This strawberry shortcake cake is a Japanese take on the classic Strawberry shortcake recipe. Japanese strawberry shortcake is made from layers of fluffy and airy sponge cake filled with whipped cream and decorated with fresh strawberries.
What is a Japanese strawberry shortcake cake?
When Japanese say ‘strawberry shortcake’ they are referring to a strawberry sponge cake filled with whipped heavy cream and decorated with fresh strawberries unlike a classic shortcake made with biscuit. Therefore the name Japanese strawberry shortcake cake. It is made with airy and fluffy sponge cake.
Equipment and preparation
I used a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with a whisk attachment to make meringue. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a Handheld Mixer or a good Stainless Steel Whisk. You also need an 18cm (7 inch) cake tin. Line the tin with parchment paper and set aside. Start preheating oven to 180°C (356°F).
No-Fail sponge cake recipe
Baking the perfect sponge cake determines the success of your strawberry shortcake cake. There are two ways to make sponge cake, beat the yolk and egg white together or separately. I used the recipe which beats the egg white and yolk separately.
The reason I used the separate method is that you need to control the whole egg mixture at a certain temperature which is bothersome. It is definitely easier to keep the separated egg white refrigerated to make a firm meringue. Then mix in the egg yolks. Flour needs to be folded into the batter with a spatula trying not to form gluten by overmixing.
When you add the butter and milk mixture to the cake batter, take a little bit of cake batter to the butter and milk mixture and combine them first. If you skip this process and simply pour the butter and milk mixture into the cake batter, the butter tends to gather at the bottom of the mixing bowl because of the butter’s relative density.
How to cut the sponge cake straight?
I don’t have one, but there is a useful tool to slice the sponge cake straight and horizontally. There are though, still many ways to slice sponge cake relatively straight. My sponge cake was about 5 cm (2 inch) tall so I put two wooden coat hangers together which was about 2 cm (0.8inch) high and slid the sharp bread knife along the coathangers.
Another method is to use toothpicks inserted around the side of the cake 2cm (0.8inch) high from the bottom of the cake and slide a sharp knife along the toothpicks. Also, it is easier to cut the sponge cake that has been left overnight than freshly baked and still warm. In order to avoid the cake getting dried out, after completely cooling it, wrap with cling wrap and leave it in room temperature in winter, and refrigerate it in Summer.
The reason for the syrup
After the sponge cake is sliced and before spreading the whipped cream, we need to apply syrup on to the cut surface. You do this because it prevents the sponge cake from drying out. Also the syrup adds a little sweetness to the subtle sweet sponge cake.
Whipped Cream for strawberry shortcake cake
I use pure cream (Australia) which is equivalent to heavy cream in the USA. you need to use a minimum fat content 35% or more for whipping. To whip the cream successfully, check the following tips.
- Keep the cream refrigerated until just before whipping.
- Place a large bowl with cream in it over another bowl with ice in it. Because it is important to maintain a low temperature (5-10°C/41-50°F) otherwise, the milk fat structure of the cream becomes soft and the foam collapses.
- Use a large glass or stainless steel bowl.
- You can use a handheld electric beater with medium speed to start with. When it starts to foam, switch to a stainless steel whisk to avoid overbeating.
Occasions to eat Strawberry shortcake cake
This Strawberry shortcake cake recipe was originally posted as “Japanese birthday cake” in 2016. Because this type of strawberry cake is often served for a birthday. Also Japanese often have this cake for Christmas as well. In my opinion, strawberry shortcake cakes are great for any occasion and events.
Can you freeze Strawberry shortcake cake?
I would recommend consuming the cake within a couple of days. It is not advisable to freeze any cake that has fresh fruit in it. Because fresh fruit contains a lot of moisture when it thaws, it makes the cake soggy as a result. So if you have to freeze them, remove any fruits first. You can wrap the cake with cling wrap, then place it in a ziplock bag. It will keep for about a month.
Other Japanese cakes
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- 3 eggs 1/2 cup
- 115 g sugar 3/4 cup
- 100 g plain flour
- 40 g milk 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
- 25 g unsalted butter 1/4 butter stick
- 60 g water 1/4 cup
- 30 g sugar 2 tbsp
- 250 ml fresh whipping cream 1 cup
- 20 g sugar 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Line an 18cm (7 inch) round cake tin with parchment paper and set aside. Start to preheat the oven to 170 °C (338°F).
- Separate the egg yolk and egg whites.
- Place the egg whites in an electric mixer and gradually (at three different times) add the sugar into the mixer bowl.
- Beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Combine the egg yolks through the egg white mixture.
- Fold the sifted flour through the egg mixture 3-4 times.
- Mix the milk and melted butter together in a small bowl.
- Take a small amount of the egg white mixture and put it into the milk and butter bowl and mix together then add it all into the egg white mixture and mix altogether.
- Pour the mixture into the 18cm lined round cake tin.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- If a skewer comes out clean, the cake is baked. Turn the oven off and remove the cake tin.
- Drop the cake tin onto the kitchen bench from 10 cm (4 inches) high.
- Cool it in the tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack upside down.
- Turn it back and remove the parchment paper. Let it cool completely.
- Wrap the cake with cling wrap and leave it in room temperature overnight.
- Slice the cake horizontally into two slabs *1
- Combine water and sugar to make syrup.
- Brush the syrup on the two cut sides of the cake.
- Whip the cream and spread it on one side of the sponge cake. *2
- Decorate with sliced strawberries and spread more whipped cream over the strawberries.
- Top with the other side of the cake and spread whipped cream over the whole cake.
- Decorate with strawberries and raspberries or your choice of decorations.
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