Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

As I write this recipe miles away from friends and family, I am deeply saddened by the events that transpired in Boston yesterday. My thoughts are with everyone and I am grateful for all of the first responders, out pouring of support and the coming together of people in the face of such senseless violence. As I prepare for my upcoming marathon, this article in particular captured the spirit of running and the importance of not losing faith.   These events also make me want to reach out to my community and reconnect, which is why this blog was originally created. So here is the recipe and some background. 

The Japanese are incredible with food, even pastries, which they are not so well known.  Their pastries are not overly sweet and very light. I never thought that I could make the strawberry shortcakes served at the beautiful department stores in Tokyo and that I always loved since I can remember, but K wanted it for his birthday. I will note there was a failed attempt Friday evening despite being armed with my newly purchased cake pan, white flour and sugar. Luckily, I had more or less planned for this as I always have meltdowns while baking; I am terrible at precise measurements and following directions.To my defense, my failed attempt was because I did not have a mixer/egg beater and no matter how much I worked my arm muscles to whip these eggs into a stiff batter, the end result was a dense, sweetened egg omelet, not a light fluffy pound cake. So after purchasing my first baking gadget (a hand held egg beater!) Saturday morning, I am proud to say – I succeeded!

Recipe adapted from this blog – the other headache was converting these measurements as well as not having cake flour (who knew it existed!) in Switzerland. This was for a 23 cm/9 in cake. 



– 6 eggs (separated with yolk and whites)

– 3/4 cups + 2 tbs of granulated sugar

– 1 and 1/4 cup of cake flour

– 2 tbs of melted butter

– 1 and 1/3 tbs of milk

Filling in the middle

– 10 strawberries sliced

– 1/4 cup granulated sugar

– 1/4 cup water

Stabilized Whip Cream (Frosting)

1 tsp unflavored gelatin

4 tsp cold water

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


10 Whole strawberries for the top


Cake Directions:

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Line 9 in circular cake pan with parchment paper

– Medium bowl, add sugar and egg whites – beat with a electric mixer until stiff

– Add egg yolks whisk gently. Add milk. Slowly add flour while folding the mixture. Do not beat it, use a spatula.  Finally, fold in the melted butter. 

– Pour into cake pan, get rid of air bubbles by banging it on the counter (it worked). Bake 25-30 min until golden brown.  Cool and remove. 

Whipped Cream Frosting Direction:

– Mix (with electric mixer) cream and sugar until thick. Let stand while you make gelatin concoction.

– Put cold water in sauce pan, put in gelatin and let stand for 5 min without stirring. Put on low heat and stir constantly. Remove from saucepan and cool a few minutes, but don’t wait too long or else you will have clear jello. Pour into whip mixture and set at high speed until stiff.

Syrup Direction:

– Mix sugar and water into saucepan until sugar dissolves. Remove and cool

Assembling the cake:

– Slice cake horizontally into two layers

– Place bottom layer on serving platter.  Spread syrup, then thin layer of whipped cream, then sliced strawberries.  Spread additional layer of whipped cream above strawberries. 

– Brush bottom of the top layer with simple syrup and place it on top of the bottom layer. Frost sides and top with remaining cream.  Decorate with whole strawberries.

Woah…writing this recipe was even tiring, but below are some photos! 


Batter form








5 thoughts on “Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

  1. Your comments, and the article that you shared are really moving, Aya. With Sara and family in Boston, the whole thing has been heavy on my mind.
    I’m glad you have something warm and fuzzy to share here too, then. Happy Birthday, Kileken! And thank you for sharing this amazing looking deliciousness!

  2. Oh my it looks so pretty and tasty! I am really impressed and very intimidated by your baking prowess. I too cower and cringe when Dealing with beating eggs to a very specific texture, using precise measurements, and making anything that requires obscure types of flour. Well done! But I don’t think I’ll be attempting this feat any time soon…

  3. i was so happy to see a recipe from you pop into my inbox. kilek is one lucky man to have such a beautiful cake made for him, especially through multiple attempts and conversion ratios.

    marathon monday is always such a glorious day of celebration in boston and we are all so heartbroken over what happened. proud of you that you are running 26.2 in the near future and wish i could cheer you on. make switzerland closer! xo

  4. Pingback: Quinoa with Lemon and Radish Leaves | Cooking From Afar

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s