French-style strawberry shortcake

I was over the moon when I saw some cheap strawberries  at the supermarket  . I mean , who could resist such a bargain , the strawberries look gorgeous ! The thing is , the Korean and US strawberries that I bought were slightly sour *sigh* Who would have thought ? heh ! I was planning to make strawberry ice cream but matcha tops strawberries lately . 

I've been eyeing this strawberry cake recipe in years ! I borrowed and re-borrowed the book at the library so many times that it's such a shame not to make it . If you've seen the recipe , I bet you're gonna think long and hard before taking a plunge lol 

The reason for not making this cake sooner was the crème mousseline , it contains a staggering amount of butter ! 200 grams to be exact ! Hopefully the benefits of those strawberries will outweigh the calories of the butter , yeah right ! But hey , you only live once hee hee ! Of course , you can use any filling like pastry cream , crème diplomat ( which is really good and has only small amount of butter ) or  your favourite mousse . Since I've been craving something decadent and unhealthy treats lately , nope , I'm not preggy , God forbid , I'm way too old for that lol Hey , at least I used French butter ! As if that butter won't clog my arteries ha ! 

There are 3 component of this cake , the sponge cake , the cream filling and the jelly topping . It may look complicated but it's quiet easy to make once you get over how much butter you'll consume hee hee ! Try to cut the strawberries uniformly , as you can see in the photos , mine are not so . I've use a 6 x 3-inch round cake ring instead of the 7 x 2-inch square in the book . From the recipe below , the author didn't top the cream filling with another layer of sponge cake before pouring in the jelly . The reason for that , I think , is the cake ring is only 2-inch high , if you use 7 x 3-inch , you'll have a more higher cake . In my part , I didn't have cream filling left to spread to the 2nd piece of sponge cake ( I used some of it for the mini version ) before topping it with jelly , though the jelly will adhere nicely to the sponge cake layer . For the raspberry jelly , you can use strawberry puree but the color will be pink and not as vibrant as when using raspberry . Note that when you remove the cake ring , some strawberries will be covered with a thin film of cream filling , but it'll be easily remove by gently scraping it with a paring knife then gently dab the surface with paper towel or a clean tea towel .

Recipe adapted from Okashi

Special sponge biscuit , ***recipe below
1 tsp Kirsch or cherry liqueur
3 tbsp sugar syrup ( made using 25 g and 50 grams water )
450 grams strawberries , hulled and sliced lengthwise

Crème mousseline :

 350 grams fresh whole milk ( I used UHT whole milk )
1/2 vanilla bean , split lengthwise and scrape the seeds ( I used 4 1/2-inch whole vanilla bean )
4 egg yolks
100 grams caster sugar
35 grams pastry flour or top flour ( I used cake flour )
200 grams unsalted butter
1 tbsp Kirsh or cherry liqueur

Raspberry jelly : 

100 raspberry puree
30 grams caster sugar
5 grams gelatin sheet , soaked in iced water to soften ( 10 minutes )

*** For the special sponge biscuit :

40 grams pastry flour or top flour ( I used cake flour )
20 grams cornstarch
35 grams unsalted butter , softened
90 grams egg whites ( from 3 large eggs with extra whites to spare )
80 grams caster sugar 
80 grams egg yolks ( from 4 large eggs )

* Preheat oven to 200ºC . Line a 28 X 28-cm / 11-inches flat square pan with parchment paper .

* Sift flour twice . Melt butter over a pot of simmering water or in a microwave .

* To make meringue , place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until foamy , add sugar in 3 or 4 additions , beating well after each . Beat until stiff peaks form and egg whites are glossy . Add egg yolks and mix well .

* Sift , again , the flours into the egg mixture and fold using a spatula . Pour melted butter into the batter and fold well .

* Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with scraper . Bake for 10-13 minutes .

* When cake is done , remove from pan and place in a food-grade plastic bag to cool or use a plastic wrap .


* When sponge is done and cooled , peel away the layer of brown skin on top . Cut out an 18-cm / 7-inch square piece using the 18 x 18-cm / 7-inch cake ring , leave cake in cake ring and cover bottom of the cake with plastic wrap and place in a stainless tray or baking sheet .

* Add kirsch or cherry liqueur to sugar syrup and brush over sponge , set aside .

** Make crème mousseline : Place milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to a boil . Remove from heat and set aside .

* Whisk egg yolks with sugar until mixture is pale yellow . Add flour and mix well , discard vanilla bean .

* Pour cream gradually into the yolk mixture , whisking as you pour then return to the saucepan . Bring to a boil over high heat , stirring constantly . Continue to beat mixture until it thickens and become smooth and glossy ( about 6 minutes ) . Remove from heat and transfer to a tray to cool . Cover with cling film . Place in the freezer to cool but do not freeze .

*  Beat butter until with an electric mixer until creamy . Add cooled cream and beat until combined . . Add kirsch/cherry liqueur and mix well . Spoon crème mousseline into a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm round piping tip .

* Pipe thin layer of crème mousseline onto sponge in cake ring . Arrange strawberries around edge of cake ring , with the flat surface against the cake ring . Distribute remaining strawberries evenly , then pipe another layer of crème mousseline over strawberries and level with an offset spatula . Make sure there are no air pockets in cream . Place cake in the freezer for about 20 minutes .

** Make raspberry jelly : Place raspberry purée and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil . Turn off heat , add softened gelatin and and mix well . Pour jelly mixture over cake and refrigerate overnight to set .

** To unmould the cake : Use a warm towel or a kitchen blowtorch ( or hair dryer ) and warm the sides of cake ring . Decorate as desired . Slice and serve .


  1. Your cake really does capture the slick look of cakes in a French pâtisserie !
    Also sounds delicious.

    best... mae at

  2. I am waiting impatiently for strawberry season Here in june!

  3. Awesome! I love the whole recipe as well as the step by step photos!

  4. This is stunning, Anne! I'm glad you're treating yourself!!! I know my family would love this---and that gives me an excuse to make it and have a little sliver or two or three.....

  5. I feel good just by looking at the cake. haha.... guess, its going to be a good start of the day !
    Blessings, Kristy

  6. That's a beautiful creation, Anne. Wish I could have a slice :-))

  7. Hi Anne, this would be a great contribution to Food on Friday: Eggs over at Carole's Chatter. Please do bring it over to join in the fun. Cheers

  8. Hi Anne,
    Wow, that is one gorgeous cake! Butter and cheese! Sinful but divine! I don't mind a slice, or two!


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