Cake, Bread and Pastries · Japanese Food

Castella Cake Recipe (Japanese Kasutera)

Castella Cake Recipe (Japanese Kasutera)
Kasutera (Japanese Sponge Cake)

This Japanese sponge cake is very simple, delicious and not too sweet. It is called Japanese Kasutera or also known as Castella Cake (or Kastella). An old Portuguese recipe dating back to the 16th century with a touch of Japanese flavor. 

This Japanese Cake is very simple in ingredients and is baked traditionally in a wooden box to preserve the cake moisture and prevent it from toasting beneath.

Serving: 1 small loaf

Castella Cake (Japanese Kasutera)


  • 6 large eggs, (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 ½ tablespoons bread flour
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons warm water


  1. Coat two 7 ½ “x 3 ½” inch bread loaf pans with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.
  2. Place the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until combined and frothy.
  3. Add the sugar, then beat the eggs hard until the volume of the beaten eggs has increased by about 4 times and the color becomes a pale yellow. Lifting the whisk should make the mixture fall back in ribbons.
  4. Quickly whisk together 5 tablespoons honey and 2 ½ tablespoons warm water, then add to the egg mixture. 
  5. Whisk gently until just combined. Add the bread flour in three separate batches, mixing gently between each batch until all of the flour is just incorporated. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into both of the bread loaf pans and use a skewer to draw a zigzag through the batter to remove air bubbles. Lift the pan slightly, then drop flat onto the counter to level and release more air bubbles. 
  7. Bake for 35 minutes at 160°C, then open the oven door slightly ajar and bake for another 3-5 minutes. In Japan they bake it in a wooden box to prevent too much heat.. alternatively bake it at low temperature and slowly if you’re using a different type of oven (like a convection or electric oven). The rule of thumb is to bake it slowly at low temperature.
  8. When removed from the oven, the top of the cake should feel spongy.
  9. Quickly mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon honey and ½ tablespoon warm water ,and brush it on top of the cake with a pastry brush. 
  10. Lay out plastic wrap onto the counter, and turn the cake over onto the plastic wrap. Peel away the parchment paper, and completely wrap the cake in the plastic wrap. Make sure to quickly wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, keeping the top facing down.
  11. Refrigerate the cake for at least 12 hours. 
  12. To serve, slice the sides off the cake with a sharp bread knife, then cut into thick slices.
  13. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!