Viennese Whirls

Week 2 – Biscuits. Technical Challenge – Viennese Whirls

Much less controversy this week, other than the reciprocal challenge of week 1 – is a Viennese Whirl actually a biscuit? Surely its a small cake?  The origins of this traditional British biscuit seems to have nothing to do with Austria at all, but apparently came about when Mr Kipling decided to pipe his Empire biscuits

A pair of piped shortbread-like biscuits with defined whirls, sandwiched with vanilla buttercream and freshly made fruit jam

Sounds simple, and not much variation needed here.  Raspberry jam would be the usual choice but I’ve fresh blackberries to use up, so I’ll make a Bramble Jelly.

Makes approx. 16


For the Jam:

  • 225g Blackberries
  • 80ml Water
  • 225g Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice

For the Biscuit:

  • 250g Butter, very soft
  • 50g Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Cornflour

For the Buttercream:

  • 125g Butter, softened
  • 200gg Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Make the Bramble Jelly, put all of the jam ingredients in a pan and brush the blackberries with the back of a ladle.  Gently heat up, stirring to dissolve the sugar then bring to a rolling boil.
  • Stir for about 8-10 minutes to prevent sticking then push through a fine sieve, using the back of a ladle. Set aside to cool
  • Make the biscuit by beating the softened butter with sieved icing sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy, then sieve in the flour and cornflour and mix well
  • The biscuit mix should be soft – transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle
  • Set silicon sheets on baking trays and pipe a total of 32 rounds, about 5cm in diameter.  Ensure enough space is left for spreading. Set aside in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes
  • Bake in a preheated oven, 170oC Fan, for 12-15 minutes until golden
  • Cool on the sheets for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack
  • Make the buttercream by whisking together the butter, vanilla and icing sugar.  Start slowly to prevent clouds of sugar across the kitchen.  After a couple of minutes the buttercream should be pale. Transfer to a piping bag
  • Pipe the buttercream on half of the biscuits, spread the rest with the jam and sandwich together
  • Dust with a little icing sugar and serve

Comments & Conclusions

  • A really easy recipe which just needs a little care.  The biscuits are very short so need careful handling
  • Make sure the butter is very soft to help with the piping – blast in the microwave for 10 seconds if too firm
  • It’s worth chilling before cooking to ensure the whirls don’t melt away
  • Trying to make this without an electric mixer would be quite a challenge
  • There’s no need to make your own jam – shop bought jam would work just fine

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