Creamy Vanilla Curd Cake with Shortbread Crust

Creamy Vanilla Curd Cake with Shortbread Crust

Creamy vanilla curd cake with shortbread crust. Add a layer of fruit preserve and a cloud of crunchy meringue on top for the best indulgent recipe this holiday season! It might be ingredient heavy and time consuming, but I promise you it’s worth the effort!

Ingredients in This Vanilla Curd Cake with Shortbread Crust

  • butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • icing sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • eggs
  • potato starch
  • vinegar (e.g. rice vinegar)
  • chopped almonds
  • milk (of choice, can be plant based)
  • canned fruit
A slice of vanilla curd cake with shortbread crust served on a plate.

Tips for Making Shortbread Crust

The secret of a good pie crust lies in two things: temperature of the ingredients and how you knead the dough.

Temperature of the Ingredients

The general rule is that the colder the ingredients are, the crispier the crust will be. It’s a good practice to take ingredients (such as butter or eggs) out of the fridge just before using them. They can be taken out as late as just a few minutes before kneading the dough, which will also save you from having to remember about taking them out at the right time!

How You Knead the Dough

In other words, avoid kneading the dough for too long. I know that I have already written about in the past, but this step is really important for any pie crust. Since shortbreads like low temperature, if we knead the dough long (e.g. 5 minutes) the warmth of our hands will increase the temperature of the crust. The best practice is to just combine all the ingredients together and line the pie tin with the dough. If you found that kneading the dough took you over 5 minutes, try to allow a few minutes for the cake to chill before you start baking it.

How to Make This Vanilla Curd Cake?

The Crust

  1. Line a 35×25 cm (13×9 inch) cake tin with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356F). Place chilled butter in a large bowl, use a knife to cut it into small cubes. Add flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla extract and knead the dough for 30 seconds to a minute, just until gently combined. Mix the egg yolks and add them to the dough. Knead the dough until the ingredients are combined, staying mindful not to knead the dough for too long. Using your hands, spread the dough onto the cake tin . Prickle all over with a fork, line with parchment paper and cover with dough weights.
  2. Put the shortbread crust into a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper with weights and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the crust starts to turn golden.

The Meringue

  1. Draw a rectangle the size of a cake tin 35×25 cm (13×9 inch) on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 120°C (248F).
  2. Fit stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Place the egg whites in a bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on a medium speed for a few minutes until thick. Then, reduce the speed and add 1 tablespoon of sugar each time mixing for 30 seconds, being careful not to reduce the amount of sugar. Mix for another 3 minutes. Add potato flour and vinegar and mix for 1 minute more.
  3. Layer the parchment paper on an oven sized baking tray and spread the meringue on it. Sprinkle evenly with chopped almonds.
  4. Put into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 100°C (212F) and dry the meringue for another hour.

The Vanilla Curd

  1. Mix a glass of milk with both flours and egg yolks. Bring the remaining milk with sugar to boil, reduce the heat and pour the earlier prepared mixture into the boiling milk. Stirring constantly, cook for 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Set aside from heat, cover with aluminum foil and set aside for at least 4 hours until completely cooled.
  2. Attach a flat paddle to a stand mixer. Put the butter at room temperature into the bowl of the mixer and beat the butter on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until it’s whiter, lighter and fluffier. Add a tablespoon of the cooled milk & egg mixture to the butter, mixing all the time at low speed. Repeat until the entire milk & egg mix is incorporated, then mix everything for 1 additional minute.

Putting The Cake Together

  1. Gently peel the baked shortcrust pastry from the baking paper and place it on a cake stand. Layer the vanilla curd on top. Drain canned fruit (leave the juice) and place it on a layer of vanilla curd. Then gently remove the meringue from the baking paper (taking care not to break it). Place it on top of the cake. You can sprinkle the sides of the cake with the fruit juice left from the can. See storing suggestions in the paragraph below.
Creamy vanilla curd cake with shortbread crust

How to Store this Cake?

  • on the countertop – just cover the cake with a kitchen cloth and leave it out for up to a day.
  • in the fridge – place the cake in a plastic container and store it in the fridge after a full day at a countertop. You can also store the cake in the fridge right after baking, just make sure it’s cooled down completely. NOTE: storing the cake in the fridge will soften the meringue top which will lose its crunchy texture.

Creamy Vanilla Curd Cake with Shortbread Crust

Creamy vanilla curd cake with shortbread crust. Add a layer of fruit preserve and a cloud of crunchy meringue on top for the best indulgent recipe this holiday season!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Polish
Keyword: meringue, shortbread, vanilla, vanilla curd
Servings: 18 servings
Author: Marta

Ingredients

For Shortbread Crust

  • 250 g butter (chilled)
  • 320 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Meringue

  • 7 egg whites (medium)
  • 270 g icing sugar
  • tbsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp vinegar (e.g. rice vinegar)
  • 50 g chopped almonds

For Vanilla Curd Layer

  • 5 egg yolks (medium)
  • 400 ml milk (of choice, can be plant based)
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 25 g potato starch
  • 25 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks (medium)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 can (400 g) fruit of choice

Instructions

For the Shortbread Crust

  • Line a 35×25 cm (13×9 inch) cake tin with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356F).
  • Place chilled butter in a large bowl, use a knife to cut it into small cubes. Add flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla extract and knead the dough for 30 seconds to a minute, just until gently combined.
  • Mix the egg yolks and add them to the dough. Knead the dough until the ingredients are combined, staying mindful not to knead the dough for too long. Using your hands, spread the dough onto the cake tin . Prickle all over with a fork, line with parchment paper and cover with dough weights.
  • Put the shortbread crust into a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper with weights and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the crust starts to turn golden.

For the Meringue

  • Draw a rectangle the size of a cake tin 35×25 cm (13×9 inch) on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 120°C (248F).
  • Fit stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Place the egg whites in a bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on a medium speed for a few minutes until thick. Then, reduce the speed and add 1 tablespoon of sugar each time mixing for 30 seconds, being careful not to reduce the amount of sugar. Mix for another 3 minutes. Add potato flour and vinegar and mix for 1 minute more.
  • Layer the parchment paper on an oven sized baking tray and spread the meringue on it. Sprinkle evenly with chopped almonds.
  • Put into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 100°C (212F) and dry the meringue for another hour.

For the Vanilla Curd

  • Mix a glass of milk with both flours and egg yolks. Bring the remaining milk with sugar to boil, reduce the heat and pour the earlier prepared mixture into the boiling milk. Stirring constantly, cook for 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Set aside from heat, cover with aluminum foil and set aside for at least 4 hours until completely cooled.
  • Attach a flat paddle to a stand mixer. Put the butter at room temperature into the bowl of the mixer and beat the butter on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until it's whiter, lighter and fluffier. Add a tablespoon of the cooled milk & egg mixture to the butter, mixing all the time at low speed. Repeat until the entire milk & egg mix is incorporated, then mix everything for 1 additional minute.

Putting the Cake Together

  • Gently peel the baked shortcrust pastry from the baking paper and place it on a cake stand. Layer the vanilla curd on the shortcrust pastry. Drain canned fruit (leave the juice) and place it on a layer of vanilla curd. Then gently remove the meringue from the baking paper (taking care not to break it). Place it on top of the cake. You can sprinkle the sides of the cake with the fruit juice left from the can. See storing suggestions in the paragraph above.

Did you make this recipe?

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