Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

Posted by on May 18, 2022 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

This Apple Shortcake is fussy to make, but the results are absolutely delicious!

Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

I modified this from a recipe in Bake from Scratch, the September/October 2020 issue. There, they describe this style of shortcake as a New Zealand favorite.

Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

Here in American, I grew up with strawberry shortcake (and loved the cartoon and toys for Strawberry Shortcake in my earliest years), and thought of fruit shortcakes as being simply made in individual portions. I was intrigued by this idea of it being like a cake and pie hybrid.

Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

The most annoying thing about the recipe is that I found the dough to be quite sensitive–but this also might be an Arizona problem, as my kitchen year-round is hotter than many get. The good thing is that the recipe makes a lot of dough, so it’s easy to patch any tears or holes with a bit of the leftovers.

Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

The baked shortcake is dense and delicious, with perfectly-spiced apples in a kind of shortbread sandwich.

Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

The shortbread keeps okay at room temperature up to 2 days. If you’re feeding a small crowd, no prob–cut it into individual pieces, encase in plastic wrap, and freeze. It keeps fantastically that way.

Modified a lot from Bake from Scratch, September/October 2020 issue.

Bready or Not: Apple Shortcake

This recipe is delicious, though is time-consuming to assemble. It helps to break the recipe into two days: make the shortcake crust, then later make the entire cake. The shortcake is best eaten within two days, but keeps very well frozen in slices.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: apple, cake
Author: Beth Cato


  • food processor
  • food scale
  • 9×9 pan
  • Rolling Pin
  • pastry brush


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons white sugar divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs divided
  • 3/4 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large apples such as Granny Smith and Pink Lady
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • turbinado sugar optional to sprinkle on top


Make the crust

  • In the bowl of a food processor, pour in the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, then pulse until combined. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the bowl, pulsing until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 eggs and the extracts. Pulse to bring the dough together so that it's moist but not sticky; if it doesn't come together, add a small amount of water and pulse more.
  • Turn out the dough to press it together. Use a food scale to weigh the dough and divide it in two. Wrap each piece with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to a few days.

Assemble the shortcake

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Let the dough stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and roll out one portion of dough to make a 13-inch square. Set the pan on top as a guide to cut an even 9×9 square.
  • Line pan with foil and apply nonstick spray. Place cut square inside. It’s okay if it tears as its being moved–patch it with fingertips. Pat the leftover dough up the sides of the pan to completely cover, sealing the edges together along the bottom and at the corners. Chill pan during the next step.
  • Peel the apples and cut into quarter-inch slices, placing them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of juice. Stir to coat apples. Add the cornstarch, cinnamon, remaining 3 Tablespoons sugar, and last bit of salt. Toss everything together, coating the apples. Spread the apples evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  • Roll out remaining dough to make a 10-inch square to completely cover the top of the apples. Press overlapping edges to seal together, trimming dough if needed. Lightly beat the remaining egg then brush it over the top crust. Use a fork to poke the crust all over to create vents. If desired, sprinkle turbinado sugar across the crust.
  • Bake until crust is golden brown, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. The apples should be tender if poked with a toothpick. Let cool in pan for at least an hour. Use foil to lift shortcake onto a cutting board for easy slicing.
  • Store cake in sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days. It can also be cut into individual slices and frozen for later enjoyment.