How to make Japanese cake

How to make Japanese cake

What are the 4 ingredients in Japanese sponge cake?

Castella cake is a type of wagashi (traditional sweet) and popular Japanese sponge cake that people have enjoyed for centuries. The basic ingredients are eggs, sugar, honey, and flour.

Japanese cake: Basic instructions

Japanese cakes are popular both inside and outside of Japan, ranging from classic chiffon cakes to modern mousses emulating the textures and flavors of traditional Japanese desserts. Follow this guide to learn how to make your own Japanese cake at home.


  • Cake batter:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon sake (optional)
    • ⅓ cup milk

  • Toppings:
    • Whipped cream
    • Fruit syrups or jams
    • Cocoa powder
    • Condensed milk
    • Fresh or canned fruit


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter or vegetable oil and line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and mix in the baking powder. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and beat with a whisk or an electric mixer. Add in the vegetable oil, sake and milk.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, whisking until the batter is a uniform consistency.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden-brown. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
  6. Let the cake cool, invert it onto a plate, and decorate with whipped cream, fruit syrups, cocoa powder or other toppings of your choice.

Tips and Warnings

  • For a richer cake, substitute melted butter for the vegetable oil.
  • Sake may be omitted for a non-alcoholic version.
  • When decorating, you can alternate layers of cream and fruit syrup, or sprinkle the top with toasted almond flakes or other nuts.
  • Be careful not to overbake your cake or it may become dry.

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