Sponge Cake Roll with Green Tea Cream


My dad loves sponge cake. It’s just slightly sweet, super fluffy, and perfect with a cup of tea. Whenever we go to an Asian bakery, my dad always gets the paper-wrapped sponge cake (纸包蛋糕). Unlike a Western cake with a fine crumb and buttery taste, these sponge cakes are super light and airy. They are also much less sweet and rich.

My dad said that on special occasions when he was little, he used to make steamed sponge cakes with his family. Of course they didn’t have electric mixers like we do now, so the whole family had to work together to beat the eggs to incorporate the air. We now have electric beaters so the process is much quicker and easier, but the taste is still the same.


And so for father’s day, there was no surprise when my dad said he wanted a sponge cake roll with matcha cream inside.

This sponge cake recipe is very moist and fluffy. It does not dry out or deflate easily. We have made it many times, so it is tried and tested!

This recipe is very adaptable to many flavors. You can add whatever you would like to the base pastry cream recipe – instead of matcha, try chocolate or strawberry purée. You can also change the roll cake by switching out some of the flour for cocoa powder or ground nuts.

The outside cake is the same sponge cake recipe from the New Year’s cake and the inside pastry cream is adapted from Allrecipes.

Oven Temperature: 325˚F
Baking Time: 10-14 minutes
Makes: 1 roll cake

3 egg whites
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
65 grams powdered sugar
50 grams vegetable oil
65 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon matcha
2 1/2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First prepare the green tea pastry cream. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, matcha, and 2 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar. Then whisk in the two egg yolks.

In a saucepan, whisk the milk and 2 Tablespoons of sugar over medium heat. Bring to just simmering. Turn off the heat.

Slowly ladle in the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Then return the mixture to the saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking constantly so it doesn’t burn. Cook until the mixture is thick and boiling.

Then remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour into a heat-proof container and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely chilled.

While the cream is chilling, make the cake.

Grease a 10″x15″ jelly roll pan with baking spray. Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, and oil until light. Then mix in the flour and baking powder.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Then mix in the cream of tartar. Slowly add the powdered sugar while mixing on low speed. Then increase the speed to high and mix until stiff peaks form.

Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold gently with a spatula. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10-14 minutes. The edges of the cake should be golden brown and the top should be springy when touched.

While the cake is baking, lay out a clean hand towel that is larger than the cake. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar. Place the towel on a cutting board or other surface.

When the cake is done baking, place the cutting board on top of the cake pan, with the towel touching the surface of the cake. Carefully flip the cake over onto the cutting board. Then remove the baking pan.

Roll the cake up inside the towel and leave to cool in the fridge.

Once the cake is cooled, unroll from the towel. Take the cooled matcha pastry cream and stir to remove any lumps. Then spread on top of the cake, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Reroll the cake up. You can cut off the edges for a cleaner presentation if desired. Enjoy!


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