cranberry shortbread cake

I finally figured out this cake. Before I saw the whole recipe title, I thought it was cranberry shortbread, and I was picturing something like lemon squares but with cranberry sauce on top – which, by the way, is a great idea. Then I realized it was a cake and pictured fluffy layers below and on top of the jam.

Once I was eating it, I realized that it’s like strawberry shortcake – except in cake form! Which really explains why it’s called shortbread cake, doesn’t it?

It’s a fun concept, even if isn’t my brilliant lemon-but-actually-cranberry-squares idea. In fact, I think it tastes kind of like Christmas. I hadn’t realized that Christmas tasted like a sweet-tart cranberry jam paired with a flaky light sweet biscuit/cake/cookie. But I’m not surprised.

Jessica chose this for Tuesdays with Dorie, and she has the recipe posted. I skipped the orange segments in the cranberry jam (but did use the zest and juice). I strained my cranberries through a food mill, mostly because I don’t get to use my food mill very often but also because I think cranberry skins are irritating. I increased the salt in the cake too, and I added a pinch of salt to the cranberry jam.

One year ago: Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake
Two years ago: Kugelhopf


  1. This looks so beautiful and delicious! Love the photos, especially the vivid red in the cake wedge:)

  2. I love your photos! Yes, this tastes like Christmas. I really loved this recipe. I think it’s one of Dorie’s best.

  3. I really want to try this with strawberries and make an actual strawberry shortcake, and put whipped cream on top. Mmmmmm.

  4. I really think you are on to something with the cranberry bars idea! I can picture how pretty they would be. I also loved this cake 🙂

  5. This cake looks so pretty and so tasty! Looks like a perfect holiday dessert!

  6. Actually someone in our group made this into bars. i would never have thought of that. Your cake looks fantastic.

  7. Your mini is so cute! I actually went full size this week for once and am so glad I did because this is definitely one of Dorie’s best recipes – yum!

  8. Yours looks lovely with all that jam oozing out! I love my food mill too, and I agree about cranberry skins. Maybe using that would make me like them more. This time I used raspberries, and it was pretty tasty.

  9. The color of your jam is so vibrant! I don’t have a food mill, but this sort of makes me want one! Well done!

  10. You are right, this is like strawberry shortcake. Love it! Your pictures are beautiful!

  11. It was fun making the jam–I like the food mill idea. This is a beautiful and delicious dessert. Have a great day. As always your photos are beautiful.

  12. the top of your cake is flawless!

  13. looks like christmas, too, i think. this was a winner!

  14. Oh my goodness — your cake looks absolutely divine! I love the smoothness of the filling; you’re so dedicated to put it through the food mill. This looks like a perfect, perfect cake and I do wish I could try a slice. Yours looks so nice and fluffy. Thank you so much for baking along with me this week!

  15. Looks like Christmas too! Beautiful!

  16. Looks perfect, that mini. And tasty too. I was thinking of making a cranberry coulie for the top.

  17. treewhisperer says:

    funny, i picked up a package of cranberries at the store this weekend and i was wondering what they heck to do with them! i was thinking cran-orange bread but this sounds much better!

  18. Well you just about changed the recipe completely… 🙂 The food mill – so neglected, I should get mine out. Looks wonderful! – and love your salt additions, another neglected ingredient.

  19. Wow, your jam is so smooth! Looks fantastic!

  20. haha, you see, here I am with the picture in front of and still wondering why it’s called “shortbread.” Thanks for the explanation!

  21. That looks great! I was away this weekend and couldn’t muster up the engergy to make it. And, like you, I read over the recipe a few times wondering what the heck it was supposed to look like?!

    P.S. I was in S.F. and due to unfortunate circumstances, could NOT make it to Tartine Bakery. I’m going to try the croissant recipe you used and hopefully successfully make the morning buns!

  22. This looks so tasty and beautiful, Bridget. Fantastic work, as always!

  23. That ‘cake’ looks gorgeous, Bridget. I’ve never even tasted strawberry shortcake 🙁