Soft and fluffy sponge cake filled with fresh strawberries lightly whipped vanilla cream. The perfect version of the classic Japanese strawberry shortcake. A classic asian-bakery style sponge and fluffy cream that melts in your mouth like a dream!
- What is a Strawberry Shortcake?
- What is a Japanese strawberry shortcake?
- Tangmian aka Cooked Dough Method
- How can I make my cake soft and fluffy?
- Why is my cake shrinking?
- Why is the bottom of my sponge cake is dense and raw?
- How do I know when my sponge cake is done?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
I’m finally sharing my ultimate cake. If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life it would probably be this. This cake means so much to me because it was the first cake I had ever baked and it has been with me from the very beginning of my baking career.
Growing up strawberry cream cakes from Asian bakeries were my favourite thing ever. Not even kidding I have had a strawberries and cream cake every single birthday of my life, and I will probably continue that tradition until I die.
That’s why it was the one cake that I wanted to perfect.
I have baked at least 1000 sponges in my life, tested every sponge recipe on the face of earth, and tweaked recipes again and again. But it all came to an end when I managed to create and recreate again and again the perfect sponge. ]
This sponge is soft and delicate, flavorsome, as well as having enough structural integrity as a base for decoration.
What is a Strawberry Shortcake?
There are a lot of different kinds of strawberry shortcakes. In the United States, strawberry shortcakes are flaky biscuits topped with cream and jam. In Britain strawberry shortcakes are a classic crumbly cake topped with cream, jam, and fresh fruit.
What is a Japanese strawberry shortcake?
Japanese strawberry cake has a completely different texture, with a super light and fluffy cake base. Rather than the cream only being sandwiched between the cake layers, the cream is between the layers with strawberry slices and completely covers the sponge for a much moister cake.
The cake is light, delicate, and melts in your mouth.
The Japanese strawberry shortcake is so popular in Japan that it has been deemed the Christmas cake! The cake eaten by all Japanese families to celebrate Christmas.
The sponge cake base is similar to most Asian bakeries, and this sponge would be the same used in Chinese bakery cakes and Korean fresh cream cakes. The only difference is the strawberries used in this one.
This is a classic and you will find them everywhere in Japan, or in any Asian bakery. And once you taste it you will know why!
Tangmian aka Cooked Dough Method
After a lot of experimentation, I found the cooked dough method creates the softest sponge cakes.
Essentially the flour is 'cooked' with the heat of the milk, oil, and butter. This creates a coating so that less gluten is formed when mixing the batter of the cake.
Less gluten = softer and fluffier cake!
This method may be a little more tedious than a classic genoise or chiffon cake, however, the results are so worth it!
How can I make my cake soft and fluffy?
The secret to making the sponge light and fluffy is in the folding of the meringue. This sponge doesn't have any leavening agents, which means it relies on whipped eggs for rise.
If you are too rough when folding the meringue into the batter the air bubbles whipped into the egg whites will be lost. The result will be a dense sponge cake with no rise.
Always lighten the egg mixture with ⅓rd of the meringue before folding the rest in. This makes it easier to incorporate the remaining meringue.
Also, use a spatula to fold the batter together, this will allow you to fold everything together gently.
Why is my cake shrinking?
The most common reason why a sponge cake collapses is the bake time.
Sponge cakes need to be baked long enough that the moisture has been baked out. This way when the cake is taken out of the oven it won't sink.
It can be difficult to gauge when the sponge is ready as everybody's oven is different, so you can't just rely on the time.
The level of moisture in your oven is also a factor, and that can change if you have too much hot water in the bain-marie.
The best way to gauge when the cake is ready is when the cake begins to pull away from the cake pan. If you notice the sides of the cake pull away from the tin the sponge is done and safe to take out of the oven!
To be even safer I would leave it in the oven for another 15 minutes with the heat turned off.
Tip to prevent shrinking
A tip to prevent the cake from shrinking when it comes out of the oven is to give it a firm tap on your counter after it comes out. This removes any hot air that has been trapped, decreasing the risk of deflation.
Why is the bottom of my sponge cake is dense and raw?
There are a couple of factors that can cause the bottom of the sponge to be raw and gummy.
Over-folding of the meringue
Too much air was deflated when the meringue was folded into the batter. Therefore the cake couldn't rise.
Under-folding the meringue
The meringue was not folded through the batter enough, causing the heavier parts of the unfolded batter to sink to the bottom of the tin.
The sponge wasn't baked for long enough
This causes the sponge to deflate when coming out of the oven. This leads to a slightly fluffier top, but a much denser bottom.
How do I know when my sponge cake is done?
There are a couple of ways to test the sponge cake for doneness.
- Spring test: If you press the sponge with your finger it should spring back slowly. If an indent is made you will need to bake it for longer
- Cake pulling away from the sides: The sponge will begin to come away from the sides of the cake tin. That means it's ready.
- Toothpick test: A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean and dry
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does this cake last?
This cake lasts up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. As this cake is made with fresh cream make sure you store it in the fridge until ready to serve.
A lot of cakes use cake flour, why do you use all-purpose flour?
Cake flour is great for giving cakes a lighter texture, however, the cooked dough method removes the need to use it! Even without cake flour, the resulting sponge cake will be equally as light and fluffy.
Let's Get Baking!
Japanese strawberry shortcake is my absolute favorite cake, and once you bake this I'm sure it'll become one of yours too.
If you liked this recipe make sure to leave me a comment and rating down below, I would love to know how you went. Also don't forget to tag me on instagram @catherine.desserts and hashtag #cattycakes so I can see and share your desserts.Print
Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
Soft and fluffy sponge cake filled with fresh strawberries lightly whipped vanilla cream. The perfect version of the classic Japanese-style strawberry shortcake. A classic asian-bakery style sponge and fluffy cream that melts in your mouth like a dream!
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 105 minutes
- Yield: 1 x 6-inch cake 1x
- Category: Cake
- Method: Intermediate
- Cuisine: Japanese
- 50 g Unsalted butter (3 tbsp 1 tsp)
- 40 g Whole milk (2 tbsp 2 tsp)
- 30 g Granulated sugar (I) (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
- 70 g All-purpose flour (½ cup 1 tbsp)
- 3 Egg yolks
- 3 Egg whites
- 60 g Granulated sugar (II) (¼ cup 1 tbsp)
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 600 g Thickened/Heavy cream (2 ½ cups)
- ½ tsp Vanilla paste
- 50 g Granulated sugar (¼ cup)
- 30 g Granulated sugar (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
- 30 g Water (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
- Punnet of strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 140°C fan forced/ 150°C convection
- Line the bottom of a 6-inch cake tin
- In a medium sized bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar (I)
- In a small saucepan heat the milk and butter over low heat until melted
- While whisking pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk until smooth
- Sift the flour into the egg yolk mixture and mix until combined
- Add the vanilla bean paste
In another bowl whip the egg whites with sugar (II) until stiff peaks
- In three additions fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture, being careful not to deflate the bubbles
- Transfer the batter to the cake tin
- Place the cake tin in a water bath (a tray/tin of boiling water) and bake for 60 minutes
- Turn the oven off and leave in the oven for 15 minutes
- Once cooled run a knife around the edge of the cake tin and invert the pan
- Wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge until assembly
- Whip the cream with an electric whisk and slowly stream the sugar in
- Beat until stiff peaks
- Combine the sugar and water in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until melted, cool
- Slice half the punnet of strawberries
- Slice the cooled cake into three layers
- Lay one layer of cake down and brush with the sugar syrup
- Spread on a layer of cream, a layer of strawberries and then cover with another layer of cream, repeat
- Place the last layer of sponge on top and give the cake a thin crumb coat before icing the entire cake with cream
- Place a french star tip into a piping bag and fill with the remaining cream
- Pipe a border around the edge of the cake and decorate with the remaining strawberries
Keywords: strawberry shortcake, japanese, asian fresh cream cake, chiffon cake