Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Rach: If you’re planning someone’s birthday, why not make it extra special by baking them a cake instead of getting one from the store? Sure it would require some time and effort, but trust me, it’ll all be worth it!

So last week was my mum’s birthday, i wanted to do something that was light in flavor and texture since Chinese New Year was really close by, i didn’t want to bombard everyone’s taste buds before all that festive eating lol. And so, strawberry shortcake it was! A Japanese sponge cake was a good choice because it’s light and not overly sweet. Me likes (and so does my mum). Unlike the American concept of strawberry shortcakes (sweet biscuits or scones topped with strawberries and whipped cream), a Japanese strawberry shortcake is a layered sponge cake with a strawberries, whipped cream filling, and whipped cream frosting. Yes, simple!

Quite an easy cake to do i would say, just remember to be gentle to the batter, so as to not burst the air pockets if you want a fluffy cake! Mine turned out a little dense, maybe because i was too rough with it lol. Well, it tastes pretty nice though! I would make another of this soon and this time i’ll spam in more cream and strawberries! Toss in some white chocolate shavings and almonds too, sounds yummier!

(Makes an 8 inch cake)

  • 4 large eggs (separated)
  • 120 grams granulated sugar (sifted once)
  • 3 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120 grams cake flour (sifted thrice)
  • 22 grams butter (melted)

Stabilized Whipped Cream:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 4 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup icing/powder sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Simple Syrup (optional):

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
2. Beat the sugar and the egg whites together on high till they are stiff and glossy.
3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks till it’s incorporated into the mixture.
4. Add in the milk first, then vanilla extract and flour next. Gently fold them in with a spatula.
5. Fold in the melted butter until it’s well combined.
6. Pour the batter into your ‘already greased’ 8 inch cake pan. Or you can lay in parchment paper instead of greasing the pan too.
7. Get rid of air bubbles by dropping your pan on the counter once or twice.
8. Bake for 25-30mins, or until golden brown. To check, gently press the top to see if it springs back.

While waiting for the oven to work it’s magic, start preparing the whipped cream frosting!
9. Pour the cold water onto a small sauce pan.
10. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it stand for 5 minutes (do not stir).
11. Place the sauce pan over low heat and stir it with a wooden spoon until the gelatin dissolves.
12. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
13. In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract and beat until slightly thickened.
14. Gradually add in the gelatin and beat on high until stiff.

To make the simple syrup:
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves, remove from heat and allow it to cool.

15. Once the cake is ready, allow cake to cool on a wire rack. When it has completely cooled, remove cake from pan.
16. Slice the cake horizontally into half.

17. Spread cream and arrange the sliced strawberries. Spread an additional layer of cream to cover the strawberries.

18. If you want a nice flat top, invert the other cake layer so that the ‘yellow’ side is facing up. Brush with sugar syrup, and layer with cream, including the sides.

19. Decorate the additional strawberries on top as how you want it to be! And brush the top with sugar syrup for a little shine!

I recommend getting 2 packs of strawberries if you want it to be more flavorful! One pack wasn’t enough for us… Also, don’t feel restrained. Feel free to mix in with some blueberries… or if you’re not a fan of berries, mango and peaches would be perfect as well!

I’ll probably do another with mango and peaches! Will update here… so do keep checking back!

Happy Lunar New Year!


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