Don't let its delicious looks fool you! This bowl of ramen is actually (surprise!) not a piping hot bowl of ramen, but a cake! The Sweets Paradise booth located in Shinjuku Station sells these adorable ramen cakes, as well as other novelty cakes like maguro-don cakes, oden cakes, and omelette rice cakes.
If you do a Google search on ramen cake, you will probably end up at a page telling you the name of the ramen cake shop is "Maplies Cake". While the station staff understood this name well enough and pointed me towards the correct direction of the shop, when I arrived there I found that the shop was not called "Maplies Cake". It is actually was a part of the popular chain restaurant "Sweets Paradise". Therefore, when searching for the ramen cake shop, instead of looking for a sign saying "Maplies Cake", look for the "Sweets Paradise" logo. The shop is most easily found by going to the west side of Shinjuku Station, and looking for the signs leading you to the Marunouchi Line. Note that the shop is inside the station complex, and you do not need to exit the station to find it.
I bought the ramen cake to try for ¥1020. It is literally in a take away ramen bowl, so that gives you an idea of the size of the cake! It is quite a lot for one person to finish, so I do recommend sharing it with others if you can. The way the cake is made is actually quite clever. First of all, the ramen noodles are made from chestnut cream, the same style as the famous Mont Blanc cake. Since the noodles take up a large percent of the cake, it just feels like you're eating a giant version of the Mont Blanc! Next, the ramen toppings (seaweed, cha-shu, narutomaki, etc.) are all cookies! Finally, the ramen soup effect is achieved by setting the whole cake in jelly. It might sound weird (cake in jelly!?) but it is only a thin layer of jelly on top, then the layer of chestnut cream (noodles), and then the actual sponge cake with cream layers on the bottom.
The ramen cake is an affordable quirky treat to try, and definitely makes for fun photos that you will definitely want to share with your friends. If you're keen for a unique sweet experience, head to Shinjuku Station and try out these "savory" cakes!