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Shortbread Cake

Recipe Level: Easy to Moderate Recipes

This shortbread cake is the best of both worlds; shortbread cookies and cake! It's light, delicate and makes a beautiful dessert for a special occasion like Mother's Day or a bridal shower! The sugared flowers add a touch of elegance but if time doesn't allow you can easily substitute the flowers for mixed berries. 

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* For best results, read the entire article. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Shortbread Cake

This stunning shortbread cake is a fusion of simple flavours and textures. The buttery richness of the crisp shortbread perfectly complements the light and fresh filling of cream and berries. And the dusting of icing sugar adds just a slight bit of sweetness. Whether you’re savouring a slice with a cup of tea or presenting it as a centrepiece dessert, this shortbread cake is sure to leave a lasting impression and a cake recipe you’ll use time after time!

The sugared flowers take this 2 layer shortcake to the next level and what may seem like a complex detail in reality is not difficult at all. It just takes a little time, making it an ideal dessert for celebrating special occasions like Mother’s Day, a bridal shower, or adding a touch of sophistication to any event.

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • Icing sugar/powdered sugar
  • Whipping cream/heavy cream
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh berries; fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • Sugared flowers/sugared berries

Variations

There is a lot of room to design and custom style this shortbread cake by simply changing the fruit and decorating. Here are some ideas to inspire you;

  • Tropical; use papaya, mango, and kiwi for fun bright tropical vibes
  • Peaches and cream; add a little sugar to fresh peaches and make a classic peaches and cream style cake
  • Citrus: use a mix of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins. Toss the fruit with a little honey to sweeten the bright and tangy flavours

Decorating & Sugared Flowers

What makes this dessert extra special are the sugared flowers making it perfect for a special occassion like Mother’s Day or a bridal shower. You can also decorate the shortbread cake with sugared berries for a special touch or a combination of the two. Use my recipe for sugared berries to make sugared flowers. It may be easier to use sugared fruit if you can’t get ahold of edible flowers. You’ll want to make your sugared flowers and fruit at least one day ahead. I used pansies in this recipe which are edible flowers. You want to make sure they haven’t been sprayed or grown in pesticides. Some other options for edible flowers are:

  • Lavender Flowers
  • Mint Leaves
  • Pansies
  • Violets
  • Pea Flowers
  • Roses
  • Lilac Flowers
  • Marigold Flowers

Tips For The Perfect Shortbread Cake

  1. Sugared Flowers: Make your sugared flowers (or fruit) at least one day ahead of time. When sugaring flowers the sugar acts as a barrier and will preserve the flowers. You’ll want plenty of time for the flowers and sugar to set.
  2. Use Cold butter: For the perfect shortbread make sure your butter is cold.
  3. Don’t Overwork the Dough: Pulse the butter mixture until it just forms a ball to avoid a tough pastry.
  4. Chill the Dough: Let the dough rest in the refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes before rolling out. If it’s difficult to roll your dough without cracking, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes and try again.
  5. Transfer Carefully: Use parchment paper to transfer the rolled-out pastry onto your baking sheets. You can do this by sliding parchment paper under the pastry using a large offset spatula to lift the pastry or roll the pastry directly on the parchment paper.
  6. Adding Filling: Add the filling once both the top and the bottom shortbreads have completely cooled. If you add it too soon, the cream will melt down.
Shortbread Cake

How To Make a Shortbread Cake

Step One: Make your sugared flowers at least one day ahead or up to one week. In a food processor add flour and salt, pulse to mix. Add cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. 

Step Two: Add egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture starts to come together and form into a ball. If your pastry looks dry or isn’t coming together add 1 tablespoon of cold water (up to 2 tablespoons, be careful you don’t want a wet pastry or to overmix it). Divide the dough in half (if you have a kitchen scale use it). Flatten each dough half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approx. 20-30 mins. 

Step Three: On a lightly floured work surface using a rolling pin, roll the first disc into a 10 1/2-inch round. Transfer the round onto your prepared baking sheet (you can slide the piece of parchment paper under the pastry first). Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes or until the sides and bottoms are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Step Four: While your first round bakes, roll out your second disc into a 10 1/2-inch round. Using a large sharp knife score 8 slices into the top of the round. Transfer the round onto your prepared baking sheet and bake. Once baked, let the shortbread cool for 3-5 minutes, then while the shortbread is still warm cut your 8 wedges and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Keep the 8 slices in the same shape so you can easily piece them together on your cake.  

Step Five: In a medium bowl add your berries, cut any large berries so they are all around the same size. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl add whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer beat into stiff peaks. Fold in your fruit using a rubber spatula.

Step Six: Top the shortbread with your filling and evenly spread it out, right to the edges of the cake. Now place the cake slices on top of the filling, rebuilding into a circle. Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with sugared flowers, sugared berries or fresh berries.

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Shortbread Cake

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This shortbread cake is the best of both worlds; shortbread cookies and cake! It’s light, delicate and makes a beautiful dessert for a special occasion like Mother’s Day or a bridal shower! The sugared flowers add a touch of elegance but if time doesn’t allow you can easily substitute the flowers for mixed berries. 

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Units Scale

Shortbread

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and levelled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cups unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons cold water

Filling 

  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons icing sugar
  • 3 cups fresh berries; blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • extra icing sugar for dusting
  • sugared flowers, sugared berries or extra fresh berries for decorating

Instructions

  1. Make sugared flowers (or sugared berries) at least one day ahead or up to one week.
  2. In a food processor add flour and salt, pulse to mix. Add cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs (you can also do this by hand using a pastry cutter).
  3. In a small bowl add egg yolks and icing sugar together, whisk until smooth and combined.
  4. Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture starts to come together and forms into a ball. If your pastry looks dry or isn’t coming together add 1 tablespoon of cold water (up to 2 tablespoons, be careful you don’t want a wet pastry or to overmix it).
  5. Divide the dough in half (if you have a kitchen scale use it for accuracy). Flatten each dough half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approx. 20-30 mins. 
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Shape your pastry. On a lightly floured work surface using a rolling pin, roll the first disc into a 10 1/2-inch round. Transfer the round onto your prepared baking sheet (you can slide the piece of parchment paper under the pastry first). 
  8. Bake the first round for 22-25 minutes or until the sides and bottoms are turning lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack.
  9. While your first round bakes, roll out your second disc into a 10 1/2-inch round. Using a large sharp knife score 8 slices into the top of the round, being careful not to cut all the way through. Transfer the round onto your prepared baking sheet (again, you can slide the piece of parchment paper under the pastry first). 
  10. Bake the second round for 22-25 minutes or until the sides and bottoms are turning lightly browned. Once baked, let the shortbread cool for 3-5 minutes, then while the shortbread is still warm cut your 8 wedges and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Keep the 8 slices in the same shape so you can easily piece them together on your cake.  
  11. Make your filling. While your shortbread cools make your filling. In a medium bowl add your berries, cut any large berries so they are all around the same size. Set aside.
  12. In a separate medium bowl add whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Using a handheld mixer beat into stiff peaks. Fold in your fruit.
  13. Build your cake. Once your shortbread is completely cool build your cake. Place a dollop of whipping cream onto your cake stand and place the first full shortbread round on top (this is so your cake won’t slide around). 
  14. Top the shortbread with your filling and evenly spread out, right to the edges of the cake. Now place the cake slices on top of the filling, rebuilding into a circle. 
  15. Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with sugared flowers, sugared berries or fresh berries. Enjoy. 

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. 

See blog post for tips and variations.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 348
  • Sugar: 9.6g
  • Sodium: 2490mg
  • Fat: 18.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 34.4g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 7.7g
  • Cholesterol: 344mg

Did you make this recipe?

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I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

Can I make this cake in advance and freeze it?

Unfortunately no, because the filling is made with whipped cream you can not freeze this cake. You can make the shortbread ahead of time and freeze but you’ll want to make your filling the same day of serving.

Why does my shortbread spread when baking?

Your shortbread should not spread too much in this particular recipe. If spreading does occur it means that you didn’t rest the dough in the fridge long enough for the fats to firm up. When the butter is too soft when baked it will spread.

Can I use a different type of flower for sugaring?

Yes, you want to make sure you are using edible flowers that have not been sprayed or grown in pesticides. Some other options are: lavender flowers, mint leaves, pansies, violets, pea flowers, roses, lilac flowers, and marigold flowers.

How far in advance can I make the sugared flowers?

What’s great about making sugared flowers is you can make them up to a week in advance. Store them at room temperature uncovered and try to keep them separated.

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Life is uncertain, but dessert doesn't have to be!

Shortbread Cake

This shortbread cake is the best of both worlds; shortbread cookies and cake! It's light, delicate and makes a beautiful dessert for a special occasion like Mother's Day or a bridal shower! The sugared flowers add a touch of elegance but if time doesn't allow you can easily substitute the flowers for mixed berries. 

Baker Alie Romano

Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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