This strawberry shortcake was created due to the inspiration of Honey-Senpai from Ouran Highschool Host club. When I first watched this anime the cake looked so incredible and Honey ate one basically in every episode and I needed to bring this to life.
It is absolutely delicious, especially if you can get seasonal strawberries!!!!
Make this for your friends, family or even your admired senpai. They are bound to notice you after trying this cake!!! (It is one of the reason's I obtained my own Senpai!! Yay!!!)
Step 1: Ingredients
For the cake
- 1 Cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 3/4 Cup full cream milk
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil (not olive oil I find olive oil gives an altered flavour and can sometimes be overpowering but that depends on your taste)
- 1 3/4 Cup plain flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (not baking soda)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 Cup (112.5g) unsalted butter, soft, room temperature
- 1- 1/2 punnets of strawberries
For the decorations
- About 500mL whipping cream (pasteurized as this whips better and hold its shape)
- 3 Tbsp icing sugar (you can always add more if you like it sweeter or omit completely)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not paste, we want this to be white not with seeds)
- 6-8 whole strawberries with the leaves chopped off and one full strawberry for the centre (optional, I did not use this, I ate it...... it was delicious)
Step 2: Equipment
- Standing electric mixer and bowl + Paddle + Whisking attachment
- Cake plate board
- Piping bag with a star tip
- Baking Paper
- Chopping Board
Step 3: Cream the Butter
First off all take your soft butter and beat it in your standing mixer with a paddle attachment on a high setting until it is a light and fluffy butter that is more pale yellow. Scrape down the sides every couple of minutes. Then add the sugar and beat for a few more minutes until it is light, airy and fluffy!!! You are going to need to beat this for at least 5 minutes because we want to incorporate as much air as humanly possible into the sponge cake! Remeber to scrape down the side of the bowl every couple of minutes.
Then add your egg and vanilla bean paste and beat it again for another 5 minutes, AS MUCH AIR AS POSSIBLE GUYS!!! (if you need inspiration you can listen to Michael Jackson's "Beat It"). Scrape down the sides then beat for one more minute.
Step 4: Finish the Cake Batter
Ok, now whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until there are no lumps in the flour (alternatively you can sieve this together but this is less messy and is also quicker).
Now you want to add the flour and milk in alternating batches (about 3 large spoonfuls at a time or 1/3 of flour and milk at a time) to the butter mixture. We add these separately to ensure no lumps and also to maintain as much air as possible into the cake. At this point, if you are listening to Michael Jackson's "Beat It" please stop as these need to be added on a low mixing speed.
Then finally add our oil and mix it into the batter (about 1 min) until just combined then it is ready to bake!!
Step 5: Line Your Cake Tins
Line your cake tins with some baking paper and butter the edges if your pans are not non-stick.
I am using 20cm diameter cake tins and a quick trick (MAGIC GUYS!!) Is to take a sheet of baking paper, fold it in half to make a rectangle, then again to make a square. Then fold this on the diagonal to make a triangle, then another diagonal to make a smaller triangle. Then place the point of this in the centre of the cake tin and cut the paper where the edge of the pan stops. then unfold and voila!! it covers the base of your baking tin!! (if it is a circle :D)
Step 6: Bake Your Cakes
Ok so now with your prepared tins, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius (355 Fahrenheit) and divide the bake batter equally between the two cake tins. You can either eyeball this or use specific cup measurements to divide it exactly.
Then move the cake batter around the tins evenly with a spatula to ensure even baking. Then bake for between 15-18 minutes, always check it at 15 minutes because you do not want to overcook this cake! we want it soft and squishy not hard and lumpy!
Allow the cakes to cool completely and then turn them upside down to release them from the pans. You may need to run a knife along the edge of the pan if it does not feel loose.
Step 7: Prepare Your Strawberries
While the cakes are baking wash your strawberries. I usually fill my sink with water and let them soak for a few minutes, it allows the dirt to come off easily and you just need to stir it every so often.
Now, remember you need thick strawberry slices for the inside of the cake and some whole strawberries for the top of the cake (I am using 6 because my strawberries are quite large.
For the slices take a strawberry, chop the top off and then slice about 1/2 cm to 1cm thick, depending on your preference. and the whole strawberries simply chop the top of the strawberry off. For the decorative strawberries, try and choose the reddest and even looking strawberries. Put them on a show!!
Step 8: Make the Whipped Cream
In your standing mixer, using a whisking attachment, whisk your cold whipping cream (please make sure it is very cold!!) and then add the icing sugar and vanilla and whisk it for between 3-5 minutes, watching as you do because you do not want it overwhipped (you could make butter). You want to have stiff peaks.
Step 9: Decorate the Cake
If your cakes are even, AWESOME!! but fret not, if they came out slightly risen in one area simply take a bread knife and even the surfaces.
Then place one of the spongecakes on your serving plate or cake board then top it with about 1/4 of the whipped cream. Then add a layer of strawberries, another layer of whipped cream, the other sponge cake and then cover the whole thing in cream (Keep some cream to decorate the top).
Ensure that you use a clean knife of cake knife to even out the cake and make it look beautiful and smooth.
Step 10: Final Decorations
With the remaining cream and remaining full strawberries, you can now finish the cake!!
A little trick to get the even spacing of the decorations to take a ruler, your cake knife or toothpick and make even make across the cake to indicate where you will place your little swirls of whipped cream.
Take a star-shaped tip and piping bag and fill with your remaining whipped cream and on your marks on the top of your cake, pipe out little adorable mounds of whipped cream, slightly bigger wider than the size of your strawberries. If your strawberries are small you may get 8-10 strawberries on top of your cake, my strawberries were quite big so I only have 6.
Step 11: ENJOY YOUR CAKE!!!
And there you have your delicious, fluffy, fruity, omnomnomnom Honey Senpai strawberry shortcake!!!
I hope that you try this because it is so simple and delicious, especially if you get fresh, in-season strawberries.