Japan’s Final Fantasy Christmas cakes are a holiday tradition we can totally get behind

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Why settle for boring strawberry shortcake when Square Enix video game franchise’s Chocobo, Moogle, and Cactuar are ready and waiting in edible form?

In Japan, the high point of any yuletide celebration is when someone brings out the Christmas cake. As much a part of Christmas in Japan as eating fried chicken or finding a date, the standard Christmas cake is shortcake with whipped cream and strawberries, its colors mirroring those of Santa’s suit.

But if you’re looking to shake up the Christmas cake tradition, or perhaps if you’re a foreign resident or traveler who never grew up with it, here’s an awesome alternative: Final Fantasy Christmas cakes!

Offered through Final Fantasy developer Square Enix’s online shop, customers have their choice of three different designs: faithful Chocobo, smiling Moogle, or perpetually surprised Cactuar.

Each cake not only looks different from the others, it tastes different too (though each is a sponge cake/mousse combo). Opt for the Chocobo cake, and you’ll enjoy orange and vanilla mousse, with bits of fruit and cherry liqueur sauce waiting inside.

Moogle, meanwhile, is a mix of strawberry and Mascarpone cream cheese mouse, bolstered with Japanese-grown Amaou strawberry puree.

▼ His nose is made of raspberry mousse.

Finally, Cactuar’s green color means, you guessed it, matcha green tea is a key ingredient, teaming up with 72-percent cacao chocolate for a mousse that has an edge of mature bitterness to its core sweetness. Another Japanese touch is the inclusion of Daiangon sweet red azuki beans.

Square Enix has routinely stuck to strict standards for the quality of food associated with its video game series, and each Final Fantasy cake is handmade by the patissiers at Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Asahi Seika, a confectioner whose roots go back more than a century.

Speaking of Asahi Seika, the company would like to remind customers that to keep the Final Fantasy characters looking their best during shipping, the cakes are placed on a tray with two prongs in the bottom before packaging, in order to keep them from sliding around during transit. So should you want to remove the cake from the tray in one piece, you’ll want to life it from the bottom, as opposed to sliding it off, since the latter method will produce long tears through the cake.

▼ Think of it as an RPG-style trap you have to disarm before claiming your treasure.

While the Final Fantasy cakes aren’t exclusive Christmas season items, Square Enix is offering a couple of extra incentives towards using one as your Christmas cake this year. For orders placed between now and December 14 (with delivery available between December 22 and 27), the price has been reduced from 4,500 to 3,990 yen (US$36), with no extra shipping charge. The cakes will also come in stylishly cute special gift boxes, and the first 1,000 customers will also receive a Chocobo Christmas card and Christmas cookie.

▼ Leaving the cookie for Santa is an easy way to tell him that what you really want for Christmas is Final Fantasy merch.

All three cakes can be ordered here through the Square Enix e-Store.

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