Castella Cake

Castella Cake: History, Recipe, and Variations

Castella cake, also known as kasutera, is a traditional Japanese sponge cake with a rich history and a unique texture that sets it apart from other desserts. Originating from Japan but with roots tracing back to Portuguese influence. This cake has become a beloved delicacy not only in its home country but also around the world.

Delicious Castella Cake: Perfectly golden-brown with a soft, fluffy texture. Enjoy a slice of Japanese tradition!

History and Origin

The origins of Castella cake date back to the 16th century when Portuguese merchants introduced the recipe to Japan. The cake, originally named “Pão de Castela” or “bread from Castile,” quickly gained popularity among the Japanese, who adapted it to suit their tastes and ingredients. Over time, it became a staple dessert in Japanese culture, especially during celebrations and festivals.

Ingredients and Recipe

Castella cake is made from simple ingredients, including flour, sugar, eggs, and sometimes honey or syrup for added sweetness. What sets it apart is the absence of leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda. Instead, the cake relies on a special baking process that involves whipping the eggs to achieve its characteristic light and fluffy texture.

Distinctive Features

One of the most distinctive features of this recipe is its texture. Unlike traditional sponge cakes, Castella cake is denser yet still retains a soft and airy quality. The absence of leavening agents contributes to its unique consistency, making it a favorite among dessert enthusiasts.

Popularity and Global Spread

While Castella cake originated in Japan, it has gained popularity worldwide. With bakeries and cafes in various countries offering their own versions of the dessert. Its widespread appeal can be attributed to its simple yet satisfying flavor profile, making it suitable for both casual snacking and formal occasions.

Variations and Flavors

While the traditional recipe is flavored with honey or syrup. Modern variations offer a wide range of flavors to suit different tastes. From classic matcha and chocolate to more unconventional options like fruit-infused and savory versions. There’s a Castella cake for every palate.

Cultural Significance

In Japan, Castella cake holds cultural significance beyond its culinary appeal. It is often exchanged as gifts during special occasions such as weddings, New Year celebrations, and housewarmings, symbolizing good luck, prosperity, and hospitality. Additionally, it is commonly served during tea ceremonies and other traditional gatherings.

Health Benefits

Despite its indulgent taste, Castella cake offers some health benefits compared to other desserts. Its low-fat content and reliance on natural ingredients make it a lighter option for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth without overindulging. However, like all treats, moderation is key to enjoying Castella cake as part of a balanced diet.

Tips for Making and Serving

For optimal enjoyment, it’s essential to slice Castella cake properly to preserve its delicate texture. Cutting it into thin, even slices ensures that each piece retains its softness and flavor. Additionally, pairing the cake with a cup of tea or coffee enhances its taste and provides a delightful sensory experience.


Castella cake embodies the perfect balance of tradition and innovation. With its rich history and versatile flavor options appealing to a global audience. Whether enjoyed as a simple snack or a centerpiece dessert at a special occasion. This beloved Japanese treat continues to captivate taste buds and hearts around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What makes Castella Cake different from other cakes?

Castella cake stands out for its unique texture, which is denser yet still retains a soft and airy quality due to the absence of leavening agents.

Can I substitute ingredients in the recipe?

While the basic recipe calls for flour, sugar, eggs, and honey or syrup. There’s room for experimentation with different flavors and ingredients to customize the cake to your liking.

How should I store Castella Cake?

To maintain its freshness, store Castella cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days. Alternatively, you can refrigerate it for longer shelf life.

Is recipe suitable for vegans?

Traditional recipe contains eggs, making it unsuitable for vegans. However, vegan-friendly versions using plant-based ingredients are available at select bakeries and cafes.

Can I freeze this recipe for later consumption?

Yes, you can freeze reciep for future enjoyment. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. To thaw, let it sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Castella Cake

Castella Cake: History, Recipe, and Variations

Discover the history and recipe of Castella Cake, a beloved Japanese dessert with a unique texture and delightful flavors
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 peoples
Calories: 200kcal


  • 4 medium eggs at room temperature
  • 110 g of sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of honey
  • 100 g of strong flour


  • In a metal bowl, break the eggs, add the sugar and beat with an electric mixer over boiling water on high speed for 6 minutes. The volume of beaten eggs will increase by about 4 times.
  • Add the honey to the egg mixture and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Sift 1/3 of the flour into the mixture, then lightly beat on medium speed, then add another 1/3 of the flour and beat. Add the last 1/3 of the flour and beat until blended, about 1 minute. Do not over mix as this will cause the cake to fall over or go flat.
  • Put parchment paper in a mold and pour the dough into the mold. With a skewer, draw a zigzag line to remove any large air bubbles from the dough. In this way, the cake will have a uniform texture.
  • Bake at 180°C in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until the top is deep brown. Then quickly cover with kitchen paper, lower the temperature to 170°C and continue baking. It will take about 55 minutes in total. Try a skewer, when it comes out clean the cake is done.
  • When done, remove the cake from the pan and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap.
  • Turn the cake onto a flat plate and while it is hot put it in a plastic bag and leave it for 12 hours so that the cake has a moist texture.
  • Before serving, cut the sides of the cake. Accompany with tea or coffee and a spoonful of Chantilly cream for a greater decadence.


Calories: 200kcal

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