Japanese Castella Sponge Cake Baked in Rice Cooker

Japanese Castella Sponge Cake Baked in Rice Cooker 

Japanese Castella カステラ Cake

Japanese Castella カステラ Cake

What is Castella sponge cake? Where is it come from? What is this cake made from? Why is it so popular in Japan or even South-East Asia area?

Castella (カステラ Kasutera?) is a popular Japanese sponge cake  mainly made of sugar, flour, eggs and starch syrup. Those are the common ingredients.

Now a specialty of Nagasaki 長崎市, the cake was brought by way of Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. The name is derived from Portuguese Pão de Castela, meaning “bread from Castile“. Castella cake is usually made in long  rectangle wooden boxes, with the cake inside being approximately 27 cm long. It is somewhat similar to Madeira cake, also associated with Portugal, but its closest relative ispão-de-ló, also a Portuguese cake.

There are few similar types of sponge cakes named after Castella sponge cake, in French  they have Pain d’Espagne; in Italian they have: Pan di Spagna;   in Portuguese: Pão de Espanha,

Castella is made of natural ingredients,  there are now many varieties made with ingredients such as ‘ Matcha’ powdered green tea, brown sugar, and honey.

Japanese Castella カステラ Cake

Japanese Castella カステラ Cake

In the commercial world, people added some food preservation into the ingredients to make a longer shelf life, but we don’t like to put any of those, we’ll only use the natural ingredients, right?  So, we only have few common ingredients that’s we keep in a pantry all the time and the main one is the ‘Honey’.

And I like to have a change this time, I like to use my rice cooker to bake this cake, to see how is the result will come out, actually this is my first time to use rice cooker to bake a cake, it is a  bit challenge to me then! Wish me good luck!

My rice cooker is about 7 1/2″ diameter and the bottom is not flat.  But maybe your cooker is difference, so do few research beforehand will get more chance to be success.

I did a bit of research to see other people how to make this cake successfully before, They all got different way to do it, so I take a bit of their experience and make it up.

Or you can see one of the link, for reference.

Japanese Castella Sponge Cake Baked in Rice Cooker 


  • 25g Milk     
  • 50g Agave Nectar/ honey
  • 6 Large egg whites
  • 50g Raw sugar             ( I used 30g )
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 30g Raw sugar
  • 130g Plain flour/ All purpose flour,
  • 20 ml oil
Japanese Castella カステラ  Cake

Japanese Castella カステラ


  1. Grease the rice cooker with butter, sieve the flour twice for the cake more airy and spongy.
  2. Beat the egg yolk with 30g sugar, add honey or agave nectar and beat until pale.
  3. Add the oil and mix well, add half he sieved flour and half the milk first and make sure mix all well combine before add the other half in.
  4. Better to keep the egg cold before use, put the egg whites in a large clean, non-greased mixing bowl, without any egg yolk nor any water, beat it with a stand mixer or electric hand-held whisk until it start foamy, add the lemon juice and half the sugar  at a time, until the egg white firm and the whites can hold up a hook like when it finish.
  5. Scoop 1/3 of the whisked egg whites into the well mixed yolk mixture, use spatular to fold in, then add all the remaining egg whites into the mixture and make sure all well combine and smooth.
  6. Pour into the prepared rice cooker and make few tabs on the table to release the large air bubbles out from the cake batter.
  7. Select the cake button and let it cook for about 45 to 50 minutes. but when it  finish the cooking time, open the lid quickly in case the condense water return back on the cake surface. Meanwhile, turn the rice cooker upside down on the table and let it cool down completely.
  8. Some people like to wrap the cake with cling film and wait for the next day to serve, it will let the cake more moisture to eat. You can try this or you can serve straight away.
  9. But I did wait for the next day, actually the cake was more moisture and nicer.
Japanese Castella カステラ Cake

Japanese Castella カステラ Cake

Japanese Castella カステラ Cake

Japanese Castella カステラ Cake 


  • The cake is  light and spongy, I think it’s quite similar to the chiffon cake. Usually, people use a wooden box to bake this cake in the oven, I think I will find one of the wooden box for next time to try again. 
  • Luckily, the cake came out was not too bad, only has a little bit shrank in the middle but the taste was superb. Definitely will make again soon!

7 thoughts on “Japanese Castella Sponge Cake Baked in Rice Cooker

    • Hi Isabelle, thanks for your stopping by! If your rice cooker hasn’t got the cake function, I think you need to make some test first. You can try to pour the cake batter into the rice cooker, and press the cook button like the way to cook rice. After the finish time, you can check the cake is cook or not. If it still need a bit more time, press the cook button one more time and check again. Use this way until the cake done! Please let me know how your cake come out is fine! Good luck and have fun. 🙂

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