Shortbread Letter Cookie Cake With Berries
Looking for a unique and fun dessert idea? This shortbread alphabet cookie cake is filled with layers of strawberry swiss meringue buttercream, then topped with elegant berries and mint leaves. This letter cake would be perfect for a birthday or special occasion. Feel free to customize with whatever toppings or letter you'd prefer.
Servings: 12 people
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 225 grams (about 7) large egg whites
- 450 grams (2 ¼ cups) granulated sugar
- 510 grams (4.5 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 gram (¼ teaspoon) fine sea salt
- 300 grams (1 cup) seedless strawberry jam
- 15 grams (1 tablespoon) vanilla extract
- fresh mint leaves
For the Shortbread Cookie
Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl using a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
Add in flour and salt, then mix on the lowest speed just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and you have a smooth dough. Shape the dough into two equal rectangles, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 60-75 minutes until firm.
Heat oven to 350°F (177°C).
Remove dough from the refrigerator. Generously sprinkle flour on your clean work surface, as well as on each side of the dough. Roll out one piece dough to a large 8.5 inch (23 cm) x 11 inch (28 cm) rectangle, ½ inch (1.2 cm) thick. You can use a bench scraper to keep the sides of the dough really crisp and straight. Print out the letter cookie template of choice. Using a sharp knife, cut along the outside of the letter template. Remove excess dough. Gently place the dough on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Indent small holes on the top of the dough every couple inches using a fork. Repeat process with other piece of dough.
Bake cookie for 18-22 minutes, flipping the baking sheet racks halfway through the cooking process, until cookie is lightly golden brown around the edges. Allow to completely cool on the baking sheet.
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Prepare a stand mixer bowl and whip attachment that has been wiped down with a little white vinegar on a paper towel to remove any leftover oils.
Fill a medium pot with a couple inches of water, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium low heat.
Hand whisk egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl that can sit on top of the pot without touching the water (like a bain marie). Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160°F (71°C) on an instant read thermometer.
Once the egg and sugar mixture has reached temperature, transfer to mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until the egg whites reach stiff peaks and the mixing bowl is no longer warm to the touch. To test the meringue stiffness, pull the whisk out. A stiff peak should stand straight up (no curl at the tip). You'll also know it's ready because you can fully flip the bowl over and nothing moves or falls out. Make sure not to over beat the meringue at this stage.
With the mixer running on medium speed, add in one cube of butter at a time, allowing the butter to fully incorporate before adding in another cube. Once all the butter has been added, the buttercream should be light and smooth. Beat in strawberry jam, salt, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the butter gets incorporated and allow the mixutre to beat for an additional two minutes on low speed. If at any point your buttercream becomes runny or curdled, see troubleshooting steps above.
Deflate the buttercream by hand using a rubber spatula. Slowly press the frosting around the side of the mixer bowl. Continue until most of the air bubbles have disappeared. This helps the frosting pipe smoothly.
Prepare your piping bag with a round tip (Wilton 2A). Push part of the side of the piping bag into the piping tip to ensure nothing leaks out. Set the bag inside a tall glass, and pull the remaining top of the piping bag out over the outside of the glass to make pouring the buttercream easy and clean. Pour buttercream into the piping bag. Set aside.
For the Decorations
To assemble the cake, place one cookie on your serving tray. Pipe a dollop of buttercream in a row along the sides of the cookie until the whole cookie top is covered in buttercream. Place second cookie on top of buttercream, and check that everything is even using a ruler. Repeat by piping a another layer of buttercream on top of the second cookie.
Decorate the top layer of buttercream with blackberries, blueberries, mint leaves, rasperberries, and strawberries. Serve immediately or gently cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for up to 8 hours.
Calories: 1051kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 41g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 2008IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 3mg