Jaffa Cakes are an English treasure that consists of three layers; a sponge base, a layer of orange flavoured jelly and a coating of dark chocolate. It is estimated that in the UK over one billion Jaffa Cakes are eaten per year, and when you taste a Jaffa Cake it’s not hard to understand why everyone is obsessed.
As long as Jaffa Cakes have been around there has been debate as to whether they are cakes or biscuits, this debate dates back to a value added tax that was introduced in the UK in 1973. Essentially the Jaffa Cake has both cake-like qualities and biscuit-like qualities. Some would argue that they are more biscuit like than cake in the sense that they are packaged like biscuits and found in the biscuit section of the supermarket. Their size also resembles biscuits and the fact that they are eaten with fingers would lean towards them being biscuits, however they contain all the fundamental qualities a cake would.
They have the texture of a cake, and when stale Jaffa cakes go hard, unlike traditional biscuits which go soft. The ingredients in Jaffa Cakes are similar to those of a traditional sponge cake (flour, sugar, eggs) and the cake batter itself is thin rather than a dough. While there are compelling arguments on both sides in 1991 a tribunal ruled in favour of McVitie’s (owners) determining that Jaffa Cakes should be categorized as a type of cake.
I was fortunate to have enjoyed Jaffa Cakes pre gluten free times, so I can vouch for their unique flavour and I am here to confirm that the hype is warranted. That being said a gluten free version of Jaffa Cakes has always been on my list to create because who can say no to anything Jaffa flavoured. When it comes to Jaffa Cakes I think the biggest misconception is that they are hard to make, however that couldn’t be further from the truth. Homemade Jaffa Cakes do require a lot of steps, but they aren’t impossible to make (I promise it’s worth it). The hardest part about these Jaffa Cakes is not covering the whole biscuit in chocolate, don’t stress if some dribbles down it just adds to the homemade look.
This gluten free recipe is so close to the original Jaffa Cakes in both appearance and taste, I would even go as far as to say that the “homemade” version might just be nicer? (I swear I’m not bias) In my opinion the two major perks to this homemade version is that the cakes themselves are far from small, unlike when you open a packet of biscuits and they have shrunk overnight. The second win is that they allow you to have a thicker orange jelly layer, and an even more generous layer of dark chocolate. I have seen a few homemade Jaffa Cakes with a pretty thin layer of chocolate and orange jelly, but my style is more on the generous side.
Now it has to be said that if you aren’t a fan of Jaffa or dark chocolate then this treat might not be for you. I’m personally not the biggest fan of dark chocolate, I would never buy dark chocolate on its own but when combined with orange or mint flavours it just works. If you get the chance to make these gluten free Jaffa Cakes be sure to let me know what you think!
Hope you enjoy! – Georgia
Gluten Free Jaffa cakes
- See Notes
- 1 Orange Jelly Powder (gluten free)
- 150 ml Boiling Water
- 1 small Orange (zest only)
- Non Stick Baking Spray
- 1 large Egg
- 25 grams Caster Sugar
- 25 grams
Gluten Free Self Raising Flour*
- 150 grams Dark Chocolate (gluten free)
- 20 grams Milk Chocolate* (gluten free)
Wash your orange, then using a grater lightly grate of the top layer of the orange skin (you only want the orange skin not the white pith and you want the zest to be super fine) Once you have worked your way around the whole orange set aside your orange zest.
Then pour your jelly powder into a medium size bowl and add your boiling water. Stir until all of the jelly crystals have dissolved then add in your orange zest.
Once you have combined the orange zest with the jelly line your thin baking tray with cling wrap/film and pour in your jelly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set (may take longer or less time depending on the thickness of your tray).
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees (fan forced) and grease a patty tin with non-stick baking spray ( I used a non stick canola oil spray)
Using an electric beater to whisk the sugar and egg for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
Now sieve the flour to the mixture and gently fold in with a spatula.
Once the mixture is combined use a dessert spoon or tablespoon to evenly distribute the mixture over the patty tin (approximately one tablespoon per patty hole).
Then using a teaspoon gently smooth the tops and gently tap the tray to release any bubbles.
Bake for 9-11 minutes until the sponge tops are golden brown and bounce back when touched.
Remove your patty tray from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes in the tray before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool.
Chocolate Layer + Assembling
Once your jelly has set in the fridge for 1-2 hours remove it from the fridge and begin to cut out circle shapes (You want the circles to be slightly smaller than the patty holes so you can either cut them free hand or use a shot glass or any other circle object to give you circles).
When you have all your circles cut out, place all of your sponges back into their individual patty hole and place one jelly circle on top of each sponge. Then place in the fridge while you start with your chocolate topping.
To melt your chocolate break it up into small sized pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a half full pan a boiling water.
Once the chocolate has almost finished melting, remove everything from the heat. Set aside the chocolate to cool slightly (You don’t want to let your chocolate cool completely; it just needs to not to hot that it will melt your jelly) I tend to leave mine to cool for (2 minutes) and I also transfer it into a seperate bowl to help speed up the process.
When your chocolate has cooled slightly, remove your patty tin from the fridge and gently spoon the melted chocolate over the jelly circles. I tend to use 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate and I use the teaspoon to spread the chocolate over the jelly circle (this is why the chocolate cooling is vital).
Once your chocolate has covered the jelly circle use a fork to gently press down on the chocolate and jelly and create a criss-cross pattern like the original Jaffa Cakes.
Then repeat these steps for each remanning Jaffa Cake, if your chocolate starts to set before you have had time to finish just reheat it slightly and repeat the above steps. Allow to set for 20-25 minutes and gently remove the Jaffa Cakes from the patty tin.
- Now the recipe makes six Jaffa Cakes but if you would like to make 12 in total you can double the sponge recipe (you wont need to double the chocolate or jelly as there is plenty left over) That being said I have tried doubling the sponge recipe to (2 eggs x 50g GF self raising and 50g caster sugar) and making it in one go and it didn’t work very well, so what I suggest is that you make the first batch of six per the recipe above and while they are in the oven you make the second batch.
- For this recipe you will need the following tools/utensils -Electric beater, kitchen whisk, 12 case patty tin, thin baking tray (to set jelly), Grater (orange zest).
- Ignore the instructions on the jelly packet, you only want to use 150ml of water as you need it to be thicker than normal and are making less.
- The flour that I used to create these Jaffa Cakes is the Gluten Free Self-Raising Flour from Organ, I have not tried it with any other brand of flour.
- I like to use dark chocolate and a small amount of milk chocolate, however you can just use 170g of dark chocolate.
- It is vital to use an electric beater to mix the sugar and egg as a normal whisk won’t work and the sponge mixer is too small to use an electric mixer.
- Your melted chocolate should be warm but not warm enough to where it will melt the jelly once you spread it over the jelly circle and sponge.
- These Jaffa Cakes will last 1-2 days providing that they are stored in an airtight container.