This recipe creates the best Chinese sponge cake that is soft, fluffy, and moist! It is easier to make than other chiffon cake recipes and is guaranteed to be a hit for any occasion.
This is a simple, no-fail Chinese sponge cake recipe that I make all the time for parties and get-togethers. Asian people tend to enjoy soft and light desserts that are not overwhelmingly sweet to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.
Unlike other chiffon cake recipes, this recipe does not call for any milk or water in the egg yolk mixture. Instead, it relies solely on oil. This results in a cake that is much more moist and tender than the typical chiffon cake recipe. It is also the easiest because it does not require any sifting and allows you to mix all of the ingredients together at once!
This Chinese sponge cake recipe also calls for 10 eggs, which is quite a few more than the typical chiffon cake recipe like this one. They usually require only 7 or 8 eggs for the same size pan. Using more eggs ensures that this Chinese bakery cake is soft and fluffy, even after extensive mixing.
How to Make Chinese Sponge Cake
Make the Meringue
Add all of the meringue ingredients to a very large mixing bowl. Mix on high speed until the egg whites hold stiff peaks.
Note: Checking for stiff peaks
Mix the meringue at low speed for 30 seconds to a minute to get rid of any large air bubbles. Then, swirl the beater in the meringue a few times before flipping the beater upwards. Egg whites at stiff peaks should hold their shape without bending at the top tips (shown below).
Make the Egg Yolk Mixture
In a second bowl, add all of the egg yolk mixture ingredients and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until lightened in color and thickened.
Mix the Egg Yolk Mixture and Meringue together
Fold 1/4 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture. Then, gently fold in another 1/4 of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture. Finally, gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture and mix until no more pockets of unmixed meringue remain.
Bake and Cool
Pour the cake batter into an ungreased chiffon cake pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then 300F for 30 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and drop it twice on the counter before turning it upside down to cool. Once cool, use a plastic knife or offset spatula to gently remove the cake from the pan.
Adapting This Recipe
This Chinese cake recipe has the basic vanilla flavor. However, you can experiment with different flavors by substituting a few tablespoons of the cake flour with ingredients such as cocoa powder or matcha.
By making this chiffon sponge cake with fruit, you can transform this cake into an impressive centerpiece, as shown below.
- Making the meringue: Make sure that absolutely no egg yolk is in the bowl of egg whites before making the meringue. Even the smallest amount of egg yolk can prevent the egg whites from whipping up properly. Click here to see more information about making meringues. You will also need a very large bowl to whip the 10 egg whites.
- Folding in the meringue: The first addition of meringue helps to lighten the egg yolk batter and does not need to be done very gently. However, the following folds need to be done gently to prevent the air in the meringue from being knocked out.
- Cake Pan: Check that the cake pan you are using is ungreased and not a non-stick pan. The chiffon cake batter must be able to stick to the sides of the pan to rise properly.
- Cooling the Cake Upside Down: Since Chinese sponge cakes are so light and delicate, they must be cooled upside down to prevent them from collapsing. To speed up the cooling process, you can wrap the hot cake pan with a cold, damp towel.
Chinese Sponge Cake, Chiffon Cake
- 10 large egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar 100g
Egg yolk mixture
- 10 large egg yolks
- 1 cup oil 200g
- 1 cup cake flour 112g
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar 100g
- Separate the egg yolks and egg whites
- Add the meringue ingredients to a very large mixing bowl. Mix on high speed for 7-8 minutes until the egg whites are fluffy and hold stiff peaks. More details about checking for stiff peaks are in the post above.
- In a second bowl, add all of the egg yolk mixture ingredients. Mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until the mixture has lightened in color, is thick, and creates ribbons.
- Fold 1/4 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture. You do not need to mix very gently.
- Then, gently fold in another 1/4 of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture.
- Then, gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Mix gently just until there are no more pockets of unmixed meringue.
- Pour the cake batter into a 10″ chiffon cake pan that is not greased. Do not use a non-stick pan. Drop it twice onto the counter to pop any large air bubbles.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then 300F for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and drop it twice onto the counter before turning it upside down to cool.
- After about 3 hours, the cake should have cooled to room temperature. Use a plastic knife or offset spatula to gently remove the cake from the sides and bottom of the pan.
- Optionally serve with whipped cream and fruit.