Chinese Style Sponge Cake with Fruit, Mousse, and Whipped Cream

My mother’s birthday was fast approaching and I wanted to do something special for her. For as long as I can remember, ever since I was a little girl, my parents would always buy me a special kind of birthday cake…it was typically a light, airy sponge cake filled with an equally light cream and fresh fruit, and topped with a whipped cream icing. As an adult, the only time I had ever seen this sort of cake was from Chinatown or a Chinese style bakery…thus it became known to me as the Chinese style sponge cake. This is what I decided I was going to make for Mom for her birthday to bring a sweet nostalgic air to the festivities.

Different from your typical sponge cake, chinese style sponge is very light and airy and isn’t nearly as sweet as its american counterparts. Most get their first taste of this style of sponge cake as a jelly roll very frequently sold in almost every asian supermarket…a thin layer of sponge cake rolled with a thin layer of whipped cream. Try it the next time you’re out shopping and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s very light and not cloyingly sweet at all.

Back to the birthday cake plans. So I had decided to make this lovely cake complete with fresh fruits and whipped cream, the problem was figuring out HOW? What I hadn’t counted on though was just how darn hard it was to find a recipe for this! After scouring the internet for what seemed like ages, I finally found a few sites and was able to cobble together a game plan! I selected a few fruits to run with and decided instead of just using the vanilla custard that most recipes seemed to point to as the filling, I decided to go one extra step and use vanilla mousse. Let me tell you guys…it was stroke of genius time!! The mousse was a great choice and really made this cake go from delicious to badass awesome.

Next came the matter of the whipped cream icing. For anyone who’s made whipped cream from scratch before, you know that after a few hours it deflates. The question now was how to stabilize the cream so that after I worked my butt off to pipe it, it wouldn’t just deflate into a has-been whipped cream soggy mess? Some people suggest merigue powder while others suggested powdered pudding mix to add to the cream before whipping. After additional research, I found what I will now call the whipped cream stabilizer equalizer ™…Dr. Oetker’s Whip It! It does sort of sound like some bad rip off of Michael Jackson’s Beat It! but who cares? Because guys, this stuff works! Even after 2 days, my whipped cream icing never de-evolved into a scary cream monster blob! Problem solved!

After figuring out my game plan, it was time to execute and I have to say that all in all, this wasn’t too hard to pull off. The cake came together without too much ado and the end results were well worth the couple of weeks of research and preparation. Mom was totally surprised and the cake tasted great! Light and airy as promised, the fresh fruit provided a great pairing and further echoed the bright mood of the cake. It was a good birthday for Mom :)

Chinese Style Sponge Cake with Fruit, Mousse, and Whipped Cream
Adapted from Pocket Daydreams

Ingredients

For mousse:
1 box of Dr. Oetker’s Vanilla Mousse Mix
1 cup milk

For cake:
Butter and cake flour for greasing pans
3/4 cups of cake flour
3/4 cups of superfine sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature, separated into yolks and whites
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil
1-1/2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 baking pans (9″ in diameter)
Simple syrup (1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp water)

For Stabilized Whipped Cream icing:
2 cups (1 pint) of chilled heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp of confectioner’s sugar
2 packets Dr. Oetker’s Whip It!

Assorted fruit cut into small bite sized pieces (I used a mix of strawberries, cantaloupe, and mangoes)

Preparation

The night before you plan to make the cake, prepare the mousse according to package instructions and refrigerate overnight.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 340 degrees F. Butter the baking pans on the bottoms and sides. Cut out parchment paper and lay it on top of the butter. Butter parchment paper and flour the pan.

Mix 1/2 cup sugar with the egg yolks and beat until slightly thick and pale yellow. Stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they are starting to form peaks. The egg white will still be drippy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in three separate additions while continuing to whip egg whites. Continue until stiff peaks form. Combine 1/2 of the meringue with the egg yolk mixture, fold in carefully to minimize volume loss. Gradually add flour and mix gently. Add oil and milk to the batter. Fold in the remaining half of the meringue carefully.

Divide batter into the two greased pans. Tap around the pan to make sure that the batter is even and to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F until tops are a light brown. (Bake shorter in a dark, matte, or non-stick pan, and bake longer in a glass, aluminum, or other shiny pan).

While cake is baking, prepare simple syrup by combining sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves and heat until it just begins to boil.

Remove cakes from oven and leave in pan to cool to room temperature. The cake will shrink so gently cut around the edge with a knife so that it’ll shrink evenly. While cake is cooling, prepare simple syrup by dissolving sugar into water over low heat and allow to simmer for about 1 minute. Once cooled, remove cakes from pan, brush entirely with simple syrup.

To make the whipped cream icing, freeze your beaters and mixing bowl until they’re nice and cold, about 5 minutes. Add in your heavy cream and Dr. Oetker’s Whip It! and beat on high speed until beaters leave a trail in the cream and has a nice coat on the beaters. DO NOT OVERBEAT! Otherwise you’ll end up with butter!

To assemble the cake, place 1 cake layer onto your cake plate and spread a generous layer of mousse onto the top of the cake layer, but do not spread it all the way out to the edges…leave a 1-1/2 inch strip along the edges without custard, because when you add the second layer it will press the custard and fillings towards the outer edge. Add prepared fruit pieces on top of the mousse, covering the entire area. Gently add any remaining mousse on top of fruit layer.

Place the second cake layer on top. Gently press layers together and wipe away any excess custard that escapes from the sides. If the cake feels dry, brush with more simple syrup.

Frost the cake with the whipped cream topping by first frosting it with a thin layer to act as a crumb coat. Be sure to fill in any gaps between the 2 layers! Place in fridge for about 5 minutes to allow it to set. This layer doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty, it merely serves to keep any crumbs from pulling up when you do the real frosting work!

Use the remainder of the icing to frost your cake to your liking. I wanted to go simple and piped a shell border along the top and bottom. Top with additional fresh fruit on top. Finally, put your cake into the fridge and chill for a few hours to let the frosting set. It is best served in the same day it was made.

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~ by tastydesu on November 15, 2010.

18 Responses to “Chinese Style Sponge Cake with Fruit, Mousse, and Whipped Cream”

  1. Oh, my gosh! This cake is to die for! It is so amazingly beautiful and I am already in love with a Chinese sponge cake as you have described it! I am so glad you posted such a detailed recipe with good advice!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I am going to try this recipe this weekend!!!

  3. can i use self-raising flour instead of the cake flour? :/

    • Hi Jessica! I’d still recommend using cake flour instead of self rising. Self rising flour is basically all-purpose flour with salt and a leavening agent, usually baking powder, already mixed in. Cake flour is a lower gluten content and has a finer texture than all-purpose flour and will yield a much tender and finer cake layer in this case. Also, the cake layers in this recipe do not require any leavening agents…we get the rise here from the whipped egg whites.

      If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute out all-purpose flour for the cake flour…for every cup of cake flour required, sub in 1 cup of all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons and then add in 2 tablespoons of corn starch.

  4. Great looking cake…. I want to make it this weekend, I wonder, where did you buy Dr. Oetker’s Whip it and Mousse Mix? Thanks.

    • Hi Coleen! I’m so glad that you’re going to give this cake a try! I was able to find the Dr. Oetker’s Whip It at the local supermarket to us, ShopRite. They should have it in the dessert aisle next to the pudding and mousse mixes that Dr. Oetker also produces. If you’re not able to find it, the cake should still be ok, but you’ll just have to make sure it’s eaten the day you make it otherwise the whipped cream will deflate. Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Is regular sugar okay? Opposed to the super fine?

    • Superfine is really best for this recipe as it dissolves quickly into the mixture…this is mostly critical for the meringue/egg white part so that it remains light and airy. Don’t worry though if you only have regular sugar. You can easily make superfine sugar out of regular sugar by running it through your food processor for a few seconds. Voila! :)

  6. Thank you! Making this tomorrow morning for my bf birthday!

  7. Cant’t find Whip it OR any vanilla mousse:( They have the chocolate mousse but, I was hoping for vanilla! Maybe cool whip in the middle?

    • Hi Stephanie! Sorry you weren’t able to find the Whip It or the vanilla mousse. Instead of the mousse, you can also use vanilla pudding or custard…either the kind you make from the box or the premade stuff from Jello or something. You could use Cool Whip if you’d like, but I think it may be too much combined with the whipped cream “icing” on the cake. If you can’t find the Whip It, that’s totally ok. Just make sure you eat the cake the day that it’s made. Good luck and let me know if you need anymore help!

  8. I really want to make this cake for a coworker who’s b-day is March 1st. I am having difficulty finding Oetker’s vanilla mousse (even out of stock) at their on line store, is there anything I could use as a substitute? Also, is the Oetker’s whip it the same things as dream whip?

    • Hi Laurie, if you’d like to stick with a mousse filling, any other mousse box mix should work just fine. I just listed Dr. Oetker’s in the recipe as it is what I had available to me at the time. I know that both Nestle and Knorr make put out very good mousse mixes as well. Alternatively, you could also use custard or pudding…either the make on the stove mix like Jello or the premade sort if you’re in a time crunch.

  9. Hi,
    Thanks for the advice, still wondering about the Oetker’s Whip It. Can you confirm if Dream Whip would work just as well?

    • Hi Laurie, you’re welcome! I hope your cake turns out great! For the Dr. Oetked’s Whip It, I mainly use it as a stabilizing agent for the whipped cream that is used to “ice” the cake. You can either omit it from the recipe and just make sure to serve the cake the day you make it or use another stabilizing agent.
      As far as Dream Whip goes, I’ve personally not had any experience with it so I’m not sure. My guess is if you like the way it tastes over regular whipped cream, it should be fine.

  10. Is cake flour and baking fluor the same or similar? Is there’s a difference, can I use baking flour to sub for cake flour?

    It looks so delish! Can and will you please make a video for youtube? I want to try to make it so bad but I am more of a visualize person…please, thank you for the recipe am going to try it!

    • Hi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! yes, there is a difference between cake flour and other flours…cake flour has a much finer texture. I’m not sure if by baking flour, you mean just plain all-purpose flour or if you’re talking about self-rising flour. In any case, if you can get your hands on cake flour (I personally use Swan Down brand), it would be best and will yield the most tender product.

      If you’re in a bind though and cannot get your hand on cake flour, you can use regular all-purpose flour. For every cup of cake flour called for in the recipe, sub out with 1 cup of all purpose flour MINUS 2 tablespoons. Add in 2 tablespoons of corn starch instead.

      I’ll see if I can post a you-tube video at some point :) but if you have any other questions or need any other help, just let me know! I’m happy to answer any and all questions :)

  11. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been searching for a a whipped cream frosting recipe such as this and I can’t wait to try it! Since it’s thanksgiving I’d love to add some orange food coloring. Do you think this would alter the stability of this frosting or would it be okay?

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