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.

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
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time57 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
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

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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Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

Spotted Dick is like a time travel machine in food form, designed to send you right back to your nursery days. A glorious traditional suet pudding studded with currants, mixed peel and spices, designed to warm you from the inside out.

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

This week has not been one of my favourites. The whole house has been suffering with the most horrendous cold. So far, I’ve been housebound for nearly seven days and I’ve got severe cabin fever. As the outside world looks like a treacherous winter wonderland with snow blizzards lashing at our windows I can’t believe I am longing to be outside. Weather like this in London just doesn’t happen, it’s been snowing for almost three days straight and I’m so keen to wrap up in multi layers of knitwear, plonk Cole in his snowsuit, grab Billy Buddy’s lead and head to Parkland Walk which is the disused railway walk right by our house and always looks so beautiful in this snow capped weather.

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

But instead I’m lying down on the bed watching the snow fall through the window, when I’m not consumed by a major coughing jag which seems to rip my body in half (The baby seriously does not like it when I cough and has been getting his own back by zapping me with searing Braxton Hicks contractions). I’ve also been watching an obscene amount of Paw Patrol on the sofa with Cole who is suffering with this cold just as badly, minus the pregnancy pains but plus a sky-high fever which I’m constantly battling to manage 24/7. Thank goodness for my mum who was able to come up for a few days to lend a hand to our fallen household.

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

So I’m basically being a miserable so-and-so and to top it all off I got the unenviable news from my midwife at the beginning of the week that the baby is growing at an unprecedented rate and as such they are testing me for gestational diabetes. To counteract this ungracious news I have had to swear myself off sugar until I get the all clear. Giving up sugar is no fun at the best of times, giving up sugar when you are exhausted from spending all night long comforting a mewling toddler and 8 months pregnant is even worse. Coupled with the reality that playing with sugar is my job so I’m having to rethink a few recipes when my brain is like soup. Plus there’s the fact that goddammit I just want a Galaxy Ripple but having to make do with an oatcake. It’s really not the same. So not only am I ill, heavy with baby, tired and looking after a sick toddler but even sugar has forsaken me. I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself, can you tell?

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

I am hoping that the gestational diabetes test is negative but I have a feeling that I won’t get the results until the baby is pretty much here anyway so I’m looking at a sugar-free existence for the rest of the pregnancy. Luckily I was getting ahead of myself for a few of these posts and this indulgently delicious Gluten-Free Spotted Dick was a masterpiece from a couple of weeks back.

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

Do you know about Spotted Dick? Have you guffawed at its absurd name – gosh those British fools really know how to name wrestle with innuendo. The bemusing moniker is really an ancient term meaning spotted dough, not nearly as memorable I think you’ll find. The spotted part refers to the currants which are dotted throughout the pudding, along with mixed peel and spices. It’s a much easier pudding to make then you think as the dough quickly comes together and then is wrapped in a double layer of muslin and foil and boiled for a couple of hours.

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

Spotted Dick is a really traditional British ‘nursery’ pudding. Basically one of those charming relics of childhood which is more often found these days in staid British restaurants and gentleman’s clubs. Most of us though know of it from school dinners, hence the term ‘nursery pudding.’ It has a horrid reputation as a great stodge of a pudding but really it doesn’t have to be. It’s tremendously comforting, a perfect accompaniment to Snow Day and this gluten-free version is especially heart-warming. It’s traditionally made with suet but I find by using fresh beef suet (which you should ask your butcher for) instead of the shop bought stuff really lightens the finished result. The pudding must really be eaten steaming hot with copious amounts of custard. I wouldn’t even bother advocating making your own custard here as Bird’s Custard will really seal the nostalgia deal.

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

I have to say I can’t wait to get better, cast off the aspersions of gestational diabetes and fall headlong back into a great big bowl of Spotted Dick and custard. It’s what’s keeping me going.

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

Gluten-Free Spotted Dick

Spotted Dick is a glorious traditional suet pudding studded with currants, mixed peel and spices, designed to warm you from the inside out.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 538kcal

Ingredients

  • 125 g currants
  • 3 tablespoons rum or whisky or brandy
  • 140 g sweet rice flour
  • 120 g oat flour
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 180 g fresh beef suet
  • 125 g soft brown sugar
  • 40 g mixed peel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 225-250 ml whole milk

Instructions

  • First place the currants in a small bowl and spoon over the rum, leaving them to soak for at least an hour.
  • Sift the flours, baking powder and sea salt into a large bowl.
  • Then stir in the suet, sugar, soaked currants (without the excess liquid), mixed peel and spices.
  • Pour in just enough milk to make soft dough, mixing together with your hands.
  • Shape the dough into a thick log and loosely wrap in muslin or cheesecloth, securing the ends with string.
  • Then wrap in foil.
  • Place the Spotted Dick in a large saucepan, pour boiling water all around the spotted dick until it has submerged and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer, put the lid on and leave to cook for two hours.
  • Remove the Spotted Dick carefully from the water and serve immediately with lashings of custard.

Nutrition

Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 1.9mg