Monday 29 April 2019

Yuzu Honey Ginger Chiffon Sponge and Pudding Cake

My brother requested for a simple birthday cake for his colleague. After discussing what flavour options to go for, we decided on yuzu. I took the liberty of adding other subtle flavours into the cake as well... Honey, ginger and a little lemon juice! I am a foodie of sorts so I love to focus on bringing an interesting touch to tantalize the senses with flavours and textures that are not one-dimensional, especially when called to create bakes that are simple in design. Here's my take on a simple, no-frills chiffon sponge and pudding cake with no artificial colouring added. The decorative motifs are made entirely out of yuzu peel. Pudding and jelly layers contain no added refined sugar too!

This cake is made of two yuzu chiffon sponge layers, two yuzu ginger honey pudding layers and one layer of yuzu ginger honey jelly. The added yuzu peel decoration adds to the citron flavour and provides an extra bite as well. Although I made yuzu chiffon cake a number of times, I used a reduced egg yolk recipe as a white chiffon was needed. There is no need for that over here so I took the chance to experiment with another recipe and used the cooked dough method. Recipe is adapted from Neo Sook Bee's Instagram post (IG: neo_sook_bee). Do check her awesome account full of delicious looking sponge cakes! The refined sugar-free pudding and jelly layers were inspired by another awesome lady who specializes in coming up with vegan recipes that are keto friendly. Do check out Mei Yee’s Instagram account and be blown away by the beautiful photography and delicious looking food and bakes (IG: nm_meiyee)!

One of the ingredients I used here, yuzu juice concentrate, may not be easily available. I bought a bottle of it during a seasonal offer at Isetan as I was really impressed with the intense flavour without artificial undertones. The only ingredients were sugar and yuzu in the juice concentrate. Substitute juice concentrate with blended and sieved yuzu marmalade and water using equal parts of jam and water if you are unable to get the juice concentrate. The flavour may not be as intense. I use a combination of marmalade/jam and juice concentrate to impart the different intensity, flavour and texture that either jam or juice has. The juice concentrate has an intense yuzu flavour with some sweetness from the sugar added. The jam has pieces of yuzu peel that provides extra bite and a little bitterness that offsets the sweetness of the jam.

Recipe for yuzu chiffon cake, cooked dough method
Ingredients (makes one 17cm chiffon and a 7x7" thick sheet cake. You may use a 7" round pan with removable base but without the central tube. I don't have that so I had to resort to using another cake to cover the hole in the middle of the chiffon 😆):

Egg yolk batter
58g Canola or vegetable oil
95g Cake flour
90g Yuzu tea*
5g Lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
5 egg yolks

5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
70g caster sugar

* Dissolve 60g of yuzu jam in 80g of hot water. Blend it until you get your preferred coarseness of yuzu peel. Measure out 90g of yuzu tea.

1. Preheat oven to 150℃. Set oven rack to second lowest position. Place a tray of water at base of oven (optional). Line 7x7" tray with parchment paper or Teflon sheet if using.

2. Sift cake flour and salt into mixing bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat oil until 80℃ and pour into mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined. Add yuzu juice and whisk until you get a thick smooth paste. Add egg yolk one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

3. Prepare meringue. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding in sugar once egg whites are foamy.

4. Quickly but gently fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Pour batter into prepared tin/tray.

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the 7x7" thin sheet cake from oven and unmould immediately onto a parchment paper to cool. Reduce temperature to 140℃ and continue to bake the 17cm chiffon cake in the tube pan for another 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 130℃ and bake for 30-40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Note that I am baking two cakes at the same time (one 7x7" thin cake and one 17cm tall chiffon cake). If you have a 7" round tin without the central tube, you just have to focus on baking one cake.

6. Cool the tall chiffon cake inverted until room temperature. Unmould by hand. Slice the cake into two (or three if you prefer). Store in airtight container. When ready to assemble, place one layer of sponge on cakeboard with an acetate sheet wrapped around it for layering sponge, pudding and jelly. Because I am using chiffon tin to bake the sponge, I covered the hole in the middle with cake cutout from the layer sponge cake.

Freshly baked yuzu chiffon cake!

A closer look at the cake. You can see tiny specks of yuzu peel!

I chose to use the yuzu peel in the jam as decorations but this is optional. I rinsed the peel in water and leave it to dry on paper towel, cutting and curling the pieces before they are fully dried. You may use the oven at 60℃ to speed up the drying but be careful not to overdry it. As long as the peel is able to hold its shape, it's ready.

Drying yuzu peel

Yuzu ginger honey pudding
50g Water
4tsp Cornflour

200g Yuzu jam, blended and sieved
150g Heavy cream

25g Yuzu juice concentrate
20g honey
150g Water
1 and 1/4 tsp Agar powder
1/8 tsp salt
5g (1tsp) Lemon juice
5g (1tsp) Ginger juice

1. Prepare A) by dissolving cornflour in water in a jug. Set aside.

2. Mix yuzu jam and whipping cream together in a bowl. Set aside. If you want the pudding to have a smooth texture, use a fine sieve for the pureed jam. If you prefer yuzu peel bits in the pudding, you can skip the sieving.

3. Prepare C). Place all ingredients except agar powder in a saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until honey and salt is dissolved. Scatter the agar into the mixture and keep stirring. Once the mixture boils, keep stirring for a minute to ensure all the agar powder is dissolved.

4. Add B) into saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.

5. Stir A) and pour into saucepan in a thin stream, stirring continuously. Keep stirring until mixture boils and continue stirring for another minute or two.

6. Pass the mixture through a sieve if you would like a smooth pudding.

7. Use a ladle to carefully pour pudding over the sponge.

Pudding on sponge layer

8. Wait for a few minutes for the pudding layer to set a little. To speed this up, you may refrigerate the cake for 2 minutes. Carefully place the other sponge layer on top and gently but firmly press it down into the pudding layer.

9. Carefully layer the rest of the pudding on top of the sponge layer. Let the pudding set a little for a few minutes.

10. Carefully arrange the yuzu peel on top of the pudding, gently pressing it into the pudding. Chill the cake in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. In the mean time, prepare the jelly layer.

Yuzu peel on pudding layer

Yuzu ginger honey jelly
60g Yuzu juice concentrate
240g Water
5g Lemon juice
15g Honey
10g Ginger juice
1 tsp Agar powder

1. Place all ingredients except agar powder in a saucepan. Bring to boil while stirring until honey is dissolved.

2. Scatter agar into the mixture and stir continuously for another 2-3 minutes until all the agar is dissolved.

3. Pour into a bowl to let it cool to room temperature but stirring frequently to prevent the jelly from setting.

4. Use a ladle or jug to gently pour jelly over pudding layer. Chill for at least a few hours or overnight before carefully removing the acetate sheet.

Best served within two to three days of assembly. Keep refrigerated in airtight condition.

Thank God that the feedback for this fairly experimental cake was good! It wasn't consumed at its freshest due to my baking schedule but it was still good! The recipe is a keeper! Everyone loved the texture and when the three layers: sponge, pudding and jelly were eaten together, the taste was sublime 😊.

Here's a peek at another yuzu chiffon cake creation that I made with this sponge cake recipe shortly after. Design is taken from our Creative Baking: Chiffon Cakes book. Sunflower cupcakes!

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. Hi ! Dear
    Thought of baking this cake but really in doubt with Step 5. can you kindly explain ? Thanks and Have A Great Day !

    1. Hi, sorry for the confusing explanation for that step 😅. I have updated it. I hope it is clearer now. I bake two cakes at the same time but take the thin layered cake out first and continue to bake the tall cake. The thin cake is to cover the hole in the middle of the cake baked in the tube pan. If you have a round tin with removable base, you can just bake one cake (don't need the thin layered cake)

  2. Hello! can i ask where you purchased the acetate sheets from? Thank you!

    1. I got them from Redman/Phoon Huat but they only have the narrower 6cm ones so I had to stack 2 together to achieve a 12cm height sheet. You can also Google and see where you can buy online for larger sheets. I was lazy to do that and just bought a large reem off the shelf that lasted me for years😆