Although I was satisfied with the génoise cake that I used as the base for my Chinese birthday cake, it was not exactly the cake that I was looking for. The génoise with the Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries was quite delicious but I was still on the search for the sponge-y cake found at Chinese bakeries.
When I was in Vegas last weekend, we stopped by the bakery next to the Pho restaurant. We bought quite a few snacks including a slice of this wonderful cake. I’ve been searching for this elusive recipe but I only found web pages with people requesting the recipe. Lucy Zhang blogged about this cake but the picture on her page shows a cake with a coarser crumb.
I decided to give another recipe a try in hopes of finding an even better Chinese birthday cake. I found this recipe on a message board. I decided to sub a little AP flour for some of the cake flour because I don’t completely trust cake flour to act properly at high altitude. If you’re at sea level you should be fine with using all cake flour.
I even forgot to add the vanilla and it came out delicious. The recipe is for a tube pan or a 9x13 pan. Since I wanted two cakes because I wanted one for home and one to take over to a friend’s house, I baked them in two 9-inch pans. The finished cakes were not tall enough for me to slice and layer so I simply topped with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. I will make a 9x13 version or adjust the recipe for two 9-inch pans this weekend.
Chinese Sponge Cake (aka Chinese Birthday Cake)
(Gai Don Go)
9 eggs, separated
1 cup cake flour, sifted
½ cup all purpose flour, sifted
½ tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. baking powder
1 c. sugar
½ c. water
¼ c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Beat egg yolks until thick, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, water, oil and vanilla and beat until creamy. Set aside.
2. Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
3. Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold the rest of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until incorporated.
4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven. If using a 9x13 pan, bake for about 20-25 minutes. If using tube pan, bake 35-40 minutes and invert the pan while cooling.
5. When cool, top or layer with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
Cake in my cupcake carrier and ready for transporting:
This is not a good picture of the cake but it shows the color and texture of the cake. This is a slice from the cake that I kept for myself. I sprinkled the almonds on top instead of on the side.