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Celebration Cake

This cake is now dubbed the “Gone in Sixty Seconds Cake” in my household because it was literally gone in sixty seconds. This is my recreation of the classic celebration cakes, or the cream cakes sold at Asian bakeries. They are called celebration cake because they are the go-to to celebrate anything! They are light and not too sweet. The cake itself is typically a sponge cake of some kind and frosting is usually a light whipped cream. It’s similar to a Chantilly cake.

This cake features a castella or a souffle style vanilla sponge, light whipped cream frosting and lots and lots of fruits.


Cornstarch – adding the cornstarch to the meringue yields a lighter and airier cake that rose higher than without. But the recipe works just fine without the cornstarch or cream of tartar. Without, it’s a slightly denser cake. But the difference is noticeable only if you are looking for it. When you load the cake with a ton of fruit, the denser cake might be able to hold up better to the weight of all the fruit. I made the cake with and without the cornstarch in the meringue you can see the difference below. The layer with cornstarch is noticeable airy with more air bubbles. That cake also rose above the 3-inch cake pan, which was impressive for not having other leavening agents. I was able to cut it into three layers, hence the layer being thinner compared to the layer without the cornstarch as noted in the picture.

• Whipped cream – Adding the vanilla pudding mix helps to stabilize the frosting. You can also use a little bit of cream cheese to stabilize the frosting as in my usual go-to recipe, but that does add a slight tanginess. The whipped cream frosting recipe is enough to generous frost and fill the cake without a fruit compote filling. You may not need as much if you make the filling.
Fruit compote – this is optional, you can simply slice some berries and fill the cake with whipped cream and add berry pieces for texture. Save some time and work!
For the glossy shine on the fruit – heat up a little bit of apricot or peach preserve with a little bit of water and brush on the fruit like you would a fruit tart.

Celebration Cake

Serves: 12
Time: 2 hours

1 ½ cup (180g) cake flour
6 large eggs separated
¾ cup (177 ml) whole milk
1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (150g) sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch or cream of tartar (optional)

Whipped Cream Frosting
3 cups (711ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (25g) confectioner’s sugar (or adjust to taste)
Fruits and berries for garnish

Fruit Compote (optional)
2 cups berries or favorite fruit, diced
¼ cup sugar (or adjust to sweetness or fruit)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

• Preheat oven to 300F. Place a roasting pan in oven and add hot water.
• Line an 8×3 round cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
• In a small saucepan, add butter and milk. Heat over medium heat until the butter has just melted, and the milk is steamy. Do not let it come to a boil.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour and salt. Add the milk and butter mixture. Whisk until smooth.
• Then whisk in the 6 egg yolks and vanilla extract.
• Make the meringue using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the egg whites and cornstarch (if using) until frothy, about a minute or so. Then add the sugar and whip until you get stiff peaks, about two minutes.
• Fold the meringue into the batter, starting with a third and then adding the rest. Fold until the batter is homogenous and there are no streaks.
• Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the hot water bath for 75-80 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.
• Remove pan from the oven. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes or so. Then run a knife around the edges and turn the cake onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely for about an hour or so before frosting.
• To make optional fruit compote, in a saucepan, add the fruits and sugar. Make a slurry with water and cornstarch then add to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture has thickened and is glossy. Let cool completely before filling the cake.
• Make the whipped cream frosting – in a stand mixer, add heavy whipping cream, instant vanilla pudding mix and vanilla extract. Whip until combined. Slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar and whip until you get deep tracks and frosting is fluffy. Do not overwhip or you will get butter.
• Assemble the cake. Fill, frost, decorate it however you like.
• Enjoy!

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