Pistachio and Chocolate Cookies or Biscuits

Well here goes, the post that’s taken an age to get right, recipe wise and the one full of controversy and some lighthearted humour and can be made nut free before you scroll past πŸ˜‚

Cookies………………………….. really, or biscuit, the long awaited saga that was known in some baking circles as my #internationalbiscuitdebate.

So for international diplomacy and not wanting to cause an international incident of mammoth proportion I’ve made this recipe so it covers us all.

Its all in THE BAKE TIME πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I’m sorry , I’m British these are biscuits, I want to dunk them in my tea ( or any other beverage is allowed ) without the the worry of floaters or even worse, snappage 😱

For you lot that want a ‘cookie ‘ you can have it too, the crispy edges and the soft and chewy in the centre it works for you too………….if you must πŸ™ŠπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And hush no mention of your ‘soft scones ‘ aka American biscuits on this post πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ™Š

But we also have another issue other than ‘what it’s called ‘ the great vegan butter issue’…………..not all are equal, differing amounts of water and fat content for a start and well we don’t want over spread, please god NOOOOOOOO

So today we are using oil, oh yes not shortening, not nut butters, oil.

Even though I have used nuts in these for my pleasure, it can easily be subbed out to chocolate alone, you will in fact get a more ‘cookie’ looking biscuit πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and I will post those in the post too ( they are just GF and Egg Free as I used some Salted Caramel Chips in a trial batch )

My choice of egg replacer is Freely Vegan Egg, not readily available in the UK so a lovely International Baking Friend Cindy ( of the ropes πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ ) shipped for me. Reason, im nor and never have been a toal flax lover and this although it has it in is an allround replacer so I cant taste it, for me I can taste flax, so its always been a no go. But I’m still experimenting with it but so far its looking great. I will only be using minimally though on the odd bake, but as I say in the post you can of course use flax egg as your sub

Here’s the link to their site and as you will see my favourite vegan baker Gretchen Price is involved hence my desire to get my hands on the stuff https://freelyvegan.com/the-plant-based-egg/

On a slight detour, it has to be mentioned that yet more international baking input was sought on this, I’m no Cookie expert I usually make British Biscuits far more successfully

So Kerry thanks for the you need ‘cookies on the blog’ moment πŸ™ˆ, and Molly for checking my edges 😜……………..I do like to get things right even though folk are 1000 of miles away.

Right time to crack on you have had your lecture, lets BAKE

Not One, Two or Three Have the TIn FullπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The Intolerance Pistachio and Chocolate Cookie / Biscuit GF, DF V

A Dunker or a Softie, you decide, a Cookie Filled with creamy Pistachio pieces and oh so Dark Chocolate

To make a Soft Chewy Cookie cook for 12 minutes , for a more typical English Biscuit, to dunk but with a softer centre cook for the time stated in the recipe


  • 200 g Plain Gluten Free Flour Blend ( I recommend Pilsbury Cup for Cup US or Dove Farm UK)
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum ( omit if your flour blend has it in )
  • 100 g White Sugar ( I used Caster / Superfine)
  • 50g Brown Sugar
  • 50ml Oil ( I find Sunflower best but any neutral oil)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 egg replacer portion, I used Freely Vegan egg Replacer, 2 tsp to 3 tablespoons of water, but you can use flax egg, 1 tbsp to 3 tbsps of water
  • 2 tbsps of Non dairy Milk ( i used Soya )
  • 30 g Shelled and Chopped Pistachios ( can be omitted for a nut free version just double the chocolate )
  • 30 g Chopped Dark Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate


  1. Preheat Oven to 160C Convection / 180C Standard / 350 F
  2. Line two baking trays with parchment paper ( not grease-proof paper ) or a slip mat if you prefer but I don’t like them πŸ™ŠπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
  3. Mix your egg sub and set aside
  4. Mix together the Flour, Xanthan Gum and Bicarb with a whisk
  5. Mix the Oil, Vanilla and egg substitute
  6. Chop the Pistachios and the Chocolate
  7. Add the Wet ingredients to the flour mix and get your hands in, oh yes hands😜😜 to combine it
  8. It may seem dry but it will start to come together.

  9. Add the pistachios and chocolate and drizzle over the milk. Mix and then form the dough into a ball
  10. Divide the dough into 14 portions, mine weighed in at 34g to 36g ( I’m not that fussy πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)
  11. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet and cook for 16 minutes
  12. If you find they don’t spread as much as you want when still warm lightly press down with a spoon, this can be due to the weather and I really dont want you to be adding anymore oil or milk, you will get miffed when they sprea’d
  13. If you choose the nut free option these cookies will spread a little more so that will not be necessary
  14. Leave to cool on the tray for 15 minutes as they will be soft
  15. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool

Well there you go, the universal, snack itemπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I’ve tried every which way possible to get these right, slight variations can lead to needing a little squish with the back of a spoon, and to be honest, I don’t care. I want a universal recipe, leave out the nuts you get more spread, but please don’t add any more additions than the recipe states.

Yes the balls freeze fine and currently there and 6 left in the biscuit tin and still dunkable πŸ˜‚ and the non nut ones are still not over soft, 5 days later

Right pictures and yes actual crumbporn

All Right Every Blogger Has To Stack😜
More Stacking #becauseican 😜
Loads of SNACKS πŸ˜‚πŸ™Š
No nuts I Promised 😍
Snacks with a View 😍
Chocolate PornπŸ™ˆ
Now That’s A Dunker and Ultimate Crumbporn

Hope you enjoyed the post.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or a like, it helps me alot.

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If you make and of my recipes, let me know how you get on, I would love to hear. Drop me a line @clarescauldron or tag me on Insta or use my hastag #everyoneshouldenjoycake

Feel free to share me about, I’m really easy 😜😜😜 especially to the awkward intolerant ones !!!!

Until Next week


Lets Bake Some Intolerant Whoopie Pies

Well Whoopie Pies !!! Up to two years ago all I thought Whoopie was was a crude joke cushion or something a flapper girl did in the in the 1920 πŸ™ˆπŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

But was I wrong, questions still need to be asked if this is a cookie or a cake and I still cant find a definitive answer.

But I have done my research, Whoopie pies are the National Treat of Maine in the US, so I knew a man that could enlighten this poor British Soul……….. so I messaged the Whoopie Pie Authority in my baking circle Darryl, so we can all blame him on this one πŸ˜‚

God forbid if I ever called this a ‘Classic ‘ Whoopie Pie, as it isn’t, mine being Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan it certainly wasn’t going to enter that competition πŸ˜‚

So what I’m giving you is a cake/ cookie from a description I found online that basically stated that it should be a sticky sweet offering that leaves you licking your fingers…………..so we have no dry cakey cookie here, we have a delicious moist two layered offering with a sticky marshmallow centre and a little fruit as a health option 😜😜😜

Now for the advise, don’t touch the top to see if they are done in the oven, ( my awesome mate again !!!!!! ) Don’t try and stack them, ( unless your doing photography πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) they stick together quickly and eat them with 24 hour…………. store in the fridge in air tight and then just take out for 15 minutes to warm up.

They are fragile beasts and the Aquafaba Meringue can either stand up days or last only 36 hours, I’m guessing that’s a humidity thing and it was raining a lot the weekend I did these.

I have had other meringue last days in the fridge but I can only tell you what happened that weekend to be truthful.

I tried various ways to do these, including subbing in fruit puree, gave a nice dome but very dense on this occasion, so this is my preferred version.

So lets make ‘Whoopie’ !!!!!!!! ( Ohhhh I’ve always wanted to say that πŸ˜‚) and no CANDY thermometer needed too boot

Lemon Whoopie Pies with Aquafaba Marshmallow Fluff. GF, DF V

Lemony and Sticky Whoopie Pies, Finger licking good

Makes 8 Whoopie Pies, best eaten within 24 hours, but I can assure you they wont last that long


    For The Pies

  • 95 g Plain Gluten Free Flour Blend ( I recommend Pilsbury Cup for Cup US or Dove Farm UK)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum ( omit if your flour blend has it in )
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/8th tsp Salt
  • 60 mls Non Dairy Milk, I used Soya
  • 30 g Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Neutral Oil ( I used sunflower )
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Vanilla Extract
  • Zest of one lemon, about a 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1 tbsp Icing / Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 tbsp freeze dried fruit powder
  • For the Fluff

  • 120 mls of Aquafaba ( Chickpea Brine out of the tin)
  • 100 g White sugar ( used Caster / Superfine )
  • 110 g Icing Sugar / Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


  1. Preheat Oven to 170 Convection / 190 Standard / 375 F
  2. Cover to baking trays with Parchment or a slip mat ( I prefer parchment)
  3. Mix together the Flour, Xanthan Gum, Baking Powder, Baking soda, sugar and salt with a whisk and then sieve to aerate
  4. Measure the milk and grate in the lemon zest and warm in the microwave for 20 second ( can be done over a pan of simmering water )
  5. Add the applesauce , oil , water , vinegar and vanilla to the lemon milk
  6. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold with a spatula until smooth ( you cant over mix you’ve no gluten but calm your passion no need to go to mad 😜)
  7. Using a Tablespoon or Small Cookie Scoop place 16 mounds of batter onto the parchment, spaced out about an 3cm / 1in apart. I find just tipping the scoop to let it fall off is easiest .
  8. Bake for 8 minutes until they have puffed up and starting to go light brown at the edges DO NOT TOUCH THE TOPS πŸ™ŠπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ
  9. Remove from the oven, leave on a baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool

    Make the Fluff

  11. Heat the Aquafaba and Sugar in a pan over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, simmering for 5 minutes for caster and 7 for granulated and i said simmer not boil to death 😜😜😜😜
  12. There should be no feeling of grittiness at the pan then you scrape it with a spoon
  13. Leave to cool completely , I tend to stand mine in the sink in cold water, remember to leave a spoon in you don’t want it floating over and losing your hard work
  14. Once cool transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment and whip on high until it increases in volume and starts to leave a trail when you lift the whisk
  15. In a small bowl, combine 1 tps of icing sugar, the cream, of tartar and the xanthan gum
  16. Then a teaspoon at a time add it to the Aquafaba whilst whisking
  17. Once the Aquafaba has increased in volume and strength, you will see it happen it becomes thicker add the rest of the sugar a tbsp at a time.
  18. This whole process can take a good 10 minutes or more, don’t fret it will whisk

  19. Add the vanilla extract
  20. Transfer your Marshmallow into a piping bag, or using a spoon, place it on half of the pies
  21. Sprinkle with Freeze dried fruit, and top with a lid
  22. Sprinkle with Icing sugar and now get sticky
  23. Enjoy

Hope you enjoyed the recipe!!!!!!

So there you go, I’ve introduced you to Aquafaba Marshmallow fluff which is the same principles for any meringue type aquafaba , my recipe for this is based on a recipe out of Gretchen Prices Modern Vegan Baking Book, here’s the link to her site and you can see the book there, well worth the investment if you are dairy free, she doesn’t cover gluten dairy free but her recipe modifications can shed some light on the way I need to go https://www.gretchensveganbakery.com/about-me/

Best give you some nice picks, some crumbporn and some general stickiness

You can have one !!!!

Or two πŸ˜‚ My Favourite shot, look at that stickiness 😜😜
Or Even 3πŸ˜œπŸ˜œπŸ˜œπŸ˜œπŸ˜œπŸ™ˆ
Excuse Fingers πŸ™Š
We will have no dry Whoopie here 😍

Please feel free to leave me a comment, or a like, it really does spur me on.

Signup for an Email, so you never miss another recipe or some pretty pictures and maybe a little wit and sarcasm😜. Or follow ,me on WordPress or Insta and see what I’m up to on a daily basis.

If you make any of my cakes or use my recipes, let me know how you get on, I love to hear. Drop me a line at @clarescauldron or tag me on Insta or use my #everyoneshouldenjoycake

Feel free to share me to Family, Friends and those awkward ones, I don’t mind, the more the merrier.

Until next week……..Bye for now πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Lets Bake An Intolerance Lemon and Blueberry Cake

Well its’s Spring here in the UK and Easter as well, so seeing you got a Chocolate Tart for your ‘intolerance lot’ last week, I thought I best give you the Spring Bake that first came to my mind.

Lemon and Blueberry, the traditional combination . Now Blueberries are not in season here, but frozen are all year round, and in my humble opinion work just as well as fresh in this bake. I used frozen here and you just need to make sure you don’t go mad when folding in to avoid to many streaks and a grey mess ( yep we’ve all been there, but we are all capable of learning from our mistakes πŸ™ˆ)

Its also time to talk Ermine Frosting !!!! If you’re anywhere but the US your going to say, I thought this was a Vegan dish, shes using a Stoat πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ and yes I’ve been there too. ( As in what I thought not that I’ve used a stoat πŸ˜‚)

Ermine frosting is actually the frosting that was traditionally used for Red Velvet Cake before the Cream Cheese revolution.

I cannot that my International Baking Friend Anna enough for introducing me to it and the recipe that I’ve adapted. Finding the best ingredients have been a challenge for stabilising and taste, but I’ve got there in the end.

I use this recipe for adapting https://thetoughcookie.com/2017/03/10/less-sweet-flour-buttercream-aka-ermine-buttercream/

I haven’t invented it ,I’ve just Cauldron manipulated it πŸ™Š

My key for taste is Rice Milk, No nut after taste and a lovely creamy taste, and that is always the way I now choose to make it, of course everyone’s tastes are different, but nut milks just leave a nut taste to me and Oat Milk is not always GF.

However with all my bakes they are transferable to non GF, just use regular AP/ Plain Flour, as most before development start from a standard recipe. Most bear no resemblance when I’ve finished though

Right Waffle done, Lets Bake A Cake !!!!

Pretty ? Yes? I think so πŸ’•πŸ’•

Lemon and Blueberry Sponge Cake with Lemon Ermine Frosting

Light Moist Lemon Sponge , Bursting with Blueberries and Soft and Velvety Ermine Frosting GF, DF V

This mix will provide you enough batter for 2 x 9in baking pans or halved will for 2 x 6in pans.

********The Ermine Pudding base will need to be made in advance***********


  • 400ml Dairy free milk ( I used Soya )
  • 120ml Oil of choice ( sunflower oil or rapeseed are my first choices )
  • 250g Granulated Sugar of choice ( not brown)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp of lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp of agave syrup or golden syrup
  • 400g Gluten Free Flour ( Dove Farms UK or Pilsbury US Cup for Cup )
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum ( omit if your blend contains it )
  • 4 tsp of Baking powder
  • 200g of blueberries, either fresh or frozen
  • ? do you want extra for decoration think on πŸ™Š
  • For the Ermine Frosting

  • 70g Gluten free Flour blend as used for your cake
  • 220g Granulated sugar
  • 280g Dairy free Milk, I advise Rice milk always but that’s up to you
  • 220g Vegan Butter, I use Pure Dairy Free or Stork Block depending on what I have in . Earth Balance will be the US alternative
  • 180g Shortening, I use Trex, Hi Ratio is the best US wise.
  • You can use full Non dairy butter but you would need to stabilised it with xanthan gum and that can cause splitting, feel free to try, it needs to be added at the end of the process and whisked in thoroughly 400g of Non dairy in total


    To Make the Ermine Pudding base
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, milk and lemon zest in a pan and whisk until combined
  2. On a low heat, dont rush it it will scorch, and whisking continually bring the pudding to a boil
  3. Once boiling using a spatula continue to stir the pudding round the sides and the bottom using a folding motion.
  4. Once the pudding starts to freely come away from the sides, about 2 minutes, transfer to a plate and cover clingfilm to prevent a skin and leave to cool at room temperature
  5. You can sieve onto a plate if you want to remove the zest or feel you have any lumps, but this needs to be done quickly
  6. Making the Cake
  7. Preheat oven to 160 C convection/ 180 C standard /350 F
  8. Grease and line your selected pans
  9. Combine the flour, bicarb, xanthan ( if using) sugar and baking powder into a large bowl with a whisk
  10. Combine the soy milk with the lemon zest and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or warmed through on the hob, do not boil
  11. Add the oil, golden syrup and vanilla to the lemon milk and whisk until combined
  12. Then sift the flour mixture into the bowl of fluids and fold in til smooth
  13. Add the blueberries and carefully fold in
  14. Pour the batter equally between your pans.
  15. Bake for 40 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean, a check at 30 minutes is recommended.
  16. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in pans, then place on wire rack ( I place mine on tea towels to save marking).
  17. Finishing the Ermine

  18. Whisk the fats in a mixer with a paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer until fully combined and fluffy about 3 minutes
  19. Add the cooled pudding a tablespoon at a time making sure its combined before adding another
  20. Continue to mix until all the pudding is added
  21. If for any reason you find your mix splitting, put the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes then take it out and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, this is usually caused by difference in ingredient temperatures
  22. If using all butter add a teaspoon of xanthan gum and whisk for at least 2 minutes until fully combined
  23. Decorate as desired
  24. Enjoy

Well there you go, Lemon and Blueberry Cake with Lemon Ermine Frosting.

Now to name and shame, yes you Cindy 😜 of the glorious rope cakes on Insta and a like , I keep seeing. Look what you made me do, with my poor hands. Hope I’ve done you proud and thank you so much for the inspiration 😘

Rope Work !!!!!! Cindy’s Fault 😜
More Rope work, and a Pretty Flower is all it takes πŸ’•
Ultimate Crumbporn

Please leave me a comment or a like, it does the world of good to keep me going and hopefully expand your knowledge.

Best give you some pretty pictures now, oh and don’t forget to save some blueberries if your using them for decoration, we’ve all fallen foul of that mistake

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Feel free to let your fingers do the talking and share this amongst your family, and awkward onesπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚