How To Make Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake are known for their light and soft texture, different from the ones typically found in Western countries like Australia. They often have a texture similar to Cotton Cheesecake. One of the most popular sponge cakes in Japan is the Strawberry Sponge Cake, often referred to as Strawberry Shortcake.

Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

A Japanese Strawberry Shortcake is essentially a sponge cake topped with cream and fresh strawberries, with additional layers of sliced strawberries and cream sometimes sandwiched inside. It requires careful mixing of the sponge cake batter to ensure it rises to at least 5cm/2″ in height with a fluffy texture.

It’s important to note that Strawberry Shortcake varies in different countries. The American version consists of a biscuit with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. In France, there isn’t a concept of “shortcake,” but they have a strawberry cake made with pink sponge cake and pink frosting, primarily using strawberries.

In Japan, Strawberry Shortcake is characterized by a sponge cake adorned with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Interestingly, this concept extends to other fruits as well. If you decorate the cake with peach slices, it’s called a peach shortcake. If mixed berries are used, it becomes a mixed berry shortcake.

Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

The popularity of Strawberry Shortcake in Japan has led to the word “shortcake” becoming synonymous with the Japanese version of Strawberry Shortcake. It’s a testament to how beloved and iconic this dessert has become in Japanese culture.


Creating a Strawberry Shortcake based on your memories of Fujiya’s version sounds like a wonderful way to pay homage to a classic dessert. It’s always nice to put your own twist on a beloved recipe while preserving the essence of what makes it special. I’m sure your homemade Strawberry Shortcake is equally delicious and nostalgic.


Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

Because the recipe is very old, the ingredients list for the sponge cake does not even include vanilla essence (you can add few drops if you want), or baking powder.

  • 125g/4.4oz all-purpose flour
  • 100g/3.5oz sugar
  • 60g/2.1oz melted butter
  • 4 eggs
Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

Adjusting the amount of sugar in a cake recipe to suit your personal taste is perfectly fine. If you prefer your cake to be less sweet, using 100g/3.5oz of sugar as you did is a great choice. It’s always a good idea to customize recipes to your liking, especially when it comes to sweetness, as everyone’s preferences vary. Enjoy your Strawberry Shortcake with the sweetness level that you find most enjoyable!


  • About 450g/1lb of strawberries (I used 18 medium-sized strawberries). Halve 10 strawberries.
  • About 400ml/0.8pt cream, whipped.
  • Syrup (optional) made with 40ml/1.4fl oz water and 10g/0.4oz sugar
Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

Adjusting the quantity of strawberries, cream, and syrup to suit the size and height of your cake is a practical approach. It ensures that you have enough of these ingredients to cover the cake adequately without being excessive. Brushing the syrup on the sliced surface of the cake is a great technique to keep it moist and flavorful. It sounds like you have a good grasp of this recipe, and your adaptability allows you to create a cake that’s just right for your preferences. Enjoy your delicious Strawberry Shortcake!


It’s fantastic that your old cookbook provides two methods for making sponge cake, offering flexibility to suit different preferences and skill levels. By explaining both methods in your recipe, you’re making it accessible to a wider audience and ensuring that everyone can enjoy this delightful dessert. Your attention to detail is greatly appreciated, and it’s sure to result in a delicious cake either way.

  • Beat the egg yolk with ⅔ of the sugar in a bowl until it becomes whitish and thick.
  • Beat the egg whites in a different bowl with the remaining sugar to make meringue.
  • Add the flour to the beaten egg yolk.
  • Mix and make smooth batter.
  • Mix ⅓ of meringue into the batter.
  • Fold the remaining meringue into the batter.
  • Spread melted butter over the batter.
  • Fold the butter into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into a cake pan and cook in the oven.
Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake


These tips are invaluable for achieving a light and fluffy Japanese sponge cake:

  1. Dry and Grease-Free Utensils: Ensure that the bowl and the beater you use are completely dry and free from any grease or oil residue. Egg whites do not mix well with oil, and using plastic utensils can be tricky to remove grease from.
  2. Fresh Eggs: Use fresh eggs, as they create finer air bubbles when beaten, resulting in a fluffier sponge cake.
  3. Room Temperature Eggs: Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature before beating. This makes it easier to beat them into a stable meringue, which is crucial for a light cake.
  4. Yolk-Free Egg Whites: Ensure that the egg whites are entirely free of any traces of egg yolk, as even a small amount of yolk can interfere with the formation of a stable meringue.
  5. Gradual Sugar Addition: Add sugar to the egg whites gradually rather than all at once. Adding sugar in small amounts minimizes the impact on the meringue’s stability.
  6. Gentle Mixing: When folding the batter with flour, meringue, or butter, be careful not to overmix. Gentle folding helps retain the tiny air bubbles responsible for the cake’s fluffiness.
  7. Quick Folding with Butter: When adding butter, fold gently but swiftly. Butter can cause the foam to dissipate rapidly, so a gentle and quick folding motion is essential.

Among these tips, avoiding overmixing the batter is particularly crucial. Japanese Sponge Cake requires a delicate touch and should not be vigorously mixed, as this can deflate the foam and result in a denser cake.


Decorating a cake, even if it’s not perfectly flawless, can still result in a beautiful and delicious creation. Here are some key tips to consider when decorating a Japanese Sponge Cake:

  1. Whipped Cream Consistency: The thickness of the whipped cream is crucial for even coverage. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. It should not be over-whipped, but it also should not be too soft.
  2. Cooling Upside Down: Cool the sponge cake upside down. This helps ensure that the top of the cake is perfectly flat, making it easier to decorate.
  3. Layering: Slice the cake horizontally in the middle to create two round cake pieces. Coat the cut sides of the cake with syrup to add moisture and flavor.
  4. Cream and Fruit: Spread a layer of whipped cream on the bottom part of the cake and arrange your chosen fruits (such as halved strawberries) on top, covering the entire surface. Top this with more cream and then place the top part of the sponge cake on it.
  5. Covering with Cream: Coat both the sides and the top of the cake with whipped cream. You can use a piping tip to create a decorative edge along the outer circle of the cake.
  6. Final Decorations: Place additional fruits, like strawberries, on top of the cake as a finishing touch.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to cake decorating, and even if it’s not flawless, homemade cakes filled with love always taste incredible. Enjoy your beautiful Japanese Sponge Cake!

Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

Absolutely, decorating a cake is a creative endeavor, and there are no strict rules when it comes to making it look beautiful. The most important thing is that it tastes delicious, and it’s clear that your Japanese Sponge Cake fits the bill perfectly. It’s wonderful that it’s not overly sweet, allowing the flavors of the sponge, cream, and fruit to shine. Whether you go for an elegant design or a more rustic look, what matters most is the joy it brings when enjoyed with family and friends. Thank you for sharing this delightful cake recipe!

Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)

Sponge Cake

  • 125g/4.4oz all-purpose flour sifted 3 times
  • 100g/3.5oz sugar (note 1)
  • 4 large eggs , yolks and whites separated (note 2)
  • 60g/2.1oz butter , melted
  • Butter and flour to coat inside the cake pan


  • 18 strawberries (mid-size, note 3)
  • 400ml/0.8pt cream for whipping (note 4)
  • 10g/0.4oz sugar

Syrup (optional, note 4)

  • 40ml/1.4oz water
  • 10g/0.4oz sugar

How To Make Japanese Strawberry Sponge Cake

Baking a delicious sponge cake is a delightful endeavor. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own sponge cake:


  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Cake flour
  • Melted butter


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Prepare an 18cm/7″ cake tin. Coat the inside with butter, dust it with flour, and shake off any excess flour.

Making the Sponge Cake:

  1. In a bowl, place the egg yolks and add 2/3 of the sugar. Beat the egg yolks until they become whitish and thick. The mixture should form a ribbon when you draw a line with the whisk. This ensures a fluffy batter.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites. When small bubbles form and the egg whites double in volume, add the remaining sugar in 2-3 batches. Continue beating until the meringue becomes firm and forms peaks.
  3. Sift the flour and add it to the beaten egg yolks. Fold the batter gently with a spatula.
  4. Transfer 1/3 of the meringue into the batter and mix with a whisk until the batter becomes smooth.
  5. Add the remaining meringue to the batter in 2-3 batches and fold them together. Pour in the melted butter and fold several times, ensuring it’s not completely mixed.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Tap the tin on the workbench to settle the batter evenly.
  7. Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 180°C/356°F for 25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a thin bamboo skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out dry, the cake is done. If slightly wet, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and tap the tin on the workbench to detach the cake. Invert the cake onto a rack, placing it upside down to cool completely.

Decorating the Cake (while the sponge cake cools):

  1. Prepare syrup by combining the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, let it cool.
  2. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Wipe the strawberries, remove the stems, and halve 10 strawberries.
  3. Slice the cooled sponge cake horizontally in half, placing the top half next to the bottom half, cut side up.
  4. Brush the cut surface of both cake halves with the syrup gently.
  5. Spread about 3 heaped tablespoons of whipped cream on the bottom half of the cake, covering it entirely. Fill the surface with halved strawberries.
  6. Add about 4 heaped tablespoons of whipped cream on top of the strawberries and spread it evenly.
  7. Place the top half of the cake, syrup side down, aligning it with the bottom cake. Press gently to ensure alignment and fill any gaps with whipped cream.
  8. Optionally, thinly coat the top and sides of the cake with whipped cream. It’s not necessary to cover the sponge completely. Allow the cake to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  9. Use a cake spatula or flat spatula to fully cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Leave some (about 4-5 tablespoons) for piping.
  10. Place the remaining cream in a piping bag with a round nozzle. Pipe cream mounds at 8 positions around the edge of the cake’s surface, and top each mound with a strawberry.

Enjoy your beautifully decorated sponge cake!

Recipe Notes

Here are some additional tips and information for making this delicious sponge cake:

  1. Adjust the sweetness: If you prefer a sweeter cake, you can increase the sugar quantity to up to 125g/4.4oz.
  2. Fresh eggs are key: It’s crucial to use very fresh eggs for this recipe, as using older eggs may result in a flat sponge cake.
  3. Strawberry quantity: The recipe used 18 strawberries, weighing about 450g/1lb. You can reduce the number of strawberries if you slice them instead of halving them. Alternatively, you can use different fruits like sliced peaches, kiwifruits, pineapples, oranges, grapes, or a mix of these.
  4. Whipped cream quantity: The amount of whipped cream needed can vary depending on the size of your cake tin, the cake’s height, and how much cream you prefer. Adjust accordingly.
  5. Optional liquor: If you like, you can add a small amount (½ teaspoon) of your choice of liquor for extra flavor.
  6. Cake tin choice: A non-springform tin is preferred over a springform tin, as the latter can leave a dent at the bottom of the cake when cooked. The cake tin size should be up to 21cm/8″ for the listed ingredients. Larger tins will result in a thinner cake that’s difficult to slice into two layers.
  7. Slicing the cake: To slice the round cake horizontally, start by making a shallow cut around the side of the cake, then slide the knife deeper into the center, following the initial cut.
  8. Coating the cake: Coating the cake with a thin layer of cream before adding the final layer makes the remaining whipped cream adhere better, especially on the sides.
  9. Alternative sponge cake method: Instead of beating egg yolks and whites separately, you can beat whole eggs. Here are the steps to replace steps 3-9 in the recipe:
  • Put the eggs in a bowl, mix, then add sugar. Beat the eggs over a 60°C/140°F water bath.
  • When the egg mixture reaches body temperature, remove it from the water bath.
  • Continue to beat until the egg mixture cools down and becomes a thick, whitish batter. When you draw a ribbon with the whisk, the trace should slowly disappear.
  • Add the sifted flour to the batter and fold it in with a spatula. Add the melted butter and fold several times.
  1. Shelf life: Consume the cake within 2 days for the best flavor. While the sponge cake can last longer, the quality of the strawberries and cream may start to degrade after the third day.
  2. Nutritional information (per serving):
  • Serving size: 146g
  • Calories: 346kcal
  • Fat: 22g (34%)
  • Saturated fat: 13g (65%)
  • Trans fat: 0.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 152mg (51%)
  • Sodium: 95mg (4%)
  • Potassium: 151mg (4%)
  • Carbohydrates: 31g (10%)
  • Dietary fiber: 1.2g (5%)
  • Sugar: 18g
  • Protein: 6.2g
  • Vitamin A: 18%
  • Vitamin C: 40%
  • Calcium: 3.8%
  • Iron: 7.6%

Enjoy your homemade sponge cake!

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