Japanese Style Fruit Shortcake

Here in the Northeast (Mid-Atlantic) region of America we have been experiencing unusually warm Winter, and now that the Spring is near, we are having close to Summer time temperature!  As a Winter lover I feel robbed from my cold weather, and I have been moaning the loss of my Winter.  I also have been sick for a little while so my energy level has been pretty low.  I haven’t been cooking new things lately, but I didn’t want to be a stranger to my blog, so here I am… 

I decided to post my all time favorite cake (which I made while back ago, but never posted).  I grew up with Japanese Strawberry/Fruit Shortcake while I was growing up in Japan.   It’s not the Western type strawberry shortcake (almost biscuit like cake), but a soft and spongy cake with whipped cream frosting.  It has just enough sweetness to make you happy you are eating dessert.  I think this cake is the reason why I love whipped cream frosting so much; for me, this cake is my childhood.  I don’t get to bake this quite often, but when I do it’s actually a treat for my whole family.  This sponge cake is a bit more dense (but still relatively light) compared to the Japanese variety. 

strawberry shortcake
You have to forgive me.  This is the only shot I took I when baked this while back ago (maybe 2 years ago).  Back then I wasn’t serious about food blogging, so I didn’t take time to take more photos.  I will probably take better photos next time I bake this. 

 Sponge Cake:

– 2-1/4 cups cake flour
– 2 Tablespoons baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
– 1-1/2 cups sugar
– 3 large eggs
(Bake the cake a day ahead)

Whipped Cream Frosting:

– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1/4 cup powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling 1 – Assorted fruits for Fruit shortcake
– about 2 cups chopped fruits you want or have around the house (I used pineapples, kiwis and longans) – also for decorations on the cake

Filling 2 – Strawberry shortcake
– 1 – 1-1/2 lbs strawberries, hulled and sliced; also leave enough for decorations
– 6 oz raspberries
– 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup strawberry jam
( combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl, let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and juice form. Gently stir in raspberries)

1. Preheat oven to 350F, and grease 2 – 9inch round cake pans (cut out a parchment paper the size of the base of the pan and lay it on the greased pan)
2. Beat butter and sugar until well combined. Gradually beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs ONE at a time (beating after each egg).
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Combine milk and vanilla in a glass measuring cup.
4. Beat in flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk mixture. Spoon batter into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.
5. When baked, cool completely on a cooking rack – wrap the cakes individually and keep them in a cool place overnight.

Arranging the cake:

1. Combine the frosting ingredients together and whip with a beater on a high speed until stiff. I usually keep a stainless bowl in the freezer for an hour and whip the cream in this bowl.
2. Spread one cake layer with whipped cream and spoon the chopped fruits evenly. Top with 2nd layer of cake and press gently. Evenly spread the cream and decorate.

** For the strawberry shortcake: spread one cake layer with 1/4 cup jam, spoon the berry mixture evenly, and spread cream over the berries. Top with 2nd layer and press gently; spread jam and start to evenly spread the cream and decorate.
*** If you don’t have cream piping bag for decoration don’t worry, just use a quart size ziploc bag, fill it with cream 1/2 to 3/4 full and snip the tip of bag (smaller snip is desirable), just experiment with it until you get the hang of it:-)


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