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Korean Castella Cake Mix (Honey Sponge Cake)

How to make Korean castella cake (honey sponge cake) using pre-mix.

Beksul Castella Mix (Sweet Honey Sponge Cake - Pre mix version)

One of my childhood favourite snacks is castella cake (honey sponge cake). It’s sweet, soft and a well made version of it melts in your mouth!

My mom used to use this cake when she made some sweet rice cake balls (Gyeongdan 경단).

Back then, I didn’t know that the origin of castella was Nagasaki, Japan. (In Japan, castella cake is called kasutera and in Korea we call it 카스테라 빵.) Regardless, castella is a very popular cake / bread in Korea and many people like it.

Conveniently, there is also a pre-mix version of castella you can try as well.

I only found out about it a few months ago. I was very delighted because even though the real ingredients that go into this cake seem simple, many people said that it is a quite a difficult cake to bake from scratch. So why not try a pre-mix version?!

As far as I know, there is only one Castella pre-mix brand in Korea and it is called Beksul Castella Mix by CJ. CJ’s popular bakery brand Tous les Jours is also involved in product development as well.

Unfortunately, they don’t have English instructions for this cake mix, so I thought I will translate it for you.

Though just want to comment that as with many Korean manuals, there was some ambiguity in the instructions, so I added my personal tips and comments based on my own experiment at the end.

Here it goes.

Product Info & A List of Other Ingredients and Tools You Will Need

Beksul Castella Mix components

  • Product name – Beksul Castella mix (by Tous les Jours)
  • Made by – CJ
  • Purchase price – around AUD $4.00 at a Korean grocery store (under 3,000 won in Korea)
  • Weight – 300g (This packet gave me about 8 to 10 medium sized slice of Castella.)
  • Contents – Flour mix 100g (2nd from the left in the photo), Sugar mix 140g (3rd ) and Corn syrup  60g (4th )
  • Difficulty level – Hard (written on the back of the box)
  • Other ingredients you need to supply
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 20 ml milk
  • Baking tools you need
    • Large kneading / mixing bowl
    • Hand mixer
    • Sieve
    • Baking spatula
    • Baking paper
    • Cake tray

How to Make Korean Castella Cake Using Mix (per Manufacturer)


Working with Beksul Castella Mix

  1. Add 3 eggs, 1 egg yolk, sugar mix 140g and corn syrup 60g into a kneading bowl and mix them with a hand mixer on high speed for 5 to 6 mins.
  2. Add the Flour mix 100g into the bowl above (step 1) and quickly mix it in with the spatula. (If you mix it for too long, the Castella can get chewy, so watch out.)
  3. Add the milk and mix well.
  4. Pour the dough into the cake tray (cover up 2/3 of the tray) and bang the cake tray on the board lightly a couple of times to remove air bubbles.
  5. Put the cake tray in the bottom of the pre-heated oven and bake it at 150C to 170C for 30 to 40 mins. (Adjust the time by checking the cake during the baking as it will be different depending on the type of the cake tray and the oven.)
  6. Take the Castella out and cool it down. Serve.

Korean Castella Cake Mix (Honey Sponge Cake) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Manufacturer’s Tip:

For best taste

  • Use hand mixer if you like to taste “authentic” Castella.
  • You can enjoy the extra moist Castella if you eat it after wrapping it with glad wrap for 2 hours once the Castella completely cools down.
  • You can also decorate the cake with freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit (e.g. strawberries)

For convenience

  • Pre-heat the oven at 150C (300F).
  • Take out the eggs and leave them at room temperature for 30 mins.
  • Place the baking paper on the cake tray before you start making the mixture.

Beksul Castella Mix (Sweet Honey Sponge Cake - Pre mix version) sliced

My Tips and Suggestions

  • I pre-heated my oven at 170C (325F) for 10 mins. (I have an electric oven with 56L capacity and it’s not fan forced.)
  • Sieve the sugar mix (from step 1) and the flour mix (from step 2) before adding them in to avoid any lumps.
  • The setting for the hand mixer I used was high (ranges between low and high) and speed 3 (ranges from 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest).
  • I baked the Castella at 160C (320F) for 40 mins.
  • I cool the cake on a rack (still in the baking tray) for 20 mins.
  • It goes very well with warm milk.

My Outcome

Appearance

  • Crust is not as dark as the picture on the box and also it had a somewhat crater looking surface.
  • The Castella shrunk a lot while it was cooling down. It got wrinkly to some degree so it looked less appetising compared to when I first took it out of the oven

Texture and taste

  • It was thoroughly cooked overall (no undercooked or overcooked area) and it was soft. However, the top and bottom crust was a bit sticky and it didn’t stay on the cake. Meaning as I was cutting the slices, the crust got stuck to my fingers.
  • It tasted just like I remembered it should be.

Beksul Castella Mix (Sweet Honey Sponge Cake - Pre mix version) sliced

My Verdict

I thought any pre-mix version of cakes or cookies are easier to work with and you can always expect an above average outcome.

But, this one wasn’t easy! (I also read a lot of people failed to work successfully with this mix on the internet and more closely I saw my sister making literally “uneatable” Castella a few weeks back and we ended up throwing most of it away. For your information, she cooked it on 170C for 30mins and it was undercooked inside and burnt outside!)

I was also very curious how CJ managed to display such a successful looking Castella cake on the box cover. Maybe with help from Photoshop? 🙂

Regardless, it is a very convenient way of creating an instant Castella cake. But, I’m sure it can’t beat the real Nagasaki Castella particularly in texture and taste!


Korean Castella Cake Mix (Honey Sponge Cake)

How to make castella cake using pre mix
3.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • Beksul Castella mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 20 ml milk

Instructions

  • Add 3 eggs, 1 egg yolk, sugar mix 140g and corn syrup 60g into a kneading bowl and mix them with a hand mixer on high speed for 5 to 6 mins.
  • Add the Flour mix 100g into the bowl above (step 1) and quickly mix it in with the spatula. (If you mix it for too long, the Castella can get chewy, so watch out.)
  • Add the milk and mix well.
  • Pour the dough into the cake tray (cover up 2/3 of the tray) and bang the cake tray on the board lightly a couple of times to remove air bubbles.
  • Put the cake tray in the bottom of the pre-heated oven and bake it at 150C to 170C for 30 to 40 mins. (Adjust the time by checking the cake during the baking as it will be different depending on the type of the cake tray and the oven.)
  • Take the Castella out and cool it down. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: September 11, 2017

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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26 thoughts on “Korean Castella Cake Mix (Honey Sponge Cake)”

  1. Just tried making this and I can understand why it might be labelled as “hard” for difficulty. The steps are very easy but I think it’s all in the method of mixing and for how long etc. Also the instructions does not mention a specific cake pan size, and the room for error based on oven times and temps are just too large. I made it in a loaf pan and baked 340 F for 35-40 mins and got a bubbly light brown crust, resembling fish scales. It was super crispy (like croutons) but the inside was very soft (like magic custard cake). It was a strange combination of bread and cake, but overall taste is not very sweet and very fragrant. I would not expect very high success for this cake mix, might even be better to make from scratch

    • I haven’t bought this cake mix since I posted the instruction here. lol My outcome was very similar to as you described. Also their instructions were very vague. Lots of room for errors and misinterpretation for sure!

  2. Can I recommend you and other people trying to do this recipe of using a different pan…
    Traditionally, Castella cakes are baked from wooden mould, to slow down the heat from cooking only the edges. Without a wooden baking tin you might as well try to use some cardboard to act as insulators (as suggested by others on the web). So you put your mixture in one tin, place it in a bigger tin and put foil-wrapped cardboard around between two tins.

    BTW thanks for the recipe, I cannot read Korean:0)

    • Thanks Vanne for your tip! I knew traditional castella was baked in a wooden mould, but I didn’t know it was to slow down the cooking. I will try the method as you suggested. One question, would the foil wrapped cardboard be safe in the oven? I don’t want to cause fire. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. At our International Market they sell a two sponge cakes. One is Sunkist Sponge Cake by Merryland Bakery in Houston Texas. The other is Mee HO Bakery’s Sponge cake also from Houston Texas that is green in color. Both are very light sponge that I love. I want to duplicate these cakes, particularly the Sunkist Sponge but could not find a recipe that seemed right. It seemed there were ingredients not readily available locally. Imagine my delight in finding the Beksul Castella premix cake. My daughter found your website that translated the instructions but I hated to see there were so many problems in getting the cake right. It was over $5.50 at this market. I wonder if it would help or have you tried beating the egg whites until they peaked and folding them into the rest of the mix. Would this lighten the cake and provide some stability do you think? I am anxious to duplicate these sponge cakes and would like this mix to work or alternately locate a good recipe to make from scratch. When we make angel or sponge cakes we whip the whites and fold into the mix but Chiffon cakes are mixed similar to this premix. Suggestions?

    • Hi Julia, As I’m not a baking expert, I don’t know how to make this mix works better. I can suggest you try this recipe to make it from scratch though. http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/castella/ I haven’t tried the recipe myself, but I know the author works very hard in developing authentic Japanese recipes. Let me know how you go! I hope you find what you’re looking for. 🙂

  4. Hi! What size is the tray you used to bake? Castella is my son’s favorite, and so I thought of trying the pre-mix. Thanks!

  5. Hi! Thanks a lot for the translation and all those useful tips. Anyway, i don’t have an oven at home so i used my rice cooker instead. I gave 1,5 hour then flipped it and gave another 1,5. Surprisingly it looked almost the same with the one on the box. Just becareful when you flip it

    • Wow! Thanks Luciana. What a great idea using a rice cooker. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m also very surprised to hear that it looks like the one on the box. lol. I should give it a go again with my rice cooker. 🙂

  6. I have heard about castela cake from my Japanese friend, but have never tasted it. Yours looks absolutely delicious! It’s funny because she once baked it for European friends announcing she would bring a Japanese dessert. I suppose everyone expected something extremely “exotic” and unusual, like the traditional wagashi for example… and when they saw this Western-looking cake they were very disappointed 😉 I have heard it has Portuguese origins, like some other Japanese dishes (fish “nanban zuke”, tonkatsu… and other deep-fried food were apparently introduced by the Portuguese) but Spain sounds more logical, given the name of the cake.

  7. I am not familiar with it but when I heard pre mix I’m in to try it. I’m not much of a baker so pre mix cakes are welcome in my pantry.
    Happy weekend Sue.
    Malou

  8. I remember eating this as a child! I haven’t had it in a long time, but I remember how soft and dense (but still airy) this was. You got me curious now. But I’m not much of a baker. 🙂 Maybe I should stick to the pre-made stuff. This looks delicious Sue!

    • I’m not much of a baker myself either! But I wish I’m good at it because I love cakes and cookies.
      Though I always buy premix version so my skill will never improve until I stop buying those. 🙂

  9. One of those cakes that is not easy to make but that’s just me. Sometimes it goes so well and sometimes it ends up like a artisan bread LOL! Your Castella looks delicious, and i can imagine the delicious “melt in your mouth” taste. Just lovely!

  10. Until I married to a Taiwanese (American), I had no idea Kasutera is famous in Taiwan too, and I now know it’s popular in Korea, and you guys even have premix!!!! I have never seen premix kasutera in Japan. Oh if someone starts selling kasutera premix in Japan I think it’ll be popular…. how come they never did?!?! I’ve been making kasutera lately to make a perfect one, but still I’m not happy… you don’t want to know how many I had eaten. The package picture is always questionable. Heheh.

    • I wonder why premix is not available in Japan yet either! I’m sure it will sell well. You made me laugh about the questionable photo on the box. 🙂 I totally agree!! I’m so looking forward to seeing your perfected Kasutera recipe!

  11. I first heard of Castella in Nagoya, Japan, where I was told it was typical. I was also told that it was introduced by Castilian missionaries centuries ago, and that it took the name from the Spanish for Castile (Castilla).

    • Yeah, I’m not really familiar with the history of castella. Though I read that there are a few different stories about its origin.. But still, Nagasaki castella seems to be the most famous one as a lot of stores I know highlight it as if it’s a selling point.

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