Lunchbox cake is happiness in a box. While finding joy in the little things is the goal for most of us, dessert-lovers can indeed find it in this adorable Korean dessert. Often decorated with dreamy embellishments, this eye-catching confection has been flooding Pinterest and Instagram feeds lately. Be it for a casual picnic or a little celebration, and it will surely sweeten up your day.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about this joyful yet straightforward Korean delicacy. With our easy chocolate lunchbox cake recipe, you will have no frets on preparing this at home.
What are lunchbox cakes?
This Korean 'bento' dessert is a petite-sized dessert packaged in takeout boxes. We found that Korean cafes and bakeries first popularised it. They are known for their pretty delicacies and minimalist aesthetic.
K-pop fans have also popularised it worldwide by making it a thing to celebrate special events with the dessert. Due to that, it is now a top-seller that has saved many local bakers during the pandemic.
What size is a lunchbox cake?
Living up to its name, it is bento-sized. The most common Korean lunchbox cake size is 4 inches, weighing about 350 grams. However, they are also available in bigger sizes, such as 6 inches and 8 inches.
The Korean lunch box cake box and container adds charm to the appeal. Whether your dessert is classic circular-shaped or heart-shaped, it will be nestled in a clamshell takeout container. Despite the fancy decorations on the treat, the simple container gives a more minimalistic vibe.
The edible piece of art is beautiful inside out. Not only it is pleasing to the eyes, but the palates as well! Under the extravagant decorations and frosting is where you'll find the mouth-watering cream-filled moist cake.
A serving of this adorable treat contains about 350 calories. So, despite it being small like other Asian snacks, e.g. Chinese mooncakes, don't be fooled. It packs a punch!
A Korean sweet snack is often either vanilla or chocolate flavoured. These are the go-to flavours as they often complement the taste of the frosting. However, it can also come in other flavours, including more extravagant ones such as lemon, Biscoff and matcha. Since it is customisable, you can come up with any flavour for this confection.
The variety of flavours indeed makes it higher in demand. And we know it can be hard to secure an order due to limited slots. Therefore, we've provided an easy chocolate lunchbox cake recipe in this post so you can bake one on your own!
When it comes to frosting, you can choose to make either whipped cream or buttercream. These two options are the most popular ones out there.
However, buttercream is the most preferred as it does not require refrigeration like whipped cream. Buttercream also has a smooth and creamy texture, whereas whipped cream is delicate and airy.
- The baking time of a lunchbox cake will depend on the baking dish used. To prevent overbaking, be sure to check your pastry once it’s been in the oven for 25 minutes.
- If you are short of time, you can prepare the buttercream frosting up to a week in advance and store it in a refrigerator in an airtight container. Once you’re ready to use it, bring it to room temperature and re-whip beforehand.
- You can use gel food colouring to create bright-coloured frostings.
Lunchbox Cake Recipe | Korean Bento Cake
For the cake base
- 2 pcs eggs
- ⅓ cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Ovalette
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon milk
For the frosting
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 125 g vegetable shortening
- 500 g powdered sugar
- ½ tablespoon evaporated milk
- Mix the eggs, sugar, Ovalette, and vanilla essence in a bowl.
- Add sifted all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into the batter and fold the mixture to combine. Then, add 2 tablespoons of oil and milk while mixing.
- Pour the batter into 3 different greased 4-inch baking tins and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius. Allow the baked dessert to cool before slicing it into 2 or 3 layers.
- For the buttercream, add unsalted butter into a bowl and beat for 2 minutes. Then, add vegetable shortening. Beat for another 3 minutes until it smoothens.
- Gradually add sifted powdered sugar and fold the mixture until it thickens. Then, add evaporated milk and vanilla essence before mixing again until the buttercream becomes smooth and creamy.
- Assemble the lunchbox cake. Spread buttercream on each layer and apply the first coat of frosting. After 15 minutes, add the final frosting, decorate and serve.
- You can soak the baked base pastry in simple syrup to keep it moist while assembling and decorating.
- It is recommended to use a hand mixer when beating/mixing the buttercream.
- Our recipe is for a basic lunchbox cake, but feel free to be creative in presenting your frosting! You can chocolate, vanilla or other types of flavourings to it too.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
We were inspired by Mallis Home Youtube channel's video recipe on how she made this dish. After making the base, she prepared three different types of frosting that all looked beautiful. They all look darling and delicious! We highly recommend you check the video recipe to see how they make them from scratch.
How did your frosty and sweet dessert turn out? Share with your lovely home masterpieces by posting a photo and tagging us on Instagram at @honestfoodtalks!
Have you heard of Honey Toast? They are the next dessert craze from Japan and Korea that has captivated home bakers across the globe. Check out our recipe on how to make them at home!