Since only a small percentage of Japanese people are Christian, people may be surprised by the prevalence of Christmas decorations, especially the glass cases stocked with festive Christmas cakes. Before I lived in Japan I had never even heard of “Christmas cake.” Other Japanese Christmas traditions include eating KFC and romantic dinner dates.
But I’m not one to stand in the way of eating cake, so I’ve embraced the tradition. Luckily, Christmas cakes are becoming a holiday treat that almost anyone can enjoy, even celiacs and vegans. More bakeries are selling specialty gluten-free, vegan, or allergen-friendly Christmas cakes. This post lists various GF and GF-friendly shops where you can order your Christmas cakes and other Christmas treats.
A Word of Warning
Not every shop on this list is GF, since we have a variety of followers with various eating restrictions. Some options are GF-friendly or allergen-friendly. Please read the notes for each shop and decide based on your comfort level. If in doubt, the Google Translate app camera function is very useful for checking ingredients lists.
“Gluten Free” is still not very well-known in Japan, and mistakes and misunderstandings sometimes happen. Shops that are labeled “gluten-free” on this list are shops that have confirmed that their sweets not only wheat-free, but also free from other gluten ingredients. Please understand that even despite our best efforts to communicate with the shop, there may still be a possibility of cross-contamination, especially when it is not a gluten-free dedicated shop.
Many shops have a limited supply and only accept a certain number of orders, so ordering early is strongly encouraged by nearly every shop on this list.
This list will be updated as we receive more information from shops. If we have left out your shop, please contact us!
Christmas Cakes by Region
Tokyo and Kanagawa
T’s Restaurant (Gluten-Free)
This Jiyugaoka vegan restaurant has gluten-free (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free) Christmas cakes, and in consideration of those of us who are spending Christmas alone this year, they’ve made a special 10 cm chocolate shortcake you can eat by yourself. (I think they may be underestimating how much cake I can eat around the holidays, so choose the size that works best for you!) Orders can be made on the phone, on instagram (via DM), or in the shop!
Rizriant are only accepting a limited number of orders and at the time of writing this, according to their instagram, are already 80% booked! Reservations can be made by phone or in the shop. If you can’t get there in time to order a Christmas cake, they also have a frozen chocolate raspberry roll cake and Christmas cookie sets; order by 12/17. They can make birthday cakes with 3 days notice, but during the Christmas season they ask that all cake orders be made by 12/14.
Coconut Dream (Gluten-Free)
Coconut Dream in Kawasaki has a couple of different gluten-free Christmas cakes (Devil’s Food and White Rosetta). You can order cakes by the 1/4 slice, but I think that the shipping becomes free if your order is 7500 yen or above, so if you’re ordering for delivery, it may be worth it to make a bigger order. They also carry other Christmas sweets like gingerbread men and chocolate sets. Note that you will need to specify the delivery date of your cake while ordering. Orders can be made online or in the store until 12/18. This shop offers many other sweets and breads without gluten, egg, dairy, soy, or refined sugar.
This gluten-free Sagamihara shop sells GF shortcakes and roll cakes only available for pickup in their shop. You can also message them on Instagram or Line with the date/time of pickup, type of cake, name, phone number. I don’t see a specified date on their advertisement, but last year the cakes had to be ordered by 12/16, so it is probably better to order in the first couple weeks of December.
Marlowe has several locations around Tokyo and Kanagawa, so if you see one of their locations on our map, you can walk in and get a Christmas Cake today. Marlowe will sell a limited supply of Christmas cakes through 12/25 inside their shops and online. Marlowe makes a Christmas-themed almond flour cake filled with rum-soaked figs, walnuts, and raisins. It also has a layer of chocolate and powdered sugar on top “to give the look of a frosted mountaintop”. I bought this cake last year, and I really enjoyed how it was healthy, filling, and not overly sweet. Leftovers would be a perfect lazy holiday breakfast or shinkansen snack. This year they also have a Basque cheesecake made with Hokkaido cream cheese; it comes as a set with two types of jam. While these items do not contain wheat or gluten, they are made in the same workshop as wheat items, so cross-contamination is possible.
Criollo (several locations in Tokyo) mainly specializes in non-GF sweets, but they do carry a handful of GF-friendly sweets. Although they will not have a GF Christmas Cake this year, they recommend the Nirvana cake. My husband got this for me as a birthday cake a few years back, and it was really good. You can order online, by phone, or at one of their shops. Nirvana cakes are NOT sold 12/22-12/25 in the shops (to make way for wheat-filled Xmas cakes), so make sure to order before then. Since most of Criollo’s sweets contain wheat, cross-contamination is a possibility.
Pon de Cafe (Gluten-Free)
This shop that specializes in tapioca flour bread also makes cakes from tapioca flour. While they don’t have any cakes that are Christmas-themed, they recommend their GF pound cakes, with come in different flavors, such as Earlgrey, Lemon, and Chocolate. These cakes (and their bread/coffee) can be ordered on their online Rakuten store or in their shop year-round and (as their shop name suggests) are intended to be paired with coffee.
This vegan restaurant with branches in Aoyama in Ginza has vegan and gluten free cakes, which can be ordered online or in person. Check their website carefully as not every cake is available at every branch. (It is clearly labeled on the pictures.) All orders must be made by 12/15.
Gluten-Free T’s Kitchen (Gluten-Free)
This all gluten-free and vegan-friendly restaurant in Tokyo will have a gluten-free and nut-free Christmas cake. The cake will be a spice cake topped with seasonal fruits, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and candy canes. They can also take special orders for vegan cakes or for soy-free, vegan Christmas cookies. Orders can be made by instagram message, Facebook, telephone, or email, but cakes should be picked up in the shop. Place your order by 12/20.
This Tokyo shop can make gluten-free cakes customized to exclude other allergens, such as soy or milk. DM them on instagram to order and arrange pickup. They also have an online store with various GF and allergen-free items with free shipping on orders over 6,000 yen.
Bretzel D’or (Gluten-Free)
This Edogawa GF bakery has several types of Christmas Cakes. Please order in the shop by 12/18!
Comecoya does not have any Christmas-themed cakes, but they specialize in rice flour chiffon cakes in different flavors, such as chocolate and Kyoto matcha. Some of the cakes can be made without dairy. Orders can only be made in the shop, two days ahead of your desired pickup.
Raw Souk (Gluten-Free)
If you’re looking for a GF, organic, raw, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan Christmas cake, look no further! Raw Souk in Saitama has got you covered with two options: “Very Berry” and “Rich Cacao”. Cakes can be ordered in the shop, by phone, by Line message, or online.
Keto Life Japan (Gluten-Free)
One of our readers commented that her shop is also taking orders for Keto, GF Christmas cakes. Please check her website for more details.
Comeonoco, a well-known Osaka GF cafe, will have three kinds of GF Christmas Cakes: shortcake, carrot cake, and gateau au chocolat. Since this shop is entirely GF it is a good choice for celiacs. People should order at least one day in advance; you can order inside the shop or by DM on Facebook or Instagram. Note that supplies are limited, and ordering sooner is better. Last year the owner told me she can accommodate vegans with a special order, so it may be worth it to message her if you have special allergies or dietary restrictions.
Base Island Kitchen (Gluten-Free)
This Jamaican fusion restaurant in Osaka has GF and vegan dishes and sweets year-round. They will be offering a Christmas cookie mix and a couple of different Christmas cakes. This shop also participates in pop-up events in Osaka offering dishes like vegan, GF tiramisu. To order, stop by their shop or message them on instagram.
Kometoyasaia Shokukobo (Gluten-Free)
This Kyoto shop doesn’t openly advertise that they have Christmas cakes, but since I’m nosy and contacted just about every shop we follow on our instagram, they told me they will have GF Christmas cakes. Please go into their shop to place your order and find out more details.
This completely gluten-free bakery in Nagoya will have four different kinds of Christmas cakes this year. Orders must be made by 12/15 in their shop.
Shimane Kiichigo (Gluten-Free)
This shop’s vegan, gluten-free (and soy-free!) Christmas cakes can be ordered through the New Year’s holiday and can be shipped anywhere in Japan. She recommends ordering 10 days in advance if possible. Visit their shop or order online.
Pie and Stollen
Mikage Gluten Free has several GF pies that could cheer up any holiday meal, including the pumpkin pie featured above. I ordered one of these pumpkin pies earlier this year, and it was great! Pies can be shipped anywhere in Japan.
Soi Meme in Nakano will also have a limited amount of GF stollen available in December. Check their instagram for updates!
Dot Bakery will also have…you guessed it…stollen! Our GF stollen lovers need not go hungry this December. (At the time of writing this, they’re currently sold out in their online shop! Hopefully they will restock.)
The following shops have allergen-friendly cakes. Note that these are not confirmed gluten free, so hidden gluten and cross-contamination are possible. These cakes would be good options for folks who are gluten-avoidant or wheat-free. The good thing about these shops is that it is possible to order online from just about anywhere in Japan.
7/11 has a couple of different allergen-friendly cakes, a rice flour and soymilk cream cake and a rice flour and soymilk cocoa crème yule log cake. These are both wheat-free. These cakes can be ordered online and delivered to your address. There are also pamphlets in their shops. The last date to order is 12/19.
Aeon has some fun and festive cake designs that kids would likely enjoy. Their allergen-friendly cakes come from Takaki Bakery, who advertise that their cake is egg-free, dairy-free, and wheat-free, but CC is possible. Order by 12/15.
Ginza Cozy Corner
Many people recommend the allergen-friendly cakes from Cozy Corner, and not only during Christmastime. Go to this page to see their allergen-friendly cakes. Their cakes are not certified gluten free, but they do not contain wheat, eggs, or milk. Outside of Christmas season, their cakes can be ordered at one of their branches 3 days in advance.
The following shops are still deciding their Christmas menu items; we will update this post once confirmed:
All of the above shops are completely gluten free and have a wide selection of sweets and breads for any occasion!
Did we leave your shop out? Let us know! We love to hear your comments and questions. Let us know in the comments or send us a message!
Happy holidays, whatever you celebrate!