Bring one of Japan’s favourite baked desserts into your home with this traditional castella sponge cake recipe. Introduced to the Japanese by Portuguese merchants in the 16th Century and now a speciality of the Nagasaki region, Castella sponges have a finer, more compact texture than traditional sponge cakes, while still being lighter than pound cakes or butter cakes. This castella is ideal for serving during afternoon tea, or for dessert.


  1.  4 medium eggs, at room temperature
  2. 110g of sugar
  3. 2-3 tablespoons of honey
  4. 100g of strong flour


1. 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.

2. Add the honey to the egg mixture and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. When done, remove the cake from the pan and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap.

7. 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.

8. Before serving, cut the sides of the cake. Accompany with tea or coffee and a spoonful of Chantilly cream for a greater decadence.

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