Matcha Castella Cake

Castella cake is a Japanese confectionary staple based on the Portuguese bolo de Castela (or cake from Castile). Originally brought to Nagasaki by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century, it has changed over time to be uniquely its own type of wagashi (or traditional Japanese sweet). Castella is classified as a sponge cake with just four ingredients: eggs, sugar, mizuame and flour. Mizuame is a malt sweetener that gives the cake its distinctive sheen. The cake is typically baked in rectangular pans and served in thick slices, with its signature color being a deep yellow from the inclusion of egg yolks. The addition of matcha powder adds color and an earthy, sweet nutty flavor. Often, the cake is served with trimmed sides, but you can skip that step if you prefer. There is also a Taiwanese adaption of castella cake that is more fluffy and spongy, versus the firm-yet-moist version from Japan. It typically calls for egg whites to be whipped, then folded into the base, whereas most Japanese castella recipes will call for whole eggs to be whipped before adding the other ingredients.

matcha castella cake
Photo: Keiko Oikawa
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs


  • 6 large eggs

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • ½ tablespoon mizuame (see Tip)

  • ¼ cup hot water

  • 1 ½ cups bread flour

  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 2 loaf pans (8 1/2- by-4 1/2-inch) with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides.

  2. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; beat on medium-low speed until tripled in size and stable, about 10 minutes.

  3. Combine mizuame and hot water in a small bowl; whisk until well dissolved. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add in the mizuame mixture, beating until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.

  4. Combine flour and matcha in a medium bowl. Whisk thoroughly to aerate and break up any clumps. In three batches, add the flour mixture to the mixture in the mixer bowl; beat on low speed, waiting until thoroughly combined before adding more, about 1 minute.

  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lift each pan a few inches above the work surface and drop it down to dissipate any bubbles in the batter. Using a chopstick, draw a zigzag shape through the batter to remove any remaining bubbles. Bake until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean and the top is a deep brown color, 45 to 50 minutes.

  6. Remove the cakes from the pans using the parchment overhang and place on plastic wrap. Wrap tightly to seal in moisture; refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. Remove and discard the plastic wrap and parchment paper before serving. Slice and serve cool or at room temperature.


2 loaf pans (8 1/2- by-4 1/2 inches); parchment paper


You can find mizuame online at Some recipes substitute honey for mizuame, but the malt sweetener gives castella cake its distinctive sheen and is the preferred choice.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

119 Calories
2g Fat
22g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Serving Size 1 slice
Calories 119
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Total Sugars 12g
Added Sugars 12g 24%
Protein 4g 8%
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Vitamin A 102IU 2%
Vitamin D 15IU 4%
Folate 46mcg 12%
Sodium 27mg 1%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Magnesium 6mg 1%
Potassium 46mg 1%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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