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Castella cake

Popular in Nagasaki, a Japanese take on a Portuguese cake, using a technique called sabayon. Baked in wooden boxes traditionally, but a loaf tin is sufficient. Options include flavouring with matcha green tea or citrus.
Course: Afternoon Tea, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: Japan, Portugal
Keyword: Cake, Castella cake, Japanese desserts, Nagasaki, Sabayon
Servings: 10


  • A loaf tin or Castella tin
  • Parchment paper lining
  • Electric whisk
  • Digital thermometer


  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 170 g strong bread flour well sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 170C.
  • Line a loaf tin with parchment.
  • Mix the honey and hot water together, stirring.
  • Make the sabayon by putting a bowl over a saucepan of hot water (a bain-marie) but not touching the water. Whisk the eggs and sugar until they become thick and fluffy. When the temperature reaches 43CÂș remove from the heat. Add in the honey water and continue to whisk.
  • When the mixture is four times the volume, add in the flour by thirds, whisking.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin and draw a zig zag line in the batter to remove large bubbles.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Once the top is brown, cover with tinfoil and continue to bake.
  • Remove from the oven, turn onto a plate then cover with cling film. Leave for at least a day before serving.
  • Delicious with a cup of green tea.