Castella Cake Recipe: A Sweet Japanese Treat

Desserts & Baked Goods
Yield 1 Cake
Skill Level Advanced

Castella, pronounced kasutera in Japanese, is a popular Japanese sponge cake. It was introduced to the Japanese by Portuguese merchants in the 16th Century and is now a specialty of the Nagasaki region. The original recipe for Castella Cake is made with just four ingredients – flour (usually bread flour), sugar, eggs and honey. Today, you can find other variations of the recipe including the one below that incorporates delicious dairy ingredients. Whether you follow a recipe with just the four original ingredients or a recipe like ours below, a glass of milk is a perfect accompaniment for this super soft and moist sponge cake.


  1. Preheat oven to 330F.
  2. Cut parchment paper to fit a 1.5 lb. loaf pan. Traditionally, castella cake is baked slowly in a wooden frame but this adapted recipe uses a loaf pan. Baking in wooden frame requires lower heat and a longer baking time.
  3. Spray the loaf pan with oil and spread out evenly with pastry brush.
  4. Line the pan with parchment paper and make sure the paper sticks to the pan.
  5. Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat the eggs, sugar, honey, and vanilla extract on speed 6 for about 8 minutes. The volume of the mixture should increase about 4 times. When you stop the mixer and lift the whisk attachment, the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. If you beat the eggs with a handheld mixer, it will take more time.
  6. Sift cake flour through a fine sieve at least twice.
  7. Add about ½ of the shifted flour at a time to the mixture and use a spatula to gently fold until combined.
  8. Combine canola oil, milk, melted butter and a little bit of batter in a separate small bowl. And then combine it to the batter until the batter falls into ribbons.
  9. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
  10. Tap the pan on a flat surface 3 times and using a skewer, draw a zigzag line in the batter to release any air bubbles.
  11. Bake the batter at 330F in the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  12. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, top side facing down. Gently peel off parchment paper. And let the cake cool for 5 minutes.
  13. Wrap the cake with plastic wrap to keep the moisture.
  14. Store it in a room temperature for a day.
  15. To serve, slice off the golden-brown sides of the cake (except for the top and bottom) and cut 1-inch-thick slices.
  16. Enjoy with a glass of milk!

Recipe adapted from siZning’s YouTube video.


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