Strawberry Shortcake

How was your summer? I feel like I blinked and all of a sudden summer was over. My daughter started high school last week and I’m sitting here thinking, ‘Wait, what the heck happened? Did we have summer?’ I vaguely remember a few days when there was no obligations or volleyball practices, just sitting in our PJs playing Legend of Zelda. I guess we did take a couple of campervan trips, fit in some family get-togethers, connect with friends we hadn’t seen in forever, and tackle some house projects. Ok, phew, we did have summer, but I really wouldn’t mind a few more weeks, pleeeease!

In my refusal to accept that summer is coming to an end, I am posting my Strawberry Shortcake recipe. This is the recipe that I made most this summer because it is my go-to birthday cake and my family has waaaay too many summer birthdays. This birthday cake is best when fresh, juicy, bright red strawberries are in season. It’s a super easy recipe and the strawberries pretty much do all the work. A light, airy cake that highlights the fruit and goes well after any kind of meal. I can still go into the produce store and find some delicious local strawberries, so it’s still totally summer. DSC_1259

In America we think of a strawberry shortcake as a biscuit or scone that is topped with strawberries and whipped cream, while in Japan strawberry shortcake is more of a layered sponge cake with a strawberry and whipped cream filling. This recipe is the Japanese shortcake type. The sponge cake is soft, fluffy and goes great with whipped cream. It has only five ingredients which I usually have on hand (eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla) and bakes up in 17-20 minutes. I love this sponge cake recipe so much that I use it all year for roll cakes (goes well with most any kind of filling) as well as my Bûche de Noël cake during Christmas time.

DSC_1276
Soft, fluffy texture

Strawberry Shortcake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup +3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
  3. Beat egg yolks until thick and light yellow colored.
  4. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until an even lighter color, stir in vanilla.
  5. Beat egg whites until foamy (make sure the beater and bowl are totally cleaned and dried), gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  6. Fold yolk mixture into beaten egg whites (do not over mix).
  7. Gently fold combined flour, baking powder into egg mixture just until flour streaks are gone.
  8. Spread batter evenly into three, 8-inch round cake pans.
  9. Bake 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned and cake springs back when you touch.
  10. Let cool in pan.
  11. Gently separate the cake from the pan by putting a spatula under the cake and gently lift (slightly) the cake from the pan. Then work the spatula all the way around the pan while gently lifting. Put a plate on top of the cake facing down and then flip. Lift pan off the cake.
  12. Add whipped cream or stabilized whipped cream and sliced strawberries to each layer.
  13. Note: For the whipped cream, I usually add about 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or about 2 T granulated sugar) to 1 cup heavy cream and whip to medium stiff peaks. If this cake is going to sit for awhile, I use stabilized whipped cream (see recipe below), which basically adds melted gelatin to the whipped cream. This gives the whipped cream a mousse-like consistency and prevents the cream from melting/deflating.


Stabilized Whipped Cream



Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Combine unflavored gelatin with water and let sit for five minutes (until gelatin has bloomed).
  2. Microwave gelatin for 15-20 seconds or until melted (should look clear and thick). Let gelatin cool to room temperature.
  3. While the gelatin is cooling, whip the heavy whipping cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar (adjust sweetness to taste) and vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the room temperature gelatin in a steady stream to the whipping cream while the mixer is still on.
  5. Finish beating whipped cream to medium stiff peaks (try not to over beat at this stage, don’t ask me how I know 🙂 ) and use to spread on cake immediately.
  6. Note


Let me quickly take you through it:

DSC_1212
Gradually add sugar to egg yolks
DSC_1217
Beat until light yellow colored
DSC_1209
Beat egg whites and gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form
DSC_1222
Gently fold egg whites and egg yolks (and flour)
DSC_1225
Spread evenly into three 8-inch pans
DSC_1226
Bake 17-20 minutes or until golden brown and cakes spring back when touched
DSC_1229
Let cool in pan
DSC_1240
Add whipped cream and strawberries to each layer
DSC_1251
Decorate any way you like!
IMG_4368.JPG
Even like this lopsided beauty (and even with cool whip)
IMG_4861
Strawberry shortcake I had in Japan
DSC_1266
A taste of summer!

 


8 thoughts on “Strawberry Shortcake

  1. Love, love, love it! Seeing those kids have a laugh of joy with a strawberry shortcake is just beautiful! Americans, they have so much SWEETNESS in them and they make you so envious! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s