Free-From Custard Creams

Free-From Custard Creams

When I first went gluten-free and dairy-free one of the free-from products that astonished me at their cost was biscuits. I mean, £3 for a Genius gluten-free loaf from Sainsbury’s is ridiculous, but £1.80 for 8 chocolate chip biscuits from the Sainsbury’s free-from range is just obscene. I know you’re paying for the convenience factor, but fresh biscuits cost next to nothing to make at home so I felt really cheated and ripped off at the cost of free-from versions from a number of shops.

These free-from custard creams are so cheap to make (I’d estimate that a batch of around 12 custard creams cost considerably less than £1 to produce) and they’re really easy to whip up in a hurry. I just measure all of my ingredients into a plastic jug and use an electric whisk to blend it together into a biscuit dough. You don’t even need to roll out the dough and cut them out because you just roll them up in your palms and flatten them out on the baking tray. You can’t get any easier, can you?

I normally sandwich my custard creams with buttercream icing, but these have a little bit more caster sugar in them than my standard custard cream recipe so they’re really nice plain without a filling, but by all means sandwich them if you like. My buttercream recipe can be found here and you can just use dairy-free butter to keep the mix free-from. Equally, you could drizzle melted chocolate over the top of them or icing sugar.

Whether you decide to use the filling or use a sweet drizzle over the top of the biscuits, they’ll still save you a huge amount of money compared to buying them ready made in a shop.


70g dairy-free butter (or normal butter)

30g coconut oil

80g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

20g cornflour

50g custard powder

70g caster sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp xanthan gum


Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas mark 6.

Measure all of your ingredients into a plastic jug and then mix it all together with an electric whisk.

Lay greaseproof paper out onto two baking trays.

Take small handfulls of custard cream dough and roll into a ball before flattening between your palms and placing them on the baking trays. Continue until the mix is all used up.

Press the tines of a fork onto the top of each biscuit to create the distinctive mark of a custard cream and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 mins or until they are golden brown.

Free-From Custard Creams About to be Baked

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

Once cold you can sandwich them with buttercream icing or drizzle with a topping if you like.

Freshly Baked Free-From Custard Creams

Free-From Custard Creams

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Custard Creams (makes 8-10)

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

Last Wednesday night was filled with joy for me because it heralded the return of The Great British Bake Off. I love Bake Off. I love its huge tent that I imagine must be filled with tantalising aromas of delicious bakes cooking all day long. I love its two hilarious presenters. I love its good cop/bad cop judging duo that is Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. But most of all I love watching the bakes that the contestants produce and the acknowledgement that sometimes a bake just simply doesn’t go to plan, however much you practice it. I think that, ultimately, it’s a show that reminds us that it doesn’t mean you’re a total failure if you make the odd mistake. But, maybe I’m overthinking it. Maybe it’s just a show about cake.

This week the Bake Off bakers were faced with the challenge of making biscuits so I thought I’d share one of my favourite biscuit recipes with you. It’s a recipe for custard creams that I used to make with my Mum when I was a kid. Shop-bought custard creams never fill me with much joy. They’re too boring (being a stalwart of the biscuit tin when I was a kid) and rarely have the rich buttery, creamy taste that my adult palate has come to expect from a decent biscuit nowadays. However, these homemade custard creams are a different story from pre-packaged biscuits altogether.

The inclusion of Bird’s Custard Powder, with its fine-textured vanilla flavoured cornflour base, results in an incredibly crumbly and delicately textured biscuit while the use of real butter adds a sweet richness that could never be imparted through the use of margarine or baking fat. I like to add a little less plain flour than most custard cream recipes ask you to use, substituting the loss with cornflour. This results in melt-in-the-mouth buttery, crumbly biscuits sandwiching a sweet, light buttercream filling. In my opinion, they’re sheer perfect biscuit heaven.

This custard cream recipe is unbelievably quick and easy to make, especially if you chuck all of your ingredients into a food processor, but if you don’t have one it’s really easy to make them by hand. Either way, they’re well worth giving a go.


For the biscuits:

100g butter (or non-dairy version)

80g gluten-free plain flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

20g cornflour

50g custard powder (I’d recommend using Bird’s)

50g sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

150g icing sugar

75g butter

1 tsp hot water


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix all of your ingredients together in a food processor or mixing bowl until it forms a ball.

Take heaped teaspoons of the biscuit mix and roll them into balls before placing them on the baking tray with a good space between each of them. (Don’t worry if you’ve got an unequal number of biscuits at the end, you’ll just need to eat the odd one out. It’s a hardship, I know.)

Flatten them slightly and then use the tines of a fork to make an impression on the top of them.

Bake for 10-15 mins or until they are lightly golden brown.

While they are baking, mix all of your icing ingredients together until blended.

Once the biscuits are cooked, let them cool and then sandwich them together with the buttercream icing.

Try not to eat too many at once.

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

Custard Creams by The Fat Foodie

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