homemade Jaffa Cakes (Pim’s) // gluten-free & vegan

In America, we have Pepperidge Farm cookies.  In France, they have the brand “Lu”.  Pim’s are a chocolate-coated, fruit-jelly-filled, spongey-cake-bottomed biscuit in this family of Lu (hu hu) and they’re, apparently, downright delicious.  So delicious that my French husband, who normally abides by the “no gluten” policy with me opens one bag to eat one and eats one bag.  It’s no one hit wonder.

piping-out-batter-jaffa-cakeeditedbaked-jaffa-cakes-editedA similar breed of cookie also exists in the UK, known as Jaffa Cakes.  Type in Jaffa Cakes in google, and they will no longer be strangers.  People dig them.

So, methinks they must be worth trying, but alas their gluten content, high fructose corn syrup, and ample dairy make me say, “no way”.  Well not me exactly, but the big and small versions of my intestines.

Time to whip out the blender.  And the piping bag.  And the thinking cap, because after too many times seeing bag after bag opened of Pim’s and not one remaining after the duration of a short film, it’s my turn to try.


Since we’re taking out gluten, why not take out eggs, and hell, go vegan.  I’m very happy that I did, because just the cake-cookie base is so moist and delicious it could hold its own.  But you add an orange jelly topping with a dark chocolate casing?  I get it.  Yep, I get the Pim’s/Jaffa Cake craze.

Enjoy these cherished biscuits in a “safe” form for those with Bubble Child-like allergies/food intolerances.  Make these for someone you love, and you merit a massage.  Or you should should tell them that.


jaffa cakes (pim’s) // gluten-free & vegan

Serves about a dozen biscuits
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 medium-small banana
  • a pinch salt
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup teff or buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon agar agar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon agar agar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark chocolate* (*you can also just use your favorite already-sweetened dark chocolate, but it will contain refined sugar, most often!)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar*


the cake
Step 1 Prepare the cakes: melt coconut oil and sugar over a bain mairie. Meanwhile, blend together apple sauce and banana. Add salt. Once melted, combine the banana and coconut oil mixtures until homogenous. Set aside.
Step 2 Mix together all remaining (dry) ingredients for the cake in another bowl, then fold these dry ingredients into the banana/oil mixture. Mix until homogenous.
Step 3 Transfer to a pastry bag or a freezer bag with the tip cut out, and pipe into little circular cakes on a lined baking sheet with about a 2 inch (5 cm) diameter. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Set aside, and let cool completely!
the filling
Step 4 Prepare filling: while the cookies are cooling, mix together your orange juice and agar agar before adding heat. In a saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, let sit at room temperature so it gets thicker but doesn't completely solidify before topping your cakes with it.
chocolate topping
Step 5 Prepare topping: over a bain mairie, melt chocolate and coconut sugar together. Keep over the warm water until assembly time, so that it doesn't harden up.
Step 6 Assemble the biscuits! When the cookies are cool and the orange gel is just starting to firm up (keep whisking as it does), top the cookies with the orange filling. Let chill (in the fridge or outside if it's cold) until solid on top. Then, dunk the filling side of the biscuit into the melted chocolate, and let set chocolate-side-up until the chocolate has hardened up again.
Step 7 Keeps for 4 days, and you don't need to refrigerate them unless it's really hot where you live! Enjoy. 🙂

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