Green Tea Castella Cake w Cream Cheese Frosting

A family friend recently brought over a couple of slices of a green tea castella cake that she baked the other night. It tasted so light and moist that I had to get my hands on the recipe! Well. Be prepared to be slightly disappointed because this was a bit of a flop. It tasted fine, but…oh you’ll see what I mean!

After asking her for the recipe, what she emailed over were a couple of scanned sheets from a Chinese cookbook. Let me tell you, “confused” does not begin to explain my utter lack of comprehension. It was bad. haha I’m not used to baking by weight so this was odd. I’ll post the recipe at the bottom of this post.


I began first by dissolving the green tea powder in water.

I then whisked the egg yolks and sugar until it was pale, light and fluffy. The green tea liquid is then added. Seemed okay…there was a lot of air incorporated into the batter at this stage.

The sifted dry ingredients go in next. This may be where things started to go downhill for me, I think. I may have overbeat? I added the melted butter at this stage.

The egg whites are dealt with separately. Ensure they are at room temperature—this is crucial. Beat/whip them until you get stiff peaks.

Check out how much the volume had exponentially increased!

Several days after I baked the cake, I asked our family friend for clarification on the specific steps of preparation and this is where we went separate directions.

I had folded in 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter before carefully folding in the rest.

She folded in 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter but then poured the batter into the remaining egg whites. Does it make that big of a difference?! I can’t be too sure…I did deviate from the recipe several times so it’s a little harder to pinpoint where I went wrong.

Either way, it seemed like I had incorporated sufficient air into the batter for it to appear very light. What came out of the oven told a different story haha. It looked like it hadn’t risen to its full potential :( Dare I say dense?!

Oh well. Taste-wise purely, it was fine. With no time to salvage (aka re-bake) the cake, I figured I’d finish it. After all, it was for my brother’s (@YungPhotography) birthday and I can pull out the lemon curd cupcakes I made the night before as a backup. He’d still like it because he’s a supportive older brother like that! :D

Right so at this point I neither trusted the recipe nor myself for following it properly. So I decided to whip up a cream cheese frosting sans recipe. Can’t be that hard! Cream cheese + sugar.

Then separately, I whip whipped cream, sugar and vanilla. Combine the whipped cream and the cream cheese mixture and BAM! You’ve got yourself a light cream cheese frosting!

I tried frosting the layers (split the cake into two layers then halved it) following the method I’d seen on Cake Boss. Yes, I love that show and mildly idolize Buddy Valastro. And yes, I also plan on venturing to Carlo’s Bakery next time I’m in NYC/New Jersey.

Let’s just say I was putting in about 50% effort at this point, hence the grossly uneven layers. I was having too much fun to be a perfectionist for once. :D Well, I did trim the sides so it didn’t look that bad.

And there you have it! The final product ready to be devoured.

This cake was more of a trial cake, me trying to get used to baking by measuring by weight rather than volume. And naturally, this means consumption restricted to myself and my family.

Good thing the frosting was really light because the frosting to cake ratio, as you can see, was shameful. Hey, just know that next time I bake this cake, it’ll look and taste amazing. Specifically, this time, the cake was too moist and hadn’t risen enough.


**The volume notations are the volume of ingredient equivalent to the weight

Green Tea Castella Cake

9 g       green tea powder (4¾ tsp)

40 g    water               (3 tbsp + 1 tsp)

50 g    egg yolk          (2 egg yolks)

65 g    sugar              (¼ cup + 2 tsp)  

138 g  egg white       (4 egg whites)

50 g    sugar              (¼ cup)

50 g    flour                 (6 tbsp)

10 g    cornstarch      (3½ tsp)

25 g    butter, melted (2 tbsp)

  1. Preheat oven to 320oF. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease.
  2. In a bowl, beat egg yolks & sugar (65g) until pale, light and fluffy.
  3. In another bowl mix green tea powder into the water. Boil. Cool.
  4. Mix green tea mixture into the batter.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. Whisk in sugar (50g).
  6. Fold 1/3 egg white mixture into the batter. Carefully fold in the rest.
  7. Sift flour & corn starch. Mix into batter.
  8. Add melted butter into batter. Mix until just combined.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 min or until cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool cake on wire rack. Cut into rectangles.
  11. Alternate layers of cake and frosting. Trim edges.
  12. Pipe final layer of icing. If desired, sprinkle with additional green tea powder.

Well, I hope you all have much better luck at this recipe than I did! :D Happy baking!