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raisin sandwich, vanilla cookies, wagashi

Vanilla Cookies and Raisins Make the Ultimate Cookie Sandwich!

Karina Ikedo

Karina Ikedo


A plate of vanilla cookie rum raisin sandwiches.

Rum raisin vanilla cookies are a long-loved Japanese dessert. They are an exquisite confection comprising brandy-soaked raisins and smooth cream sandwiched between tender and buttery cookies.

Vanilla raisin cookies are prevalent in Japan, and you can find them in most supermarkets and combini stores. It offers the perfect balance of rich buttercream infused with the warmth of rum and the sweetness of plump raisins. Keep reading to learn everything about this delightful treat and how to make it at home! 

Where did the raisin sandwich cookie come from?

The raisin sandwich is a very popular omiyage in Tokyo and Hokkaido that gives tourists pause. It’s two vanilla cookies with a special buttercream and high-quality raisins. Paris Ogawaken claims to have been the original inventor of this dessert since the 1950s, but they started a shop devoted only to their desserts in the 1980s. The box is filled with quality and elegance; each sandwich is individually wrapped and ready to share. Two thin biscuits are sprinkled with sugar and held with puffs of buttercream and small raisins.

A plate of raisin sandwich cookies.
Raisin sandwich cookies originated in Tokyo and Hokkaido. Image via Shutterstock

Rum Raisin Vanilla Cookies Sandwich Recipe

Learn how to make this unique rum raisin buttercream sandwich cookie that can be easily recreated at home.


  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • One egg yolk
  • Three drops of vanilla extract
  • One cup of plain flour
  • 30g almond powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 80g white chocolate 
  • 80g softened butter 
  • 1/3 cup sultanas or raisins steeped in rum 
An assortment of raisin sandwich cookies.
They’re easy to make! Image via YouTube/Chocolate Cacao

How To Make the Cookie

  • Place the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix until light and smooth to make the cookies. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla extract and mix until creamy.
  • Add the plain flour, almond powder, and baking powder and mix as you cut the butter mixture into flour. Use your hands to bring the mixture together into a dough.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper, roll until 5mm thin, and refrigerate until firm. Cut out shapes. 
  • Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 170℃ for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl to fill the raisin buttercream. Heat in the microwave or over simmering water in a saucepan, and melt until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, beat softened butter. Add the melted white chocolate and mix well. Add the raisins steeped in rum and mix to combine. Cool in the fridge, stirring occasionally, until firm enough to spread on the cookies. 
  • To assemble, take two well-cooled cookies and squeeze some buttercream filling to complete the delicious rum vanilla sandwich cookie.

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Where can I buy these sandwich cookies?

Rokkatei Marusei 

Rokkatei is a famous dessert souvenir shop in Hokkaido. The rum and raisin buttercream sandwich cookie is one of the best representations of Hokkaido. It has been available for over 40 years. Their Marusei butter sand just oozes the butter and creaminess of butter-based cream from Hokkaido.

Rum raisin cookies from Rokkatei Marusei.
These cookies are much softer than the average ones. Image via GLT JP

These aren’t the typical cream-filled cookies with only one or two millimeters of filling. Each Marusei butter sandwich contains a generous portion of buttercream and raisin filling, so you won’t feel short-changed.

At Rokkatei, you can undoubtedly experience the perfect combination of Western-style soft cookies, festive Caribbean rum spices, and creamy Hokkaido milk in a deliciously decadent, individually wrapped treat. Marusei butter sandwiches pair well with a hot cafe latte if you have a sweet tooth. Or, if you’d prefer not to indulge too much, some unsweetened Japanese green tea helps to balance out the richness.

Tokyo Banana 

Tokyo Banana has wonderful sandwich cookies that are baked with special care because they have a filling of rum raisins with banana-flavored white chocolate cream. As a result, it’s very popular with customers! In 2020, there was a big vote among nearly 500 Tokyo Banana workers, and the Rum Raisin Sandwich Cookie came out on top. It’s a new twist on the original Tokyo Banana that people love.

Rum raisin cookies from Rokkatei Marusei.
These cookies are much softer than the average ones. Image via GLT JP

Like all Tokyo Banana goodies, these cookies come in little packages, making them perfect to give as presents. You can find them all over Tokyo and at the big airports in Japan, ready to impress locals and visitors with their yummy combination of tastes and textures. Whether you’re already a Tokyo Banana fan or trying it for the first time, you’ve got to try the Rum Raisin Sandwich Cookie if you love sweets.

Ginza Sembikiya 

The Ginza raisin sandwiches by Sembikiya are a delightful treat for any occasion. Each box contains six pieces of these delicious sandwiches. Slowly soaked in aromatic rum, the raisins are sandwiched between a thick cookie and a layer of refined sweet cream, creating a unique blend of flavors that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Why should I try raisin cookie sandwiches?

A plate of raisin sandwich cookies.
Have you ever had raisin sandwiches with vanilla cookies before? Image via Shutterstock

You should try raisin cookie sandwiches because they offer a unique and delectable experience. Combining sweet, spiced raisins and a creamy, complementary filling creates a heavenly flavor profile that is simply irresistible. Beyond the tantalizing taste, raisin cookie sandwiches also boast an appealing textural contrast. The cookies are fluffy and sponge-like, while the generous filling provides a rich, creamy counterpoint. This blend of soft and indulgent textures creates a genuinely satisfying cookie experience. Have you ever had vanilla cookies with raisins before? Let us know in the comments below!

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