Castella Cake: A Slice of Japanese Delicacy

In the diverse world of cakes, the Castella Cake, or Kasutera as it’s known in Japan, stands out with its simple elegance and exquisite texture. This Japanese sponge cake, brought to Japan by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century, has since become a beloved treat, known for its fine, moist crumb and subtly sweet flavor. Unlike Western sponge cakes, Castella has a slightly denser texture, making it a unique and delightful experience for cake enthusiasts.

The Essence of Castella Cake

What makes Castella Cake particularly special is its minimalistic approach to ingredients and its focus on texture. Traditionally made with just four ingredients – sugar, eggs, bread flour, and honey – this cake requires precision and care in its preparation. The result is a smooth, fine-textured sponge with a gentle sweetness, often enjoyed as a companion to tea.


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups bread flour, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons warm water


Preparing the Batter:

  1. Warm Eggs: Begin by warming the eggs to room temperature, which helps them to whip up better.
  2. Mix Honey and Water: In a small bowl, dissolve the honey in the warm water and set aside.
  3. Beat Eggs and Sugar: In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the granulated sugar. This step is crucial – beat them until the mixture is very thick and pale, and the beaters leave a ribbon trail when lifted.

Creating the Cake:

  1. Fold in Flour: Gently fold the sifted bread flour into the egg mixture, being careful not to deflate it.
  2. Add Honey Mixture: Finally, gently fold in the honey-water mixture until just combined.

Baking the Cake:

  1. Prepare Pan: Line a rectangular cake pan (typically 8×8 inch) with parchment paper.
  2. Pour batter: Pour the batter into the prepared pan. To remove air bubbles, drop the pan gently onto the counter a few times.
  3. Bake: Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Bake the cake for about 50-60 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool: Remove the cake from the oven and drop the pan again to prevent shrinking. Let it cool in the pan.


  1. Slice and Serve: Once cooled, slice the cake into thick rectangles. Castella is best enjoyed a day after baking, as the flavors settle and the texture becomes even smoother.


Castella Cake is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in baking. Its delicate texture and mild sweetness make it an elegant treat, perfect for those who appreciate subtle yet refined flavors. This cake is not just a dessert; it’s a piece of culinary art that reflects a rich history and a dedication to the craft of baking. Whether enjoyed with a cup of green tea or as a standalone treat, Castella Cake offers a delightful taste of Japanese tradition.

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