Chinese Sponge Cake Recipe: How to Make It at Home – Seaco Online
Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

You might like
Read more completes revamp of our website to bring you a better seafood buying experience!

Chinese Sponge Cake Recipe: How to Make It at Home

If you're looking for a dessert that's light, fluffy, and bursting with flavour, then look no further than Chinese sponge cake. This delicate cake is a staple in Chinese cuisine and is enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you're a seasoned baker or a beginner, this recipe is easy to follow and will yield a delicious cake that's perfect for any occasion.

A mixing bowl with flour, sugar, and eggs. A whisk and a wooden spoon on the table. A recipe book open to a page titled "Chinese Sponge Cake"

To make Chinese sponge cake, you'll need a few basic ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, and oil. However, there are many variations of this recipe, and you can experiment with different ingredients and flavours to create your own unique version. For example, you could add some seafood to the recipe to give it a savoury twist. Shrimp or crab meat would be excellent choices, and they would pair well with the light, fluffy texture of the cake.

When it comes to serving Chinese sponge cake, there are many options. You could enjoy it on its own with a cup of tea or coffee, or you could top it with fresh fruit and whipped cream for a more decadent treat. You could also try serving it with a scoop of ice cream or some sweetened condensed milk for a delicious twist. Whatever way you choose to enjoy it, Chinese sponge cake is sure to be a hit with your friends and family.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese sponge cake is a light, fluffy dessert that's perfect for any occasion.
  • The basic ingredients for this recipe are flour, sugar, eggs, and oil, but there are many variations you can try.
  • You can experiment with different flavours and ingredients, such as seafood, to make your own unique version of this classic dessert.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A table with flour, sugar, eggs, and a mixing bowl. Possible substitutes like coconut milk and almond flour are nearby

Essential Ingredients

To make a light, moist, and fluffy Chinese sponge cake, you will need the following essential ingredients:

  • Egg yolks: The yolks add richness and structure to the cake. You'll need five of them for this recipe.
  • Cake flour: Cake flour is finer and lighter than all-purpose flour, which helps give the cake its soft and fluffy texture.
  • Vegetable oil: Unlike butter, which can weigh down the cake, vegetable oil keeps the cake light and tender.
  • Baking powder: This leavening agent helps the cake rise and become light and airy.
  • Milk: Milk adds moisture to the cake and helps the other ingredients come together.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the cake and balances the sweetness.

Optional Additions

While the essential ingredients are necessary for a basic Chinese sponge cake, you can also add the following optional ingredients to customize your cake:

  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract adds a subtle flavor to the cake and pairs well with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
  • Sugar: You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking, but keep in mind that too much sugar can make the cake overly sweet and heavy.
  • All-purpose flour: If you don't have cake flour on hand, you can use all-purpose flour instead, but the cake may not be as light and fluffy.
  • Fresh fruit: Sliced strawberries, kiwis, and mangoes are popular toppings for Chinese sponge cake. They add a refreshing sweetness and complement the cake's lightness.
  • Whipped cream: Whipped cream is another classic topping for Chinese sponge cake. It adds richness and creaminess to the cake.

Seafood is not typically used in Chinese sponge cake recipes, but if you're feeling adventurous, you could try adding some finely chopped shrimp or crab meat to the batter. Just be sure to cook the seafood first and use it sparingly so as not to overpower the other flavors.

Equipment Required

A mixing bowl with flour, eggs, sugar, and milk. A whisk and spatula on the counter. A measuring cup and spoon nearby

When making Chinese sponge cake, it is important to have the right equipment for the job. Here are the baking tools and steaming essentials you will need to make the perfect cake.

Baking Tools

To bake a Chinese sponge cake, you will need the following baking tools:

  • Electric mixer: To beat the egg whites and yolks separately, you will need an electric mixer. This will help you achieve the perfect texture for your cake.

  • Cake pan: You will need a cake pan to bake your sponge cake in. A 9-inch cake pan is a good size for this recipe.

  • Parchment paper: Line your cake pan with parchment paper to prevent your cake from sticking to the pan.

  • Wire rack: Once your cake is done baking, you will need a wire rack to cool it on. This will help prevent the cake from becoming soggy.

Steaming Essentials

If you prefer to steam your Chinese sponge cake instead of baking it, you will need the following steaming essentials:

  • Wok: A wok is a great tool for steaming your sponge cake. It is large enough to hold your cake pan and allows for even steaming.

  • Steamer: You will need a steamer to place in your wok. This will hold your cake pan and allow for steam to circulate around the cake.

  • Parchment paper: Line your cake pan with parchment paper to prevent your cake from sticking to the pan.

  • Instant Pot: If you have an Instant Pot, you can use it as a steamer to steam your sponge cake. Simply place your cake pan on the trivet and add water to the pot.

When it comes to seafood, you can add some shrimp or crab meat to your Chinese sponge cake batter for a unique twist. Simply chop the seafood into small pieces and fold it into the batter before baking or steaming.

Preparation Techniques

Whisking eggs, sugar, and flour in a bowl. Pouring batter into greased cake pan. Preheating oven

Mixing Methods

To achieve a fluffy and soft Chinese sponge cake, proper mixing techniques are crucial. Begin by separating the egg yolks and whites into two different bowls. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until they become pale yellow and thick. Then, add in the oil and milk and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gradually add in sugar while continuing to beat the mixture until it becomes glossy and smooth.

Next, fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture in batches. Use a spatula to gently mix the two mixtures together, being careful not to overmix and deflate the air bubbles. This technique will help to create a light and airy batter that will result in a fluffy sponge cake.

Steaming vs Baking

Traditionally, Chinese sponge cakes are steamed rather than baked. To steam the cake, pour the batter into an ungreased cake pan and smooth the surface with an offset spatula. Place the cake pan into a steamer and steam for about 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

However, if you don't have a steamer, you can also bake the cake in the oven. Preheat the oven to 160°C and place the cake pan on a wire rack in the centre of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

While the traditional steaming method produces a slightly moister cake, baking the cake in the oven can also result in a delicious and fluffy sponge cake.

As a suggestion, seafood can also be added to the recipe to give it a unique twist. Try adding chopped prawns or crab meat to the batter before steaming or baking for a savoury and delicious cake.

Cooking Process

Eggs, sugar, and flour are mixed in a bowl. Bubbles rise as the batter is poured into a cake pan and placed in the oven

Step-by-Step Instructions

Making Chinese sponge cake is a straightforward process that requires some basic ingredients and equipment. Here are the step-by-step instructions to make a moist, fluffy, and soft Chinese sponge cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) or prepare your steamer by filling it with water and bringing it to a boil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they are light and frothy. Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow.
  3. Sift the flour into the egg mixture and gently fold it in until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Add any flavorings, such as vanilla extract, and mix well.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased and floured cake pan or lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or steam it for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven or steamer and let it cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan to loosen the cake, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Finishing Touches

Once the Chinese sponge cake has cooled, it's time to add the finishing touches. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Dust the cake with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.
  2. Serve the cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit, such as strawberries or blueberries.
  3. Cut the cake into slices and serve it with a cup of tea or coffee.

If you want to add some seafood to your Chinese sponge cake recipe, you can try adding some finely chopped shrimp or crabmeat to the batter. Alternatively, you can serve the cake with a side of steamed shrimp or crab legs for a delicious seafood twist.

Serving and Storage

A hand mixing batter in a bowl, next to a lined baking tray with freshly baked Chinese sponge cakes cooling on a wire rack

Presentation Tips

Chinese sponge cake is a delicious dessert that can be served on its own or with a variety of toppings. If you want to impress your guests, you can try adding some fresh fruit or whipped cream on top of the cake. You can also use an offset spatula to create beautiful designs on the cake's surface.

Keeping the Cake Fresh

To keep your Chinese sponge cake fresh, it is important to store it properly. If you plan to eat the cake within a day or two, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature. However, if you want to keep the cake fresh for longer, you should store it in the refrigerator.

When storing the cake in an airtight container, make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the container. This will help prevent the cake from drying out or absorbing any odours from other foods in the refrigerator.

If you need to reheat the cake, you can do so in the microwave for a few seconds. However, be careful not to overheat the cake as it can become tough and dry.

As a suggestion, you can try adding some seafood to your Chinese sponge cake recipe. Shrimp or crab meat can be a great addition to the cake, adding a unique flavour and texture. However, make sure to chop the seafood into small pieces before adding it to the batter.

Cultural Significance and Variations

A table filled with ingredients and utensils for making Chinese sponge cake. Variations of the recipe displayed on a wall

Traditional Chinese Sponge Cake

Chinese sponge cake, also known as bai tang gao, is a beloved snack and dessert in Chinese culture. It is a childhood favorite for many and is often associated with fond memories of family gatherings and special occasions. Traditionally, this delicate and spongy cake is made with simple ingredients such as eggs, flour, and white sugar. It has a unique spongy texture that is light and airy, making it perfect for pairing with tea or as a dim sum dessert.

In Chinese cuisine, sponge cake is also commonly used as a base for other desserts such as fruit cakes and layered cakes. The Chinese steamed sponge cake, or ji dan gao, is a variation of the traditional sponge cake that is steamed instead of baked. This variation is often served during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Modern Twists and Variations

As with many traditional dishes, there are many modern twists and variations on the classic Chinese sponge cake recipe. Malaysian pastry chef, Anna Olson, recommends adding butter to the recipe to create a richer flavour. Another popular variation is the addition of seafood, such as prawns or crab meat, to the cake mixture. This variation is often found in Chinese bakery cakes and adds a unique twist to the classic sponge cake recipe.

The Chinese sponge cake is also similar to other Asian cakes such as angel food cake and chiffon cake. These cakes have a similar spongy texture and delicate flavour, but differ in their ingredients and preparation methods. The white sugar sponge cake recipe by Huang Kitchen is a popular variation of the Chinese sponge cake that uses only egg whites and has a lighter texture.

Overall, the Chinese sponge cake is a versatile and easy-to-make pastry that has a special place in Chinese tradition and culture. Whether you prefer the traditional recipe or a modern twist, this delicate and spongy cake is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the trick to getting a sponge cake really soft and fluffy?

The key to getting a soft and fluffy sponge cake is to beat the eggs and sugar mixture until it is light and fluffy. You should also be careful not to overmix the batter, as this can cause the cake to become dense and heavy.

Can you tell me what goes into a traditional Chinese sponge cake?

A traditional Chinese sponge cake is made with flour, sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil. Some recipes may also use milk or cream to add moisture to the cake. It is important to use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour to achieve the light and airy texture of the cake.

How do you make a simple sponge cake without it going all dense?

To make a simple sponge cake without it becoming dense, it is important to beat the eggs and sugar mixture until it is light and fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold it in gently. Do not overmix the batter, as this can cause the cake to become dense.

What are the main differences between a regular cake and a sponge cake?

The main difference between a regular cake and a sponge cake is the method of mixing. Sponge cakes are made by beating eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, then folding in flour and other ingredients. Regular cakes are made by creaming butter and sugar together, then adding in the other ingredients.

Could you list the types of sponge cakes commonly found in Chinese baking?

Some of the most common types of sponge cakes found in Chinese baking include chiffon cake, steamed sponge cake, and egg sponge cake. These cakes are often flavoured with ingredients such as matcha, red bean, or pandan.

What's the best way to incorporate fruit into a Chinese sponge cake?

One way to incorporate fruit into a Chinese sponge cake is to add it to the batter before baking. You can also use fruit as a topping for the cake, or serve it alongside the cake. For a unique twist, you could try adding seafood such as shrimp or crab to the cake batter, or serving it as a garnish.