A Slice of Paradise: A Guide to Guava Cake

Guava Cake

Guava cake, a tropical delight with a vibrant pink hue and a burst of sweet and tangy guava flavor, is a taste of paradise. This luscious cake is particularly popular in Hawaii, where it’s become a beloved local dessert. But guava cake’s allure transcends borders, offering a unique and delicious treat for anyone who enjoys exploring new flavors.

This article delves into the world of guava cake, exploring its history, varieties, and secrets to baking the perfect cake at home.

A Taste of History: The Origins of Guava Cake

The origins of guava cake can be traced back to 1960s Hawaii. Herbert Matsuba, owner of the famed Dee Lite Bakery in Honolulu, is credited with creating this iconic dessert. Inspired by incorporating more local Hawaiian flavors into his bakery’s offerings, Matsuba experimented with guava, a fruit native to the islands. The result? The now-famous guava chiffon cake, a light and airy cake bursting with guava goodness.

Guava cake’s popularity skyrocketed, prompting Matsuba to expand his repertoire with other tropical fruit cakes like passion fruit and rainbow cake. Even after Dee Lite Bakery closed its doors, guava cake’s legacy continues to live on, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Guava: The Star of the Show

Guava, the heart and soul of this cake, is a tropical fruit native to Central and South America. It boasts a vibrant pink flesh with a sweet and tangy flavor, offering a unique taste profile perfect for baking.

There are several ways to incorporate guava into your cake:

  • Guava puree: This readily available ingredient is made from pureed guava fruit and is the most common way to add guava flavor to cakes.
  • Guava nectar: A thinner and sweeter option compared to puree, guava nectar offers a subtle guava essence.
  • Fresh guava: If you have access to fresh guava, you can use it to make your own puree. Simply blend the peeled and chopped guava with a little water until smooth.

Choosing the right guava

When selecting guava for your cake, look for fruits that are slightly soft but not mushy. The skin should be a vibrant pink or reddish-purple, indicating ripeness.

Unveiling the Varieties: A Look at Different Guava Cakes

Guava cake isn’t a one-size-fits-all dessert. Bakers have experimented with different approaches, resulting in a delightful range of guava cake variations:

  • Classic Guava Chiffon Cake: This is the original creation by Herbert Matsuba. It’s a light and airy cake with a delicate crumb, infused with guava flavor and often topped with a whipped cream cheese frosting and a guava glaze.
  • Guava Cake from a Mix: This is a time-saving option for busy bakers. Simply substitute water in a boxed cake mix with guava juice and follow the baking instructions. Top it off with your favorite frosting and guava glaze.
  • Guava Upside-Down Cake: A unique twist on the classic, this cake features caramelized guava slices at the bottom, followed by a moist guava cake batter.
  • Guava Cheesecake Bars: This delightful hybrid combines the creamy richness of cheesecake with the vibrant flavors of guava cake. These bars are perfect for those who love a bit of tanginess in their desserts.

Baking Bliss: A Step-by-Step Guide to Guava Cake

Ready to create your guava masterpiece? Here’s a step-by-step guide to baking a classic guava chiffon cake:


  • For the cake:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup guava puree
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the guava glaze:
    • 1 cup guava nectar
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For the whipped cream cheese frosting (optional):
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar: In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes. The mixture should become light and fluffy, almost doubling in volume. It will also change color, becoming a pale yellow. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for this step.

Here are some tips for creaming butter and sugar effectively:

  • Use softened butter: Don’t use melted butter or cold butter. Softened butter is at room temperature and has a slightly indented fingertip when pressed. This allows for better creaming and air incorporation.
  • Start slow and gradually increase speed: Begin by mixing on low speed for about 30 seconds to combine the butter and sugar. Then, gradually increase the speed to medium and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl: As you mix, occasionally stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. This ensures all the butter and sugar get creamed together evenly.
  • Look for the right consistency: The creamed butter and sugar mixture should be light and fluffy, with a pale yellow color. It should hold its shape when you lift the beaters, forming soft peaks.

What is Guava Cake Made Of?

Guava cake is a delightful dessert that combines the tropical flavor of guava with a moist and fluffy cake base. The main ingredients typically include:

  1. Guava Puree: Fresh guavas are peeled, seeded, and pureed to create a smooth and flavorful base for the cake.
  2. Flour: All-purpose flour or cake flour is used as the primary dry ingredient to provide structure and texture to the cake.
  3. Sugar: Granulated sugar is added to sweeten the cake batter, balancing the tartness of the guava puree.
  4. Butter or Oil: Butter or vegetable oil is used to add moisture to the cake and enhance its richness.
  5. Eggs: Eggs are incorporated into the batter to provide structure, stability, and richness to the cake.
  6. Baking Powder: Baking powder is a leavening agent that helps the cake rise and become light and fluffy.
  7. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract is often added to enhance the flavor of the cake and complement the fruity notes of the guava.
  8. Milk or Yogurt: Milk or yogurt may be included in the recipe to add moisture and richness to the cake batter.
  9. Optional Flavorings: Additional flavorings such as lemon zest or rum extract may be added to enhance the overall taste of the guava cake.

How Do You Reduce Guava Juice?

To reduce guava juice means to concentrate its flavor by evaporating some of the water content. Here’s a simple method to reduce guava juice:

  1. Prepare the Guava Juice: Start by juicing fresh guavas using a juicer or blender. Strain the juice to remove any pulp or seeds.
  2. Heat the Juice: Pour the guava juice into a saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat.
  3. Simmer the Juice: Once the juice reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
  4. Continue Simmering: Allow the juice to simmer until it has reduced to your desired consistency. Keep in mind that the longer you simmer, the thicker and more concentrated the juice will become.
  5. Cool and Store: Remove the reduced guava juice from the heat and let it cool completely. Transfer it to a clean jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator for later use.

Reducing guava juice intensifies its natural sweetness and flavor, making it a versatile ingredient for various culinary applications.

What is Guava Filling Made Of?

Guava Cake filling, commonly used in pastries and desserts, is typically made from guava paste or guava jam. The main ingredients for guava filling include:

  1. Guava Paste or Jam: Guava paste or jam serves as the primary ingredient, providing the sweet and tangy flavor of guava.
  2. Sugar: Additional sugar may be added to the guava paste or jam to sweeten the filling further, depending on personal preference.
  3. Water or Citrus Juice: Water or citrus juice such as lemon or lime juice may be added to the guava paste or jam to adjust the consistency and enhance the flavor.
  4. Optional Spices: Some recipes may include optional spices such as cinnamon or cloves to add depth and complexity to the guava filling.

To make guava filling, simply combine the guava paste or jam with sugar and water or citrus juice in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the filling reaches your desired consistency. Allow the filling to cool before using it in pastries or desserts.

Guava Cake

What is Guava Paste Made Of?

Guava paste, also known as “goiabada” in Portuguese-speaking countries, is a sweet and dense fruit paste made from guava fruit. The primary ingredients for guava paste include:

  1. Guava: Ripe guavas are used to make guava paste. The guavas are washed, peeled, seeded, and pureed to create a smooth pulp.
  2. Sugar: Granulated sugar is added to the guava puree to sweeten the mixture and help preserve the fruit.
  3. Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is often added to guava paste as a natural preservative and to enhance the flavor of the guava.

To make guava paste, the guava puree is combined with sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and cooked over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and reaches a paste-like consistency. The guava paste is then poured into molds, allowed to cool and set, and cut into squares or rectangles for serving.

Why is Guava So Tasty?

Guava is considered tasty for several reasons, including its unique flavor profile, nutritional benefits, and versatility in culinary applications. Here are some reasons why guava is so tasty:

  1. Sweet and Tangy Flavor: Guava has a delightful combination of sweetness and tanginess, with tropical notes that make it refreshing and enjoyable to eat on its own or in various dishes.
  2. Aromatic Aroma: Guava Cake emits a fragrant aroma that is reminiscent of tropical fruits, adding to its appeal and sensory experience.
  3. Nutritional Value: Guava is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, making it not only tasty but also nutritious.
  4. Versatility: Guava can be eaten fresh, juiced, blended into smoothies, used in desserts, jams, and sauces, or incorporated into savory dishes, offering a wide range of culinary possibilities.
  5. Texture: Depending on the variety, guava can have a creamy, smooth texture or a slightly grainy texture, adding interest and mouthfeel to dishes.

Overall, the unique flavor, aroma, and nutritional benefits of guava contribute to its widespread popularity and reputation as a tasty fruit.

Does Guava Taste Like Tomato?

While both guava and tomato are fruits, they have distinctly different flavors and characteristics. Guava is sweet and aromatic, with tropical notes and a creamy texture when ripe. In contrast, tomato is mildly sweet and slightly acidic, with a savory umami flavor and a juicy, fleshy texture. While both fruits can be enjoyed in various culinary applications, they have distinct taste profiles and are not typically considered interchangeable in recipes.

Is Guava Pink or Red?

Guava fruit comes in various colors, including pink, red, yellow, and green, depending on the variety. Pink and red guava varieties have vibrant pink or red flesh when ripe, while yellow and green guava varieties have pale yellow or white flesh. The color of guava fruit can vary depending on factors such as ripeness, variety, and growing conditions. Regardless of color, guava is prized for its sweet and aromatic flavor and nutritional benefits.

Can I Eat Guava on an Empty Stomach?

Yes, you can eat guava on an empty stomach. Guava Cake is a nutritious fruit that is low in calories and rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. Eating guava on an empty stomach can help hydrate the body, provide a quick source of energy, and support digestion. However, it’s essential to listen to your body’s cues and consume guava in moderation, especially if you have sensitive stomach or digestive issues. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is key to overall health and well-being.

In conclusion, Guava Cake is a versatile and flavorful fruit that can be enjoyed in various forms, from fresh and juicy to blended into beverages or cooked into jams and pastries. Whether you’re savoring the natural sweetness of ripe guava or indulging in guava-infused desserts, this tropical fruit is sure to delight your taste buds and provide a nutritional boost to your diet.


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