Corner Café

October 31, 2011

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake 苺のショートケーキ

Filed under: Cakes & Cupcakes — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , ,



If you think this is anything like the classic (American) Strawberry Shortcake, you will be disappointed. Somehow the name is lost in translation when it travels across the Pacific to Japan. The Japanese Strawberry Shortcake is in fact really just a simple Strawberry Sponge Cake! It is a very common and popular cake in Japan and there is nothing short, as in texture, about it at all. Other than strawberries, you can use other fruit such as blueberries or peaches to make Japanese Blueberry or Peach Shortcake.


Makes one 20cm cake

Sponge Cake:
4 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon salt
120g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

120g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

20g (1 tablespoon) butter
60ml (3 tablespoons) hot water

Filling & Cream:
2 quantities Crème Chantilly
250g (1 punnet) strawberries

Note: Normally for this cake, there is a simple sugar syrup which is used to brush on each layer of the cake when doing the filling. However I decided against using it to reduce the sweetness and also with so much cream being used as filling and frosting, I thought that would make the cake moist enough without the sugar syrup!
Sponge Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm x 6cm deep round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift cake flour and baking powder three times; set aside. Add hot water to butter and stir until butter has melted; set aside.
2. Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks formed. Then start adding sugar gradually, one tablespoon at a time, as you continue to beat the egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks formed.
3. Add egg yolks to the stiffly beaten egg whites and beat to combine. Beat in vanilla.
4. Sift the flour mixture in about 3 to 4 batches onto the egg mixture. Fold in with a big metal spoon after sifting in each batch of flour mixture. Once all the flour is folded in, pour the melted butter and hot water mixture along the outer edges of the mixing bowl and fold in until thoroughly combined; do this as lightly and quickly as you can.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and give the tin a sharp tap on the bench to get rid of any large bubbles in the batter. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until cooked.


6. Remove from oven and give the tin another tap on the bench. Wait 5 minutes, turn out and remove the lining paper. Immediately turn right side up on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Assembling the Cake:
1. Split the cake horizontally into 3 even layers (pic #4). Reserve a few strawberries for decoration and cut them in half; slice the rest thinly. (As some of the strawberries in the punnet were quite large, I managed to cut each into 6 slices.)


2. Spread a thin layer of crème chantilly onto the bottom cake layer. Arrange the sliced strawberry on top of the cream (pic #5), then spread another thin layer of crème chantilly over the strawberries (pic #6). Place the middle cake layer on top and repeat with the layering of the cream and strawberries filling. Finally place the last cake layer neatly on top (pic #7).
3. Use most of the unused crème chantilly to ice the sides and top of the cake. Put any remaining crème chantilly into a piping bag fixed with a star nozzle and pipe decoratively over the cake. Arrange halved strawberries on top as decoration. (I coloured a little of the crème chantilly with the red Strawberry Paste to pipe along the base of the cake.)

Taste: Classic pairing of delicious strawberries and cream in a fluffy sponge cake
Consume: Best consumed on the same day that cake is filled; sponge cake itself can be made a day earlier and kept chilled in an airtight container overnight
Storage: Not suitable
Recipe Reference(s): ‘Very Berry Shortcake’ recipe by Koyama Susumu 小山進 from his cookbook ‘The Sweet Trick 好吃的西點蛋糕秘訣’


  1. Do you know how to make Macarons ?


    Comment by Linda — November 4, 2011 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

    • Yes, I’ve made them before, it is in this blog somewhere.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 5, 2011 @ 7:49 am | Reply

  2. Hello Sea Dragon,

    As I can’t tell much from the pic, may I ask if this sponge is really the ultra soft, fluffy and light sponge kind? Cos i see that the method differs slightly – as in whisk white to stiff and then whisk the yolks together. I’ve been trying a few sponge recipes, including a Jap version where it has the basic steps of yolks n sugar are whisk first, followed by folding in of flour and finally adding oil. But the end result is still not one of those soft cottony sponge cake I’ve been looking for. 😦

    Comment by Clara — November 16, 2011 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

    • The texture of this sponge is quite similar to the basic sponge cake (I forgot to post the cut-out slice pic, will do it tomorrow). It is fluffy, and soft like typical sponge but not ultra soft and light like the feather-like sponge (cornflour sponge). As for the different method of making, I was just experimenting with different techniques…
      Have you tried my Chiffon Sponge Cake, or the Cotton-Soft Sponge from Alex Goh? Maybe also try the Japanese Kasutera Cake using ovalette which maybe the texture you are after and not the traditional western sponge cakes. You can find all 3 recipes in either this blog of mine or in my old blog Cafe of the East.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 16, 2011 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  3. This cake looks amazing. I will definately be trying this recipe out for my dinner party this weekend, thank you so much for the post.

    Comment by chloe — November 16, 2011 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  4. Hi SD, it’s me again Clara! The slice pic it sure looks like a soft fluffy sponge there. I tried to look for your Chiffon / Feather-light recipe / Cotton Soft recipe as you mentioned above, couldn’t really find all of it (perhaps I didn’t spend too much time browsing thru lol), but I sure did stumble upon your Feather Light Sponge Cake using cornflour!! GLAD I FOUND THAT!! I’m gonna post my comments on that over there! 🙂 Cheers!

    Comment by Clara — November 18, 2011 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

    • You can easily use the sidebar to search (or Categories) for cake recipes in my blog. For recipes in my old blog, there’s an index in the sidebar too.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 21, 2011 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  5. I can never, no matter how hard I try get my sponge cakes to look as good as this. Fantastic, what is the secret.

    Comment by ava — November 22, 2011 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

    • No secret really, just that the most important thing to remember is that all ingredients should be at room temprature. Most people used eggs straight from the fridge which is the most common failure when making sponge cakes. To make sure, I usually take the eggs out of the fridge the night before. HTH.

      Comment by SeaDragon — November 27, 2011 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  6. I have just attempted to make this cake and have to say that it turned out looking nothing like yours, however it did taste amazing. So I must have done something right.

    Comment by katie — November 22, 2011 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

  7. may I add an additional “tip” (at least it works for me :P) – my cakes used to be dense, heavy, won’t raise nicely whether it is a sponge, chiffon or whatever. Took me many tries to finally figure out what actually went wrong n how I rectify it lol. It was the folding part. sometimes i over fold n leaving my cake heavy n dense, or I under fold n I get to see white patches of egg-white not thoroughly mixed. Tried so many ways of folding, using wooden spoon, metal spoon, spatula ! I found using a hand whisk to fold works best for me. On top of that, I follow the “Cut, fold, turn” method and dumped the “fold in a figure of 8” method I was taught in school LOL. I sure glad I change my folding ‘ritual’ hehe. see
    hope it helps!

    Comment by Clara — November 28, 2011 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  8. This looks amazing! I just made one too! Love the way your sponge cake turned out!

    Comment by samology — December 31, 2011 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  9. this is on my baking list this weekend. although I am trying a differenet recipe.

    Comment by iwannabakethistoday — January 8, 2014 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: