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Strawberry crown shortbread cake

Serves: 10-12
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:
Strawberry crown shortbread cake
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Strawberry crown shortbread cake

Is there a more perfect way to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee than with our spectacular crown cake? Layers of lemony shortbread are filled with an indulgent Champagne buttercream and the season’s tastiest strawberries, then decorated with mini biscuit sandwiches and white chocolate truffles emblazoned with gold leaf

Serves: 10-12
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)


For the biscuit crown
  • 250g soft unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 350g plain flour
For the buttercream
  • 250g soft unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 75ml Champagne or prosecco
  • few drops of pink food colouring gel
To decorate
  • 250g strawberries
  • 6 tbsp strawberry jam
  • edible gold or white shimmer pearls
  • 5 spherical white chocolates (we used Lindor white chocolate truffles)
  • edible gold leaf or gold glitter spray

Step by step

Get ahead
The crown biscuits can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container. Assemble up to 3 hours before serving.
  1. For the biscuit crown template, draw a 5-pointed crown on thin card or paper, measuring around 28 x 18cm at its widest and tallest. Draw a disc at the top of each point, then cut out to create your stencil.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until well combined, then beat through the lemon zest. Add the flour and a pinch of salt; beat until the mixture starts to come together. Shape into a ball then divide in half.
  3. Roll out half of the dough between two sheets of baking paper until around 5mm thick and big enough to accommodate the template. Transfer to a baking tray and remove the top piece of paper. Sit the template on top and cut round it with a sharp knife, removing the excess dough. Repeat with the remaining dough for a second crown. Re-roll the trimmings and cut out small round cookies. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  4. Bake the biscuits for 18-20 minutes (the small cookies might be ready slightly sooner), until set and just starting to turn golden, swapping the trays over after 10 minutes. Leave on the trays to cool completely, and until ready to decorate. 
  5. For the buttercream, beat the butter until very soft and creamy, then sift in half of the icing sugar. Mix to combine, then sift in the remaining icing sugar. Beat until smooth, then carefully whisk in the Champagne.
  6. Put three-quarters of the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a plain wide nozzle. Tint the remaining buttercream pink with some food colouring and set aside for now. Reserve about 75g of the strawberries, then dice the rest.
  7. Put one of the crowns on a serving plate or board and spread with 4 tablespoons of jam. Pipe a border of buttercream pearls all around the edge of the crown, then using about half of what is left in the piping bag, pipe extra pearls randomly over the jam. Scatter on the diced strawberries then gently lift the second biscuit crown and place on top.
  8. Pipe a buttercream pearl border again, then add larger pearls or rosettes on the five points of the crown. Spoon the rest of the jam in a border along the base of the crown. Put the pink icing in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe random swirls all over the remaining space.
  9. Stud the crown with pieces cut from the reserved strawberries and scatter on some shimmer pearls. Roll the white chocolates in gold leaf or spritz with glitter spray and add one to each point of the crown. Finally, sandwich pairs of the extra cookies with any remaining buttercream and add to the crown, decorating with more gold leaf or glitter if you like.

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