Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baked Ji Dan Gao / Chinese Baked Sponge Cake 烤鸡蛋糕

Baking ji dan gao (烤鸡蛋糕 meaning baked egg cake in Chinese) seems to be one of the latest baking craze these days...

For the past two months, everyone in the Asian food blogging world seems to be baking ji dan gao and five thousand dollar bread
. I wanted to bake these cakes and breads too but was busy baking other recipes and then went away for my Singapore holidays.

Oh well... It is better late than never. I have decided to bake ji dan gao first and these are my two variations...

One: zebra ji dan gao inspired by Esther (Copycake Kitchen) and May (Mayck-Law)

zebra Chinese sponge cake
烤鸡蛋糕 / baked ji dan gao with zebra strips
Two: chocolate ji dan gao. My son loves this nice and soft chocolate cake and have been asking me to bake more...

chocolate Chinese sponge cake
chocolate 烤鸡蛋糕 / baked ji dan gao 

鸡蛋糕? Or ji dan gao? What is that? If you copy these Chinese characters and do a Google translate, you will see that it means chicken cake! - LOL!

Chicken cake? Nay! I promise that there is no chicken harmed in these bakes. Mainly, these cakes contain just eggs, flour, sugar and oil. It is a pretty basic sponge cake but amazingly good with soft and fluffy texture. Personally, I think this recipe is brilliant! It is easy to bake and the cake texture is more stable than xiang si. Texture-wise, I think it is much more better than xiang si cake with an extra hint of QQ-ness (meaning bounciness). On the other hand and also on the safe side, I like to emphasize that this opinion is purely accordingly to how I feel and can be subjected to each individual's preference.

Accordingly to Anncoo Journal, this recipe is originally used to make old fashion steamed cakes. Baking enthusiasts have changed this recipe by baking it instead creating a baking trend in Facebook and subsequently, the blogging world too. Besides Ann, Esther and May, Eileen, Jeannie and Jozelyn are my baking friends that have baked this recipe too. Do hop over to their blogs to check different variations of ji dan gao.

And this is how I baked mine...

First, I whisked the egg yolk-flour mixture.
Then, I beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Combine both mixture together...
Making the cake with zebra strips: Ops! ...that I didn't do a good layering job as the last bit of chocolate batter sunk!!! Ai ya!!!
I have used this recipe to bake a chocolate cake too.
Can't wait to try these cakes!
From its outside, I can see that the cake is very spongy!
Here's the inside... Wow!
I have made these chocolate ones with sifted cocoa powder without dissolving it into paste.
Texture is equally good but has specks of chocolate in them.

Even with the specks of chocolate in the chocolate ji dan gao, my son told me that he is loving every slice of this cake... Me too :)

Here is my adapted recipe mainly from Copycake Kitchen and Anncoo Journal

Makes one 14 cm round or 15 cm square cake
3 egg whites
65g icing sugar
3 egg yolks
1 egg
50g neutral tasting oil (can be corn oil or rice bran oil)
65g self raising flour (preferably with 7- 9% low protein content)

For zebra cake:
8g cocoa powder + 2 tbsp hot water
Stir to form a smooth paste

For chocolate cake:
Use 55g self raising flour instead of 65g
plus 10g cocoa powder

Note: (1) The sweetness of chocolate cake is just right and I would not recommend anyone to reduce the sugar content further. (2) I have noticed that there will be specks of cocoa powder in this cake if the cocoa is sifted into the batter with the flour. If you like a smoother texture, you can dissolve the cocoa powder with 2 tbsp hot water before incorporating it into the batter and if you are doing that, please use 65g of self-raising flour instead of 55g. I reckon that both methods have been working well for me.

Preheat oven to 170°C or 150°C fan forced. Line the bottom and the sides of the cake tins with baking paper.

Using a hand whisk, whisk egg yolks and whole egg together in a mixing bowl. Add oil and whisk until combined. Sift in self raising flour (plus cocoa powder if you are making the chocolate variation) and mix to incorporate. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with medium low mixing speed until foamy. Increase mixing speed to medium high. While beating, add icing sugar gradually in 3-4 batches. Continue to beat until mixture form stiff peaks.

Add one third of meringue into egg yolk mixture and mix it gently until the mixture is combined. Transfer the batter back into the rest of the meringue and continue to whisk mixture using the electric mixer with a low speed until it is well combined.

For the chocolate cake:
Pour batter into the prepared tin.

For the zebra cake:
Divide the batter into 2 portion, two third as plain cake batter and one third as chocolate cake batter. Add cocoa paste into one-third of the cake batter and fold it gently to mix.

Pour 2 tbsp of plain batter into the middle of the prepared cake tin. Pour 1 tbsp of chocolate batter on top of plain batter. Continue to pour the plain and chocolate batter alternately until both batters are completely poured into the tin.

Tap the tin slightly on the tabletop to remove air bubbles. Bake for 35-45 mins or until the inserted skewer comes out clean.

Note: I know that my fan forced oven generate too strong heat for the initial 20 mins of baking. To avoid that, I have covered my cakes with foil loosely for the initial 20 mins of baking. After that, I removed the foil and baked the cake for another 20-25 mins. The total baking time of square cake which is shallower is 40 mins and the round cake is 45 mins.

Invert the cake immediately when it is removed from the cover. Remove the cake from the tin and leave it to cool down completely before cutting into slices to serve.

Happy Baking
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  1. Is so moist,i like the chocolate one,one slice pls..haha

  2. yummy cake and one of my favorite cakes esp my kids,
    they even can finish the whole cake by themselves, haha

  3. Absolutely gorgeous your Ji Dan Gao! Such a perfect cake!

  4. Hi Zoe,

    Would you mind to send it to Malaysia??? *mouth water*

  5. Morning Zoe, I really like your chocolate version one!

  6. What gorgeous gorgeous cakes!

  7. This is really impressive! Looks like it tastes as good as it looks too! :)

  8. Zoe, you have reminded me that I also wanted to bake Ji Dan Gao. In fact there are so many other cakes that I want to bake! Both your Ji Dan Gao turned out very well. The zebra one is very attractive.

  9. This is really excellent..can't help from staring onto the sponginess of that cake.

  10. Hi Zoe, again must thank you for trying these lovely cakes and telling us the differences. I always thought steamed Ji Dan Gao has a strong egg aroma and sweet. Looking at yours make me decide to try these. Agree with your son, these must be good.

  11. This looks so good. Unique combination of flavors.
    Love everything about the recipe.

  12. I've bookmarked this too .... it's a must try! Like the zebra stripes on your cake :)

  13. wow. very good ! Actually this cake is simple & nice . Children like it very much.

  14. you are so right about the craze on FB now! wow, your marble JDG looks like a fountain spurting the chocolate sauce!

  15. Those swirls look so amazing! The cut even better :)

  16. Wat een mooi zebra-cake.

  17. Your "chicken cake" according to Google translate..:)
    looks so spongy and delicious..great tutorial also!
    Lovely place you have here.

  18. Hi Zoe, your ji da gao are perfectly baked and the one with Zebra strips look unique!
    Thank you very much for your shout out! :)

  19. What a gorgeous cake, Zoe. I love the chocolate swirls. It's beautifully done. Thumbs up!

  20. Gosh, just gorgeous stuff! Love this, and you baked it perfectly. Thanks for this.

  21. hi Zoe ji dan gao comes to your house too! lovely cake texture! i yet have time to bake one.

  22. This is certainly better late than never!

  23. You do the most amazing stuff, Z.
    I wish I could just reach into my computer monitor and gobble the whole thing up!

  24. I love gai dan gou, I grew up with it.. Mum used to buy two types when I was a kid.. The plain one, which looks like steamed "fatt koh", and the baked one, with a brown crust on top.. Both also very nice to eat it on its own, or dunked in Milo.. The simplest recipe I've came across for this gai dan gou are just using eggs, flour, sugar and 7-Up.. But yet to try la, coz lazy wana take out the mixer.. I usually just whisk with a fork.. Ok, I know I'm lazy, teehee.. *shhhhhhh*

  25. I was looking for something to make and i saw your ji dan gao. It brought back memories of the steamed ones in the good old days. I gave this a try last night and it turned out well. Now, i am wondering if it will turn out well if it's steamed instead? Thanks, Zoe!

  26. ooooooooh, love that marbled one looks so pretty and posh. Have to agree with Coco JZ, just want to grab a slice through the monitor :)

  27. Hi! Zoe, I really miss this soft and moist cake of yours and love your chocolate version, i should bake one too!
    Thank you for the shout out!

  28. Wow, two cakes in a row, I can understand it because I too baked two on the same day lol! Delicious and soft and fluffy and fewer calories than buttercakes...what's not to love huh!

  29. Wow! looks soft and moist...I wish I could have some right now.

  30. Hi Zoe! The texture of the cake is so beautiful. Very well done!

  31. Hi Zoe, I baked this cake but upon cooling, it shrinks quite a bit. Any advice? Thanks.

    1. Hi Kimmy,

      I'm surprised to hear that because my cakes didn't shrink much and in fact, I find baking this recipe so much easier than baking ogura cake. How about baking yours slightly longer and see if they are more stable with lesser liquid content?


    2. Hi Kimmy,

      Just realised that Jessie has a lot of troubles baking her ji dan guo and finally made it. This is her post,

      Hope that it helps.


    3. Thanks Zoe for your advice. I realised the cake tasted much better the next day. I'll try to bake another to see whether it shrinks as much.

  32. WOW! this cake looks fabulous especially the zebra version ! Love the soft , fluffy texture . I've made the steamed version last year & turned out great . To bad my Mat Salleh family not keen of this cake . I have to 'makan' the whole cake ! LOL Now I wonder , should I try baking one too . Thanks for sharing this recipe ;)

  33. I just baked this.It cottony soft and I knew I won't make it again,as I don't like the strong egg smell.

    1. Hi Yoyo,

      I know the kind of strong egg smell that you are referring... You can try using eggs with different quality to bake your food. The different sources of egg used can really make a difference in your cake or other bakes and will definitely make your food taste better. Cheers!


    2. Thanks for your reply. I realised the egg smell is not that strong the next day,it's bearable for me and my husband and daughter love it. I then baked your chocolate version,it's yummy snd no egg smell! I am going to try the zebra cake version soon, but I noticed your recipe says 8 cocoa powder,is it 8g?

    3. Hi Yoyo,

      Thanks for pointing out my typo error. Yes that it should be 8g. Cheers.