A refreshing, fruity orange chiffon cake. Soft and fluffy in texture, you will fall in…
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This vanilla cotton cake is a soft and moist sponge cake, made using the cooked dough method. Along with water-bath baking, you will find the texture of this cake being a lighter version of Japanese cotton cheesecake. A great treat for anytime in the day!
Recipe originally posted in Oct 2017. Updated in Jun 2022 with updated recipe card and pictures.
How To Make A Soft Cotton Sponge Cake?
Cotton sponge cake recipes were very popular few years back! They are actually sponge cakes with a bouncy, soft and moist texture. I find the texture of this cake very similar to Japanese cotton cheesecake, but a lighter version, since there is no cream cheese used here.
The method to make this cake is similar to the chiffon cake method. The differences are that we will be using a cooked dough method, along with water-bath baking.
The Cooked Dough Method
In the first step, we will be scalding the oil before adding into the flour, to make into a roux-like mixture. Simply heat the oil until you see some “marks” at the bottom of the pot. Or, if you are unsure, hover your hand over the pot and it should feel very warm. Take note to not burn yourself with the hot oil while doing this.
Once the oil is ready, turn off heat and pour slowly but steadily into the flour, while stirring constantly. We will let this mixture cool before adding in the eggs and milk to avoid cooking the eggs with the hot temperature.
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What Ingredients Do I Need To Make This Vanilla Cotton Cake?
- Oil: You can use any type of neutral tasting cooking oil. I am using rice bran oil.
- Cake or Top Flour
- Eggs: I am using 55g egg, medium sized.
- Whole Milk
- Caster Sugar
- Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract: Vanilla bean paste will give you a fuller vanilla taste. However, if you do not have vanilla bean paste, you can also use extract.
How To Minimise Cracked Top
Originally, this recipe uses 6 separated eggs + 2 whole eggs. I have halved the recipe quantity to make a shorter cake which can help prevent a cracked top. Make sure that your cake pan has some height allowance for the cake to rise. I find cakes cracking more often when the cake pan is too short. I am using this 8″ square cake pan from Wiltshire (20cm x 20cm x 5cm).
Also, do not over-whip the egg whites. Ideally the egg whites should be at firm peaks before folding into the egg yolk batter. If you whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, it may increase the tendency for the cake to crack on top.
We will be baking this cake on the 2nd lower rack in the oven. The water-bath baking also helps stabilise the oven temperature and ensure even rising of the cake batter. So don’t skip the water-bath! I am using this 11-inch pan for the water-bath.
How Does This Vanilla Cotton Cake Taste Like?
This easy vanilla cake tastes quite different from the usual chiffon cake with its denser and bouncy texture. Also, I like that this cake is not sweet at all! Makes a perfect item for breakfast or tea break.
If you prefer a sweet dessert, pair this cake with latte or milk tea for a sweeter finish.