There’s a lovely memory I’d love to share about my Gluten Free Traditional Easter Biscuits. This post was originally written at the end of the summer in 2015. I’ve kept the original photos because I love them, they’re full of fond memories of my little ones (or not so little now, Lewis is taller than me!)
On the last day of the summer holidays I not only had my two whipper-snappers to amuse but my two young nephews too. An idea, which had been discussed amongst the cousins, was to have a cake stand at the end of our driveway. Now this idea had developed from an impromptu ‘Lavender Water’ sale that took place earlier on in the summer. Bethany and Lewis love, as do many children, to make potions out of rose petals and flowers in our garden. After a particularly good vintage of lavender water they decided that this was good enough to sell and set up camp at the end of the driveway. They made over £6.00 from our lovely neighbours and strangers who were thrilled to see two children enjoying such innocent fun.
Following their successful break into driveway sales and after a board meeting with their cousins, it was agreed by all that if people were prepared to pay good money for lavender water, imagine what they’d pay for cakes! Enter Mummy/Aunty who does a bit of baking (me!) I got up at 06:30 and by 10am the children had posted fliers on trees down the street; set up a table and social media had been alerted. In total they had 4 gluten free wares to sell; Dairy and Gluten Free Marshmallow Squares, Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes, Gluten Free Cinnamon Freezer Biscuits and my Gluten Free Traditional Easter Biscuits.
I’m not sure why I chose Easter Biscuits to bake at the beginning of September, I think my ingredients cupboard possibly dictated to me, nonetheless, it was an excellent choice and went down a treat. In total, the four entrepreneurs raised £31.77 which was donated (by their choice) to Cancer Research UK.
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The history behind Traditional Easter Biscuits!
Traditional Easter Biscuits are made specifically for the Easter festival; traditionally they are served after church on Easter Sunday, and are presented in a bundle of three biscuits to represent the Holy Trinity.
There are many variations recorded across the United Kingdom but most recipes agree that the biscuits are round fruited shortcake, usually with spices including cinnamon.
What oil is used in Easter Biscuits?
There is a certain tradition, especially down the west of the UK, of flavouring Easter Biscuits with Oil of Cassia – a cinnamon extract – partly in the belief that this oil was used to embalm Jesus.
I’ve always made my biscuits with the far more prevalent ground cinnamon but after researching the history behind these delicious biscuits I decided to follow tradition and bought a tiny vial of Oil of Cassia to add to these biscuits. Cinnamon works just a well, but if you’re interested, like me, in baking these to tradition I have popped an affiliate link in this post for you to buy a little bottle for yourself.
Other recipes that are similar to my Gluten Free Traditional Easter Biscuits
So you now know the history behind the Traditional Easter Biscuit but here are some more biscuits for Easter you might like to consider.
My Nanny always had some of these Cinnamon Freezer Biscuits if not ready baked but in dough form so she could slice a few coins off and bake them when we went to visit. Another biscuit recipe is my Orange Freezer Biscuits; gluten free and dairy free. Vicky aka Free From Fairy has managed to make her Wholesome Easter Biscuits vegan as well as gluten free which is nothing short of amazing. Finally you have Le Coin de Mel and her beautiful decorated Gluten Free Vegan Biscuits, she’s decorated hers as colourful Easter Eggs but the possibilities are endless with a little imagination.
I do hope you’ve loved reading the history of Easter Biscuits and my memory as much as I’ve had researching and revisiting them. Without further ado, here is the recipe used to make these delicious Gluten Free Traditional Easter Biscuits. May they make wonderful memories for you too.
Gluten Free Easter Biscuit Recipe
- 115 g /4oz butter
- 75 g /3oz caster sugar + extra for topping
- 1 egg separated
- 200 g /7oz GF flour I use Wholegrain Fairy Flour
- 4 drops of cassia oil if you have no oil you can substitute with 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp cinnamon
- 70 g raisins/currants/mixed fruit
- Beat the butter, sugar and yolk together
- Add the dry ingredients and raisins or currants to make a soft dough
- Knead dough on a floured surface – you’ll need cold hands for this as the dough is very soft.
- roll out dough to about 5mm think
- Using a cutter cut approximately 20 biscuits
- Pop in an oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 10 mins
- After 10mins take out and brush with beaten egg white, then sprinkle with sugar and return to oven for a further 5 mins
- Warning: these biscuits are very fragile when hot/warm, try to allow them to cool for as long as possible before removing to a cooling rack – therefore a good non-stack baking tray in a MUST! Even better, use a silicone baking sheet on your tray.
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