My dad and I’s birthday are coming up in a few weeks and we’re going to celebrate it with my extended family today. A couple of days ago, my dad tasked me to bake a cake at the very last minute and I began flustering because I was not prepared in the slightest… I didn’t even have all the proper equipment or ingredients to do cake decor! Picking the simplest cake to make as possible that I know my family will like (one that’s not too sweet), I decided to make a Japanese Strawberry Shortcake.
I did struggle quite a bit to make it seeing as it was my first time but it was quite the learning experience to say the least. For this post, I took a different approach and did a step by step picture walkthrough of the entire process (for the most part). See more after the jump!
Surprisingly, my cake turned out a lot better than expected. There were no lumps or holes, and the cake was very soft. Once you read on, you’ll find out why I’m surprised it turned out this well hehe.
To start, prepare a double broiler by simmering some water. Meanwhile, whisk your eggs and sugar in a stand mixer for a few minutes. Stop whisking and take your mixing bowl and place it on top of the double broiler and continue to whisk until all the sugar has dissolved.
Once your egg mixture starts feeling a bit warm to the touch, immediately take it off to prevent cooking the eggs. Add in your vanilla and continue whisking the eggs on high speed until it’s pale yellow in color. Be careful not to overmix it. Your mixture should’ve doubled in volume and you should see streaks forming at the top as the mixture is being whisked when it’s near ready. Once you feel that it’s almost ready, do a quick test and lift your whisk to see if ribbons are formed as the batter drips off the whisk. If it does, you’re good to go!
Now, slowly fold in your cake flour in several batches. This is where I messed up initially.. Since my egg batter is so aerated and fluffy, when I added the flour, it immediately disappeared because it sank all the way to the bottom of the mixing bowl. Therefore as I was folding in the mixture, I thought I evenly folded in all the flour… not until I poured it in my cake pan to realize there was a large chunk of flour at the very bottom of the bowl -_- So I had to re-pour the batter back into the mixing bowl and refold and scrape from the bottom. So pro tip! Be sure to fold and scoop from the very bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure all the flour gets incorporated. Fold gently until the mixture is no longer lumpy. Add in melted butter and milk and fold a few more times until all incorporated. Pour your batter into your cake pan and drop it a few times on a cloth to get rid of as many air bubbles as possible.
Bake in the oven at 350F for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out completely clean. Once it is completely cooked, take it out and drop it again a few times to prevent the cake from shrinking. Cool it upside down on a cooling rack until its cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, slice up your strawberries and pick out the really nice looking ones to decorate the top of your cake.
Use this time to make your whipped cream frosting as well. Make sure your mixing bowl, whisk, and whipping cream are super cold so that your whipped cream holds its shape. Whisk whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until medium-stiff peaks, as seen below.
Also prepare your sugar syrup which consists of heating up sugar, syrup and Kahlua liquor over the stove top until all the sugar has been melted. You’ll be spreading this on your cake to keep it from drying out.
Now, the assembly time 🙂 Carefully cut your cake in half horizontally. Spread your syrup mixture evenly over the surface of the cake using a pastry brush.
Spread on your whipped cream and place your sliced strawberries evenly across the cake.
Add on another layer of whipped cream and place the top of your cake on. Evenly frost your entire cake with a thin layer of whipped cream. Don’t worry if the cake isn’t completely covered in whipped cream to begin with, you’ll be putting it in the fridge for 30 mins to allow the whipped cream to set before adding the final layer.
Use your spatula to smooth out the sides of your cake. If you can turn the cake while evening out the frosting, even better! Finally, just decorate your cake with some rosettes (I used a 1M Wilton piping tip) and top it with some of your best looking strawberries. That’s it you’re done! Admire your masterpiece.
It’s best if you fridge this again before you serve it so everything sets but if you plan to serve it immediately, that’s okay too! Sorry for all the pictures, hope it’s helpful >< I adapted the recipe from JapaneseCooking101 but made a few adjustments to the measurements and also doubled the ingredients as my pan was 9 inches instead of 7.
Prep time: 50 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 1 hr 25 mins
Yield: One 9 inch cake
Sponge Cake Recipe:
- 6 eggs
- 180g granulated sugar
- 180g cake flour
- 40g butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp Kahlua liquor
Whipped cream filling:
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 box of strawberries (454g box). Pick out your 6 best strawberries for decorating and chop up the rest for the filling
- Preheat oven to 350F and line your 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- Prepare your double broiler by bringing water to a simmer. Whisk your eggs and sugar on medium speed using a standmixer. Then move your mixing bowl over to your double broiler and continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the double broiler the moment the mixture starts to get a bit warm to prevent cooking the eggs.
- Continue whisking the egg mixture on medium-high speed until it’s pale and fluffy. When you start to see streaks forming at the top as it’s mixing, it’s almost ready. Add in the vanilla extract and whisk a bit more. To test if the batter is ready, lift the whisk and when the mixture droops down and forms ribbons, it’s ready.
- Fold in your cake flour in several batches, ensuring you scrape the bottom of the bowl so that no flour goes unincorporated.
- When all your flour is incorporated, add in your melted butter and milk mixture and fold the rest in. Fill your cake pan and drop the pan a few times on a towel to get rid of as much of the air bubbles as possible. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Once ready, take it out of the oven and drop it on a towel a few times again to prevent it from shrinking. Let it cool upside down on a cooling rack until it’s ready to handle.
- Prepare the syrup by melting all ingredients in a saucepan. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the whipping cream by whisking all ingredients until medium stiff peak.
- Slice the cake in half horizontally and evenly brush both of the inner layers of the cake with the syrup to give it some moisture.
- Spread on the whipped cream and evenly sprinkle the surface with sliced strawberries. Add another layer of whipped cream and top it with the other half of the cake. Evenly frost the rest of the cake with the whipped cream.
- Put the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set. After 30 mins, take out and frost the rest of the cake until it’s evenly covered. Pipe the cake according to your heart’s desire – I just made a few rosettes with a 1M Wilton piping tip and placed the nice strawberries on top of each of them.
- That’s pretty much it! I would fridge it again before serving it to allow everything to set again but you can serve it right away.
Do you prefer the step by step photo process or just a few photos of the final product? Let me know in the comments below!