ingredients used and storage conditions, but it can typically last for several days to a week when refrigerated.

What is the concept of bento cake? 

Bento cake combines the art of traditional bento box arrangement with the flavours and textures of cake, offering a visually appealing and tasty treat.

Are bento cakes popular? 

Bento cakes have gained popularity in recent years, especially in the context of special events, birthdays, and social media sharing.

How many people can eat a bento cake? 

The number of people varies based on the cake’s size, but it is typically designed for individual servings. However, larger cakes could serve a few people.

What is the most common bento? 

There isn't one specific "most common" variety, as the contents are assembled based on personal preferences and regional cuisines.

What is the Flavour of Bento cake? 

The flavours include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, matcha, and more.

What are 10 foods often found in bento? 

Ten common foods often found in a Japanese bento might include rice, vegetables, pickles, fish or meat, nori (seaweed), tamagoyaki (rolled omelette), tempura, fruit, and a sweet treat like mochi.

How long does it take to make a bento?

The time varies based on the complexity and the number of components. A simple bento might take 15-30 minutes, while more elaborate versions could take an hour or more.