Japanese Style Strawberry Cake

The Japanese style strawberry cake has always been my favourite. It is often referred to as strawberry shortcake, but it is nothing like the American shortcake, and instead more like the Victoria sponge cake.

The Japanese style strawberry cake is a simple sponge cake, with fresh strawberries and whipped cream between the sponge layers, and the cake is frosted with more whipped cream. In comparison to the Victoria sponge cake, the sponge for the Japanese style strawberry cake is a lot softer and has a marshmallow like texture that is so light and just melts in your mouth. When I was a kid, I always imagined that this was what strawberry flavoured cloud would taste like.

I’m still searching for the perfect strawberry cake recipe. I have tested many sponge cake recipes, but they were often dry with a coarse texture. The one recipe that came pretty close to what I’m after is from one of my favourite cookbooks, Okashi. In the book, the genoise sponge was recommended for the strawberry cake. However I used the special biscuit sponge recipe for my cake, because I like the texture of this sponge a lot better than the genoise sponge.

It is important to use the right type of flour because it will affect the cake's texture. For this recipe, use pastry flour or top flour which contains 8-10 percent protein.

With that, I leave you with a quote from Paul Foot at the 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival- "Why is it, that whenever we received a slice of homemade cake from someone, we always have to say that it's moist? When you get a slice of cake, all you want to do really, is to eat it quietly with your own thoughts- which is generally that it is slightly on the dry side."

Japanese Style Strawberry Cake
(Adapted from Okashi)
Makes one 6inch (15cm) round cake

Special biscuit sponge
40 gram pastry flour
20 gram corn flour
35 gram unsalted butter, melted
90 gram egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
80 gram castor sugar
80 gram egg yolks (about 4 egg yolks)

Vanilla cream
150 gram whipping cream (35 percent fat)
20 gram fresh whole milk
15 gram castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 gram gelatin sheets, soaked in iced water to softed

Whipped cream for frosting
200 gram whipped cream (35 percent fat)
15 gram caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will also need 5 tablespoons of strawberry jam, 500 gram fresh strawberries and 5 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios.

To make special biscuit sponge:
Preheat oven to 200 degree celcius. Line 2 x 15cm round cake pans with baking paper.

Whisk egg white until foarmy. Add one quarter of the sugar and whisk for a while. Then add remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and egg whites are glossy. Add egg yolks and mix well.

Shift both flours into the bowl and fold using a spactula. Pour melted butter into the batter and fold well.

Pour batter into the prepared pans, spread evenly with a scraper and bake for 15 minutes or until until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from pan and place in a big plastic bag to cool. (Cooling the sponge in a plastic bag will help it to retain its moisture.)

To make vanilla cream:
Whip cream in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Place milk, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Add softened gelatin sheets and mix well. Let milk mixture cool to about 30 degree celcius, than add to whipped cream and fold until just incorporated.

To make whipped cream for frosting:
Combine ingredients in a clean bowl. Whip cream at medium speed until stiff peaks form but cream is still smooth.

To assemble:
Warm strawberry jam in microwave for 30 seconds.  Brush jam on one side of cake layers. Spread vanilla cream onto cake, then top with sliced strawberries. Press second layer of cake over and press down lightly. Refridgerate for a few minutes to set. Cover chilled cake with whipped cream. Garnish with chopped pistachios and strawberries. Refridgerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Join the conversation!

  1. Anonymous2.7.13

    Super cute!

  2. Hi,
    That looks delicious.

    Would you be able to tell me where I can buy pastry flour from Australia?

    I can't seem to find it in the major supermarkets.

    Thanks heaps

    1. Belle18.9.13

      That is a very good question. You can get pastry flour from Coles or Woolworth, but not every store stock it. Only the bigger ones. The brand of the flour is lighthouse. And it's titled "biscuits, pastry and cake" and under the title, there is a description "soft, low protein plain flour". Don't get it confuse with self raising flour, by the way. I hope that helps.


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