Giant strawberry shortcake

Giant strawberry shortcake

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins plus chilling and cooling

More effort

Serves 12 - 16
The Great British Bake Off winner combines two classic bakes - Victoria sponge and jammy shortbread. The result is dazzling

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (16)

  • kcal698
  • fat37g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs87g
  • sugars53g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.8g
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    For the shortbread

    • 400g slightly salted butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 200g golden caster sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 600g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting

    For the cake

    • 140g slightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 140g golden caster sugar
    • 3 medium eggs, beaten
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 140g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

    For the buttercream

    • 140g slightly salted butter, softened



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 300g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

    For the strawberry filling

    • 300g strawberry jam
    • ¼ tsp golden linseed
    • icing sugar, for dusting


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. to make the shortbread, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the flour in 2 or 3 goes, and stir until the mixture starts to form a dough. Use your hands to bring it together and shape into a ball. Cut off 100g of the dough, wrap in cling film and chill until ready to make the strawberry stalk and leaves. Weigh the remaining dough and divide into 2 equal pieces.

    2. Using your hands and the back of a metal spoon, press one of the larger pieces of shortbread mixture into the base of a 23cm loose-bottomed fluted tart tin (wrap the other piece of dough in cling film and chill until needed). Smooth the surface with the back of the spoon to create an even layer, then chill for 15 mins.

    3. Prick the base of the shortbread all over with a fork, place on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 mins or until lightly golden and firm. Remove from the oven and, while the shortbread is still hot, press a 9-10cm heart-shaped cutter into the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 mins.

    4. Carefully remove the shortbread from the tart tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Wash the tin and repeat steps 2 and 3 with the second piece of dough, but don’t cut out the heart shape. (If you have 2 tart tins you can make both the shortbread biscuits at the same time.)

    5. For the cake, grease the base and sides of a 22cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then fold in the flour. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 20-25 mins until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 mins, then remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    6. Meanwhile, cut out the strawberry stalk and leaves. Roll out the 100g piece of reserved shortbread dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a leaf cutter or a knife, cut out 4-5 leaf shapes, then cut out a 4cm-long strawberry stalk. It is best to do several so you can choose the best ones. Lift the shapes onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and chill for 15 mins. While the cake is cooling, bake the leaves and stalks for 5-10 mins until lightly golden. Leave to cool on the tray for a few mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

    7. To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft and pale. Sift over half the icing sugar and beat until combined. Sift over the remaining icing sugar, add the vanilla extract, then beat until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a disposable piping bag fitted with a wide round nozzle, or simply snip off the end of the bag.

    8. Start assembling the shortcake. Place the shortbread biscuit without the heart cut-out on a plate or cake stand, pricked-side up. Starting in the centre, pipe on the buttercream in a spiral, working your way towards the edge. Lay the cake on top of the buttercream, then spoon the jam on top of the cake and carefully spread out over the surface.

    9. Remove the heart from the second shortbread biscuit and set aside. Carefully flip the biscuit over so that it is pricked-side down and, using a cake paddle, slide it on top of the jam layer. Dab a little buttercream or jam on the back of the stalk and leaf biscuits, and stick to the edge of the strawberry jam heart.

    10. Carefully place individual linseeds inside the jam heart to create the appearance of a strawberry. Dust the surface of the shortcake with icing sugar, holding the reserved heart biscuit over the jam and leaves so that they do not get covered in icing sugar.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    25th Oct, 2018
    I made this for a bake-off and it worked out really well. Made the layers then assembled it the next morning. Only problem was I didn't get to taste it because someone bought it :) It was apparently delicious! I also used sesame seeds. Instead of piping all the cream, I spread most of it and just piped around the edge.
    henrytic's picture
    8th Jul, 2017
    Making this for a second time. I do this over 2 days. Shortbread on day 1 and the sponge with assembly on day 2. Fantastic response first time for a surprise 30th birthday cake, so fingers crossed for today. Also, i used sesame seeds for the strawberry effect.
    5th Aug, 2015
    I had loads of fun making this. It took a while but it's really delicious and looks amazing :D Although, I'd probably be just as happy with on of the shortbread layers covered with cream and jam...
    21st Feb, 2015
    This was a disaster! Didn't even get further than shortbread which tasted delicious but stuck both times, even to greased dish.
    27th Aug, 2014
    Very impressive looking cake, made it for an afternoon tea party and it ended up being the centrepiece. Taste wise everyone loved it; the shortcake is not your usual 'crumbly' stuff, but more soft and cakey, which matches the sponge layer very well. The only slight change I would make when doing it again (and I will definitely make this again!) is perhaps to spread a very thin layer of jam over the bottom shortcake before piping the buttercream, just because the cake is so tall you tend to end up eating the layers against the buttercream and the jam separately and I like to taste all the flavours together! Overall a delicious cake, if you're looking for something slightly different to a Victoria sponge then I highly recommend this, the effort is very much worth it.
    14th Jul, 2014
    How long do you think this would keep for? I need to make it for a party but won't have time to do it all on the day. I was thinking of freezing the sponge cake layer and making the shortcake and butter icing the day before and assembling it all on the day, but not sure if the shortcake would go soggy?
    5th Aug, 2015
    As long as you don't spread the jam or cream on the cake/shortbread until the day it should all be fine. I'm sure you can make the shortcake a few days in advance, as with the cake. Also I'd advise using double cream instead of buttercream as it's not as sickly.
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