Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits

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Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits are simple yet strong and flavourful biscuits, ideal for tea-dunking or making into your favourite pie crust.

A plate of gluten-free digestive biscuits

Digestive Biscuits don’t look like much. They are brown, a little bland looking and seem to sit on the plate quite uneventfully. As such they weren’t easy to photograph. Despite my cajoling and tender words of encouragement I could not get them to look that exciting. Maybe you will be surprised then to learn that Digestive Biscuits are my most favourite biscuit or cookie of all time. (Yes, including chocolate chip cookies).

Digestive Biscuits are definitely one of my desert island foods. I’ll set them by my bedside to meekly nibble on when I’m poorly or I’ll devour them whilst slumped on the sofa watching When Harry Met Sally when I’m feeling blue. An open packet in the cupboard is my kryptonite on the Whole30 and they were the only food I included in my hospital bag to give me sustenance during the birth of my children.

A plate of gluten-free digestive biscuits next to a mug of tea

Do digestive biscuits really aid digestion?

Digestive Biscuits have been around for a very long time. The first biscuits were produced in 1839 by Scottish doctors to aid digestion. That’s where the inclusion of bicarbonate of soda in the ingredients comes into play. I have to admit that a glass of fizzy bicarb was never far from my side when pregnant. It did wonders for keeping my acid reflux at bay as the alkali in bicarb really helps neutralise stomach acids. However, unfortunately the baking process of the digestive biscuit alters the chemical structure of the bicarbonate of soda, thus neutralising its digestive effects.

hand dunking a gluten-free digestive biscuit into a mug of tea next to a plate of biscuits

Which digestive biscuits are best?

Did you know that the McVitie’s digestive is the best selling biscuit in the UK? Their version in my eyes is without fault, although they do contain that pesky gluten which means I can’t eat them since they are made primarily of wholemeal flour alongside the oatmeal.

Gluten-free digestive biscuits which can pass muster against McVitie’s are not that easy to get hold of. I’m not a huge fan of the supermarket’s own brand versions as they have a plethora of odd ingredients and a bit of a funny taste. However it really is little bother to make your own and these will definitely hold their own in comparison to their wheat filled cousins.

How to make gluten-free digestive biscuits

This digestive biscuit recipe has no need for wheat. These biscuits are made from oat flour (do substitute for sorghum flour if you can’t eat oats, they are quite different in flavour but still produce a very lovely biscuit) and the almond flour and tapioca flour helps to hold the biscuits together and stops them being too hard.

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Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits are also staggeringly easy to make:

  1. Rub the fat into the flour mix
  2. Add enough milk to form a coherent dough
  3. Chill for a few minutes then roll, cut out and bake for 12 minutes.

You will have your biscuits in under an hour. In my house they would be hard pressed to last the following hour but I’m sure you are a lot more restrained than I.

A plate of gluten-free digestive biscuits next to a mug of tea

Digestive biscuits do not stand on ceremony and they definitely do not need chocolate. Only on high days and holidays might I consent to a small brush of salted milk chocolate to glaze the surface. Feel free to embellish yours though if you like things a bit more flashy.

How can you use Digestive Biscuits in baking?

Digestive Biscuits are also an essential ingredient for the enthusiastic home baker since they are the perfect biscuit to produce the ideal pie or cheesecake crust. They are absolutely wonderful as the base in this Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Cheesecake. Just add melted butter to crushed Digestive Biscuits and press into a pan and you have the most delicious base for a whole range of desserts.

Chopped Digestive Biscuits can also be added to chocolate to make a Rocky Road or a Chocolate Fridge Cake. Or you can just bake yourselves up a batch of these delightful biscuits and just dunk pleasurably into your cup of tea, they withhold the moisture surprisingly well.

A plate of gluten-free digestive biscuits

If you make these Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

If you like this digestive biscuit recipe then why not try these gluten-free tea time treats:

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

Gluten-Free Scones

Gluten-Free Victoria Sponge

A plate of gluten-free digestive biscuits

Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits

Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits are simple yet strong and flavourful biscuits, ideal for tea-dunking or making into your favourite pie crust.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Servings: 18 biscuits
Calories: 179kcal

Ingredients

  • 140 g oat flour
  • 140 g almond flour
  • 80 g tapioca flour
  • 115 g light brown muscovado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 160 g unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3-4 tablespoons whole milk

Instructions

  • Whisk the flours, sugar and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the butter and rub into the flour using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
  • Pour in the milk one tablespoon at a time until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Shape the dough into a round and then flatten slightly and wrap in cling film. Chill for 30 minutes
  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/ 170°C fan/gas mark 5.
  • Roll the dough out to 8mm thickness then cut the biscuits into 7cm rounds. Prick the biscuits with the tines of a fork a couple of times.
  • Place the biscuits on a baking sheet an inch or so apart and bake the biscuits for 12 minutes. The biscuits can be baked in two batches.
  • Remove from the oven, leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

*substitute the oat flour for sorghum flour if you are intolerant to oats.

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.7mg
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SHOP THE RECIPE

Oat flour can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

Perfectly milled almond flour is not easy to find but I buy RealFoodSource Certified Organic Extra Fine High Protein Almond Flour (1KG) from Amazon and I love it. It panics me when my bag is starting to look empty as I use it all the time, in sauces, in cakes, energy balls and savoury dishes. I find my bag of almond flour absolutely essential to my kitchen.

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.

Although the metal cookie cutters may look a bit more stylish I always use these KitchenCraft Double-Edged Plastic Biscuit/Pastry Cutters with Storage Box (Set of 7) – White. They are the perfect range of sizes, they are plastic so don’t rust and can go in the dishwasher. Anything that can go in the dishwasher makes my life so much easier.

I use this KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick Baking Tray, 35 x 25 cm (14″ x 10″) for all my cookies, biscuits, scones. It’s a great size and is non-stick so the biscuits lift off easily from the tray and doesn’t require any baking parchment or greasing.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Images of gluten-free digestive biscuits with text overlay

Comments

  1. Sushma Joshi says

    5 stars
    I have made them yesterday as I was missing Mcvitie’s. They are so yummy. Thank you for the recipe.

    I found the dough a bit difficult to handle. When I used a cookie cutter, I couldn’t lift it off the parchment. They were breaking. I just rolled small balls and flattened them on the sheet. Can you post pictures during the stages of baking so that I can compare? Or maybe a video? I know I will be baking them always. I can get an idea as to where I am going wrong.

    Thanks again,
    Sushma

    • Hi Sushma, I make these all the time as I love digestive biscuits and these are my faves!!!! I’m sorry you found the dough a little difficult to handle, it is a little more fragile because of the gluten-free flours but I’ve never had a problem with them breaking. I would immediately think that you might need to work the dough a little more. Did you use a palette knife to lift the biscuit dough? However, I take on board your comments and will definitely update the recipe with some process shots. I’d love to do a video too but they are something I haven’t incorporated on the blog yet. I’ll let you know as soon as the photos are up there!

      • Sushma Joshi says

        Thanks for the reply. Should I use a palette knife? I have one. I used my fingers to lift them off the parchment. I have the dough still. I am baking in small batches. I will try. Also can I use normal sugar or should I grind it fine?

        Photos are fine too. Thank you!

      • Hi Sushma, yes I would absolutely use a palette knife to help lift the fragile biscuit. I used regular light brown muscovado sugar in this recipe which helps with the flavour but also adds moisture to the dough to keep it from being dry. Did you use muscovado sugar? This change might have affected the fragility of the dough.

      • Hi Georgina,

        We don’t get muscovado sugar here( even if I find it, it would be too expensive). I used raw cane sugar. That was brown, soft and moist so I thought it would work. I will see if I can find a substitute. Thank you for the reply. I am ready for my next batch now.

  2. These are great. Make them all the time. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  3. Sharene Jones says

    I am always looking for gluten free digestives when I happen along a British collection of foods here in the US. So happy to have this recipe! I may have to make them today.

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