Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredient 7-inch Cake 8-inch Cake 18cm Cake 21cm Cake
Sponge Cake Genoise one 7-inch cake one 8-inch cake one 18cm cake one 21cm cake
sugar 2 Tbsp. 2 Tbsp. 2 Tbsp. 2 Tbsp.
water 3 Tbsp. 3 Tbsp. 50cc 50cc
Kirschwasser 1 Tbsp. 1 Tbsp. 1 Tbsp. 1 Tbsp.
heavy cream 1⅔ - 1¾ cups 2 - 2⅓ cups 400-450ml 500-550ml
sugar 4 Tbsp. 5 Tbsp. 50-55g 60-70g
fresh strawberries as needed as needed as needed as needed

This refined, Japanese-style take on the spring classic might not be quite the strawberry shortcake you’d imagine, but the pairing of a delicate sponge with fresh strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream is hard to beat.


  1. Prepare an appropriately sized Sponge Cake Genoise.
  2. Make the syrup: Mix water and sugar and heat in microwave until sugar blends completely; let cool and stir in Kirschwasser. Set aside.
  3. Wash strawberries, remove tops, and pat dry. Set aside enough whole strawberries to decorate the top of the cake, then slice the remaining strawberries (5mm (¼") or however thick you prefer).
  4. Keep the heavy cream chilled.


  1. Slice cake into three layers.
    Cut the cake into three equal-sized layers. To get even pieces, hold the knife steady and rotate the cake while cutting a shallow notch into it; once you have an even mark all the way around, cut through along it.
  2. Whip heavy cream.
    Put chilled heavy cream and sugar into a large bowl and whip with an electric mixer, starting at low speed to prevent splattering and increasing as it stiffens. Whip until stiff enough that cream dribbled off the beaters leaves a trail for a moment. If your kitchen is hot, you may need to put the bowl in a pan of ice water while whipping, to keep it cold.
  3. Assemble cake.
    1. Put one third of the syrup into the sliced surface of the bottom layer of the cake with a brush. Soak a good amount of syrup into the brush and dab it on so that it soaks into the sponge, rather than using brushing motions.
    2. Coat the syruped surface of the sponge with a layer of whipped cream. Cover the cream with a flat layer of strawberry slices, then cover those with another layer of cream. Don’t worry if extra cream is sticking out from the sides.
    3. Lay the middle layer onto the first, then dab another third of the syrup onto it. As in the previous step, cover with layers of of cream, strawberries, and more cream.
    4. Place the top layer upside down on the first two. Putting it upside down will compensate for any rounding on the top of your sponge cake and expose the cut surface to put syrup on. Press down lightly to settle the filling, then dab the remaining syrup on top.
    5. Use a frosting knife to spread the cream that has squeezed out of the sides flat.
    6. Pour some of the whipped cream on top of the cake, then spread out to cover the top and sides in a thin layer. It’s fine if you can see the sponge through the cream at this point. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
    7. Once the layer of whipped cream on the cake has set a bit, pour more whipped cream on top and spread it over the top and down the sides; chill and repeat until the cake has a nice, even coating of whipped cream. At the end, hold the knife vertically and run it around the outside to smooth. This will leave a small ridge around the top edge; smooth it inward.
  4. Decorate.
    Take the remaining whipped cream and whip it until stiff enough to hold its shape. Use a piping bag or frosting syringe to decorate the cake however you prefer, then top with the whole strawberries you reserved.


  • When placing the strawberries on the inside layers, if you leave about a 1cm (½") border on the outside the strawberries won’t stick out when you put the top on.
  • Condensed milk can be substituted for sugar when making the whipped cream; for an 18cm (7") cake use 100-110g (5 or so Tbsp.) of condensed milk.
  • If you want to make a two-layer cake, you’ll need 250-300ml (1-1¼ cup) of heavy cream and 30-35g (2½-3 Tbsp.) sugar for an 18cm (7") cake.