July 12, 2010

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

It is not everyday that I make a layered cake. Fine, this is my first time. And I was glad that I stumbled upon Pook's blog for this maiden attempt. Her instructions were clear and every post was peppered with lots of pics on the process.

Hubby likes to buy Strawberry Shortcake each time he visits a "famous" bakery as he feels that a baker's skills are tested in this simple cake. So far, his cakes from some of these "famous" bakeries (especially the Japanese ones) were disappointing, lest to say expensive.

The reason why I did not embark on a layered cake earlier was really simple. There are too many parts to it and I have to use up a lot of bowls and cooking utensils. That would mean lots of washing up later. However, I took it upon myself to perfect a cake such as this, even though the steps look tedious, so as to get a little badge of approval from him on my baking skills.

I have learned to line my cake tin well enough. Again, another first for me.

The recipe calls for a genoise to be made. After some internet search, a genoise is simply a rich and delicate Italian sponge cake. Just when I had everything prepared and measured, I realized that I ran out of eggs which is a key ingredient to a genoise. Thankfully Hubby was so delighted about my decision in making him a strawberry shortcake that he abandon his lunch mid-way just to get me eggs from the market. I was so afraid that his efforts will not be paid off!
The decorating part was quite trying on my part. Since I did not own a palette knife, I simply used a normal knife from my cutlery set for this. It was really difficult! I wonder how others did it so beautifully.
Due to the lack of a serrated knife, it was tough slicing the cake into 3 layers. Hence, the not so pretty and not so even layering.
In the end, Hubby LOVED IT! Surprisingly, me too! It was sweet, not saccharin sweet but sweet enough to consider this a cake and pair it with a nice cup of tea. It had a delightful mild fragrance to it, probably due to the vanilla extract. And the cake was soft and moist, coupled with the freshness of the strawberries.

We had a small piece each for breakfast (yeah, sinful!) and it was gone when we had it for desserts after lunch. Simply deliciously wonderful.

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
Adapted from Pook
Makes 1 (18cm round cake tin)

(I used only 2/3 of the ingredients for my 14cm round cake tin)



Cake flour (sifted) (I used plain flour)
Unsalted butter (melted)
Liqueur or few drops of Vanilla Extract

Whipped Cream
Whipping cream
Icing sugar

10 or more


  1. Put sugar and water in saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring it to a boil. Off heat.
  2. Cool to room temperature and add in liqueur or the vanilla extract. Stir slightly.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius
  2. Line baking cake tin with baking paper. You can use a baking tray for this if you are using a cutter or mold to assemble the cake.
  3. Beat eggs till pale in color with a electric beater.
  4. Add sugar gradually and beat till ribbon stage is reached i.e. when it flows smoothly in a ribbon-like form when you lift the beater or you can make a figure of 8 on the surface of the cake and it doesn't go away.
  5. Put 1/3 of the egg mixture into a separate bowl and mix in the melted butter
  6. Sift flour into the rest of the 2/3 egg mixture and fold gently.
  7. Pour the mixture from step 5 into step 6 and fold gently
  8. Add milk into the mixture and fold gently.
  9. Pour mixture into baking tin or pan and bake for 25-30 minutes for 18cm cake, or 15-18 minutes for the 27cm baking tray.
  10. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature
  11. Slice the genoise or sponge cake into 3 parts if you are using a round cake tin or cut cake with cutter if you are using the baking tray
Whipped cream
  1. Pour cream and icing sugar into a bowl
  2. Beat till medium stiff peaks are formed
  1. Wash and cut strawberries
  2. Place the first cake layer back into the cake tin or cake mold if using
  3. Brush the sponge cake layer with syrup. This will ensure cake will be moist after refrigeration and give it a nice sweet smelling fragrance.
  4. Place strawberries on top of the cake layer and pour whipped cream over the berries to cover them
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 and then step 3 again.
  6. Chill the cake till it's set. (I left it in the freezer for 15mins! Remember to put the remaining whipped cream in the refrigerator as well)
  7. Cover the chilled cake with cream all over. Decorate as desired.


  1. Hi
    I use only 400ml, but you might use less cream when frost inside the cake and more on the outside.

  2. Ahhhh I might have stuffed too much on the insides. Thanks Pook.

  3. Hi,

    The cake looks really good for a maiden attempt, good job!

    For a genoise cake, the cake tin needs to be properly lined. If not it will stick to the bottom of the tin. Usually I will skip lining the sides for round pans and only line the bottom. So after baking I just run a spatula round the sides of the cake.

    For smoothing of cream, Some people use a turntable to help them achieve a smooth finish. To cut the cake nicely into layers, i use a cake leveller. You can use toothpicks to help cut the layers: http://www.baking911.com/decorating/cakes_cut_layers.htm


  4. Hi Bakertan, I tried using the toothpick technique but then it didn't work. Ok.. I admit, I haven't bought the serrated knife yet. Yeah.. really starting out in this. Thanks for the tips.

  5. I don't have a palette knife too, in fact I don't have many gadgets at home. I used my bread knife to slice the cake into layers, then using the same knife to spread the cream. As long as the cake looks presentable and most importantly, taste good, look is secondary.

  6. Hehehe BlessedHomemaker, now I don't feel so "naked" without the gadgets. ;)

  7. Hahaha! I'm just as "naked" then ;-)