This 7-ingredient Taiwanese Castella Cake is the spongiest treat ever! This simple cake is the perfect tea-time accompaniment.
There's nothing nicer than fluffy, airy cake at tea or coffee-time. If you've never tried this soft sponge cake before, you're in for a treat! This Taiwanese Castella Cake is a super light sponge cake made with beaten eggs and sweetened with honey.
This castella cake recipe simple to make, requires just 7 basic ingredients that you most probably have in hand already, no special techniques, and just under 1 hour of oven time!
What is Castella Cake?
Castella or Kasutera (カステラ) cake is a popular pillow-like sponge cake among the Japanese and was introduced to the country by the Portugese. Castella cake is well-known for its light, airy, soft sponge.
The main components of this delicious cake include eggs, flour, sugar, and honey.
Unlike other cakes, leavening agents are not needed for Castella cake. Instead, this cake relies on beaten egg whites for its rise.
The Taiwanese version of the castella cake is more souffle-like whilst the Japanese castella cake is more dense and is made using bread flour.
Ingredients and Variations
Eggs - You will need to separate the eggs yolks from egg whites. The whites will be used for the meringue, which is what gives this cake it's soft texture. Use large eggs at room temperature for the castella cake.
Heavy Cream - You can also use whole or semi-skimmed milk at room temperature.
Cake Flour - Avoid using other types of flour for this recipe as it will result in a dense cake. Weigh the flour using digital kitchen scales for best results.
Honey - A signature ingredient for this recipe that gives this castella cake it's unique sweet taste. In fact, this cake is sometimes referred to as a "honey sponge cake'
Vegetable Oil - Use a neutral-flavored type of oil such as canola or sunflower oil.
Sugar - Regular granulated white sugar is needed for the meringe.
Salt - Just a pinch to balance the sweetness.
Vanilla Extract - This is optional, but a great flavor enhancer.
How to Make Taiwanese Castella Cake
Step 1 - Separate the Eggs
Separate the eggs and place egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl and egg whites in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2 - Make the Batter
Start by beating the egg yolks together. You can do this using a fork or a handheld mixer. Then add the honey and vanilla extract and mix with egg yolk mixture until combined.
Add heavy cream and oil and continue mixing to combine.
Sift and add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. The mixture should be smooth and free of lumps. Do not overmix once you add the flour.
Step 3 - Make the Meringue
Make sure to use a clean large mixing bowl and that there are no yolk parts with the egg whites.
Using a clean hand-held whisk or electric mixer, start whisking on medium-low speed. Once the volume starts to increase, slowly start adding the sugar, and continue mixing.
Keep mixing until the mixture becomes light and fluffy and soft peaks form. Do not over-whisk the meringue.
Step 4 - Mix the Batter
Fold in the batter with egg yolks into the meringue using a spatula. Carefully and slowly mix the mixture until fully incorporated. Do not overmix, otherwise you'll have a dense cake.
Step 4 - Pour the Batter into a Loaf Tin
Line a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment/ baking paper, or use a silicone loaf tin. You can also use a square pan.
Slowly pour the batter into the pan. If you see any air bubbles forming at the surface, break them down using a toothpick or bamboo skewer.
Step 5 - Bake
Bake the castella cake at 160°C/320°F in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be deep golden brown in color.
After taking out the cake, bang the loaf pan a few times on a heat-proof work surface. Then, bring out the cake and transfer to a wire rack. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools - this is normal for a Taiwanese castella cake.
Dust with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.
Tips for the Best Castella Cake
- Use large mixing bowls, especially for the meringue as you will then add the rest of the batter to this mixture.
- Use room temperature eggs, cream, and flour.
- Do not overwhisk the meringue as this will make your cake dense. Whisk until soft peaks form.
- If your cake does not have a deep golden brown color, increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F for the last 5 minutes of baking.
Storing and Making Ahead
Store leftover Taiwanese Castella Cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The cake keeps well for up to 5 days.
Can you Freeze Castella Cake?
Yes. The cake can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. You can also slice the cake and wrap each slice in cling-film before freezing.
Thaw the cake at room temperature overnight and reheat in a microwave before serving.
Other Cake Recipes
Taiwanese Castella Cake
- 4 eggs separated, room temperature
- 60 mL heavy cream or whole milk (¼ cup) room temperature
- 70 g cake flour (approx. ⅔ cup) room temperature
- 25 g honey (approx. 1¼ tbsp.)
- 60 mL vegetable oil e.g., canola oil (¼ cup)
- 70 g granulated sugar (approx. 6 tbsp.)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract optional
- 1 tbsp. powdered sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 160°C/320F and line a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Separate eggs. Place egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl and egg whites in a clean large mixing bowl.
- Mix egg yolks using a fork or handheld mixer. Add vanilla extract and honey and mix until combined.
- Add oil and heavy cream and continue mixing until combined. Add sifted flour and salt and mix to form a batter. The mixture should be smooth and free of lumps. Do not overmix.
- Beat egg whites on low speed using a clean hand-held whisk. Gradually add sugar as the mixture starts to increase in volume. Continue mixing until soft peaks form. The meringue should be light and fluffy.
- Slowly fold-in the egg-yolk batter mixture into the meringue using a spatula. Mix until the mixture is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Slowly pour the batter into the pan. If you see any bubbles forming at the surface, break them down using a toothpick or bamboo skewer.
- Bake in the center of the oven, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be deep golden brown in color. If not, increase oven temperature to 200°C/400F and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, carefully bang the loaf tin a few times on a heat-proof surface and bring out the cake. Transfer a cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Dust with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.