How To Make Chocolate Castella Cake (Japanese Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe)-Japanese Taste

How To Make Chocolate Castella Cake (Japanese Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe)

by Ayako Kidokoro

Cake Chocolate Dessert Egg Freezer-friendly Japanese Sweets Kid-friendly Mirin Party Food Wagashi

You may know Castella Cake, but did you know there are more flavors like Chocolate?

Like the original Castella Cake, the texture is cottony fluffy and moist. It pairs perfectly with rich chocolate flavor. You'll especially enjoy the bottom part with coarse sugar, a major characteristic of Castella Cake, as it is crisp and delicious!

The secret to its moisture and flavor is mirin syrup. Mirin is a type of sake but with more sugar and lower alcohol content. Typically used in Japanese dishes like Teriyaki sauce, using mirin for baking is quite unique and enhances the taste.

Castella is a traditional Japanese sponge cake with roots in Spanish cuisine. Introduced to Japan by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century, it has evolved into a popular Japanese confection.

Many bakeries in Japan produce and sell Castella cake, and it's also available pre-packaged in supermarkets. Various regions have their own unique variations and styles of Castella.

Preparing Castella involves a unique method of mixing and baking. The batter is beaten to create a smooth, airy texture, and then baked slowly to achieve the desired consistency.

For short-term storage (within a few days), keeping Castella at room temperature in a cool, dry place is acceptable. It should be covered to prevent it from drying out. For longer-term storage, it can be kept in the freezer. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

This chocolate Castella pairs perfectly with ice cream, whipped cream, or even more cocoa powder. Get creative with your Castella enjoyment and indulge in this delicious Japanese treat!


Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 60 mins

Total servings: 4

Difficulty: Medium

  • 3 Eggs
  • 70 g Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
  • 50 g Chocolate
  • 50 g All Purpose Flour
  • 50 cc Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Coarse Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (for syrup)
  • 1 Tbsp Water (for syrup)

Expert's Tip

How To Make Chocolate Castella Cake (Japanese Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe)

This mirin isn't just any typical Japanese pantry item – it's the sweet secret to perfecting your chocolate castella cake and other desserts! Surprisingly versatile, it also pairs wonderfully with a variety of confections. Whether you're adding a splash to your dorayaki or mixing it into traditional pancake batter, a touch of this mirin brings out a delicious Japanese flavor that will leave you wanting more.


1) Gathering the Ingredients and Recipe Preparations

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Gather the ingredients together.

Sift the flour into a bowl.

Line a 20 x 11.5 x 7.5 cm (7.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 inches) loaf mold with parchment paper, then spread the coarse sugar on the bottom.

Separate the eggs into whites and yolks.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces.

2) Melting the Wet Ingredients Together

In a small bowl, add the chopped chocolate, milk, honey, and mirin. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (bain-marie) to melt the chocolate mixture, stirring well until smooth.

3) Beating the Egg Whites

Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer in a large bowl. After 1-2 minutes of beating, gradually add the sugar to the bowl and continue beating until stiff peaks form, which should take around 3-4 minutes.

Note: You can also whisk the meringue by hand; however, be prepared for it to take upwards of 10 minutes.

4) Beating the Egg Yolks

Beat the egg yolks using an electric hand mixer until they become slightly creamy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well. Then, add the sifted flour and mix until well combined.

5) Bringing the Batters Together

Add one-third of the meringue into the yolk batter and gently fold it in using a whisk, being careful not to crush the meringue. Repeat this process twice more. Once the white streaks from the meringue are no longer visible, switch to a spatula. Using the spatula, gently mix from the bottom of the bowl 5-6 times until the batter is thoroughly incorporated.

6) Baking the Chocolate Castella Cake

Pour the cake batter into the mold, aiming for a single point as you pour. Run a stick or knife gently through the batter to release any air pockets. Tap the mold onto the counter once or twice to remove any remaining air bubbles in the batter. Bake it at 180°C (350°F) for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (320°F) and bake for another 25 minutes.

While the cake is baking, mix honey and water to make the syrup.

7) Cooling the Cake Down

Remove the cake from the oven, then gently tap the mold once or twice from about 15cm (6 inches) above to prevent shrinking.

Once the cake has cooled enough to touch the mold, remove the parchment paper and brush the surface with syrup.

Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest upside down overnight.

8) Enjoying the Chocolate Castella Cake

Carefully remove the plastic wrap and slice the edges of the cake.

It is easy to cut with a moistened bread knife. Enjoy!

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