Matcha Kasutera/Castella

(Green Tea Sponge Cake)

Matcha Kasutera

August 23: National Sponge Cake Day

Happy birthday to Islander! Just as Highlander’s birth date on April 20 is National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day, today also marks National Sponge Cake Day. Islander wanted to commemorate the date with a snack cake like the ones sold at some Asian grocery stores. Typically, they are unfrosted and feature flavors that reflect the region. She likes the vibrant colors seen through the slices, such as purple for taro/ube/purple yam and green for pandan and matcha/green tea flavors. For this particular post, we prepared a Japanese-style sponge cake called kasutera (or castella in Portuguese, who were among the first European traders and explorers in the Far East). We flavored our kasutera with Japan’s traditional tea to give it a green hue. Make this moist sponge cake for snacktime, birthdays and National Sponge Cake Day!


(Adapted from A World of Cake by Krystina Castella)


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • ¼ cup honey (we used Big Island Bees brand Hawaiian honey) 
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (plus 2 teaspoons for preparing the cake pan)
  • 2 tablespoons green tea powder (we used Teavana brand matcha)
  • butter (for greasing the baking pan)


Grease an 8×8-inch square cake pan with butter. Line it with parchment paper with a slight overhang on the pan edges. Grease over the parchment paper. Sprinkle two teaspoons of sugar in the pan. Sift the cake flour until light and airy.  In a small saucepan, melt the honey in the milk but do not boil. Alternatively, mix the honey and milk in a microwave-safe cup or bowl and heat until well-incorporated. Stir until smooth and set aside.

Matcha Kasutera

In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and the color turns to a pale yellow. Mix in the milk and honey. Gradually add the flour to make a thick batter.

Matcha Kasutera

Stir in the green tea powder until well blended and the color is evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the buttered pan, filling no more than ¾ of the way. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes on the top rack. Lower the heat to 325 degrees F and transfer the pan to the bottom rack of the oven. Continue to bake for 45 minutes, testing the cake with a toothpick for doneness.

Matcha Kasutera

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Lift the cake from the pan using the edges of the parchment paper and continue to cool the cake completely on the wire rack. Remove the parchment paper. Slice off the edges of the cake to reveal the inside green color to contrast with the brown top. Slice into portions, brushing off the crumbs from the cake, and serve.

Matcha Kasutera