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anko, anko donuts, dessert, japanese snacks

Anko Donuts Love: A Overview and Recipe for Red Bean Pastries!

Karina Ikedo

Karina Ikedo


A plate of anko red bean paste donuts.

Anko (red bean paste) donuts are trendy in Japan and soul food for many Japanese people. If you know a little about Japanese desserts, then you know that the anko filling is consistent in many treatsanko donuts are no exception! Here’s everything you need to know about anko donuts, including how to make it home. Keep reading if you want to know more about this decadent cakey doughnut with an irresistible red bean center!

What are anko donuts?

Anko donuts, or an-donatsu, are Japanese donuts filled with red bean paste. Sweet red bean paste’s thick and creamy texture goes well with the soft fluffy dough. It has a soft, sweet, and slightly chewy texture. The most popular place to grab one is Mister Donut, which has been serving anko donuts since 1983.

A black plate of red bean donuts.
Anko donuts are a traditional yet convenient snack. Image via Shutterstock

Anko donuts are classic Japanese donuts that have been a long-time favorite in Japan. It resembles the anpan (a sweet roll) filled with red bean paste. To emphasize, they’re a confection of Japanese origin and anpan. But it is still being determined precisely when anko donuts first came about. 

What do anko donuts taste like?

The dough is crispy and chewy, and soft, lightly sweet red bean paste is inside. Moreover, the red anko bean filling adds a lightly sweetened filling that provides moisture to the doughnuts. As a result, you get a crispy, crunchy donut dough with nutty, smoky sugar and a sweet bean filling. 

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How can I make anko donuts?

Generally, it’s straightforward to learn how to make this unique Japanese donut with fried dough filled with a delightful red bean paste! You can also enjoy it with tea, coffee, and especially at picnics!


  • One and ¾ cups of bread flour and extra for kneading
  • One teaspoon of dry yeast 
  • Two tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • One egg lightly whisked
  • 80 ml of warm water 
  • Two tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
  • One cup of sweet red bean paste
  • Oil for frying
  • Granulated sugar for coating
A bowl of red bean paste.
Anko red bean paste is one of the Japanese pastries’ most common sweet fillings. Image via Shutterstock

How To Make the Dough:

  • Combine the bread flour, instant dry yeast, caster sugar, a pinch of salt, and the egg mixture in a mixing bowl.
  • Afterward, pour the warm water over the dry yeast. 
  • Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough starts coming together.
  • Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth.
  • Add the unsalted butter and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is less sticky.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap.
  • Let the dough ferment for 30 minutes using the oven’s fermentation function. During this time, the dough will double in size. Then, degas the dough by gently punching with your fist.
  • On a well-floured surface, divide the dough into six equal portions and shape it into small round dough balls with your hand.
  • Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for ten more minutes.
A square bowl of anko donuts.
They pair very well with tea. Image via Shutterstock

Steps To Stuff the Dough with Filling:

  • Portion out the red bean paste and form six balls.
  • Place the dough-sealed side facing up. Flatten the dough and wrap the red bean filling paste in the dough.
  • For final fermentation, place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Steps To Deep Fry the Donuts:

  • On medium-low heat, heat the oil until about 160 Celsius. If you don’t have a thermometer, ensure the oil is gently bubbling. 
  • Fry the donuts for about one minute on each side or until dark golden brown.
  • Roll the donuts in reserved sugar and enjoy!

Anko donuts are perfectly fried, coated with a light sugar dusting, and stuffed with smooth red bean paste. They are the perfect breakfast on the go or a pick-me-up after a long day of school or work. Therefore, combining the fluffy donut and the slightly nutty red bean paste, you get a beloved treat in Japanese cuisine! Have you tried anko donuts before? Do you want to make them at home? Let us know in the comments below!

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