Instant Pot Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake (Ji Dan Gao)

Instant Pot Chinese Matcha Steamed Sponge Cake (Ji Dan Gao)

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 5 -inch cake in 6-quart IP
Author: Marvellina
Incredibly soft and spongy steamed cake lightly flavored with matcha is steamed in Instant Pot. Cooking method for not using Instant Pot is also included.
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Cooking equipment recommended:


  • Place the eggs, sugar, and matcha in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute and then increase to high speed (6 on kitchen aid) and continue to beat for 20 minutes (yes, 20 minutes, you did not read this wrong). It is crucial to beat it this long so the cake will be light like a sponge. Failure to do so will result in a dense cake (trust me I've eaten a fair share of that!)
  • The batter will double in volume, and turn pale (well, greenish pale in this case). Reduce the speed to low. Gradually add in flour, alternating with the soda drink. We don't want to overwork the flour, just want to mix it in and no more lumps. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to give it a few stir if there 
  • Prepare a 5-6 inch stainless steel or glass round container. Line with 2 square parchment paper overlapping each other.  Pour the batter into the prepared container and gently give it a few tap to break any bubbles

Preparing the Instant Pot:

  • Place the trivet in the pot. Pour 3 cups of water in the pot. Be careful and gently place the container inside the pot on top of the trivet. Close the lid. Remember to place the steam release to SEALED. Press STEAM and click on pressure level and choose HIGH PRESSURE. Use +/- to set the time to 20 minutes. It will probably take about 5 minutes or less to pressurize the pot
  • Once the 20 minutes is up, click on CANCEL and it will turn off. Proceed to 10-minute Natural Release. Then carefully turn the steam release valve to VENTING and let the steam all come out and no more hissing. Open the lid and very carefully lift the trivet by its handle to remove the container out. Lift the 2 sides of the parchment paper to lift the cake out from the container. Let cool for 10 minutes. The cake will be very soft and spongy

If you steam the cake in regular steamer:

  • Make sure you have enough water in the steamer and it has comes to a rolling boil. Carefully placed the cake in there and secure the lid and let it steams on high heat for 30 minutes. If you double up the recipe and use 8-10 inch container, you need to increase the steaming time to 45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. It is important not to open the lid during cooking time (at least the first 30 minutes), so you need to make sure your steamer can hold enough water for at least 30 minutes. If you need to refill water, make sure to refill with hot water and continue with steaming