Use of this website is subject to mandatory arbitration and other terms and conditions, select this link to read those agreements.

Steamed Cake (Mushi-pan) 蒸しパン

Jump to Recipe Discussion
  • This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for details. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Making these soft, light, spongy Japanese steamed cake (Mushi-pan) is surprisingly easy. You can enjoy them as a healthy breakfast or after-school snack. Choose savory or sweet based on the ingredients you use.

    3 kinds of steamed cakes placed on a wire rack.

    These treats may look like muffins, but as you might have guessed – they’re not. We call these Steamed Cakes “Mushi-pan” (蒸しパン) in Japanese. The biggest difference between these cakes and muffins is that these delicious little treats are steamed instead of baked.

    What is Steamed Cake (Mushi-pan)?

    The Japanese steamed cakes are made with very simple ingredients: flour (all-purpose flour or cake flour), baking powder, eggs, milk, sugar, and neutral-flavored oil (such as vegetable oil). While Chinese steamed bun called Mantou (饅頭) uses yeast as a leavening agent, Japanese steamed cakes use baking powder.

    After WWII, when a massive amount of wheat flour was imported from the U.S., and the Japanese started to eat more bread. We call it “pan” (パン) in Japanese. Around the same time, steamed cakes started to appear in Japanese kitchens. As sugar was expensive back then, the Japanese included small chunks of Japanese sweet potatoes (Satsumaimo) to sweeten the steamed cakes. These Satsumaimo Steamed Cakes are still the most popular flavor today.

    3 types of steamed cakes on a cake stand.

    In the late 1980s, convenience stores in Japan started to sell Cheese Mushi-pan (チーズ蒸しパン) and Chocolate Mushi-pan (チョコ蒸しパン) that became really popular. I remember being addicted to Cheese Mushi-pan. The savory cheesy flavor was really too hard to resist.

    My homemade steamed cakes are not the same as those Cheese Mushi-pans. However, homemade steamed cakes are equally delicious and you can play around with various flavors. Unlike store-bought cakes, there are no preservatives and additives.

    These healthy steamed cakes are soft and easy to digest, so they are perfect for small children!

    3 kinds of steamed cakes placed on a wire rack.

    3 Reasons To Make Mushi-Pan (Japanese Steamed Cakes)

    1. Quick and easy to make

    This recipe is so quick and easy to make! Even my children can make them as long as I help with the steaming. It only takes 20 minutes from start to finish. You can make them fresh whenever you want to eat them.

    2. Versatile

    The best part of steamed cakes is that they can be easily changed to either savory or sweet flavor. My Basic Steamed Cake recipe below is the standard where you can adapt to sweet or savory as you please.

    For sweet steamed cakes, you can add vanilla extract. I didn’t add it so the recipe can be changed to a savory one. I recommend keeping the sugar for the savory version as a slight sweetness helps to enhance flavor.

    3. Re-steam to make it fluffy

    You can store in the refrigerator or freezer for later and re-steam it when you want to eat for a quick snack. The steamed cakes will be soft and spongy again!

    If you give my Mushi-Pan recipe a try, let me know. I’d love to hear about your variations and results in the comments! 

    3 types of steamed cakes on a cake stand.

    Sign up for the free Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on FacebookPinterestYouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

    4.62 from 128 votes
    3 types of steamed cakes on a cake stand.
    Steamed Cake
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    20 mins
     
    Making these soft, light, spongy Japanese steamed cake (Mushi-pan) is surprisingly easy. You can enjoy them as a healthy breakfast or after-school snack.   Choose savory or sweet based on the ingredients you use.
    Course: Breakfast, Snack
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: steam bun, steamed cupcake
    Servings: 4 steamed cakes
    Author: Namiko Chen
    Ingredients
    For Basic Steamed Cake
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour (plain flour) (60 g)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 large egg (50 g w/o shell)
    • 2 Tbsp milk
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    For Corn & Cheese Steamed Cake:
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour (plain flour) (60 g)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 large egg (50 g w/o shell)
    • 2 Tbsp milk
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    • ¼ cup corn kernels (40 g)
    • ¼ cup shredded cheese (25 g) (I used sharp cheddar)
    For Double Chocolate Steamed Cake:
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour (plain flour) (60 g)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (7 g)
    • 1 large egg (50 g w/o shell)
    • 3 Tbsp milk
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips (25 g)
    Instructions
    1. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent condensation (please don’t skip!). Fill a large frying pan with water about ½ inch (1.3 cm) deep. Cover the pan with the lid and slowly bring water to a boil. STEAMER: You can also use a regular steamer, but the cooking time will be slightly longer than my method here. Please read the storage and reheating information at the end of the recipe.

      Steamed Cake NEW 1
    For Basic Steamed Cake
    1. Gather all the ingredients. You will also need 4 6-oz ramekins and cupcake liners.

      Steamed Cake NEW 2
    2. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour and baking powder and whisk well to combine (shortcut for sifting).

      Steamed Cake NEW 3
    3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, sugar, and vegetable oil together until combined and sugar is dissolved.

      Steamed Cake NEW 4
    4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined and smooth. Don't over mix.

      Steamed Cake NEW 5
    5. Put a cupcake liner in glass ramekins and divide the batter into the cupcake liners.

      Steamed Cake NEW 6
    6. Place the glass ramekins in the boiling water and cook covered on the lowest heat for 8 minutes.

      Steamed Cake NEW 7
    7. They're done when a skewer inserted comes out clean without wet batter. Turn off the heat and remove the ramekins from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

      Steamed Cake NEW 8
    For Corn & Cheese Steamed Cake
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Steamed Cake NEW 9
    2. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour and baking powder and whisk well to combine (shortcut for sifting).
      Steamed Cake NEW 3
    3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, sugar, and vegetable oil together until combined and sugar is dissolved.

      Steamed Cake NEW 4
    4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined and smooth. Don't over mix.

      Steamed Cake NEW 5
    5. Add corn and cheese and mix until combined. Put a cupcake liner in glass ramekins and divide the batter into the cupcake liners.
      Steamed Cake NEW 10
    6. Place the glass ramekins in the boiling water and cook covered on the lowest heat for 12-13 minutes. They're done when a skewer inserted comes out clean without wet batter.
      Steamed Cake NEW 11
    7. Turn off the heat and remove the ramekins from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
      Steamed Cake NEW 12
    For Double Chocolate Steamed Cake
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Steamed Cake NEW 13
    2. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, and whisk well to combine (shortcut for sifting).
      Steamed Cake NEW 14
    3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, sugar, and vegetable oil together until combined and sugar is dissolved.

      Steamed Cake NEW 15
    4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined and smooth. Don't over mix.

      Steamed Cake NEW 16
    5. Add chocolate chips and mix until combined. Put a cupcake liner in glass ramekins and divide the batter into the cupcake liners.
      Steamed Cake NEW 17
    6. Place the glass ramekins in the boiling water and cook covered on the lowest heat for 8 minutes. They're done when a skewer inserted comes out clean without wet batter. Turn off the heat and remove the ramekins from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

      Steamed Cake NEW 18
    To Store & Reheat
    1. You can store the steamed cakes in the airtight container for up to 2-3 days or freeze them for up to 1 month. You can reheat the steamed cake with one of 2 methods. 1) Cover the steamed cake with a damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave (but be careful not to overheat; it'll become very hard). If you reheat the frozen steamed cake, defrost first before microwaving. 2) Use the same steaming method above or a steamer or to reheat refrigerated/frozen steamed cake till warm.

    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Love Matcha (Green Tea)?

    Check out my Green Tea Steamed Cake too!

    Green tea steamed cake on a wooden plate.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 4, 2011. The new images were added in April 2017. The post was edited and republished in May 2020.

    You Might Also Like

    Leave A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    What type of comment do you have?

    Discussion

  • Wendy Yamazaki wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Wendy Yamazaki wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • MF Yap wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Steffie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • debbie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Mo wrote:
      • Nami wrote:
  • Miki wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • silei wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • kathy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ash wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Eya wrote:
        • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Situ wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • gracey wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • gracey wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • mamahachi wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • innz ferrer wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Shek Ling wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • limsuigek wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Chi wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Maggie Miller wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Noora wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Cathy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Michi wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Juna wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • kira draper wrote:
  • Constance W. wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sabel wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Yyumi wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Yyumi wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Devie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • sudhakar wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Helgee wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Helgee wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ika Arianti wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lulumummy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Selene wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Cerena wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Cerena wrote:
  • jawairya wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Manda wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Mandy wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Lydia wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kass wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ho khai ling wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • yari wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Laura wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kat wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jc wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ming wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Rhianna wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Dona LeyVa wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Apple Girl wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • teo ai li wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Helene wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Erin wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Charlotte wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ai wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • GL wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Vanessa wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lydia wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Lydia wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
          • Lydia wrote:
            • Nami wrote:
  • Hailey wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kay wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Shihpei wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Joan wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Mara Tabata wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • ycel wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kim wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Emali wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Barbara Gini wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Barbara wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
          • Barbara wrote:
            • Nami wrote:
  • Jer wrote:
  • S wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nadine wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Madeline wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Joyce wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Piyathida wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Verna wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Juls wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jen wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • may anne wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • amery chong wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sandra wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ivy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kathleen wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Mobolojo wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • 123fuzzybear wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Hong Lin Ong wrote:
  • Sue wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Sue wrote:
  • Haslinda Lim wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Hong Lin Ong wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Hong Lin Ong wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Teo Ai Li wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Teo Ai Li wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ana Bickel wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Carol wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nicole wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Susuri wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nicole wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Muriel Abigail Celotto wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Vivien wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Vivien wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Daphne wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Grace wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Mariana wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • FC wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Loisa Motik wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Slaxx wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Annette wrote:
  • lina wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sonia wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jessie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nikki wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Mimi Dobbs wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • NF wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ruth Song wrote:
    • Ren wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Ruth Song wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
          • Ruth Song wrote:
            • Nami wrote:
  • Ren wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Ren wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Sling wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • monica evans wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Cady wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Christine Finck wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nicole wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Linda wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Christine Kwong wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lynna wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Steph wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Vickie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Juliana wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Cindy wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Oxana wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Martyna Baran wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kayla wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Cheryl wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Karen Yap wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Hikmah wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Laili wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Rachel Wee wrote:
      • Nami wrote:
  • Diem wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Gail Kimura wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Eefong wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Nadine wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Holly wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Albert wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Albert wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
      • Albert wrote:
      • Albert wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
      • Albert wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Lou wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Wynne wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • CultureClash03 wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Marjorie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Sally Seow wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Karen Ann Palma wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Aiks wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Aiks wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Fion wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Anaanya Singhania wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lajjue wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • JC wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Arty Merindhu wrote:
  • Hui wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Shi Hui wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Anna wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kristina wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Chua Sock Hwee wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Marhama Zulkifli wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Giselle Tan wrote:
    • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Devi wrote:
    • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Autumn wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Victoria Storey wrote:
    • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Angelina Jha wrote:
    • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Rica Fujii wrote:
    • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Kelly wrote:
    • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Shi Hui wrote:
    • Naomi @ Just One Cookbook wrote:
  • Gyoza served on a plate.
    Just One Cookbook logo
    Just One Cookbook logo

    free email series

    5 Secrets to Japanese Cooking

    Making flavorful Japanese food is

    EASIER than you think.

    You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.