Homemade Gluten-free Bourbon Biscuits

26 Jan

There are a couple of gluten-free brands out there who make so-called ‘Bourbon Biscuits’- I think they’re horrible! They are called Tru-Free and Schar (previously Dietary Specials). I find the biscuits to be strangely dry and hard and the filling bland. Nothing like the Bourbon biscuits I used to know and love! I have been known to eat 4 for breakfast in the past (when I was an unhealthy teenager, might I add!)

The other day, I unearthed my Grandma’s Kenwood Chef manual and it happens to have a whole bunch of recipes for all sorts of things at the back. It dates from the 1960s, so there are recipes for things that people wouldn’t even bother to make these days- like butter, cream and it even tells you how to grind your own caster sugar.

Amongst the many recipes that take my fancy, there was this one for Bourbon biscuits. It works for either gluten-free flour or normal flour. So if you have some guests or other family members who would like to eat a wheat version, the chances are it till be easier to handle and have more flavour.

By the way, I made double because I knew these wouldn’t hang around for long. You can freeze the plain biscuits (without filling), just layer them up in a box between sheets of greaseproof paper. This recipe is great for using up egg yolks, if you make your own gluten free bread or meringues (which only use egg whites).

Here is a picture of the original recipe, but I have typed it out below which will hopefully be easier to read and I have converted it to modern metric measures for your convenience too.



For the biscuits:

  • 3 oz/ 85g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 oz/ 70g butter or margarine
  • 1 oz/ 25g caster sugar
  • 1 dessert spoon custard powder
  • 1 dessert spoon of cocoa
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Few drops vanilla essence

For the filling:

  • 3 oz/ 85g icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz/ 40g butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 dessert spoon cocoa
  • Few drops vanilla essence


  1. Sieve the flour, custard powder and cocoa into a large bowl and add all the other ingredients.
  2. Mix together, if you have a stand mixer use a slow speed or you can use a handheld mixer or wooden spoon. Start slowly, or you will have flour everywhere! It doesn’t take many minutes in my Kenwood for it all to come together, just turn the speed up slightly to combine.
  3. Roll the dough out thinly on a floured surface, if it is difficult you may chill it for 30 minutes to firm it up. Alternatively, you can use a cookie press like me. But if you want the traditional Bourbon shape, you will want to roll and cut out by hand. You may want to use the side of a baking tray as a guide to give you a nice rectangle, or if you’re really fanatical- you might want to measure a la GBBO!
  4. Prick your dough all over with a fork (this will give you the traditional marks) and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cut into fingers roughly 1 inch/ 2.5cm by 3/ 7.5cm inches.
  5. Bake in a moderate 180-190C or 350-375 F oven for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and then you can sandwich them together.
  7. For the filling, mix all your ingredients together just like you would for buttercream. This can easily be done by hand, just make sure your butter is soft! I recommend sifting the cocoa so you don’t get lumps.

Here are my finished biscuits, I haven’t quite sandwiched them together yet.


I have had a lovely report from Make Do & Mend Life that these biscuits have the WOW factor! Please do let me know how you get on and send me your pictures! Happy baking everyone 🙂


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