In our house, we call this Japanese cake the ’tissue box cake’ because of my stupidity the first time I baked this cake.

In Japan, these cakes are traditionally baked in wooden boxes, that gives the cake that deep brown color. Most people make their own cake box using cardboard. I wanted to make mine too.

I fashioned mine out of a really sturdy brown one first. Then I realized, it is really huge and I would have ended up with a really huge cake.  So I decided to make another one.

tissue box

The wrong kind of box to use!!! This is the very box that fell apart.



Use something sturdy like this one

I took my son’s tissue box and fashioned that into a cake tin. You will need to line it inside and out completely in tin foil first, and then line the inside like you would like a cake tin with parchment paper.

And of course, the box burst because firstly, it was so thin. Secondly, the seams were held together by dry glue. The half cooked cake just smeared the oven. Lots of cleaning up to do.

There were still parts that could be eaten. So I cut them up and gave them to my son in his lunch box. Told myself never to bake this cake again. What a waste of ingredients!

Then, my son came home and told me how really good the tissue box cake was.

Yeap. Tissue box cake. Sweet, soft and moist and get this… fatless. Beat that!

Have you turned a disaster into a great memory today? This is one of our family’s.

There are very few ingredients to this cake, so make sure you have the best eggs, the most fragrant honey and the nicest sugar you can find (I use raw caster sugar). The flour used is high protein flour. It is unlike most cakes that call for cake flour. This cake is slightly chewy and hearty. If you use plain or regular flour, you’ll just get sponge cake.

honey from becca

Honey from Becca Moody’s farm. A bee only produces 5ml of honey in a lifetime. How precious is this jar? My daughter nearly slaughtered me for using it to make a cake?! Becca is her friend, and this jar was given by Becca’s mum when my daughter visited them in San Francisco.

How I created a bain marie for beating Swiss meringues or cakes that require beating eggs over a heat. If you have difficulty getting heat while beating, just do without, but ensure eggs are at about at least 30C.

bain marie


O, please DO NOT bake this in a tissue box, if you can’t find a cardbox suitable enough, just use a cake tin! Best eaten having stored in the fridge for a day or two.

Castella Cake

Castella Cake


6 eggs

150g Raw Caster Sugar (or 180g Caster sugar)

3 Tbsp Best Grade Honey

3 Tbsp Hot Water

150g Bread Flour


  1. Preheat oven at 160C.
  2. Over a bain marie, whip the eggs whole and sugar until it turns to white. (Do not allow your bowl to touch the hot water!)
  3. Mix the hot water and honey and add that to the eggs.
  4. Fold in the flour, and bake in a square pan (20cm x 20cm)
  5. Bake for 50 minutes on medium rack until cake has turned brown.
  6. Once it is out of the oven, throw the cake down from 10 cm above kitchen bench.
  7. Turn it over immediately and wrap it in cling wrap and then into the fridge.
  8. The next day, trim off the 4 edges and cut them into pieces.
  9. Best eaten after a day or two.