Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits – No Oats!
All the rich, golden flavour of a classic Anzac biscuit with a gluten free twist. These 100% gluten free Anzac Biscuits are also oat free, and egg free too!
When it comes to quintessential Kiwi recipes, ANZAC biscuits have to be right up there towards the top of the list, right?
I have, on more than one occasion, consumed them for breakfast using the reasoning that it’s basically cereal in biscuit form.
But whether you’re eating them for breakfast, or for morning or afternoon tea with a nice cuppa, there’s no denying that these are a huge favourite in many Kiwi and Aussie households.
Today I’m sharing with you a recipe for these gluten and oat free Anzac biscuits.
Before we talk any more about the recipe, we need to talk about the oaty elephant in the room.
Can You Make Anzac Biscuits Without Oats?
If you’ve ever had a traditional Anzac biscuit, you’ll know – oats are one of the main ingredients.
But, as you may or may not know, oats are generally not recommended to be consumed as part of a gluten-free diet for people with Coeliac disease.
There are a couple of reasons for this, the first is that most oats are potentially contaminated with other gluten-containing cereals (wheat, barley, etc.) during growing, harvesting and processing. The other is that oats contain a protein called avenin which, in some people, can trigger the same symptoms that gluten does.
Coeliac New Zealand recommends that those with Coeliac disease do not consume oats, as it can be impossible to tell whether the oats are triggering symptoms in the gut.
I do have a recipe for gluten free Anzac biscuits with oats over on my other website, Sweetness and Bite, and I have a variation of that recipe using quinoa flakes. But here’s the thing – while quinoa flakes are the most similar product in terms of looks and texture, they have a very, very strong quinoa taste. Which I actually quite like when it comes to eating actual quinoa, but I’m just not the hugest fan of it in biscuits.
So what do we use instead? Am I going to send you out to buy some strange and hard to find ingredients?
Nope, it’s easy, we’re using… gluten-free cornflakes!
When crushed to a similar size to oats, the cornflakes provide the same bulk and a similar texture to oats, but they don’t add any flavour to the biscuits, meaning that the traditional golden-syrupy, brown sugar-y Anzac biscuit taste shines through. And they’re 100% gluten free.
You do need to make sure you buy gluten free cornflakes – while you’d think most cornflakes would be gluten free (they’re made from corn, after all) alas they’re usually not. Many brands of cornflakes add malt barley flavouring, which is not safe for Coeliacs. You’ll usually find the gluten free cornflakes in the gluten free aisle at the supermarket.
Update: You can also make these using gluten free Weet-Bix instead of cornflakes! It results in a texture a little more similar to the traditional Anzac biscuit, although the flavour isn’t quite as strongly Anzac biscuit because the flavour of the weet-bix comes through more than the cornflake version. But if you like GF weet-bix, or want a biscuit with a little more fibre, then the Weet-bix version is a great option.
You’ll need to tweak a couple things for the Weet-bix version, so make sure you check out the notes section in the recipe card.
We’ll be using gluten free flour in these biscuits, of course, but the rest of the ingredients are 100% true to the original Anzac biscuit recipe:
Gluten Free Anzac Biscuit Ingredients:
Ok, now we’ve covered that, let’s talk about making the biscuits!
How to Make Gluten and Oat Free Anzac Biscuits
First off, you’ll need to crush the cornflakes. You can do this in a food processor if you prefer, but I like to use a good old fashioned snaplock bag and a rolling pin. As long as you’re gentle, you can save the bag and reuse it next time.
You’re aiming to crush them to around the same size as rolled oats. if you’re using Weet-bix, you can just crush them using your hands.
After that, it’s basically a melt-and-mix biscuit dough. Easy as.
You’ll start by mixing together the dry ingredients. Then the butter, golden syrup and some water are melted together, either on the stove or in the microwave.
Once it’s hot, stir in the baking soda, let it get fizzy, and then mix it into the dry ingredients.
Then you can roll the dough into balls. It’ll be a little bit crumbly, which is ok, but if it’s too crumbly you can add a splash of water or a little more melted butter to help it come together. Because gluten-free flours absorb different amounts of liquids, sometimes you just need to add a little more moisture.
Flatten the balls of dough, then pop ’em in the oven to bake.
You can choose whether you want chewy or crunchy Anzac biscuits by altering the baking time. Bake a little less for chewy and a little longer for crunchy.
When the biscuits come out of the oven, I like to use the “cookie scoot” trick that I learnt from Cloudy Kitchen, which makes the biscuits nicely round. You can skip this step if you don’t care about round biscuits, they taste the same either way!
But if you do want them to be round, simply grab a round cookie cutter that’s just a little bit bigger than the biscuits, then as soon as they come out of the oven, pop the cutter over the top and swirl it around to round off the edges.
Exactly how long the biscuits will keep for is a tricky thing for me to say, because we tend to eat them all pretty quickly in this house. But they should last a good 2 weeks at least in an airtight container, likely even longer.
If you’re a crunchy Anzac biscuit fan and have baked them until crisp, they do tend to lose their crispness over time. If that happens, you can pop them back in the oven on low heat (100°C) for ten minutes or so to dry them out and crisp them back up.
Are you new to gluten-free baking?
Or just need some tips on how to make the most of the recipes on GFKF? Check out my start guide to learn how to bake safely and successfully gluten free.
Allergen safety ✔️ Gluten free flour info ✔️
Accurate measuring ✔️ Tools + Equipment ✔️
Gluten Free Oat Free Anzac Biscuits
- 260 g gluten free flour
- 180 g brown sugar
- 75 g desiccated coconut
- 100 g gluten free cornflakes (see notes for Weet-bix version)
- 125 g salted butter
- 100 g golden syrup
- 1 Tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Heat the oven to 160°C and line 2 – 3 baking trays with baking paper.
- Sift the gluten-free flour into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar and desiccated coconut. Stir to combine, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar with the back of a spoon.
- Crush the cornflakes until they’re a similar size to rolled oats. I like to do this in a snaplock bag and crush with a rolling pin (when you’re done, save the bag for next time!). You could also crush them in a food processor if you prefer.
- Add the cornflakes to the other dry ingredients and mix.
- Put the butter, golden syrup and water into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the mixture is just starting to bubble slightly at the edges. Remove from the heat, whisk in the baking soda until dissolved – the mixture will bubble and foam up.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The dough will be quite crumbly, but you should be able to roll a ball of it in your hand. If it’s too crumbly to do that, add a little extra melted butter or water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Roll a tablespoon of the dough at a time into balls, and place at least 2" apart on the baking trays. If you want smaller cookies, use a heaped teaspoonful of dough instead. Flatten the balls slightly with your hand. For thicker biscuits that spread less, chill the dough balls on the trays for 5-10 minutes or until firm.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes. 10 minutes should give you soft biscuits, 12 minutes should give you crunchy-edged biscuits with chewy centres, and 13-14 minutes should give you crunchy biscuits. Exact times will vary by oven and smaller biscuits will take less time to bake. Add an extra minute or two if you have chilled your dough first. Keep an eye on your first tray of cookies and take note of the time they need to be baked how you like 'em!
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool. If you like extra crunchy biscuits, you can let them cool completely on the baking trays.
- Store the biscuits in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
Weet-bix VersionYou can use gluten free Weet-bix instead of cornflakes in this recipe. Replace the cornflakes with 80g gluten free Weet-bix (about 5 Weet-bix), and increase the desiccated coconut to 100g. You’ll find gluten free Weet-bix in the gluten-free aisle at the supermarket with the other gf cereals. I like to use a cookie scoop to portion out my cookie dough, but a good old spoon like the Anzac wives and families would have used will do the job just fine too.
These look so delicious!
Hi, We’ve made these a few times, and /I am so glad I decided to try making things myself, because the supermarket fare, apart from being full of soy to which I have an allergy, were getting very tired indeed.
I am interested why it has both brown sugar and Golden Syrup?
If one wanted to reduce the sugar, what other options could be used?
Thank you for putting this out there, its much appreciated.
Hi Angie! I’m glad you’ve been trying to make things yourself, too. There’s nothing like fresh home baking 💜
I would guess that the main reason that the traditional Anzac biscuit recipe has both brown sugar and golden syrup is likely to do with the keeping qualities – sugar inhibits mould growth. Since Anzac biscuits were being sent overseas, they were designed to stay fresh as long as possible. The golden syrup also gives the biscuits a lot of that classic Anzac biscuit flavour.
As far as reducing sugar goes, you could certainly experiment with reducing it, but just keep in mind that sugar does more than just sweeten recipes, it also affects how much they spread in the oven (less sugar generally means less spread), how much moisture is retained while cooking, and of course, as I mentioned, it affects the keeping quality. So if you want to try reducing it, I would start with small amounts each time and see how you go. Sugar alternatives/sweeteners are another option, but I only bake with sugar so I can’t help with recommendations with those, I can only say that they don’t all act the same way as sugar does, so the results can vary and you would definitely have to experiment.
Hope that helps!
The trouble with the sugar plus the butter is these biscuits have become an addiction in the household, and we are starting to resemble them 😉
😂😂😂 I can relate so much to this, Angie. I go through phases of making these 2-3 times a week (and then eat them for breakfast, afternoon tea and sometimes a bedtime snack, too 🤫😂)
Hi! I found these tasted absolutely delicious. but found they spread out a lot and tried to connect together, what could I adjust to mitigate this? Thanks 🙂
Hi Alex! That’s a bummer! Glad they still tasted ok though. Can I ask what flour blend you used? I haven’t had this happen with my homemade flour blend but I have had someone tell me that theirs made with a supermarket blend spread a lot more than mine do. It should be an easy fix though, just add a little more flour to the dough, or add some xanthan gum (1/4 tp 1/2 a teaspoons should help). Different flours absorb liquid differently so sometimes it can take a couple of tweaks to get it right. Hopefully that helps, though! 💜
yummy yum best anzac recipe yet thank you Natalie:)
You’re so welcome, Angela. I’m glad you enjoyed them! 💜
Thanks for the recipe. I made these cookies and they were delicious. I put 130 gr of brown sugar and maple syrup and worked very well. Thanks!!
You’re so very welcome, I’m glad they turned out well for you and that you enjoyed them! 💜