You see those perfect Japanese strawberry cakes that you cut into and there’s slices of strawberries inside? Yep this is one of those. Fluffy sponge cake that sandwiches whipped cream and strawberries – simple and light, my type of cake :) I’m surprised mine turned out to be a cake as this is my third time baking a cake and in a dodge oven I wasn’t holding my breath. But look cake!
For step by step pictures do check out the original source at Just One Cookbook’s link as it is super helpful to see if you’ve got everything to the right stage. I’ve followed this to a tee but I’ve tweeked a few steps for the future as there are some parts I’m quite comfortable with.
Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe from Just One Cookbook
Serves 20 cm cake
40 g butter (room temperature)
30 ml full cream milk
4 large eggs (room temperature)
120 g white sugar
120 g cake flour (sifted – can make this by getting one cup of plain flour and taking 2 tbsp out of plain flour out. Then add 2 tbsp cornflour. Sift this 3 times to incorporate cornflour well)
30 ml water
38 g white sugar
15 ml liquor (optional – orange based liquor like Grand Manier or Cointreau)
500 ml thickened cream
40 g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
450 g strawberries
- Place metal mixing bowl and beaters (electric hand mixer attachment) in the fridge.
- Line base of cake pan with baking paper and grease the sides.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced oven).
- Melt butter over double boiler (small heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Bowl does not touch the water).
- Remove butter from heat and whisk in 30 ml milk with a hand whisk.
- Set this bowl aside.
To make sponge:
- Break 4 eggs into a stand mixer bowl.
- Use a hand whisk to whisk eggs together.
- Add 120 g white sugar. Whisk to incorporate together.
- Place bowl over bain marie (pot of hot water at 60°C where bowl touches the water).
- Keep whisking the eggs with a hand whisk to ensure eggs don’t start scrambling.
- Stop whisking when the temperature of the eggs are at 40°C. Remove bowl from pot.
- Whisk on a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on high speed until it is tripled in volume (about 2 minutes).
- Slow speed down and whisk for a minute and check that it has reached the ribbon stage (batter will stay on top of the mixture and will keep it’s form for a bit before going back into the batter).
- Gently fold in half the flour using a hand whisk.
- Fold in the rest of the flour in (do this quickly to not beat out any more air).
- Get a scoop of batter with a spatula and add this to the butter and milk mixture. Mix well. (This is to ensure the butter won’t deflate the batter when it’s added)
- Pour the butter and milk mixture over the spatula over the batter bowl to evenly distribute.
- Using the spatula, gently fold in and the batter should flow down like a ribbon when you lift the spatula up.
- Pour batter into the cake pan at the center. Scrape the rest of the batter and pour it at the side of the cake pan.
- Drop cake pan once to get rid of air bubbles.
- Cook for 25 mins. Check cake is done with a skewer. (While cake is baking, you can move onto the prep stage)
- Take cake pan out of oven and drop on counter (prevents cake from shrinking).
- Run an offset spatula around the cake pan.
- Take cake out by flipping onto cooling racks (remember to remove parchment paper).
- Cover with a thin damp towel to keep the cake moist.
Prep when cake is baking:
- Divide strawberries into ones used for the filling and for decorating.
- Remove husk off strawberries.
- Clean strawberries by wiping with a damp paper towel.
- For strawberries used for decorating the top of the cake, cut in half.
- For strawberries used for filling, slice them into 5mm thick slices.
- Mix 30 ml water, 38 g sugar and 15 ml liquor in a microwaveable small bowl.
- Microwave for 1 min for sugar to dissolve. If the sugar is not all dissolved, stir mixture until it is.
To assemble cake:
- Cut cake in half with a serrated knife.
- Put cake bottom onto cake circle (because I’m cheap I just used a tupperware lid :3)
- Make whipping cream:
- Take metal mixing bowl and hand electric beaters out of fridge.
- Pour cream, sugar and vanilla paste into the bowl.
- Beat with electric hand beaters until soft peaks form.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the sugar syrup on the top and sides of the bottom layer (you should use half of the mixture). This helps the cake not dry out and stay moist.
- Dollop whipped cream onto the bottom of the cake. Using an offset spatula spread the cream around to the edge (make sure level is even).
- Place strawberry slices on the cream at the edge of the cake – you should have an outer circle of strawberries and then an inner circle of strawberries (don’t put strawberries in the middle as it makes it harder to cut).
- Put more cream on top of strawberries where you just cover them (you can kinda still see their outline – don’t put too much cream in).
- Put the top of the sponge cake on top.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the sugar syrup on the top and sides of the top layer cake.
- Dollop whipped cream on the top of the cake.
- Using an offset spatula at a 30°C angle turn the turntable to make smooth top.
- Add cream to the side of the cake. Have the offset spatula at 90°C and turn the turntable away.
- Prepare piping bag with a circle piping tip (Wilton 2A – 12mm diameter)
- Whip the rest of the cream to stiff peaks.
- Fill the piping bag with cream.
- Pipe 2.5 cm diameter whipped cream around the edge of the cream.
- Place strawberries sideways onto the cream (I placed mine the wrong way around but it should be the pointy part of the strawberry sitting on top of the cream).
- Pipe small dollops of whipped cream between the strawberries.
- Cake is good for 2 days refrigerated.
- If wanting to make ahead, wrap the sponge cake in glad wrap once it’s cooled completely.
- If not using alcohol, remember to make that volume up with water.