Japanese Strawberry Shortcake is a western-style layered cake with whipped cream and strawberries. It is the most popular kind of western cake in Japan for everyone. It is said the Strawberry Shortcake was “invented” by a pastry shop in 1920s, but it became more popular in the 1950s. And since then it still is often the best seller in any bake shop.
We have mainly two kinds of sweets in Japan: Japanese-style (Wagashi) and Western-style (Yogashi). There are cake and bake shops in every corner of cities in Japan, often selling many different kinds of cakes by the slice or in individual servings. Cakes are a significant part of life in Japan. We eat cakes for any celebratory events, from birthdays to Christmas to just visiting your family and friends.
Although Western-style cakes and pastries are heavily influenced by French desserts, this Strawberry Shortcake may have originated in the US. American shortcakes are made from biscuit (scone-like pastry) served with whipped cream and strawberries. The US version is more casual and homey rather than an upscale and sophisticated dessert. Japanese shortcake is modified , like what they do to many other foreign dishes, to suit to Japanese tastes. Instead of biscuit, Sponge Cake is used. Also it is assembled to 2 to 3 layers sandwiching cream and strawberries.
The signature look of Japanese Strawberry Shortcake is a sliced cake showing layers of cake and cream with a strawberry on top. If you’re Anime or Manga fans, you may have seen it in some scenes. Others may have seen erasers shaped like the cake or cake illustrations on stationery. They like Strawberry Shortcake not only for eating but also looking at. It’s CUTE.
There are several tips for better shortcake. It is easier to build the cake if the whipped cream is very cold. Sponge cake should be baked a day ahead to be able to be sliced easily. Before frosting the whole cake, we recommend to first coat the cake with a very very thin layer of whipped cream, and then refrigerate well. This is called “crumb coating,” and helps to avoid getting cake crumbs in the finishing cream. You must have a cake board underneath the cake. It is not a big cake, but can get surprisingly heavy with fillings and frosting. It will be hard to transfer the cake to a plate without the cake board. If you are a first time cake maker, don’t expect to do everything perfectly. You may need to practice a couple of times. But I know you’ll still enjoy making it and the taste of it no matter how it looks. Good luck!
- 1/4 C (60ml) water
- 1/4 C (50g) sugar
- 1 Tbsp Grand Marnier
- 1 lb strawberries
- 1 C canned peaches, drained
- 2 C (480ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 C (50g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 7" Sponge Cake
- 1 7" cake board
- To make syrup, put water and sugar in a pot and let it boil for a minute until the sugar completely dissolves. Let it cool and add liquor. Set aside.
- Cut 4 strawberries into halves for decoration, and cut the rest into small pieces. Cut peaches into the same size as strawberry pieces.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, add heavy cream. Set it in the mixer, and start whipping at medium speed, adding sugar in 2-3 parts until medium peaks form. Mix in vanilla.
- After getting all the components ready, assemble the cake. Slice the Sponge Cake horizontally into 3 layers. Set the bottom layer on a cake board on a turning cake table. Brush the syrup on the cake well, spread on about 1/5 of the whipped cream, and put 1/2 of the fruit fillings on the cream. Add another layer of cake, push down lightly, brush the syrup, spread more whipped cream (another 1/5) and the remainder of the fruit filling. Add the last layer of the cake, push down lightly, and brush the syrup on. Coat cake with a very small amount of cream, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Put another 1/5 of the whipped cream in a piping bag with a piping tip (any kinds) and set aside. Frost the whole cake with the rest of the whipped cream. Pipe 8 rosettes with the piping bag and top with the strawberry halves.