I love sponge cake. I didn’t know it until I went to pastry school, because I never had it growing up. I don’t know exactly why I love the airy, eggy stuff – I can’t stand eggs on their own but add sugar and I’m all over ‘em.
The other day I was flipping through my copy of Joy of Cooking and I found a recipe for a sponge cake with rice or potato flour instead of the traditional wheat flour. I had just picked up a fresh box of mochi flour and thought to myself that a mochi sponge cake would be just about the most wonderful thing I could put in my mouth.
I wondered if it would even work at all, since mochi flour is so insanely heavy and sticky. I worried a bit once I had the egg yolk batter all mixed together. It was a thick yellow paste! But in the end I prevailed. Cake is not the boss of me.
As you may remember, I do not own a regular sized cake pan. I have two tiny ones. So I made three quarters of the recipe here (because it’s next to impossible to whip less than three egg yolks in a stand mixer) and went for it. I filled the pans all the way to the top which was apparently too much, because the cakes souffled and spilled (all over the pan I’d placed them on as a preventative measure). I can’t guarantee that the full recipe won’t be too much for the recommended pan, but I can tell you that the cake will, remarkably, not fall despite the weight of the mochi flour.
I finished baking the cakes last night and realized that, besides a few blueberries, I had nothing to serve them with. So I whipped up a quick lemon curd and let it chill overnight. Passion fruit curd would also probably be exceptional here, as well as flavors like yuzu or lime. So sunny!
This would make a tasty and unique strawberry shortcake and would probably take wonderfully to delicious additions like matcha and black sesame powder. I plan on experimenting with baking these in cupcake papers to see what happens.
Mochi Sponge Cake
A satisfyingly chewy gluten-free sponge cake.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup mochi flour
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter and flour a 9″ springform pan (use potato starch to keep it gluten-free).
- With a hand mixer or with a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale.
- Gradually beat in the sugar, then the lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in the mochi flour, scraping down the bowl as you go.
- If using a stand mixer, remove the batter so far to a large mixing bowl. Clean the beater or stand mixer bowl and attachment thoroughly, then whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
- Sacrifice a dollop of the meringue into the batter to loosen it up, then fold the rest of the meringue into the batter until there are no large streaks of unincorporated mixer, but don’t overwork and deflate the batter.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven up to 350F and bake for at least another 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry (a couple clinging crumbs are ok).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then release the springform and turn the cake out upside down onto a rack to finish cooling. Once cool, trim, slice and fill however you like.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Diet (other): Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 12
Meal type: dessert