Chinese Sponge Cake Recipe

Steamed Malay Sponge Cake
Melissa Tse / Getty Images
Ratings (18)
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake (serves 3)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
468 Calories
14g Fat
72g Carbs
15g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The secret of this recipe for Chinese sponge cake lies in the fact it is steamed, which makes it very moist. Traditionally the sponge cake is eaten plain, but you can also serve it with strawberries or other fresh fruit for a light dessert.

Never steamed a cake before? Here are photo instructions on how to steam Chinese Sponge Cake
Steamed Sponge Cake With Coconut Icing


  • 1 cup cake flour (sifted)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Line an 8 X 8 or 9 X 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Prepare a wok for steaming.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 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.