The Famous Shrewsbury Biscuits Get a Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Makeover


Shrewsbury Biscuits - GFCFSweet Sundays: Last month we posted a press release about a new gluten-free cookbook out of Australia, Homestyle Cooking – Biscuits, Slices and Tarts by Ruby M. Brown. This book was produced in conjunction with Orgran, a company with an expansive array of gluten-free foods and ingredients. If you are gluten-free, you have probably heard of Orgran, since they are one of the biggies, and their products are distributed worldwide. If not, you can checkout their selection on Amazon and Navan Foods.

This cookbook is not strictly dairy-free, but I was informed that … "most recipes (but not all) are dairy free. Where margarine is used in a recipe, we recommend using a dairy free margarine such as Nutalex." In North America, I recommend Earth Balance, since we don't have Nutalex … but feel free to use your favorite. This includes the food allergy-friendly recipe for Shrewsbury Biscuits that follows.

Ruby's book isn't readily available in North America (you may discover it here soon), but it can be easily found in Australia. Nonetheless, if the following cover recipe entices you, and you are craving some GFDF biscuits and tarts, you can order direct from Orgran via mail order ((03) 9776 9044).

Shrewsbury Biscuits

Recipe from Homestyle Cooking – Biscuits, Slices and Tarts by Ruby M. Brown

"Like a lot of biscuits, Shrewsbury biscuits come in a variety of guises.  They originated in the delightful medieval market town of Shrewsbury, in Shropshire in the middle of England.  Shrewsbury is well known for its flower show as well as the birthplace of Charles Darwin.  Shrewsbury biscuits were made by the rubbing-in method with lemon zest and sometimes currants and/or caraway seeds added.   Recipes can be found to date back to the early 1800s.  They were even thought to be around in Celtic times.  Those who originate from New Zealand will probably be able to tell about the Griffin brand of Shrewsbury biscuits and how they remember being able to just get their little finger into the hole on the top of the biscuits and dig out the raspberry jam before they ate the biscuit.  The New Zealand and Australian version is made by joining two flat biscuits with raspberry jam.  The top biscuit has a small hole so that the jam is visible. These biscuits have a texture similar to shortbread biscuits and are often referred to as raspberry shortcake biscuits."

Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
Makes 12 filled biscuits


  • 125g (4oz) dairy-free margarine [This book does call for butter or margarine in several recipes, including this one; they suggest substituting your favorite dairy-free margarine]
  • 1/2 cup gluten free icing sugar [powdered sugar]
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence [pure vanilla extract]
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups Orgran Plain All-Purpose Flour [This is a gluten-free flour blend]
  • 1/2 cup Orgran Self Raising Flour [This is a gluten-free flour blend]
  • raspberry jam, approx. ½ cup to fill biscuits


  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC (300ºF).
  2. Prepare 2 large flat oven trays by spraying with cooking spray.  Line base of trays with baking paper.
  3. Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Gradually add egg to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift flours into creamed mixture and mix well.  Dough should be a firm consistency.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured (gluten free) board and knead lightly.  Divide dough in half.  Wrap half the dough securely in plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
  7. Roll half the dough to 0.5 cm (1/4-inch) thickness.
  8. Using 7cm (2-3/4-inch) fluted biscuit cutter, cut out and carefully lift onto prepared trays. 
  9. Roll out remaining dough.  Cut out biscuits and place onto prepared trays.
  10. Cut a 2cm (3/4-inch) hole in the centre of half the biscuits using a small plain biscuit cutter or cut out a circle with a sharp knife.
  11. Place into a moderately-slow oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes or until pale golden brown and cooked.  Biscuits should hardly be changed in color.
  12. When cooked, remove from oven and leave on trays for 2 minutes. Loosen and leave on trays for a further 3 minutes.
  13. Place the jam into a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir.  Microwave on medium-high for a further 30 seconds and stir.
  14. While still warm, join 2 biscuits with warm jam.  Gently press top biscuit onto bottom biscuit.  Jam should be sufficient in quantity to come up through the hole in the top biscuit.  Hole in top biscuit can be filled with a little more jam if desired.   Allow jam to set in biscuits and store in an airtight container.

Homestyle Cooking – Biscuits, Slices and Tarts can be purchased directly from Orgran Gluten Free Foods by mail order on (03) 9776 9044 or at leading booksellers and independent retailers.

Shrewsbury Biscuits - GFCF

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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