Shortbread Recipe as a base for many easy cake recipes

Pick one shortbread recipe and use it for your favorite cake!

Shortbread recipe is something that every baker should have and most have a couple of trusted recipes. I use a few, depending on the type of cake I make.

For my tart recipes I use a mixture of flour, butter, sugar and cream, but for most apple cake recipes my shortbread has eggs instead of cream.

short bread dough Except for one, none of my shortbread recipes call for baking powder. If you do use baking powder, then you should be prepared that the cake will end up raised and not so crispy. So watch out for those recipes.

Also, remember to always prick with a fork the shortbread before baking. Pricking releases air from the dough so it bakes flat. If you don’t prick the dough then it will raise in the middle, making it very difficult to smear filling on top.

As a rule, it is better to bake the bottom crust before placing a filling on top of it. The cake will be crispier in the end if you do that. In addition, there are some tricks to keep the shortbread crispy.

One can sprinkle it after baking with bread crumbs, cover it with melted chocolate or smear thick jelly.

As to flipping the dough into a form, there are couple of methods. One is to fold the rolled out dough in two and move to the form, another is to roll the dough onto the rolling pin and then unroll into the form. I had no luck with any of them and now use a silicon pad as help in filing the dough into a baking form.

I roll out the dough until ¼” or thinner on a silicone baking mat. Before I used clear wrapping foil, but now I find the silicon mat much easier to handle. I just slide my hand under the pad, lift the rolled out dough and flip it into a form. This way is the easiest for me, but whatever you choose to do, make sure to prick the dough with a fork so that the steam can escape.

In addition, shortbread can be also frozen. You can freeze the raw dough or the whole cake. It will still taste great after defrosting. As to the raw dough, all you need to do is defrost in a fridge and roll it out and bake. That way you can prepare it ahead of time.

Take a look at the shortbread recipes below and enjoy.

This shortbread recipe yields a bottom for a cake from 9-10 inches (I use it for tarts and for cheesecakes.)

• 150 g flour (1 cups)
• 100 g butter (3.5 oz)
• 50 g sugar (1/4 cup)
• 1 table spoon of cream
• Pinch of salt

This recipe yields a bottom for a cake 15x13 inches large, used in double quantity in polish apple cake - szarlotka.

• 225 g flour (1.5 cups)
• 150 g butter (5.3 oz)
• 75 g powdered sugar (2.65 oz)
• 1 egg yolk
• Pinch of salt

This recipe yields a bottom for a cake from 9-10 inches. It has baking powder so it will not be thin when baked and less crispy.
• 200 g flour (1 1/3 cup)
• 120 g butter (4.2 oz)
• 120 g sugar (4.2 oz)
• 5 egg yolks (fresh eggs)
• 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
• ½ pack of European baking powder (2 teaspoons)

This recipe is used to make streusel. It is very crunchy when baked and suitable for apple or plum cake with streusel.

• 400 g flour (2 cups and 2/3 cup)
• 200 g butter (7 oz)
• 120 g powdered sugar (4.2 oz)
• 2 egg yolks
• Pinch of salt

For each shortbread recipe, follow the same instructions:

Prepare the dough:
• Knead all the ingredients to smooth dough. I recommend using the hook attachment on most mixers, but you could as well use your hands.
• Cover the dough with plastic foil and place it in a fridge for 30 minutes.
• Roll out the dough until ¼” or thinner on a silicone baking mat, and if you don’t have one, use wrapping foil. Flip the dough onto a form you want to use. Prick the dough with a fork so that the steam can escape.
• Bake it at 180°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Each shortbread recipe comes from a different source: my aunt recipe collection, my mom-in-law’s, and from “Najlepsze przepisy kuchni polskiej” by Marek Lebkowski.

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