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japanese strawberry shortcake recipe

japanese strawberry shortcake recipe

japanese strawberry shortcake recipe

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The garden strawberry (or simply strawberry; Fragaria × ananassa)[1] is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria, collectively known as the strawberries, which are cultivated worldwide for their fruit. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as jam, juice, pies, ice cream, milkshakes, and chocolates. Artificial strawberry flavorings and aromas are also widely used in products such as candy, soap, lip gloss, perfume, and many others.

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Here’s my moist, airy, and light Japanese strawberry shortcake recipe with homemade whipped cream. This simple and elegant cake is perfect for celebrating all occasions. Detailed step-by-step picture instructions are included.

It is a simple cake very popular in Japan made with vanilla sponge cake, whipped cream and strawberries. This version is made with an eggless soft sponge cake but I can guarantee that nobody will notice it’s made without eggs!

It became very popular as a Birthday Cake and during Christmas season, but I think it’s perfect for any occasion.

For this reason I’ve used a rectuangular large baking sheet, then I’ve cut it in two to get 2 cake layers. You can use your oven baking tray (30x38cm-12x15inch) to bake this cake.


For the Sponge Cake

  • ▢3Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ▢2Tbsp whole milk (I highly recommend using whole milk instead of reduced-fat milk. I’ve tried using both, and I concluded that whole-fat milk makes a difference with the final result.(
  • ▢4 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell)
  • ▢½ cup sugar (½ cup + 2 Tbsp to be precise)
  • ▢1 cup cake flour (No cake flour? See Notes; if you use a measuring cup, fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. Otherwise, you will end up with more than 120 g of flour.)

1 Tbsp butter (for greasing; can also use shortening or cooking spray)

For the Syrup

  • ▢2Tbsp water
  • ▢3Tbsp sugar
  • ▢1Tbsp liquor of your choice (optional; I like orange liqueurs like Grand Marnier or Cointreau.)

Then For the Fresh Whipped Cream

  • ▢2cups heavy whipping cream (36% fat; must be at least 30-35% fat)
  • ▢3Tbsp sugar (8% of heavy cream weight: 480 ml x 8% = 38g)
japanese strawberry shortcake recipe
japanese strawberry shortcake recipe

For the Decorations

  • ▢1lb strawberries (for filling and decoration; if you like to decorate your cake with strawberries, you want to look for similar-sized strawberries to make it look pretty. Buy an extra pack to increase your chances of finding similar-sized strawberries!(
  • 10 blueberries
  • ▢2 sprigs mint leaves.

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Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)

Sponge Cake

  • 125g/4.4ozall-purpose flour sifted 3 times
  • 100g/3.5ozsugar (note 1)
  • 4large eggs , yolks and whites separated (note 2)
  • 60g/2.1ozbutter , melted
  • Butter and flour to coat inside the cake pan


  • 18strawberries (mid-size, note 3)
  • 400ml/0.8ptcream for whipping (note 4)
  • 10g/0.4ozsugar

Syrup (optional, note 4)

  • 40ml/1.4ozwater
  • 10g/0.4ozsugar


Baking A Sponge Cake (please read THE KEY TO A FLUFFY SPONGE CAKE in post)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Coat the inside of an 18cm/7″ cake tin (note 6) with butter, dust with flour, then shake off the excess flour
  3. Put the egg yolks in a bowl, add ⅔ of the sugar and beat the egg yolks until they become whitish and thick. Draw a ribbon with the whisk and if the ribbon disappears slowly (see theVideo), it is ready.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites. When the small bubbles form and the volume of the egg white doubles, add the remaining sugar in 2-3 batches and beat further to make meringue
  5. When the meringue becomes firm and it can form a peak when you lift the whisk (see the step-by-step photo and videoin the post), it is ready.
  6. Put the flour through the sifter and add to the beaten egg yolk. Fold the batter with a spatula.
  7. Transfer ⅓ of the meringue to the batter and mix with a whisk until the batter becomes smooth
  8. Add the remaining meringue to the batter in 2-3 batches and fold.
  9. Pour the melted butter into the batter and fold several times. It’s OK even if the butter is not completely mixed
  10. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Drop the tin onto the work bench to settle the batter in the tin.
  11. Cook in the oven at 180°C/356°F for 25 minutes. Insert a thin bamboo skewer in the centre of the cake to see if the skewer comes out dry. If the skewer is a bit wet, cook further 5 minutes.
  12. Take the tin out of the oven and drop the tin onto the workbench a couple of times to detach the cake from the tin. Remove the cake from the tin and place it on a rack, upside down (bottom side up). Let it cool completely.
japanese strawberry shortcake recipe
japanese strawberry shortcake recipe

Decorating the cake (do the steps 1 and 2 while cooling the sponge cake)

  1. If making syrup, put the Syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. When the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat off. Let it cool.
  2. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Wipe the strawberries with a wet kitchen paper, remove the stems and halve 10 strawberries.
  3. Leave the sponge cake upside down as is and slice it horizontally in half (note 7), remove the top half and place it next to the bottom half of the cake, cut side up.
  4. Using a brush, coat the cut surface of the two sponge cakes with the syrup gently.
  5. Drop about 3 heaped tablespoons of the whipped cream on the bottom half of the sliced cake and spread it to cover the entire surface. Fill the surface with the halved strawberries, without a gap as much as possible.
  6. Drop about 4 heaped tablespoons of the whipped cream on and spread it to cover the strawberries and the round edge.
  7. Place the top half of the cake on it, syrup side down. Gently press down, making sure the top and bottom cakes are aligned. Fill the gap around the strawberry filling on the side with whipped cream.
  8. (Optional) thinly coat the top and the side of the cake with whipped cream. It is OK not to completely cover the sponge. Leave the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes (note 8).
  9. Using a cake spatula or a long flat spatula, fully cover the top and the side of the cake with the remaining whipped cream, leaving some (about minimum of 4-5 tablespoons) for piping.
  10. Put the remaining cream in a piping bag with a round nozzle. Squeeze out the cream to make a mound of cream in 8 positions around the edge of the surface. Place a strawberry on each mound.

What is a Japanese strawberry shortcake cake?

When Japanese say ‘strawberry shortcake’ they are referring to a strawberry sponge cake filled with whipped heavy cream and decorated with fresh strawberries unlike a classic shortcake made with biscuit. Thus the name Japanese strawberry shortcake cake. It is made with airy and fluffy sponge cake.

Can you freeze Strawberry shortcake cake?

I would recommend consuming the cake within a couple of days. It is not advisable to freeze any cake that has fresh fruit in it. Because fresh fruit contains a lot of moisture when it thaws, it makes the cake soggy as a result. So if you have to freeze them, remove any fruits first. You can wrap the cake with cling wrap, then place it in a ziplock bag. It will keep for about a month.

Strawberry shortcake cake


sponge cake

  • 3 eggs 1/2 cup
  • 115 g sugar 3/4 cup
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 40 g milk 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
  • 25 g unsalted butter 1/4 butter stick


  • 60 g water 1/4 cup
  • 30 g sugar 2 tbsp


  • 250 ml fresh whipping cream 1 cup
  • 20 g sugar 1 tbsp + 1 tsp


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 whipped into the egg whites will be lost. The result will be a dense sponge cake with no rise.

japanese strawberry shortcake recipe
japanese strawberry shortcake recipe


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 from the oven it won’t sink.

It can be difficult to gage 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 water in the bain-marie.

The best way to gage when the cake is ready is when the cake begins to pull away. 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.

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