One of the nations favourite biscuits – gluten-free recipe. Dark cocoa biscuits sandwiched with traditional bourbon biscuit chocolate buttercream. Optional dairy-free and vegan.
About The Bourbon Biscuit Recipe
Bourbon biscuits are iconic in Britain. A biscuit notorious for accompanying a well deserve tea break or just for a quick something to snack on. They’ve been around for years, they were introduced to the biscuit-discerning British public in 1910. Around this time the ‘famous’ (among brits) custard cream biscuit was also circulating households and meetings.
Bourbon creams were originally named ‘Creola’. Unsurprisingly, that name didn’t really inspire temptation however and in the 1930’s, this now favourite chocolate biscuit received a rebrand… to the more exotic ‘Bourbon’ biscuit.
Is There Any Bourbon In A Gluten Free Bourbon Biscuit Recipe?
Despite the name, there is no bourbon whiskey (or any other alcohol) in a Bourbon biscuit recipe. However, there are recipes that put alcohol into the buttercream filling, but it’s definitely an acquired taste compared to the original alcohol-free biscuit.
The secret to their familiarity comes from a deep cocoa hit, and a rich chocolate buttercream with a hint of custard.
Is This Recipe Dairy-Free and Vegan?
The gluten-free Bourbon biscuit recipe shared here is made with dairy butter. However, it does not contain egg or nuts and the butter can be easily substituted for a good dairy-free alternative, which will make them vegan too.
As with our Custard Creams recipe, we would recommend using an alternative such as Stork Baking Block. You may need to add a tiny extra amount of dairy-free milk to loosen the dough and bring it together, but otherwise, the recipe should work well.
- Kitchen scales
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
- Mixing bowls
- Electric whisk
- Large mixing spoon or spatula
- Bourbon biscuit mould or rolling pin and biscuit cutter/sharp knife
- Table/butter knife
Chocolate Custard Buttercream Filling
- 80 g unsalted butter (or good DF alternative) softened
- 120 g icing sugar (powdered confectioners sugar)
- 20 g custard powder DF/Vegan if required
- 12 g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp INSTANT espresso coffee powder optional
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Make the biscuit dough
- Prepare a large baking tray by lining it with good-quality non-stick baking paper.
- In a smallish bowl, weigh and mix together the flour, custard powder, cocoa, xanthan gum and salt and stir well to blend. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla extract until light, pale and smooth. This is easiest with an electric whisk.
- Gradually add and beat in the dry mix (about a quarter at a time) until well blended and the dough starts to come together. If making a dairy-free/vegan version, it will help to add ½ to 1 tbsp of DF milk at this point to support binding and to add extra lightness to the dough. This is NOT necessary if you’re making this biscuit recipe with dairy butter.
- Work the dough into an even, smooth block using a firm mixing spoon or spatula.
Using a Bourbon Biscuit Mould
- If using a Bourbon Biscuit mould, very lightly dust the surface with flour.
- Use a flat butter knife to transfer about a teaspoon of biscuit dough into the mould and spread roughly-evenly.
- Place the mould against a piece of baking paper on a firm surface and push down reasonably firmly on the plunger for a few seconds to even out the dough and ensure a good imprint.
- Push and gently ‘shake’ the moulded biscuit out onto the prepared baking tray. Each biscuit should be about ¾ cm in depth. If too thick or thin, adjust the amount of dough added to the mould (until you find a happy point) and re-use the dough of any biscuits you are unhappy with. It may help to part-push up the mould plunger to see how thick the biscuit will be and scrape of excess dough with a flat knife before plunging.
- Repeat the process of dusting, filling and moulding for all the dough.
Rolling and cutting the dough by hand
- If you are not using a mould, place the dough on a piece of baking paper very lightly dusted with flour and lightly dust the dough top.
- Carefully roll the dough to a thickness of about ¾ cm (if you want a pattern, use an embossed rolling pin).
- Cut the cookies into equal oblong biscuit shapes using a cookie cutter or sharp knife.
- Using a fine skewer tip, poke a line of holes down each long side of each cut biscuit dough.
- Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat the process, bringing any remaining dough back together until all the dough has been used. Try not to add too much flour or excessively work the dough.
Chill the dough
- Place the tray of dough biscuits in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill, or alternatively in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- When the biscuits have chilled, rearrange them on the tray if necessary to space them evenly.
Baking the biscuits
- Bake the biscuits for 12 to 14 minutes until just starting to darken slightly at the edges.
- Remove from the oven and leave on the baking tray to cool completely.
Chocolate Custard Buttercream
- In a medium to large bowl, beat the softened butter until light, pale and smooth.
- Gradually add the icing sugar, custard powder, cocoa, coffee (if using) and vanilla and beat through until smooth and creamy.
Sandwich the biscuits together
- To sandwich the biscuits into Bourbon Creams, pair the biscuits.
- Take one biscuit from each pair and spread a generous dollop of buttercream across the surface (making sure the pattern is on the outer side).
- Sandwich with its biscuit pair and gently push together.
- For a neat effect, use a chopstick or small rounded fondant tool to scrape any excess buttercream from the sides of each biscuit.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Will stay fresh for at least a week.
If making this recipe dairy-free or vegan, use a good butter alternative such as a dairy-free baking block (Stork margarine). The texture of the dough may be slightly ‘tighter’ and the biscuits crunchier. We recommend adding ½ to 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk to the biscuit dough (little by little) at the point of bringing the dough together to loosen and help gain a more ‘melty’ texture.
Try our sticky toffee pudding recipe