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.
- Preheat oven to 330F.
- 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.
- Spray the loaf pan with oil and spread out evenly with pastry brush.
- Line the pan with parchment paper and make sure the paper sticks to the pan.
- 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.
- Sift cake flour through a fine sieve at least twice.
- Add about ½ of the shifted flour at a time to the mixture and use a spatula to gently fold until combined.
- 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.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
- 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.
- Bake the batter at 330F in the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Transfer the cake to a wire rack, top side facing down. Gently peel off parchment paper. And let the cake cool for 5 minutes.
- Wrap the cake with plastic wrap to keep the moisture.
- Store it in a room temperature for a day.
- To serve, slice off the golden-brown sides of the cake (except for the top and bottom) and cut 1-inch-thick slices.
- Enjoy with a glass of milk!
Recipe adapted from siZning’s YouTube video.