Shortbread is a deliciously buttery pastry that is often used to make biscuits and sometimes even cakes. It goes amazingly with tart, or slightly sour flavors like cranberry, and cranberry jam can be used to create all manner of luxurious confectionaries out of shortbread.
This article will take you through 15 recipes for making beautiful cranberry shortbread cakes that are sure to impress your friends and family.
As it says in the title, this cake is far too lovely to only be made once a year at Thanksgiving. The shortbread cake layers are wonderfully soft thanks to the butter and eggs.
In the middle of the cake is a sumptuous cranberry and orange sauce that is tart but still deliciously sweet. You can finish off this dessert with a dusting of confectioners sugar to give the top a slightly crispy texture.
With a store-bought pound cake as the base and topping, these shortcakes take only ten minutes to prepare. All you will need to do is cut the cake into slices, and then sandwich a little cranberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream between two of these slices.
You can make your own cranberry sauce if you like, but using a can from the shops will keep this recipe quick and incredible simple.
These shortcakes are delightfully light with a soft buttery center made from equal measures of bread and cake flour. They have dried cranberries mixed in, which adds a lovely sour element that contrasts well with the sweetness of the shortbread.
The berries are soaked in a little wine to bring out their flavor. The best way to enjoy this shortbread is as a breakfast treat with your morning coffee.
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The cranberry jam in this shortbread cake is combined with orange juice for extra sweetness and a pleasant citrus flavor.
There is a total of two eggs in the cake, which makes it quite moist and soft. This is another cake that is perfect when dusted with icing sugar to make the crispy exterior even more sweet and delicious.
Another excellent garnish for this cake is a dollop of vanilla ice cream, which goes perfectly with the jammy center.
These delightfully fruit shortbread cookies are made with vegan margarine instead of butter. Don’t worry though this doesn’t affect the flavor at all, and they are still perfectly chewy with a crispy outer layer.
They are filled with dried cranberries and orange zest, and you could easily add other dried fruits in as well if you desired. While these cookies don’t take long to cook, the dough will have to cool for an hour in the fridge before baking, but rest assured, the end result is worth the wait.
The shortbread in this recipe has nearly as much butter in it as it does flour, which makes it wonderfully crispy.
Instead of two layers of shortbread, the spare mix is crumbled over the cranberry jam to let the heat escape and to give the bars an even crunchier texture. With this recipe, you can make 16 square of shortbread with a delectable cranberry filling.
Cherries and cranberries go very well together, and these shortbread cookies are all the proof you need, with a mixture of both scattered through the dough. As with any perfect shortbread, there is an equal amount of butter and flour in the mix to make the pastry, sweet and crispy.
Lime zest is added at the same time as the rest of the fruit to add a piquant edge that balances out all the sugar.
This recipe uses store-bought biscuits, which may be a bit of disappointment until you find out it also has instructions for making your own whipped cream.
The cream has vanilla extract mixed into it, which provides a mellow flavor to contrast the natural sourness of the cranberries. A dash of cinnamon has been added to the cranberry sauce, which gives this jam a slightly spicy edge that tastes amazing. 9.
The best way to get the right consistency for shortbread cake is to include an extra egg yolk along with a whole egg. This makes the mixture sufficiently moist, and also helps to add more fat content for shortbread.
To make gluten-free shortbread, you will need to replace some butter with Xanthan gum in order to hold everything together. The result is a slightly denser biscuit base, that is still packed with tonnes of buttery goodness.
For this recipe, you will need to set some shortbread mixture aside to crumble over the top. You will know your bars are done when the layer of jam starts bubbling through the gaps in the crumble.
Good shortbread should be slightly soft on the inside, with a crispy exterior provided by the high fat content. This recipe uses an extra egg yolk to get the perfect texture for a delicious shortbread cake.
Once again, the cranberries are mixed with orange juice and chopped orange segments to make them extra tart. The end result is two layers of delightfully soft, buttery cake with a layer of fruity jam sandwiched in between.
Once again, these shortbread bars have a solid biscuit base with a light crumble sprinkled over the layer of jam. The difference is that the crumble component has walnuts mixed through it, which makes it more wholesome and adds a nice crunch to the final product.
These bars are completely vegan and gluten-free, with maple syrup in the pastry to hold it together and balance out the tartness of the cranberries.
These shortbread bars have a hint of cinnamon thrown into the mix, which adds a pleasant autumnal flavor that really brings out the natural sweetness of the cranberries.
The shortbread base has plenty of butter and a large egg thrown in to make it soft on the inside, but crispy on the outside. More shortbread mix is crumbled over the top for a delicious cake that can be cut into bars for serving.
This recipe uses almond and coconut flour for the shortbread to make it both gluten-free and suitable for anyone on a paleo diet. The solids are held together with coconut oil and maple syrup, which creates a deliciously smooth consistency that is unlike any other shortbread you have ever tasted.
A succulent cranberry sauce is poured over the top of the biscuit base to create a beautiful fruity dessert that is great with a cup of coffee.
Naturally, we have saved the best till last with a succulent cheesecake that has a shortbread base and a luxurious cranberry topping. The base is made from store bought shortbread, however you can make your own if you prefer, smashed up and held together with butter.
A layer of cream cheese is placed on top and finally garnished with a rich cranberry sauce. You will need to let this cake set in the fridge overnight, but once it has, you will hardly be able to resist its tantalizing taste and creamy texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Butter Should Shortbread Contain?
Many shortbread recipes will use equal measures of butter and flour to achieve the right texture. It is generally agreed that shortbread needs to be at least 24% fat.
You are free to add more than this, but watch out you don’t put too much in or your shortbread will turn dark brown and spread out too much during cooking.
Where Does Shortbread Come From?
Shortbread originated in Scotland, but it is believed that Scottish chefs learned of this recipe from the French during the Auld Alliance between the two nations.
One story about the origin of this dessert is that it was made for none other than Mary, Queen of Scots. This famous monarch was rumored to be fond of ‘Petticoat Tails’ which were an old-fashioned form of shortbread often garnished with caraway seeds.
What Is The Difference Between Scottish And Regular Shortbread?
Shortbread was invented in Scotland, but has since been made around the world in several countries. Scottish shortbread is normally made with a combination of butter and vegetable shortening, which gives it a unique texture.
Unlike regular shortbread which is crispy on the outside with a soft buttery middle, the Scottish variety is crunchier and generally firmer.
There are lots of interesting ways to combine shortbread and cranberries to create amazing cakes. Some of these recipes make excellent evening desserts to have after dinner, while others are more suitable for a sweet breakfast alongside a cup of coffee or tea.
If you do decide to make any of the shortbread cakes above, then you won’t be disappointed by their soft, buttery texture and succulent fruity toppings.