How to Make a ‘Japanese Fruit Sandwich’ That’s Even Better Than PB&J

You can make this "fruit sando" in minutes. It's such a fun, quick treat—no wonder people can't stop talking about it!

It’s almost unfair to compare a classic PB&J to this Japanese fruit sandwich. It’s made with slices of fluffy Japanese milk bread, whipped cream and fresh fruit, so it’s honestly more “dessert” than sandwich. And like other Japanese desserts, the texture is cloud-like and delicate.

What Is a ‘Fruit Sando’?

The word “sando” is short for sandwich. In Japan, fruit sandos are found in hip patisseries as well as at corner convenience stores, wrapped in a clear plastic to reveal the delicate layers. 7-Eleven in Tokyo is where I had my first fruit sando, made with fluffy milk bread, light whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It reminded me of the flavors of strawberry shortcake or angel food cake with fresh berries, but with the novelty of a convenience store Twinkie.

It also gave me flashbacks to the marshmallow fluff sandwiches my friends and I would make in middle school, though a fruit sando feels slightly healthier than that!

In the U.S., it’s harder to find a store-bought Japanese fruit sandwich. But the good news is, they’re very easy to make at home.

Japanese Fruit Sandwich Recipe

Japanese Fruit Sandwich Ingredients2 Megan Barrie For Toh JveditMegan Barrie for Taste of home

This recipe makes 2 sandwiches—enough to feed 4 people.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices milk bread
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 strawberries
  • 1 kiwi

Editor’s Tip: While our recipe has you make whipped cream from scratch, there’s no reason you can’t use whipped topping to assemble each fruit sandwich even faster.

Directions

Step 1: Prep the fruit

Fruit Sandwich Fruit Sando Step 1 Megan Barrie For Toh JveditMegan Barrie for Taste of home

Wash the strawberries and pat dry, being sure to remove the stem. Peel the kiwi and slice in half lengthwise.

Step 2: Whip the cream

Fruit Sandwich Whippedcream Step 2 Megan Barrie For Toh JveditMegan Barrie for Taste of home

Remove heavy whipping cream from the fridge and pour 1 cup into a medium bowl with high sides. It’s important that the cream is cold to help you get the right texture.

Using a whisk or handheld mixer on medium speed, whip until the cream forms bubbles and begins to thicken. Once you have soft peaks, add in sugar and vanilla extract and mix on medium until firm peaks form. Taste and adjust the sugar as needed. Be careful not to overwhip, as that can make butter!

Step 3: Assemble the fruit sando

Japanese Fruit Sandwich Fruit Spread Step 3 Megan Barrie For Toh JveditMegan Barrie for Taste of home

Spread an even layer of about 1/4 of the whipped cream on a slice of milk bread.

Then, place four whole strawberries and half a kiwi on the bread to fill the slice. Using another 1/4 of the whipped cream, top fruit so it’s fully covered, then place a second slice of bread on top and lightly press the sandwich together.

Repeat to make the second sandwich.

Step 4: Wrap and chill

Japanese Fruit Sandwich Wrapped Step 4 Megan Barrie For Toh JveditMegan Barrie for Taste of home

Firmly cover each sandwich in plastic wrap, being careful to note where you’d like to slice the bread for nice cross-sections. Place the sandwich in the fridge to chill for 10-30 minutes. You can skip this step if you’re hungry, but for clean layers, it’s best to wrap and chill.

Remove the fruit sandos from the fridge. Slice each one at an angle while still in the plastic wrap. You can then remove the plastic and slice off the crusts for a clean, finished look.

FAQs About Fruit Sandos

Do I need to use milk bread?

If you can’t seem to find milk bread, use Hawaiian bread or Wonder Bread. Wonder Bread won’t give you the same thick fluffiness of milk bread, and Hawaiian bread will be a bit eggy, but those types of bread tend to be in the average supermarket, which means you don’t have to make an extra stop.

You can also bake the Japanese milk bread from scratch, but that’s a baking project to tackle on a weekend.

Can I make this recipe dairy-free?

Yes! This recipe works great with coconut cream. Rather than use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, use coconut cream (not coconut milk) and refrigerate it before you start. When you open the can, scrape the coconut cream solids into your measuring cup first, and then add the coconut milk liquid. This thick cream will whip up nicely. Use the same ratio of sugar and vanilla extract, and follow the same directions when whipping the cream.

Be sure to look for dairy-free bread, too.

Is this a sandwich to share?

Yes, portion-wise each sandwich can be sliced into two or even four wedges for friends and family to enjoy with you.

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Megan Barrie
I'm a home cook, instructor, and recipe developer focused on celebrating seasonal, comforting, Japanese-y food. I founded a platform called Seasoned Cook to give people the building blocks to make cooking approachable and enjoyable every day. My recipes are currently featured on Harvest Queen and Taste of Home.