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How to Make Ogura Cake: Malaysian Sponge Cake

An Ogura Cake or 相思蛋糕 (xiang si dan gao) originated from Batu Pahat, in the state of Johor, Malaysia. It is basically a take on sponge cake baked using the steam-bake method. 相思 literally means lovesick. The story behind this cake is, a woman who lived in Batu Pahat was pining for her Japanese husband named Ogura. Thus, she decided to bake a “lovesick” cake. However, little did she know that he had actually died.

Ogura Cake from The Cinnamon Sheep

What’s unique about this version is that it has 3 different flavors, and of course colors. I decided to go with the basic flavors of Vanilla, Chocolate, and Coffee, but feel free to choose your own favorites! I love this cake. It’s so light and fluffy, it almost makes you feel as if you were in dreamland. Because its so light, you won’t even feel guilty even after eating a big slice, and you’ll be sure to go back for seconds. Since this cake has no butter, and isn’t overly loaded with sugar like the standard dessert cakes, who says you can’t have your treat and be healthy at the same time?

An Ogura Cake is usually baked using square-shaped but feel free to bake it in any shape you want. But be ensure that you line your tins with parchment paper and that the sides are cease-free.

Ogura Cake (Malaysian Sponge Cake)


  • A:
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • B:
  • Egg whites from 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • C:
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • D:
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • E:
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven at 320°F (160°C). Place one rack at the second-lowest position, and set another rack at the lowest position. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients in A until combined. Divide the batter equally into 3 different bowls.
  • Mix the ingredients in C together, making sure there are no lumps. Mix it into one portion of the batter and set aside. This batter should be light brown in color.
  • Repeat for D (dark brown batter) and E (yellow batter).
  • Place all the ingredients in B in a large mixing bowl and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Divide the meringue into each of the 3 bowls of batter and fold gently until thoroughly combined.
  • If you are using a springform cake pan:
  • Pour the dark brown batter, followed by the light brown batter and then the yellow batter. Lightly tap the pan against the counter to make sure that each layer is evenly spread out and that there are no air bubbles.
  • If you are using a normal cake pan:
  • Start with the yellow batter, then the light brown batter, and then the dark brown batter.
  • Place the cake on the second-lowest rack and place a tray of water on the lowest rack. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before unmolding the cake and letting it rest on the baking wire. This ensures that the cake does not deflate and lose its moisture.
 How to Make Ogura Cake: Malaysian Sponge Cake Recipes


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