Castella, (or Kasutera) soft, delicate with sweet aroma, is a highly popular Japanese sponge cake, raised only by the air incorporated into the eggs and oil-free. The origin of castella is believed to have come from Portuguese merchants who introduced European sweets to Nagasaki Japan in the 16th century.
Castella cake is traditionally baked in a wood box, which helps to bake the cake evenly, but a standard baking tin would work just great. Unlike most cakes, castella cake is baked with bread flour (I used spelt bread flour), not cake or all purpose flour.
There are now many varieties of this sponge cake made with chocolate, honey, green tea, and brown sugar. If you have baked other foam cakes before, the process of creating castella is quite similar. Please do drop by Biren of Roti & Rice to read all the detailed instructions with beautiful photos. And if you are interested in learning more background of castella, please refer to Wise Geek.
You can also find castella on
- Line an 8-inch / 20×20-cm rectangular baking dish with aluminum foil. Whisk and sieve spelt bread flour, matcha powder and salt together 2-3 times into a mixing bowl. Warm sherry and honey in a bowl over a pot of hot water, stirring until honey completely dissolves. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.
- Beat the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer at high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Beat in sugar in 3 additions until firm peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Add in egg yolks, one at a time, at medium-low speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Now add in prepared flour mixture, still at medium-low speed, and stir until just combined. Pour in the sherry-honey mixture and continue to stir for another minute until well-combined and smooth.
- Pour the cake batter from a 30-cm / 1-foot height directly into the prepared baking dish. Tap the baking dish on the counter to remove bubbles. Using a spatula, smooth the surface to remove any remaining bubbles.
- Bake in the center of the hot oven for 50 minutes until evenly brown. Remove and drop it from a 30-cm / 1-foot height onto the counter to prevent shrinkage. Cool the cake on the counter for 5 minutes. Lift the cake from the pan and invert it onto a piece of parchment paper. Peel the aluminum foil. Wrap the cake with a plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight to preserve moisture.
- To serve, trim off the sides of the cake with a sharp serrated knife, then cut up into the even slices.