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Japanese Christmas Cake with strawberries and cream.

Japanese Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake ( クリスマスケーキ) is a Japanese-style strawberry shortcake that's traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. For my version, I've turned it into an easy roll cake with a tender sponge cake base and loads of strawberries and cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword cake, Christmas, sweets
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Dairy, Egg, Fruit
Diet Pescatarian, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 338kcal


  • Scraper
  • 10.5 x 15.5 inch Jelly Roll Pan


for cake

  • 1 teaspoon cultured unsalted butter (for buttering pan)
  • 75 grams cake flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 grams cultured unsalted butter (melted)

to assemble

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (at least 37% fat)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 80 grams strawberries (4 small berries)

to garnish

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
  • 120 grams strawberries (6 small berries)
  • silver dragées optional


  • Preheat the oven to 355 F (160 C)
  • Line a 10.5 x 15.5 inch sheet pan with parchment paper, and use a teaspoon of softened butter to butter the paper.
    Buttered parchment paper in jelly roll pan.
  • Sift the flour onto a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
    Sifting flour for making sponge cake.
  • Break the eggs into a heat-safe bowl of an electric mixer and add the sugar and vanilla.
    Eggs, sugar and vanilla for making sponge cake.
  • In a pot that's big enough to fit the bowl, heat a few inches of water until hot.
  • Place the bowl in the hot water bath and mix gently until the egg reaches 100 degrees F (38 C) about the temperature of bathwater.
    Whisking eggs for making Christmas Cake.
  • Attach the bowl to the mixer and beat at high speed using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes.
    Whipping eggs for sponge cake.
  • Turn down the speed to medium and slowly pour in the melted butter.
    Beating in melted butter to egg mixture.
  • When the butter has been fully incorporated, turn down the speed to low and add the flour. Continue mixing until there are no lumps of flour, but be careful not to overmix. You may need to stop the mixer once and scrape down the sides.
    Adding flour to sponge cake batter.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared sheet pan and smooth off the top using an offset spatula or pastry knife. Smack the bottom of the pan against the countertop to force any large air bubbles to the surface.
    Smoothing off the surface of a sheet pan of sponge cake batter.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cake is set in the center.
    Baking the cake in the oven.
  • Let the cake cool on a rack until room temperature.
    Cool the cake on a wire rack.
  • Slice the tops off of 4 strawberries and then cut them in half.
    Cutting strawberries for Christmas Cake.
  • Using a whisk or electric mixer, whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until it holds firm peaks. The cream should be stiff, but be careful not overwhip it, or it will get chunky.
    Whipped cream in glass bowl.
  • Peel the parchment paper away from the cake.
    Removing parchment paper for sponge cake.
  • Slice 2-inches (5cm) of cake off from the left side at an angle. This makes it easier to finish rolling the cake.
    Trimming sheet cake.
  • Spread the whipped cream all over the top of the sponge cake (you don't need to spread it on the cut surface).
    Spreading whipped cream onto sponge cake.
  • Spread the strawberries in a line about 2-inches from the right edge.
    Lining up strawberries for Christmas Cake roll.
  • Turn sheet, so the side with the strawberries is closest to you, and then use the parchment paper to roll the cake up and over the berries. Continue rolling the cake, being careful not the roll the parchment paper inside.
    Rolling Japanese Christmas Cake.
  • When you're finished rolling, wrap the extra parchment paper around the cake and then set the roll on a sheet pan with the seam at the bottom. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • When the cream has set, unwrap the cake onto a flat surface and then trim off both ends of the roll.
    Trimming the ends off of rolled cake
  • Dust the roll with powdered sugar and place the cake on your serving platter.
    Dusting Christmas Cake with powdered sugar.
  • When you're ready to serve the cake, whip the remaining cream with the remaining powdered sugar until it forms soft peaks. You want the cream firm enough so it doesn't run all over the place, but it should still be loose enough to pour off of a spoon.
    Soft whipped cream for topping the cake.
  • Slice the tops off of the remaining strawberries.
  • Drop dollops of whipped cream off of a spoon onto the top of the cake to make mounds of snow.
    Soft whipped cream on top of Japanese Christmas Cake.
  • Top with the strawberries, and if you want, you can decorate your cake with sugar Santas and food-safe decorations like silver dragées.
    Decorated Japanese Christmas Cake with Strawberries and Cream.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 947IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg