PERFECT gluten free Viennese Whirls. Light, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits filled with rich vanilla buttercream and jam. Gluten free. Egg free. Optional dairy free. Optional Vegan.
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DON’T LOSE THIS RECIPE! PIN Viennese Whirls FOR LATER…
Gluten free Viennese Whirls inspired by the Great British Bake Off
Viennese Whirls take me straight back to childhood. Light, melt-in-the-mouth, buttery biscuits filled with a sumptuous layer of jam and buttercream. When they were on the Great British Bake Off a few years back, I realised I needed a version that was Coeliac safe and actually tasted like the real deal. It was the kick I needed to work on a recipe for gluten free Viennese Whirls.
And guess what? I did it! It was no mean feat. Viennese whirls are notoriously troublesome beasts. Add gluten free to the recipe requirements and you need ingenuity and determination.
The hard work is done though. And I share my recipe with my love. For all of you who miss them too. And yes… they are a little tricky, but if I can make them, you certainly can.
Making perfect gluten free Viennese Whirls
On the Great British Bake Off, making Viennese Whirls was a ‘technical challenge’. As I recall, it proved to be… well… quite challenging. It quickly became clear that these delicious little morsels were not as easy to make as Mr Kipling would have us believe.
So exactly how tricky would it be to create perfect gluten free Viennese Whirls?
The first attempt
My first attempt was a complete disaster. Following Mary Berry’s recipe to the letter (with a straight replacement of gluten free flour) was clearly not the answer. Although the batter looked good and piped perfectly, no sooner was it in the oven, than it spread like a beige weed across the bottom of the baking tray. It was actually quite yummy crumbled on top of ice cream. It did not however, pass as a batch of gluten free Viennese Whirls.
To be honest, I knew there was no way Mary’s recipe would work with weight for weight substitutions. But it needed to be tested to understand how to de-gluten it.
Back to the drawing board… I re-worked the recipe to reduce the butter, and increase the cornflour. Then… Added a drop of vanilla and a little extra icing sugar, as the extra flour upset the flavour balance.
It seems these changes did the trick. My second batch of gluten free Viennese Whirls held well. And… they were robust enough to (with care) jam, ice and sandwich. Yes, they are a little fragile, but according to GBBO, fragile is not in itself a ‘fail’. And hopefully Paul and Mary (or Prue) would be more than happy with my piping ‘definition’.
Having had many a ‘normal’ Viennese Whirl in my earlier life, I can be proud of my efforts. These particular melt-in-the-mouth treats may be slightly larger than intended, but they taste just as remembered.
How to pipe Viennese Whirls
Whether gluten free or not, piping Viennese whirls is a requirement of tradition.
To get a consistent size and shape, it’s best to work with a template of circles (of the size you want) drawn on card. Simply place underneath good-quality non-stick baking paper before you pipe and slide out before baking.
Use a large open-tipped star nozzle for the best swirls and a large piping bag. I always use the Lakeland disposable ‘grippy’ bags. Pipe (like you might for a cupcake) from the outside, round the circle, gradually swirling into the centre.
Filling gluten free Viennese Whirls
Once baked, make sure you let your biscuits cool completely on the tray before attempting to move them. They will be fragile… but that’s part of what makes them so delectably meltable.
Then… use a flat, fine edged flexible palette knife to very carefully loosen and lift the Viennese Whirls. And VERY gently lay half upside down and half upright on clean baking paper.
Dollop a drop of ‘loosened’ jam into the centre of each upturned biscuit and very gently spread towards the edges.
Use a large star nozzle to pipe a swirl of butter icing on top of the jam, before very carefully placing a second (un-iced) biscuit on the top.
Gently ease the biscuit on with a careful twist. Squeeze too hard and the Whirls may break.
Did you spot the ‘handle with care’ message?
Other Great British Bake Off Inspired Recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist
There’s been lots of GBBO inspiration over the years… Here’s a few other inspired recipes that have been developed as a result of various ‘bake alongs’ :
- Pistachio, Raspberry & Orange Fondant Fancies
- Beautiful Gluten Free Bread Bouquet
- Raspberry & Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
- Orange & Lime Meringue Pie with Lime & Walnut Pastry
- Gluten Free Breakfast Danish Pastries
- Prue Leith’s Chocolate Mini Rolls
Ready to make gluten free Viennese Whirls?
So here it is… My gluten free Viennese Whirls recipe. I really hope you love them. We do also now have a recipe for perfect gluten free Viennese Fingers on the blog as well. So if ‘whirls’ feel a little intimidating, fingers may be a little less so…
I always love hearing when you’ve made any of my recipes, so don’t forget to let me know. Comment, or tag me on social media (links at the top) with your bakes. And don’t forget to rate the recipe.
If you are looking for more inspiration to cook and bake great gluten free food, why not also check out our Recipe Index. With over 400 recipes, there’s sure to be something to tempt.
Viennese Whirls – Gluten Free
- baking sheets
- large open star-tipped piping nozzle
- flexible palette knife
- 240 g unsalted block-butter (or dairy free firm alternative) softened
- 65 g icing sugar
- 225 g plain gluten free flour mix I used GFA Blend A – See NOTES
- ½ tsp xanthan gum If flour blend already contains xanthan gum, DO NOT add.
- 60 g corn starch (UK cornflour)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter Cream Filling
- 100 g unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative) softened
- 200 g icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 220 g strawberry/raspberry jam Approx amount (or otyher jam of choice)
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Base-line 3 baking sheets with baking paper. To get even-sized whirls, you can opt to make a card-template with sized circles (with space between) to use as a guide when piping under the baking paper.
- Cream together the butter and icing sugar (preferably using an electric whisk or food mixer) until well-blended, very pale and fluffy.
- Mix the flours and xanthan gum (if required) together in a separate bowl to blend.
- Add the vanilla extract and flours to the butter mixture and continue to beat until the mixture has become a very smooth, pale paste.
- Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle.
- Pipe the mixture onto the baking paper lined trays into even-sized whirls, leaving a gap between them. If using a template, place under the baking paper when piping and then carefully remove and use for the next tray. Make sure you remove the template before baking.
- For best results, chill the piped dough on the baking tray for 30 minutes before baking (especially if your climate or kitchen are warm).
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown, turning the trays half-way through to ensure an even bake. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the trays.
Butter Cream Filling
- While the biscuits are cooling, make the butter cream filling
- Beat the butter in a large bowl until light and smooth.
- Gradually add the icing sugar and vanilla extract until the icing is smooth, soft and a piping consistency.
Constructing the Viennese Whirls
- Once the biscuits are cold, use a flexible palette knife to carefully loosen the biscuits from the baking paper.
- Very gently transfer and lay half of them, flat side up on a clean sheet of baking paper, ready to fill. They will be quite fragile, so handle with care.
- Transfer the jam into a bowl, and stir vigorously to loosen. (If the jam is very thick, it may benefit from a couple of seconds in the microwave to warm slightly, but allow to cool before using if it gets too hot).
- Use a teaspoon to drop a small dollop of jam in the centre of each of the upturned biscuits and with the back of the spoon, very gently spread the jam towards the edges.
- Using a large star nozzle, gently pipe a swirl of butter icing on top of the jam of each biscuit.
- Very carefully take a second biscuit and place it on top to make a sandwich. Although you can very gently ease the top biscuit down (a gentle twisting motion is best), do not squeeze too hard or the biscuits may break.
- Serve with a cup of tea and enjoy decadently.
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