Perfect Not-Too-Sweet Japanese Dessert
A light and airy Japanese cake roll filled with strawberries is one of the most requested recipes I had in the last few months. After the success many of you had with my Japanese Chocolate Cake Roll recipe, many expressed the desire to bake a similarly soft and fluffy chiffon cake but in a vanilla flavor so it can be filled with whichever fruit your heart desired. It took a little while because I’ve been happily writing away over at indulgewithbibi (this month’s topic: baby sleep training) but I’m happy to finally share this recipe for a delicious strawberry swiss roll that is made in the not-too-sweet Japanese style.
Unlike a sponge cake, the pillowy soft chiffon cake in this roll doesn’t use any butter and relies partly on the meringue as its leavener. With such a light and airy cake body, coupled with a delicate whipped cream and fresh strawberries, it’s so easy to indulge in more than one slice. In fact, I already made this cake roll over 10 times because my loved ones kept asking for it. They said it was better than the ones they could find at the store, my nephew even told his mom that it was, “the best dessert ever.” 🙂
A Sturdy Stabilized Whipped Cream
This fresh strawberry cream cake roll is filled with a fresh whipped cream that is stabilized with gelatin. For cake rolls, I prefer taking some extra steps to stabilize the cream filling because whipped cream has a tendency to deflate after a while. It’s completely possible to skip the stabilization part by whipping the cream with sugar and omitting the gelatin – which a lot of recipes do – but you might find that the cream gets a bit sloppy and the shape of the cake roll doesn’t hold up as well, especially after a few hours.
For use as a cake topping, whipped cream can be conveniently stabilized with powdered sugar as seen in this recipe. However, for use as a deep filling, it’s preferable to stabilize it with gelatin instead. It may sound intimidating but it’s actually quite easy and the results are well worth the effort.
This strawberry cake roll is by far one of the easiest and most delicious desserts you can make in under an hour and a half from start to finish. I highly recommend you give it a try.
Step-By-Step Strawberry Swiss Roll
In a large mixing bowl, sift in cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Stir to combine. Create a well in the center. Inside it, add yolks, oil, vanilla extract and milk.
Stir to combine until fully incorporated, do not over mix. Set this milk-flour mixture aside. In a clean and dry, non-plastic mixing bowl, whip egg whites on slow speed until frothy, add cream of tartar. Whip until stiff peaks.
Gently fold the meringue into the cake flour batter until fully incorporated.
Dab a little bit of the batter onto the parchment paper and stick it to the pan to prevent the paper from tipping over into the cake batter.
Pour batter into lined cake pan from one spot, spread out the batter evenly with an angled spatula. Rap the cake pan on the counter a few times to rid excess bubbles. Bake for 14-16 min. at 325 F. Let cool 5 min. in the pan before removing. Place cooling rack over cake pan.
Flip cake over onto the rack, remove pan. Gently remove paper. The side facing up will eventually become the top of the cake roll. Let it sit on cooling rack for 5 min.
Place a piece of new parchment paper on top of the cake. Flip the cake over and start rolling.
Let it cool in this wrapped condition while making the fresh cream.
Clean and pat dry strawberries, then cut into 1 cm sized pieces. Apply an even layer of cream to unrolled cake roll, spread strawberries evenly apart, then roll up. Wrap cake roll in plastic wrap and place in fridge to set before cutting. Cut off the sides before serving for a cleaner finish.
Japanese Style Chiffon Cake
- 25 grams granulated sugar
- 45 grams cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar* (Substitutions Note 1)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 50 ml whole fat milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 40 ml vegetable oil (e.g. canola)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Stabilized Fresh Cream
- 1 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 5 teaspoons water
- 1 1/4 cup whipping cream (33%)
- 1 1/4 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 10 small fresh organic strawberries
Japanese Style Chiffon Cake
- Line a 8 X 12" rectangular cake pan with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift in cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Stir to combine.
- Create a well in the center. Inside it, add yolks, oil, vanilla extract and milk.
- Stir to combine until fully incorporated, do not over mix. Set this milk-flour mixture aside.
- In a clean and dry, non-plastic mixing bowl, whip egg whites on slow speed until frothy, add cream of tartar.
- Increase speed to medium, once the whites become opaque and bubble size have tightened up, add sugar a little bit at a time.
- Increase speed to med-high, whip until stiff peaks. You've now made a meringue. (Note 2)
- Gently fold 1/3 of the meringue into the milk-flour mixture to get it moving. Once incorporated, fold in the rest of the meringue. Do not stir. Use batter immediately.
- Dab a bit of the batter onto the sides of the parchment paper to keep corners together. Dab a little more onto the paper and stick it to the pan to prevent the parchment paper from tipping over into the cake batter.
- Pour batter into lined cake pan from one spot, spread out the batter evenly with an angled spatula.
- Tap the pan on the counter to release large air pockets.
- Bake for 14-16 min. at 325 F until a skewer pulls out clean and cake springs back in the center.
- Let cool 5 min. in the pan before removing.
- Place cooling rack over cake pan.
- Flip cake over onto the rack, gently remove paper.
- The side facing up will eventually become the top of the cake roll. Let it sit on cooling rack for 5 min.
- Place a new of parchment paper on top of the cake.
- Flip the cake over and start rolling, allowing the parchment paper to be in between the folds. This will prevent the cake from sticking to itself. It's important to roll the cake before it cools completely, otherwise, it will crack while rolling.
- Let it cool in this wrapped condition while making the fresh cream.
Stabilized Fresh Cream Instructions
- Refrigerate mixing bowl and beaters in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes. This will help cream whip better.
- Clean and pat dry strawberries. Remove the husk and cut into 1 cm sized pieces.
- Place water in heatproof cup and sprinkle gelatin on top to bloom. Wait 5 minutes.
- Place cup in a small sauce pan filled with simmering water. Once gelatin becomes liquid, take it out of the water. Let cool on the counter.
- Immediately start beating the cream and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the chilled bowl. Whip on low speed and then increase to medium.
- Check on the gelatin. It should no longer be warm but still runny.
- Once the beaters leave tracks in the cream, pour the gelatin into the bowl slowly and steadily. Aim for the area in between the whisk and the bowl.
- Stop beating once the cream turns stiff. Do not over whip.
- Use cream to assemble the cooled cake immediately.
- Gently unwrap rolled cake and spread an even layer of cream on it.
- Lay strawberries evenly apart on cream.
- Carefully roll up the cake from the short edge using the parchment paper to help push the cake onto itself.
- Wrap with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to set before cutting.
- Before serving, cut off sides for a cleaner presentation.
- Cream of tartar can be substituted with lemon juice in double the amount.
- Stiff peaks in characterized by the egg whites having pointed peaks that point upwards without drooping when the whisk is pulled out.
- Organic strawberries were used in this recipe. Try to buy them organic if possible as they are on the "dirty dozen" list of fruits and vegetables which is better to buy organic.
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- Vollrath 47934 4-Quart Economy Mixing Bowl, Stainless Steel
- McCormick Gourmet All Natural Cream Of Tartar, 2.62 oz
- PaperChef Culinary Parchment Multipurpose Non-Stick Paper, 205 sq ft
- RYBACK Stainless Steel Egg White Yolk Filter Separator Cooking Tool Dishwasher Safe Chef Kitchen Gadget
- Rectangle Baking Pan
- Kitchenaid Handheld Mixer
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 269Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 112mgSodium 151mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 5g