This cornflour cake made with jujubes is soft, fluffy, and spongy. Made with 7 simple ingredients, this traditional recipe reminds me of childhood and is dairy free, made with wholewheat flour.
Growing up in China, my family used to make this cornflour cake for breakfast all the time.
The steam that comes out of the pot when the cake is about ready, sweet and nutty.
Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that taste the best. This cornflour sponge cake is made up of ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
Make this cake and leave it on your kitchen counter for your family and friends to enjoy with their favorite spreads.
If you enjoy recipes with cornflour, you must try my Pumpkin Cornbread recipe!
What does CornFlour do in a Sponge Cake?
When you bake cornflour, it unlocks a very earthy, nutty, and sweet flavor note.
Cornflour also creates a soft crumb, which makes for a light sponge cake. By combining cornflour with regular or wheat flour, I find that it is the perfect balance of moisture in the crumbs.
This light sponge pairs amazingly with your morning tea or coffee!
Cornflour is also a great source of fiber and potassium, so I like using it to bump up the nutritional content in my baking.
Can you Make CornFlour Sponge Cake without an Oven?
Many people do not know, but you can make a cake without using an oven. This recipe utilizes what some people call a hot water bath – you steam the cake in a pot with water.
The moisture from the water bath prevents the cake from being dry and crumbly. And water also helps distribute the heat and evenly bake our cornflour sponge cake.
Best of all, it leads to a beautifully smooth top because the cooking process is slower. So, you are less likely to have those sudden cracks at the top of your cake.
Ingredients for Cornflour Sponge Cake
The ingredients for this cornflour sponge cake are so simple – only 7 ingredients!
active dry yeast
jujube dates, chopped
How to Make CornFlour Sponge Cake
First, begin by adding cornflour to a bowl and slowly mix in boiling water while stirring with a wooden spatula or my favorite: chopsticks!
You should get a cotton-like texture after stirring.
Hot water brings out the fragrant flavor of the corn – delish!
Hot water also denatures the proteins in flour, which results in a very tender, airy cake texture – this also helps our body digest the cake better.
After mixing, let the cornflour mixture cool a bit and then mix in eggs, yeast, and sugar.
Then add regular flour and pour lukewarm water. 110 F is the ideal temperature — too hot will kill the yeast and too cold won’t allow the yeast to rise properly.
Next, combine again and the batter should be gooey and sticky.
After combining, cover the batter and let it rise in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. You should see a good number of bubbles/holes.
After 1-2 hours, stir with a wooden spatula or chopsticks to release the air from the dough.
Gently, fold in the chopped jujube dates.
Then, grease or line a 9×9 baking dish or 8-9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and pour the cornflour cake batter in the pan.
Next, cover the dough again and let it rise in a warm place for additional 15 minutes. The cake should grow in size.
Add more jujubes on top!
Finally, bring a low level of water to boil in a big pot and place the cake pan on a rack (without the bottom touching the water) and close the cap. Steam for 22 – 23 minutes and then turn off the heat and let it sit for additional 3 – 4 minutes.
You can let the cake sit for longer, if your cake dish was thicker.
Remove from the pot, slice, and enjoy!
How to Serve CornFlour Sponge Cake
This cornflour sponge cake tastes heavenly with a drizzle of honey and a slab of butter, especially when served warm.
You can also enjoy this cake like you would any morning pastry or bread. It pairs well with jams, nut butters, fruit, and more!
How to Store CornFlour Sponge Cake
This cornflour sponge cake can be stored in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for up to 2 days.
It can also be stored in the fridge for 5 – 7 days.
And like most of my mom-friendly recipes, you can freeze them too! Simply defrost and heat to desired temperature.
Substitutions for CornFlour Sponge Cake
I used finely ground cornflour and wholewheat flour, but you can also use regular flour instead of wholewheat.
If you don’t have access to Chinese jujubes, you can also use raisins, cranberries or medjool dates (pitted and chopped).
Most dried fruits taste delish as topping!
OTHER BREAKFAST RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- 250g cornflour
- 250ml boiling water
- 2 eggs
- 5g active dry yeast
- ¼ cup or 20g sugar
- 300g flour
- 200ml water (110F)
- ½ cup chopped jujube dates
1. Add cornflour to a bowl and slowly mix in boiling water while stirring with a wooden spatula or chopsticks.
2. Let the corn flour mixture cool a bit and mix in eggs, yeast, sugar.
3. Add regular flour* and pour lukewarm water (ideal temp is 110 F) and combine again.
4. Cover the batter and let it rise in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
5. Stir with a wooden spatula or chopsticks to release the air from the dough.
6. Fold in the chopped jujube dates.**
7. Grease or line a 9x9 baking dish or 8-9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and pour the cornflour cake batter in the pan.
8. Cover the dough again and let it rise in a warm place for additional 15 minutes
9. Add more jujubes on top.
10. Bring a low level of water to boil in a big pot and place the cake pan on a rack (without the bottom touching the water) and close the cap.
11. Steam for 22 – 23 minutes and then turn off the heat and let it sit for additional 3 – 4 minutes.
12. Remove from the pot and slice.
*you can use whole wheat flour instead
**you can use raisans, medjool dates, or dried apricots instead