2 ratings

Japanese Cake

It's irresistible!
(Food styling by Lisa Schumacher) (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune)

Kasutera, also called castella, is a popular Japanese sponge cake that's incredibly soft and slightly sweet. Now the dessert has many different varieties and can be made with ingredients like powdered green tea, brown sugar or honey like the version seen here. 

This recipe was originially published in The Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
2 h
1 h and 10 m
(prepare time)
50 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cup sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1 2/3 Cup all-purpose or bread flour, double sifted


Step 1: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square cake pan with parchment paper. (Smearing a little butter or shortening in the pan first will help the paper stick.) Top paper with a sprinkling of sugar.

Step 2: Place the eggs in a bowl of warm water (about 100 degrees) until warm, about 10 minutes; drain. Heat a large pot of water to a boil; turn off the heat. Mix 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup honey in a small bowl; set aside.

Step 3: Break 8 eggs into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Place over the steaming pot of water; mix with a hand mixer, adding 1 1/2 cups sugar slowly, 5 minutes. Move the bowl to the stand mixer; beat with the whisk attachment at medium speed, or level 3, 5 minutes. Reduce speed one level; beat, 5 minutes. Reduce speed to lowest setting, beat, 5 minutes. (You want to end beating at the lowest speed so that the batter has small bubbles. The batter is ready when it is thick enough to form soft peaks.) Slowly add the milk and honey mixture. Whisking by hand, add 1 2/3 cups flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

Step 4: Pour the batter into the pan up to the top. (Any leftover batter may be baked alongside in lined cupcake or muffin tins; bake these for 20 to 25 minutes.) Bake until a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon 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 glaze.

Step 5: Let the cake sit in the pan until cool enough to handle but still warm. Lift out of the pan, paper and all; place in a zip-close bag. Seal; refrigerate several hours. (This step will help keep the cake moist.)

Step 6: Cut off the sides of the cake with a very sharp knife to expose the yellow interior. Cut the cake into small, neat slices. Count on one or two slices of cake per person.