Korean Fresh Cream Cake

July 10, 2021
23 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis.
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
What You'll Need
  • Sponge cake
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar (or finely processed granulated sugar), divided
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Simple syrup and frosting
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced (or any seasonal fruit of your choosing, such as mandarin oranges or kiwi)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Use the base of a 6-inch aluminum cake pan (do not use nonstick) to trace a circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Cut out circle and place on the bottom of the cake pan. Cut another sheet of parchment paper 6 inches by 20 inches and nestle into the sides of the cake pan to form a collar. Do not grease the pan or the parchment.
  2. Separate eggs carefully, putting whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and yolks in a large bowl. Whip egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks start to form. Add cream of tartar and mix until incorporated. Mix in 1/4 cup sugar, a little bit at a time, until incorporated. Continue whipping until stiff peaks have formed.
  3. To the yolks, add the rest of the sugar and beat vigorously with a whisk until yolks are pale in color and fall in ribbons when the whisk is lifted. Add vegetable oil, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and water, and whisk to combine.
  4. Sift cake flour and salt together 3 to 4 times in a separate bowl, then stir into yolk mixture, a little at a time, until incorporated.
  5. Rewhip egg whites for a few seconds if needed to ensure stiff peaks. Using whisk, add one-third of the whites into the yolk mixture, using few and gentle strokes to incorporate the mixture. Add another third and stir in gently.
  6. Switch to a spatula, and this time take the yolk mixture and add to the remaining one-third of the whites in the mixer bowl. Very gently (so as to not deflate the air incorporated into the whites), fold the batter until just combined and no white streaks remain.
  7. Pour batter into the collared cake pan, stopping if the batter hits the top of the pan. Tap the cake pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cake should be well-browned on top, and the middle should spring back when lightly pressed. Carefully remove cake from the pan and parchment paper, using a knife to loosen the sides if needed. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. While cake is cooling, make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and lemon peel to a near boil, turning the heat off when the water just starts to simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar and place in fridge to cool.
  10. Whip heavy cream in mixer until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt to incorporate, then keep whipping on medium speed while adding in powdered sugar, a bit at a time, until stiff peaks form.
  11. To assemble cake, trim the top brown pieces off the cake. Cut cake in half horizontally to make two layers. Place one layer on a cake stand, and brush some simple syrup over the top of the cake. Spread a layer of whipped cream, and then arrange strawberry slices to cover. Place second layer of cake, brush simple syrup, and ice your cake fully with whipped cream. Decorate the top of the cake with strawberry slices, and brush a bit more of simple syrup on the fruit. Chill in fridge before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Swarnim Maden
    Swarnim Maden
  • Kaitlyn Hayner
    Kaitlyn Hayner
  • Adibah Shaikh
    Adibah Shaikh
  • h.wong
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    Janine Zhu
Irene Yoo is chef and creator of Yooeating, a Korean American food channel that explores Korean home cooking, street food, and culinary history. She has developed recipes and penned essays for Food52, Food Network, and Bon Appetit, and previously presented about Korean culinary history at The Korea Society and The Museum of Food and Drink.

30 Reviews

BATEMAN December 13, 2022
I'm never baking again. This morning I woke up excited to make this cake for my family. Little did I know this would result in multiple mental breakdowns. 3 hours were spent making this cake. 3 hours I will never get back. I poured my heart and soul into this, carefully reading and following the instructions, checking I had the correct measurements and ingredients. The egg whites were whipped into stiff peaks, my yolk mixture having a perfect consistency...
I sieved my flour 3 times, and added it into the yolk mixture bit by bit, ensuring that there was not a single lump to be found. I added the final part of flour, and the texture of what was once a smooth silky cake batter turned into a thick almost dough-like consistency. I was worried but decided to have faith in this recipe because what could go wrong... I followed all of the instructions, how bad could it be? It was worse than I could ever imagine. It was impossible to use a whisk to incorporate the egg white into the thick foul dough. I scrambled desperately to find the correct tool to fix this mess, resorting to a spatula to assist me in this disaster. I attempted to add a portion of the thick sludge that was the batter into the rest of the egg whites. BIG MISTAKE. The air was taken out of the egg whites faster than someone being punched by Mike Tyson. In a wave of stress, I rushed the batter to my stand mixer, hoping that I could salvage this tragedy, all hope was lost when I looked at the texture of what was supposed to be fluffy sponge cake batter, which was close to the texture of heavy cream. After a while of beating the batter, hoping to get some air into it, I gave up. The batter was thin, however, it still had small bubbles throughout it. So I poured it into the cake pan, hoping for the best, the cake to rise.
35 minutes later I checked on the cake in the oven, anticipating the cake to rise at least a little bit. When I looked at the cake, the small amount of hope I had left was crushed. The top of the cake was as white as a ghost, yet when I put a skewer in to see if it was cooked, it came out clean, since the top of the cake was so pale I decided to leave it in for a little longer, with the hopes that the cake might at least get a bit of colour. Almost 50 minutes later I took the cake out of the oven. It looked the exact same. It might as well have been a cracker. The cake hadn't risen at all and it was like pressing rubber. After a few more minutes I took the cake out of the pan. Somehow the sides were brown, that was the only part of the cake that had any colour. It was so dense that I could pick it up and throw it around without damaging the cake in the slightest. When I cut it open it looked like undercooked dough. Those little air bubbles when I put the cake into the oven had completely disappeared. When I took a bite it was so dense and foul that I immediately felt sick. The flavour of the cake was terrible. It was sour and the texture made me feel like I was eating some kind of cheese. I have never seen a cake like it before and couldn't believe that it could turn out so bad. I sat and cried for hours. I am writing this with tears in my eyes, my appetite was gone and I'm suspecting it will be for the next few days. I am beyond disgusted and cannot believe I wasted an entire day making this cake. Irene Yoo, I can't even begin to understand why you made this recipe and posted it for other people to make.
Dostree34 December 13, 2022
Seems like a you problem my guy tbh
BATEMAN February 1, 2023
watch your back
dostree February 3, 2023
Are you having another mental breakdown? You seem to be very sensitive. I wouldn't bake again if I were you.
BATEMAN February 7, 2023
dostree, i believe you might not understand that i was joking. i would try socialising with people if I were you x
HoseokWifey March 30, 2024
Just because you fucked up don’t mean we all shouldn’t make it..
Brxdzz February 8, 2022
I love this recipe, the cake ended up slightly dense and flat but it must have been a fault on my part. Overall though it was really nice, my mum and I enjoyed it.
Huntbossmailman November 19, 2021
This is so DISGUSTING i had to really feed this to my dog of how BAD this was.i will leave my mark as a 1 star and now im off to the curry cake
AshW523 August 2, 2021
Can I divide the batter into two 8 inch cake pans even after doubling the batter? I'm not very good at cutting the cake in half so I would like to know if I could use 2 cake pans instead of 1
Swatkins1c July 10, 2021
This came out flat as a pancake. Horrible, I wasted so much time.
Swarnim M. May 3, 2021
This is one of the best cake recipes I have tried, the cake turned out really well and tasted delicious!
Kaitlyn H. February 23, 2021
Does this cake really rise to 6"? Mine didn't rise that high.
Adibah S. February 20, 2021
Can I use an 8 inch pan? Are there any adjustments that need to be made?
Irene Y. February 22, 2021
Hi! You'll likely need about twice as much batter to make a full cake, and I think it will take about the same amount of time to bake. Let me know how it goes!
dostree December 17, 2020
I made this and it was delicious! Only when I brushed the simple syrup on the cake it became really dense, almost like rubber. Wish I hadn't added the syrup.
BATEMAN February 7, 2023
dostree, it was not delicious.
h.wong October 30, 2020
Made this cake for a friend's birthday and it was a huge hit! However, the cake was very very dense compared to bakery fresh cream cakes so I would recommend that the recipe be altered to include butter or maybe 1 less egg? And for the frosting, would recommend stabilizing the whipped cream with instant pudding mix or cream of tartar so it's not a melted mess sitting outside of the fridge for too long.
Irene Y. November 2, 2020
Wow thanks so much for trying this recipe!! The key to getting the signature airiness to this cake to whip the eggs as stiff as possible (just before they get overbeaten, it's a delicate balance for sure). And totally agreed with the whipped cream, since it's so fresh it needs to be eaten immediately :D
Kris28 January 23, 2021
I do not like butter cream cakes even as a child my mother ordered my cakes special with whip cream I do not like butter cream at all. So I do understand it is difficult sometimes to work with whip cream or cool whip it especially if you want designs you don’t want it to melt so you make adjustments just like you would anything else you’re making that can’t get colds or it doesn’t taste correct making whipped cream cakes it’s a little more of a hassle but it’s well worth it, at least that’s my opinion and my children’s opinion. And anyone who’s tried my whip cream and fresh fruit cakes LOL.
kpierotti February 7, 2023
You can use stabilized whipped cream which has 1 tsp plain gelatin to 1 Tablespoon of water per 1 cup of cream. You whip the cream until soft peaks. Put gelatin into cold water in a small bowl then heat the gelatin for a few seconds until the gelatin melts. Cool the gelatin and add to the partially whipped cream and then continue whipping and adding powdered sugar until at the right consistency. You can even pipe this cream in frosting bags to make rosettes.
Janine Z. May 10, 2020
Made this cake for mother's day--absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe to a t. Turned out a bit on the sweeter side for Asian tastes, so next time might half the sugar instead. Also if you're not a fan of the tart lemon taste cut down a little on it too when mixing it in the yolk
Hannah L. April 3, 2020
I followed the recipe, step by step. Idk if I mixed too much but it turned out a little too dry and tough. But the taste was fantastic. My family loved it and we finished it right away!
Harper V. March 4, 2020
Doubled this cake and made a lemon curd to mix with the whipped cream for the filling, everything else was Normal. It was lovely!
Cyndi B. July 12, 2020
What size pans if doubled
Irene Y. July 13, 2020
Hi Cyndi! I would use an 8 inch round pan if doubling the recipe.
Samantha K. December 12, 2019
Ok so it says 6in cake pan, but how deep should it be? I don't own any 6" cake pans and plan to order, but I want to make sure I'm not getting one that's too shallow or deep.
PeterBeynon December 12, 2019
I don't think it matters; you make a collar from a 6" high strip of parchment to stand in the pan before you pour the batter in, essentially creating a 6" deep pan. By the way, I found 6" round cake pans in a crafts store.
gatogateaux December 15, 2019
most retail cake pans are 2" deep -- and that should be fine
Pearl December 20, 2019
In Step 7, it says to stop when batter hits the top of the pan. I just made this in a 6in x 3in pan. The batter hit at 3 inches.
gatogateaux December 20, 2019
because you're using a collar, as indicated in the recipe, you can use a 2"-tall pan. they're easier to find but if you want to purchase a 3" pan that's all good, too ¯\_(ツ)_/¯