Chinese Sponge Cake

Chinese sponge cake
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  • 01 of 10

    Chinese Sponge Cake

    Chinese Sponge Cake
    Rhonda Parkinson

    In China, cakes are normally steamed, which makes them moist. Traditionally, the sponge cake would be served plain, but you can also add fresh or canned fruit or top it with a bit of ice cream.

    Chinese Sponge Cake Recipe:

    • 1 cup sifted cake flour (note: not 1 cup cake flour, sifted)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 5 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp almond extract

    Line an 8 X 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Prepare a wok for steaming.

    Place the flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the baking powder and salt and set aside.

    Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat briefly. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat for another minute (don't let the egg whites stiffen).

    Add the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat for about 2 more minutes. Stir in the almond extract.

    Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring. Mix thoroughly, but do not beat. Pour the batter into the cake pan.

    Bring the water in the wok to a high boil, then turn down to medium. Steam the cake, covered, for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    Remove the cake pan from the wok (take care when removing the wok lid to keep condensation from dripping onto the cake). Cool the cake on a rack. Invert onto a plate and remove the parchment paper. Invert onto another plate so that the cake is right side up. Cut into squares.
    Steamed Chinese Sponge Cake Recipe

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Prepare the Pan

    Covering a pan with parchment paper
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Spray an 8 X 8-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the pan with parchment paper. (The easiest way to do this is to place the pan on a piece of parchment paper and trace an outline around the bottom. Cut out the outline and place it in the bottom of the pan).

     

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Prepare a Wok For Steaming

    Prepare a Wok For Steaming
    Preparing a Wok For Steaming. Rhonda Parkinson

    Prepare a wok for steaming. You'll notice that I am not using a steamer rack or insert. That is because the steamer rack I have is too high to use in the wok with the cake pan - the wok lid wouldn't fit properly. A 2-inch high tin can - in this case a can of bamboo shoots - with the top and bottom cut out makes a handy substitute. (Be sure to poke holes in the can to allow steam to escape).

    Whatever you use, the important thing is to make sure that the cake pan does not touch the sides of the wok and that the wok lid will fit comfortably on the wok during steaming. Fill the wok with boiling water up to a point about 1-inch below the top of the steamer, can, or whatever you are using for a steamer.
     

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  • 04 of 10

    Combine the Dry Ingredients

    Chinese Sponge Cake - Preparing Dry Ingredients for Chinese Sponge Cake
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Stir the baking powder and salt into the sifted cake flour.
     

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Begin Mixing the Wet Ingredients

    Chinese Sponge Cake - Preparing Wet Ingredients for Chinese Sponge Cake
    Rhonda Parkinson

    In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat briefly. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat for another minute (don't let the egg whites stiffen).
     

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Continue Mixing the Wet Ingredients

    Chinese Sponge Cake - Beating Eggs For Steamed Chinese Sponge Cake
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Add the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat for about 2 more minutes. Stir in the almond extract.

     

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Add the Dry Ingredients and Pour into the Pan

    Chinese Sponge Cake - Combining wet and dry ingredients
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring. Mix thoroughly, but do not beat. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
     

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Steaming Instructions I

    Chinese Sponge Cake - Setting the Cake on the Steamer
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Bring the water in the wok to a boil.
    Place the cake pan on the steamer.
    Turn the heat down to medium.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Steaming Instructions II

    Steaming in a wok with lid
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Steam the cake, covered, for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
     

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    You're Done!

    Chinese Sponge Cake - Steaming Chinese Sponge Cake
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Remove the cake pan from the wok (take care when removing the wok lid to keep condensation from dripping onto the cake). Cool the sponge cake on a rack. Invert onto a plate and remove the parchment paper. Invert onto another plate so that the cake is right side up. Cut into squares.