Thursday, July 09, 2009

Castella Cake (Japanese Honey Sponge Cake)

Yup, my turn to make the Castella Cake (Japanese Sponge Cake). I was made aware of this cake because of the special ingredient used, honey! My hubby drink a glass of honey water before he goes out for his sport so I always have a bottle of honey at home. Honey Sponge Cake sounds good to me as I like the soft and spongy texture of sponge cake. I got the recipe from Notes From My Food Dairy and made a few changes to it. I just wanted to try the original taste of this cake before attempting other variation. Would certainly love to try the matcha flavor next time. The Castella Cake is all soft to goodness spongy. This cake has fine crumbs and very irresistible because it is so light and soft, I just want to eat more.

You can read more about Castella cake at Wikipedia here. I also found an extract here that is useful for my next attempt:

"In the meantime, mix together the 1 tablespoon of honey and a little hot water, to make a glaze.
As soon as the cake is out of the oven, brush the top with the honey-water mixture.
When it's cool enough to handle but still warm, lift it out of the pan, paper and all, and put into a plastic bag. Seal the bag and put into the refrigerator, for at least several hours. This step is critical to ensure the kasutera has a moist texture. If you let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the plastic bag, it will end up a bit dry." Extracted from Just Hungry. Cool tips ya! :) 

Makes one 8×8 x 2-inch pan

  • 5 large eggs
  • 170 grams granulated sugar
  • 200 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 100 ml whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil

1. Grease the square pan with baking spray. Cut out a parchment paper the size of the pan for the bottom of the pan and place it on the pan, spray it with baking spray too. Preheat oven to 350 degree F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Mix eggs and sugar with a stand-in mixer for about 5 minutes or until batter forms a ribbon when the wire whip is lifted, the color should be light yellow.
3. Add the flour and vanilla extract. Next add the milk, beat it well. Then add the honey and mix it again well. Last, add the oil and make sure it is incorporated into the batter thoroughly.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes in 350 degree F. After that, lower the temperature to 325 degree F and bake for 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
5. Remove from the pan as soon as it is done. Place it on the cooling rack and let it cool completely. Wrap with plastic wrap overnight before cutting.


Food For Tots said...

This sponge cake is so soft and moist! Will it be very sweet if sugar and honey are added together?

Pearl said...

yum! i love castella/kasutera!

Anonymous said...

Wow, very impressive! I love honey but I don't use it much because I am diabetic - but this looks so good!!

sock peng said...


Noob Cook said...

This looks delicious. I like the use of some honey instead of just sugar alone :)

Linda Y said...

can you please let me know how you created the "grid" pattern on top of Castella. Thanks.:)

The Purple Foodie said...

I love the texture of the cake. Honey is a favourite in out house, so I'm sure every=one is going to enjoy it!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Looks so soft and lovely! I MUST give this a try. Thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

wawww it still is too complicated for me to try...^_^ maybe next time when i get better at baking hihihihi...meanwhile, let me just buyyyy

ICook4Fun said...

I just love this cake. Light and airy and eat without feeling so much guilt :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

F4T, no, it won't be very sweet. I asked my hubby and he said it's not sweet at all, but I can taste the sweetness. You can further cut down the sugar to 150g if you really don't like it to be sweet.

High 5 Pearl. Now I am a fan too!

Thanks biz319!

Very true SP. My 灵感 always food related. :P

Thanks noobcook. Me too especially honey is anti-inflammatory. :)

Linda, super easy. When the cake is out of the oven, I just turn it over to rest on my grid pattern cooling rack. :P This way also make my cake to have a flat top surface (without doing extra step while baking).

Yes purple foodie, they are going to love it.

You're welcome little teochew, hope you like it too.

Haha Rita, yeah why not if you can buy it there. I have not seen it selling here at all. Actually it's not complicated at all, but the first step of beating the eggs and sugar is critical in the success of this cake.

Yes me too Gert. I simply couldn't stop at just one piece alone. :)

Ummi said...

Hello, nice meeting you here...Nice blog..what a really spongy cake...looks so moist n soft..The name Castella also admiring me to try out this lovely recipe!!

Beachlover's Kitchen said...

wow!! another great cake!! I see this cake popping up every where!! must try to bake this one day soon!! oh no! need to wait for raining day during summer now if not can't stay in kitchen while oven is "on"! haha!

tigerfish said...

Looks those that can be bought from outside. Very professionally done.

Hugbear said...

Ching thanks for the recipe. I just did it this afternoon. I think my cake didn't look as fluffy as yours. Mine looks a little bit more compact but it still taste good.

Chibog in Chief said...

I have never tasted anything like this before! so lovely can't wait to try...

Anonymous said...

I love castella. I always buy it at the asian grocery store. Looks like I need to try to make it myself now.

petite nyonya said...

This cake looks so soft, moist and light. Can't wait to try it one day :D

jadepearl said...

It looks mouth wateringly delicious!!!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi Ummi, hope you like this Jap. sponge cake.

Yes Les, this cake is a must try! Hahaha...

Thank you Tigerfish. :)

You're welcome LeeLee, glad you like it. :) I did a matcha one with some modification and that one is more compact but still tasted great, will post up soon.

Hope you like it Dhanggit!

Yes sliceofsueshe, no harm in trying, if it's a success, so much cheaper too! ;)

Yes, do give it a try Nyonya pendek Melaka.

Thanks JP! :) I tried the matcha version too but still prefer this original version. :)

delia said...

hi, thanks for this wonderful recipe. actually, i've kept a few versions of this recipe but didn't make it until i saw your recipe using canola oil. it sure is soft and moist.

Big Boys Oven said...

wow this is so awesome, you are my fabourite baker!:)

Little Corner of Mine said...

You're welcome Delia, glad you liked the cake. :)

Thanks BBOven. :P

cocoa said...

this looks really really good!!! Have not try Castella to try this!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Cocoa, it has been awhile, so busy with two kids now huh? :D If you haven't tried this cake, give it a try. We all loved it. I will post our camping trip pictures tomorrow, come back for the most recent pictures of my girls. And post some of yours so that I can see how big they have grown. :)

eliza said...

looks good! you're making me want to make it again :)

Interested party said...

I have tried baking this cake...however my cake didnt turn out to be like tasted like the chewy u know why?

Little Corner of Mine said...

Interested party,
Not sure, perhaps your first step of beating eggs and sugar together is not long enough?

Anonymous said...


Luv ur blog by the way. It has helped me alot.

I recently did the Castella Cake but the texture seemed abit chewy not spongy and soft and the cake rose but when i took it out of the oven it shrunk. Do you know why?


Little Corner of Mine said...

Sorry Wee, I really don't know the science behind baking. My guess is when you mix the batter together, you might left off too much air? Not sure though. Making a sponge cake is a lot like chiffon cake, needs a little skill. But glad to know that my blog has helped you some. :)

a said...

I'm new to your blog.
Chanced upon this receipe of yours when I searching for sponge cake receipes.

Your honey sponge cake looks so yummy & light that I decided to give it a try.

However, my 1st attempt yesterday is a total flop, the cake is uncooked in the middle & shrunk.

I tried again today and this time the cake rises very well, does not shrunk. However when I took it out of the tin, noticed the bottom of the cake has many lumps of uncooked flours. The upper part is edible, I can taste the yummy sweet honey aroma in the sponge cake. This means I did not mix well the batter when adding the flour to the egg mixture.

Hence, would like to try for 3rd attempt & like to seek for your advice on this.

Pls advise what do you use (e.g. Hand Whisk or Spatula) during the step of mixing the flour & milk, honey and oil into the egg mixture to ensure to mix well.

Appreciate your advice, thanks in advance


Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi Irene, welcome to my blog and I hope you will have a successful attempt at baking a castella cake on the third round. I used an electric whisks for all the mixing process, from beginning until the end. You definitely need an electric whisks or mixer to do the first step, mixing eggs and sugar together (this is a critical step for sponge cake). And use the electric mixer/whisk for all steps. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

thank u for your advice to my above enquiry.
today i finally find time to do the cake yesterday again, n it is a success! yipee ! this time i use mixer to mix for all steps per advice. thank u for sharing this easy recipe n i definitely will keep it for future use.

just a question to check.
is the 'skin' of the top of cake tends to be sticky? coz it tends to tear very easily as it sticks when i turn the cake over to cool.


Little Corner of Mine said...

Mine too Irene. Unless we cool it bottom down, but then in that case, the surface won't be flat. So, it's up to you! Glad that it's a success for you this time, try it with green tea powder next time, I like that too.

Angelic Arena said...

could you use this recipe as any other sponge cake and use icing with it? ..if so which kind?

Little Corner of Mine said...

Yes Angelic, you can. I would use whipped cream icing or butter cream icing also can.