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Japanese strawberry shortcake- クリスマスケーキ
Monday, 26 December 2011 | posted by Simply bakes

There is a something about Japanese cakes and sweets that i love. It's this dainty, small and precise feel about Japanese food that i find really admirable. For my family's Christmas Eve dinner this year, i had a really hard time deciding on what kind of cakes to bake. I decided on Japanese Strawberry Shortcake because it is lighter and is a clean finish to a heavy Christmas meal. Do you know that Christmas in Japan is more like a valentine's day celebrated by couples on a snowy winters day? The beautiful contrast of bright red strawberries on snowy white whipped cream is the perfect symbol for lovers and romance.

I love how Japanese sponge cake is always so soft, moist and airy. The reason why it's so light is because it rises a lot in the oven, not because of leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder but solely because of whipping the eggs till they doubled or tripled in volume. Amazing how 3 eggs and a little flour can turn themselves into a tall and majestic cake huh? :)

I like the fact that this is a really light and refreshing cake. The frosting is simply just cream whipped together with a little castor sugar. It's not heavy or as fattening as buttercream or heaps and heaps of chocolate ganache of chocolate fudge frosting. The natural sweetness of the fresh strawberries really tantalizes your taste buds with a tad bit of tartness. I added some gelatine into the whipped cream so that it will cut more neatly and stay soft and fluffy.  

When i first ate the cake, i thought the cake to have a bit of a coarse texture to it maybe because of the air holes in them? But as i kept eating it, it got better and better. Totally Soft, moist and tender! I loved it very much and i was glad i made the cake. My mum however din't really enjoy it. She wanted more intense flavours like blackforest cheesecake or a deep chocolate roulade. I was kinda upset when she din't finish her cake but apart from that, my sisters found it really delicious and i personally gave it rave reviews. This was really a feat for me considering that i have never made a layered cake or frost a cake before. I loved it very much and i hope you would try it too:D

NOTE: Adapted from cooking with dog, their recipe for the sponge cake only applies to 7 inch cake pans. Only with a 7 inch cake pan will the cake rise high enough for you to slice it into half. For regular 8-9 inch cake pans, double the recipe to make two separate layers. This also applies to the whipping cream. I used 600ml of cream in total to frost my 8-9 inch cake. Also, don't be shy with the sugar syrup or else the cake might be too dry. Let the cake cool in the pan to ensure moisture. Watch This video to have a clearer idea of how to make the cake.

Cake: (for one 7 inch cake)
3 large eggs
100g sugar
90g cake flour
15g unsalted butter
1 tbsp milk

Soaking syrup:
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp kirsch (cherry brandy)

Frosting: (enough to frost a 7 inch cake)
400ml whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp powdered gelatine plus enough hot water to dissolve it (optional)
450g strawberries
powdered sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 320 degree F. Line your cake pan with parchment paper and butter it.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on low speed for about 30 seconds. Put the bowl over a pot of hot simmering water of 160-175degree F (double boiler) and beat the eggs at high speed for about 1-2 minutes. Put your finger into the egg mixture and make sure that all the sugar has dissolved and egg mixture is doubled in volume. Then, remove from heat and continue beating the eggs at high speed for 3 minutes until it forms ribbons and almost tripled in volume.
  • Add the milk to the unsalted butter in a small bowl and put it in the hot water until melted and warm. 
  • Sift the flour into the egg mixture and fold it in lightly. About 30 times. When all the flour is mixed in, pour the preheated butter and milk mixture into the batter and continue folding until the batter is smooth and glossy.
  • Fill your lined cake pan with the batter at once. Drop the cake pan 2 times to remove air bubbles on the surface of the cake. Place the pan into a preheated oven and bake it at 320degreeF for 23 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Drop the cake pan a few times to prevent the cake from shrinking.
  • Let the cake cool in the cake pan inverted onto a cooking rack.

Sugar syrup: 
  • Dissolve the sugar in the hot water. Add the kirsch and mix well.

  • Whip the cream with the castor sugar over a bowl of iced water at high speed until soft peaks formed. 
  • Dissolve the powdered gelatine with the hot water and allow it to cool to room temperature. Add the dissolved gelatine into the whipped cream and fold it until evenly mixed. 

  • For a 7 inch cake, slice the cake into two halves. Save 8 strawberries whole for the decoration on top of the cake. Slice the rest of the strawberries thinly for the cake filling. 
  • Brush the bottom cake layer with sugar syrup until moist. Spread some whipped cream. Fill with all the sliced strawberries and cover the strawberries with more whipped cream.
  • Brush the cut side of the top layer of the cake with sugar syrup.
  • Top the bottom layer cut side down and brush over with more sugar syrup. Cover the whole cake with frosting and decorate by piping rosettes and strawberries.

With Love, Simply Bakes

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I am a 16 year old living in Singapore. This blog is to document my entire baking endeavor and to share with you guys out there recipes and my baking experience. Feel free to ask me any questions, just click 'comment' below each post. Looking forward to the holidays!

Love, SimplyBakes

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