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Steamed Sponge Cake

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Cotton soft, fluffy, airy, moist — these are the sensations you’ll experience when you enjoy a plate of delicious steamed Chinese cake. This steamed sponge cake recipe is a Chinese sponge cake that requires no oven to yield a fluffy cake that you can easily get at a dim sum restaurant or a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.

Steamed Sponge Cake

For those of you who have been with me for awhile, I have yet to get my own oven to bake all the goodies and cakes and treats I want in this world. I do have an oven for crafts though, but not for baking or cooking proper food. My hubby did promise to get me a fully equipped kitchen when we move to a new house. Hopefully, this dream kitchen and oven will materialize soon!

Anyways, for you bakers out there who don’t have a proper oven as i do, this great Steamed Sponge Cake recipe is perfect angel food cake but Asian style if you are craving something light and appetizing for dessert.

I’ve realized that Asian cakes tend to be more on the fluffier and softer side with a taste so light you can float to heaven in a bite. Likewise, this steamed sponge cake is simple yet appetizing with the additional lemon and cranberries taste. This Asian sponge cake is adapted from the original recipe from a local baker’s recipe book: Magic Steamed Cake, by Alex Goh, ISBN #: 978-967-5413-35-5, the original name for this recipe is Lemon Angel Cake.

Steamed Sponge Cake

As this sponge cake recipe is made by steaming, I initially assumed that the steamed sponge cake would be incomparable in terms of the fluffiness of a baked sponge cake, but I was delightfully wrong as it was equally as fluffy but a little denser as there is moisture in it.

This steamed chinese sponge cake is meringue-based hence it is sooo much healthier as it only uses a little oil in the recipe. It’s tailor-made for those who are on a calorie diet or a weight loss program. The steamed sponge cake has to be served fresh, for the longer you keep it, the denser it will be. Since it has to be served fresh, a smaller sponge cake will be the right portion for a small family. A smaller cake is easier to steam too. Hence this recipe serves only four slices of this sponge cake steamed.


scroll ⬇️ to get the detailed printable recipe

Steamed Sponge Cake Ingredients

This chinese cake recipe is divided into four parts. All dry ingredients and wet ingredients are at room temperature unless otherwise mentioned. Unlike the Japanese cheesecake which is another soft asian cake recipe, this steamed chinese cake recipe does not require cream cheese or other ingredients like vanilla extract or custard powder.

Steamed Sponge Cake


  • Egg Whites
  • Sugar
  • Salt


  • Vegetable Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Water
  • Lemon Zest

C: SIEVED TWICE (to get finer flour)

  • Cake Flour (low gluten flour, super fine flour, but, not all-purpose flour)
  • Baking Powder (double action)


  • Dried Cranberries (chopped and dusted with C)

If you are not a fan of cranberries you can easily remove it from this steamed recipe and increase the concentration of lemon zest or even add in vanilla extract if you want it to be more flavorful.

Kitchen Tools

Here are some of the kitchen tools you will need to make this sweet treat.

  • 4 1/2 inch round cake pan (lined)
  • Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer (electric mixer)
  • Flour Sieve
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Measuring spoon
  • Silicon or Rubber Spatula
  • Steamer or traditionally lined bamboo steamer

I used a big wok filled with hot water at a water level that does not cover the small bowl of cake batter (it doesn’t have to be boiling water) with a tall steamer lid to cover and steam on my gas stove. If you are worried about any droplets of condensation dripping onto the top of the cake and forming large holes then you can place a cloth underneath the lid before you close the steamer lid.

Steamed Sponge Cake recipe

Perfecting the Chinese Sponge Cake Recipe

Generally for meringue-based sponge cakes, whether they are steamed or baked, usually call for a separation of egg yolks and egg whites. Although it may seem intimidating especially if it’s your first time attempting a cake like that, honestly, it’s not as hard as it seems as long as you get a hand of it. Here are some tips on how to master your egg mixture and achieve the perfect cake batter.

Steamed Sponge Cake
  • Place ingredients A, egg whites, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl and beat with low speed then gradually increase to high speed when the foam is formed.
  • Watch some videos on YouTube or familiarize yourself with some pictures online on what stiff peaks look like as you need to continue to beat until smooth and soft peaks, similar to a meringue batter but softer in stiffness.
  • Make sure there are no egg yolks residue in A as they will not whip properly and it will be hard to get a proper meringue.
  • Slowly and gently fold in ingredients C ( the double-sieved cake flour mixture and baking powder) until they are all combined well. Use a spatula to gently scoop from underneath the batter, rotating the bowl as you go to combine them well.

If you have tried this Steamed Sponge Cake recipe and loved it, I have more recipes in my recipe section for you to master. But if you are looking for other of my famous cake recipes then you can always try my Japanese CheesecakeMatcha CheesecakeBlueberry CheesecakePumpkin Pie Cheesecake, and for those who want to indulge without guilt — Low Carb Cheesecake and Burnt Cheesecake both are keto desserts perfect for those who are in a keto or low carb diet.

Steamed Sponge Cake Recipe

Steamed Sponge Cake Recipe

Yield: 4 Slices Of Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Cotton soft, fluffy, airy, moist — these are the sensations you’ll experience when you enjoy a plate of delicious steamed Chinese cake. This steamed sponge cake recipe is a Chinese sponge cake that requires no oven to yield a fluffy cake that you can easily get at a dim sum restaurant or a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.

Enjoy making them!



  • Egg White – 2 (Size: large, around 60g net without shell)
  • Sugar – 60 gram
  • Salt – 1/8 teaspoon


  • Vegetable Oil – 30 gram
  • Lemon Juice – 20 gram (squeezed from 1 large lemon)
  • Water – 20 gram
  • Lemon Zest – from 1/2 lemon (1/2 for mixing and 1/2 for sprinkles)

C: sieved twice

  • Cake Flour – 70 gram
  • Baking Powder (double action) – 1/2 teaspoon


  • Dried Cranberries – 20 gram (chopped and dust with C)


  • 4 1/2 inch round cake tin (lined)
  • Electrical Mixer
  • Flour Sieve
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Measuring spoon
  • Silicon Spatula
  • Steamer



  1. Whip A until smooth and soft peak. (Picture 2, 3)
  2. Add B, mix well with low speed. (Picture 4)
  3. Fold in sieved C with silicon spatula gradually, then D, mix until well-combined. (Picture 5, 6)
  4. Pour batter into cake tin. (Picture 7)
  5. Place into steamer and steam for 25 – 30 minutes in high heat. Or, until test skewer comes out clean. (Picture 8)
  6. Let cold and remove from tin. Serve fresh. (Picture 9)


  1. a. Measure and prepare all the ingredients.
    b. Lined cake tin.
    c. Set up the steaming station and standby with medium heat, turn to high heat just before you are about to steam.
    IngredientsPicture 1

  2. a. Place ingredients A, egg whites, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl.
    b. Beat with low speed then gradually increase to high speed when foam is formed.
    beat sugar and egg whitePicture 2

  3. Continue to beat until smooth and soft peak, similar to a meringue batter but softer in stiffness.
    smooth and soft meringuePicture 3

  4. Add in ingredients B, lemon juice, water, oil, and lemon zest, and mix in low speed until well-combined.
    lemon meringuePicture 4

  5. Slowly and gently fold in ingredients C, double-sieved cake flour and baking powder, part by part until mix well.
    fold in cake flourPicture 5

  6. Lastly, mix ingredient D, chopped and dusted dried cranberries, into the sponge cake batter, mix well and evenly.
    add dusted dried cranberriesPicture 6

  7. Pour sponge cake batter into a lined 4 1/2″ cake tin and steam with high heat for 25 – 30 minutes.
    steam cake at high heatPicture 7

  8. I used a big wok with a tall lid to cover and steam on my gas stove.
    cover lid and steam for 25 -30 minutesPicture 8

  9. a. Check with test skewer to confirm that the cake is well cooked, in usual circumstance, it is cooked after 20 minutes since it is just a small cake.
    b. Take out and let cool.
    c. Remove from cake tin and serve fresh.
    Cranberries Lemon Zest Steamed CakePicture 9

Steamed Sponge Cake


  1. Steamed cakes tend to be denser than baked cake and has more moisture in them.
  2. If you make a larger cake, increase the ingredient proportionally. The steaming time needs to be increased as well.

Get the full article at

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 7.8gSaturated Fat: 1.5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3.7g

Did you make this recipe?

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Wednesday 19th of November 2014

very tasty and easy recipe .thanks for this blog . i try it. plz like this link.


Saturday 20th of July 2013

You are the best"""أنت الأفضل""".


Sunday 7th of July 2013

Finally was able to print the recipe for the steamed sponge cake BUT it seems as though I will need a magnifier to read it??? Will let you know how it turns out when I get to make it. Thanks for the recipe.


Sunday 8th of July 2012

Can I use whole egg instead of just the egg white?

Craft Passion

Monday 9th of July 2012

If using whole egg, you can't beat to a meringue batter.


Thursday 5th of July 2012

heh your steamed cake looks soft and fluffy! Heh i would wish to attempt it. Can i ask if i could use a manual whisk for this, as I havent got down to buying an electric mixer



Craft Passion

Thursday 5th of July 2012

I haven't tried using hand to whisk (I don't have strong arm, lol) but I think it can be done if you can whisk till the stiffness as described here.

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