Homemade Gluten Free Jaffa Cakes

This recipe is the results of 2 tests, one for a new baking tray, another for the new version of sweet shortcrust pastry. The tray was originally thought to be used for delicate cakes with raspberry mousse, but the idea of perfect crust created by sphere shape, prompted me to bake small soft biscuits based on orange, almond and poppy seed cake batter. With plenty of orange marmalade I have prepared for Christmas presents and Christmas baking, all I needed was very thin, dry and crunchy shortcrust biscuits, to create my version of our beloved (in pre-coeliac era) Jaffa cakes.


For the shortcrust biscuits (to make a base for Jaffa cakes) I wanted to use buckwheat dough, without any starches or gums, but decided to make minor changes to the recipe to make biscuits lighter colour. I replaced half of the flour with rice flour, and used only white sugar in the recipe. These changes resulted in a biscuit not quite light, but lighter compared to the buckwheat one, with coconut sugar in the dough.

Recipes for all components of Jaffa cake are already published. They are:

Thick orange marmalade – for marmalade layer

Orange, almond and poppy seed cake – for soft biscuit on top

2 egg recipe will make 30-34 biscuits

Gluten free shortcrust pastry, no starches, not gums (with modifications) – for thin, crunchy biscuit in the bottom

Please refer to the list of ingredients and preparation to original publications.


Modification of shortcrust pastry (enough for 36 thin biscuits and crust for 28cmx18cm tart)

  • 140g buckwheat flour
  • 140r rice flour (I used McKenzie’s brand)
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 egg

Soft chocolate icing (enough to cover 12-15 Jaffa cakes)

  • 100g Nestle dark chocolate melts
  • 60g whipping cream 35% fat


  • prepare shortcrust dough using the above ingredients as shown here
  • roll the dough thin, cut  6-6.5cm biscuits
  • bake biscuits in preheated to 160C fan forced oven for 17-19min


I baked this pastry several times, making thin plain biscuits, biscuits with poppy seed filling, and rolled biscuits, to make sure that the dough can be successfully used for different purposes.


  • make orange, almond and poppy seed cake batter (recipe here)
  • butter cups in baking pan with butter
  • dust with granulated or caster sugar, shake the excess of sugar off


  • transfer the batter into a pastry bag
  • fill baking tray cups with equal amount of batter


  • bake soft biscuits in preheated to 160C oven for 30min
  • turn soft biscuits over to a wire rack, place the rack into the switched off oven to dry the crust and keep biscuits surface warm
  • the best solution is to bake three trays of biscuits simultaneously, I never did it, only now bought additional 2 trays to be able to bake all the batter as soft biscuits
  • the batter would not survive waiting, so I used the batter to bake orange, almond and poppy seed doughnuts


  • prepare soft chocolate icing, by heating the cream nearly to boiling point and pouring it over chocolate buttons
  • stir the icing until chocolate melts and both ingredients are fully combined
  • if necessary warm the icing in double boiler
  • place shortcrust biscuits on a wire rack
  • line the surface under the wire rack with baking paper or foil
  • spoon orange marmalade on top of biscuits


  • place warm soft biscuits on top
  • gently press the biscuit down to spread marmalade


  • pour chocolate icing on top of biscuits
  • make sure that the icing goes down evenly, covering all the surfaces


  • let the icing set while cakes are on a wire rack


  • assemble Jaffa cake in portions of 12
  • this icing is a soft one, it will set completely and be dry to touch the next day
  • I transferred Jaffa cakes to a lined board after 2-3 hours and let them rest till the next day


  • as a gift Jaffa cakes are best presented in individual paper cups


In my several attempts to make Jaffa cakes I came to the conclusion that it is better to bake  shortcrust biscuits a touch larger than cup diameter, the process of icing application becomes easier and it is more practical way to achieve even spread of chocolate, especially at the bottom. Be generous with orange marmalade, when I made marmalade layer twice as thick, Jaffa cakes were even better.


They are very nice fresh, but their flavours are better developed after 1-2 days.

An excess of this shortcrust dough I used to bake frangipane tart with cherries, coming now into season. As I have discovered earlier the presence of buckwheat flour gives tart shells sound structure and amazing crunch. No soggy bottoms with buckwheat shortcrust.


Buckwheat crust tastes better, too, paired either with millet flour or rice flour, compared to a regular shortcrust, I used in original cherry frangipane tart recipe.


4 thoughts on “Homemade Gluten Free Jaffa Cakes

  1. No matter whether it be commercial baked goods or home-made I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything of this quality anywhere and that’s no exaggeration. These are incredible, I also like how you share so many tips through, each recipe is a learning experience. Thank you for sharing.

    PS. As always the photos look amazing.

    1. Thank you! I understand that 4 separate components have to be prepared, but when shortcrust biscuits and orange marmalade are in the cupboard, the rest is easy and straight forward. The only possible difficulty is to ensure even and compete chocolate coating in one go. With plenty of icing at hand it is not a problem. We enjoyed these cakes with distinct and intense flavour. I do not like chocolate myself, but it is spot on in this recipe. I decided to make them this year for Christmas presents, instead of chocolate truffles. Jaffa cakes are something new, quite interesting and can be nicely presented in a flat box.

    1. Thank you! They are pretty and do not disappoint with taste. I am glad that from now on I have easy and reliable recipe for a shortcrust pastry based completely on whole grains, no starches to improve the taste and no gums to improve the texture. Handy pastry for tarts with any filling.

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