Japanese Christmas Cake, a little Early

Japanese Christmas Cake, Anime Strawberry Cake, Strawberry Cream Cake, whatever you call it, it is amazing.  Simple and delicious, sweet and tart, I can go on and on about this recipe.  I like many others searched for this cake because I always see it enjoyed in anime’s yet never knew the name.  All I knew was, while watching anime’s the characters enjoy this lovely layered cake with strawberries and cream.  It looks like perfection, so elegant looking yet simple and delicious.  I found the name of the cake, largely in part to anime fansites, so I went on a hunt.  I wanted to keep it on the Japanese side, so I went with the japanese style of this cake from the sponge, to the trick to thickening the whipping cream, by using agar agar.

Lets start with the sponge, it is a Kasutera or Castella.  What ever you may call it, it is amazing and so simple.  It has 5 ingredients for this amazing sponge cake non of which are butter or oil yet this is the most delicious sponge cake you will ever have, making it my new favorate sponge cake recipe.  It takes just a short steps to the perfect sweet sponge.   The cream which brings this all together is a recipe from the same source adapted slightly to suit my needs.  The assembly of mine is slightly different, to give it a more “anime” feel but the technique is very similar.   This cake would impress at any gathering and it takes just three simple things; strawberries, sponge cake, and cream, to make three simple ingredients make the best summer dessert.

Kasutera Sponge

  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 350° F

Use a large 5″x9″ loaf pan or 8″ spring form pan. Line it with waxed paper.

Place milk in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat just to warm (about 10 to 15 seconds).  Mix honey in the warm milk, set aside.

Fill a large bowl with warm water, set aside.

Using an electric hand-mixer, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, adding the sugar gradually until completely combined.

Place the bowl over the large bowl with warm water, continue to whisk the egg mixture until it becomes light yellow (almost white), remove from heat and add the honey and milk mixture and whisk to combine and cool the mixture slightly

Sift flour, holding sieve nice and high above the bowl to get plenty of air in the flour as it goes down into the bowl, into the egg mixture.  Using a large bubble whisk gently fold the flour into the egg mixture.

Pour the batter in lined pan and tap the pan. Tap very gently on the table to release any air bubbles. Bake at 350° F for 10 minutes, then turn down oven temperature to 300° F and continue to bake for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the Kasutera comes out clean.

Remove Kasutera from oven and grasping the parchment on both sides of pan lift the Kasutera out, carefully remove parchment and place on wire rack to cool.

Stabilized Whipping Cream

  • 2 c Heavy Cream
  • 4 tsp Cold Water
  • 4 tsp Agar Agar or Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/2 c Frosting Sugar

In the bowl of your stand mixer pour the heavy cream into the bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill bowl and cream.

In a small microwaveable bowl combine the cold water and agar agar or gelatin into the bowl and whisk  to combine, keep whisking until the mixture is thick and looks dissolved.

Place in microwave for 10 seconds until warm and continue to mix until cool.  It should thicken slightly and not look grainy but smooth and syrup like.

Put the chilled bowl of cream onto the mixer and on medium high speed with a whisk attachment, whisk until almost at soft peak.  Add in the sugar slowly to the thick cream, and when it is at the soft peak stage slowly drizzle in the agar agar mixture into the cream until it thickens to desired constancy, I stopped at stiff peaks.

Assembly

  • Stabilized Whipping Cream (above)
  • Kasutera Sponge (Above)
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled, washed and halved.

In the same container that was used to bake the sponge, line it with wax paper leaving an over hang enough to lift out the cake when assembled and chilled.
Cut the sponge in half as evenly as possible.  Place half of the sponge cake in the bottom of the pan.  Layer a very thin layer of the whipped cream on top of the sponge.

Arrange the strawberry halves around the entire pan.  You can arrange them how ever you wish.  I stood them up on the bases.

Layer 2/3 of the cream over the strawberries until you are unable to see the tops through the cream.

Add the last layer of sponge on top of the cream and gently push down to spread the cream in between the berries.

Using 1/2 of the remaining cream spread a thin layer on top of the sponge cake in an even flat layer.  Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, You can use the remaining cream to pipe a decoration along the edge of the cake when ready to serve.

When ready to serve.  Place your cake container next to your serving platter, and gently lift it out of the pan (or remove sides if you chose to use a spring form pan) and place on the platter.  With a kitchen assistant and a large flat angled spatula you can then gently peel down the sides of the paper and lift the cake to remove the parchment on the bottom.   At this point you have an option to use the remaining cream to pipe a decoration along the edge of the cake.    Gently slice and decorate with extra cream and berries.

Recipes Adapted from: La Fuji Mama

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12 thoughts on “Japanese Christmas Cake, a little Early

  1. Hi, this sounds like a wonderful recipe! I was just wondering if all-pirpose flour will be fine for the sponge part?

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  3. I was always so jealous when I would see this in anime, and I would drool over the screen. I didn’t realize it had an official name, and I never thought to search for it. But yay for your discovery! It looks absolutely delicious, and definitely drool-worthy 🙂

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