prep: 2 hours
cook: 30-35mins
serves: 8-10 (per cake)
makes: 2 cakes


  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 35g Desiccated Coconut
  • 50g Whole Eggs
  • 260g Plain Flour
  • 2g Salt
  • 2g Baking powder
  • Callebaut Mycryo cocoa butter
  • 215g Eggs
  • 112g Caster Sugar
  • 112g Plain Flour
  • 3g Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 20g Unsalted Butter
  • 2g Salt
  • 250g Fresh Strawberries
  • 200g Granulated Sugar
  • 2g Tartaric Acid
  • 135g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Fresh Strawberries, washed and cut
  • 100g Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
  • Prepare up to 48 hours in advance
  • 330g Full Cream Milk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 70g Caster Sugar
  • 35g Custard Powder or Cornflour
  • 140g Egg Yolks
  • 160g Unsalted Butter
  • 300mL Bulla Thickened Cream (A)
  • 30g Liquid Glucose
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 210g Callebaut White Chocolate
  • 210mL Bulla Thickened Cream (B)

Kirsten Tibballs' Strawberry Shortcake


  1. To make the COCONUT SHORTBREAD PASTRY, Whip the butter up into a thick, smooth paste with an electric beater. When it becomes smooth, add the icing sugar, the desiccated coconut and the eggs. Mix until combined and add in the sieved flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. Once the pastry has come together, press into a neat flat square and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
  3. Roll the pastry out to a 3mm thickness and cut a 2 x 20cm discs and place on a lined baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 160°C or until a light golden-brown colour is achieved. As it comes out of the oven dust the pastry disc with Mycryo cocoa butter.
  4. To make the VANILLA SPONGE , Whisk the eggs, vanilla bean paste and caster sugar together to create a foam.
  5. Fold through sifted flour and salt, melt the butter and add a little bit of the sponge mixture to it before folding the remaining through the sponge.
  6. Pour into 2 x lined 18cm cake tins. Bake at 165°C for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. Once cool trim off the top.
  7. To make the STRAWBERRY JAM, Wash the strawberries and remove the stalks. If the strawberries are large, cut them up.
  8. Place them in a saucepan with the sugar and turn the stove on a medium heat. Stir continuously while cooking.
  9. Skim off the impurities and all the foam from the surface if required.
  10. Cook to 104°C and then add in the tartaric acid. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface while it cools.
  11. To make the STRAWBERRY SOAK, Place the sugar and strawberries in a saucepan and mash them together.
  12. Place them on the stove on a low heat and add in the water and vanilla. Continue to heat on a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Strain and cool at room temperature.
  13. To make the VANILLA CUSTARD, Boil the milk and salt with the vanilla bean paste. Combine the sugar and custard powder (or cornflour) in a medium-sized bowl and slowly add the egg yolks, whisking by hand to combine.
  14. Pour the boiled milk over the egg mixture and mix together. Place it back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while whisking.
  15. Remove from the heat and scrape the custard into a bowl. Sit the mixture at room temperature for 1 minute and then slowly add the butter a piece at a time while whisking.
  16. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and cool at room temperature before placing it in the fridge to cool for at least 3 hours before using.
  17. To make the WHITE CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY CREAM, Boil the cream (A) with the glucose and vanilla in a saucepan. Pour the boiling mixture over the white chocolate in a bowl and whisk together.
  18. Add in the cream (B) and combine. Place in the fridge for 6 hours prior to whipping.
  19. To whip, whisk it in a stand mixer or by hand to a piping consistency.
  20. To finish, Spread jam on the baked shortbread, not going right to the edges. Place the sponge on top with the cut side facing up.
  21. Soak the sponge with the strawberry soak using a pastry brush.
  22. Pipe the prepared custard on top in a spiral pattern leaving a 2cm gap on the edge of the sponge.
  23. Pipe the whipped Chantilly cream on the edge and top of the cake and garnish with cut strawberries, dust with icing sugar and garnish with micro herbs.