stage talks at Eat & Drink Festival

Becky Excell will be demoing this recipe on The Christmas Kitchen on Sunday 28th November. See the full timetable here.


  • 340g gluten-free self raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 85g butter, very cold and chopped (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 150g marzipan, grated
  • 100g dried fruit, chopped finely (I used sultanas but it’s your choice!)
  • 1 egg (I used a large egg)
  • 150ml milk (dairy-free if necessary)
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • zest of 1 lemon or orange (optional)
  • Icing sugar (for dusting)



Preheat your oven to 200C Fan / 220C. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment / baking paper.

Place your gluten free self raising flour, baking powder and xanthan gum in a bowl. Chop your cold butter into cubes and add that to the flour. Rub it in with your fingers till it forms what looks like breadcrumbs. If the butter isn’t really cold it won’t be possible to rub it in properly!

Stir in your caster sugar, ground almonds, grated marzipan and chopped dried fruit. If you are going to add the zest of an orange or lemon - do this now too.

Gently warm your milk in a jug (I pop it in the microwave for about 35 seconds, don't let it get really hot, just lukewarm). Then add your lemon juice and allow to stand for 1-2 minutes - it should curdle a little. This is your buttermilk.

Add your egg and almond extract to your ‘buttermilk’. Beat together so your egg is combined.

Make a well in the middle of your dry mixture. Pour in the milk/egg mixture and work it in using a metal fork or knife. Keep working it till it forms a dough (it might be a little sticky/soft).

Dust your hands in a little flour and your work surface. Take a doughball sized amount of your mix and roll it into slightly flattened balls (not really flattened as they spread a little in the oven). Place these on your prepared tray with gaps between each.

Bake in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly on the tray before transferring to a cooking rack.

Dust heavily with icing sugar and enjoy cold or slightly warm if you can’t wait!



You can make these bigger if you want, if so cook them a little longer - more like 15 minutes rather than 12.

You can switch up your dried fruit to whatever you like, or you could also add in chopped nuts too if you wish.