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Afternoon Tea: Viennese Whirls

Asalamu Alaikum and Welcome Home,

This was my first time baking viennese swirls, as you can see we have a 'big mama' biscuit with 2 babies.... soon to be 3!

Yes you guessed right or already know from my post on Cafe Muslimah I'm pregnant again mashaAllah / as God willed.

This will be my third pregnancy and even i said this will be my third baby only Allah/God knows right now how many children i'm carrying, maybe twins! I say that only because i am a twin but seriously it could be!

I am a mother to 2 children, both under the age of 5. I know how much hard work and joy one baby at a time can bring, i really should give more thought and gratitude to my parents and grandparents who raised us. You know what they say 'double trouble' that description back then fitted us to a T.

Speaking of T or rather Tea, this post is a start of my Afternoon Tea series.
Every so often, which means I'm terrible at schedules or committing myself so let's just say as and when i can. I will be featuring recipes of my favourite British afternoon tea treats inshaAllah/God willing.

These biscuits remind me of my pre teen and teenage years living with my grandparents, they would always stick by the old traditions of elevenses and afternoon tea, mr kipling cakes / biscuits would always be featured in at least one of those sittings.

A little wiki bird told me

Afternoon tea is a small meal snack typically eaten between 3pm and 5pm. The custom of afternoon tea originated in England in the 1840s.[2]
Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served with milk and sugar. The sugar and caffeine of the concoction provided fortification against afternoon doldrums for the working poor of 19th and early 20th century England who had a significantly lower calorie count and more physically demanding occupation than most Westerners today. For laborers, the tea was sometimes accompanied by a small sandwich or baked snack (such as scones) that had been packed for them in the morning. For the more privileged, afternoon tea was accompanied by luxury ingredient sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with clotted cream and jam, see cream tea) and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg cake, fruit cake or Victoria sponge). In hotels and tea shops the food is often served on a tiered stand; there may be no sandwiches, but bread or scones with butter or margarine and optional jam or other spread, or toast, muffins or crumpets.[3][4][5]
Nowadays, a formal afternoon tea is usually taken as a treat in a hotel or tea shop. In everyday life, many Britons take a much simpler refreshment consisting of tea (and occasionally biscuits) as one of many short tea breaks throughout the day.
Viennese whirls are one of my favourite biscuits that would often make an appearance at the table accompanied by a cup of Yorkshire tea that had been brewed in one of the many tea pots, my grandmother had collected over the years.

Viennese whirls are 2 rich and buttery piped vanilla flavoured shortbread sandwiched together using a layer of jam (usually raspberry but in this case apricot) and vanilla buttercream (normally piped but i tea spooned it on)

 I am satisfied with the flavour and texture of these biscuits 100% but i messed up on the sizes of my whirls and didn't have the right star shaped nozzle for this type of biscuits, the big mama biscuit is piped into a large swirl that was too high using a large closed star nozzle and the baby biscuits are piped into something that resembles roses using my 1M wilton tip.

Looking back now maybe i should have used my open star piping nozzle but as the recipe i used didn't specify open/closed just 'large star nozzle',  i went with closed, whooops on the whirls but alhamduillah/All praise be to God, they look OK and are going down well with my family.

Next time, i will make improvements by
  • Marking out circles of 6cm diameter on the underside of my baking paper before piping
  • Use a large open star nozzle
  • Remember not to pipe high like you would on top of a cupcake
  • Staying calm! Baking is your therapy Asmaa, relax and take it easy.
I must warn you, you have to have the strength in your arms for piping this dough because it is somewhat difficult, you have to add alot of pressure as the dough is quite stiff just to get it to come out of the nozzle so you can imagine how hard it is to continue with the pressure whilst swirling!

Missing out on ½ tsp vanilla extract in both the dough and buttercream using the seeds of half a vanilla pod in each instead, i don't think made all that much difference to how hard the dough was to pipe but next time i will add ½ tsp water just to be sure.

In total i made 15 biscuits, 9 big mamas and 6 babies which meant i got 7 sandwiched biscuits and 1 leftover with no guessing who got to test taste first. Really though you should be able to get at least 32 according to the hairy bikers and to click here for their original recipe and adorable pictures, that's how a real Viennese whirl should look!

Viennese Whirls Recipe



250g / appoximately 1 cup plus 1 and half tblsp, very soft butter / margarine (i used stork brand)
50g  / aprroximately 1/3 cup pus 1 generous tblsp icing sugar, plus extra to decorate
250g / approximatey 2 1/4 cups, plain flour
50g cornflour / approximately 1/3 cup plus 1 tblsp
½ vanilla pod, seeds only

For the Filling
100g / approximately 1/3 cup pus 1 3/4 tbsp, very soft butter / margarine (i used stork brand)
200g  / approximately 1 3/4 cup, icing sugar  plus ½ tsp for dusting
½ vanilla pod, seeds only

75g / approximately 4 tbsp, seedless apricot jam

Dash of milk to bring the filling to the right consistency *you may or may not need


Preheat the oven to 190C/fan oven 170C/Gas 5.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment (on the underside using a pencil and 6cm diameter cookie cuter or bottom of glass mark out mark out circles as a guide for piping) Put the butter, icing sugar, plain flour, cornflour and vanilla
extract in a food processor and blitz until smooth.You may need to remove the lid and push the mixture down a couple of times using a rubber spatula (Alternatively, put in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth.) OR do as i did and bring the whole thing together in a bowl using a butter knife and then your hands to bring the dough together.
Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe rosettes of the dough using your pencil outlines to guide you, each should be a diameter of roughly 6cm – slightly smaller than a digestive biscuit onto the baking sheet, spacing well apart. Press down with the piping bag to get a good shape.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until pale golden brown and firm. Cool on the baking
tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to allow to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough to make
32-36 biscuits.To make the filling, put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla  and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth. Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle or leave it in the bowl if you want to spoon it on like i did.
Put the jam in a bowl and stir until smooth.
Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of 16 of the biscuits and place jam-side up on the cooling rack.
Pipe or spoon the butter cream icing onto the remaining biscuits and sandwich with the jam. Put on a serving plate and dust with sifted icing sugar. Serve.
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At 8 October 2012 at 11:22 , Blogger Louise Loves Cake said...

Congratulations Asmaa!! That is such wonderful news :) And well done on the biscuits too, these are one of my *FAVES*! xXx

At 8 October 2012 at 13:41 , Blogger Unknown said...

This one post has your blog sold for me :) I am now following and congratulations on your pregnancy may Allah keep your baby happy and healthy.

At 8 October 2012 at 13:51 , Blogger Unknown said...

I just wanted to ask what Cafe Muslimah is when I clicked on your link it showed a dating site.

At 8 October 2012 at 14:07 , Blogger Umm Ahmad said...

Another baby!? Congratulations sis! We also want to try to conceive soon, insha'allah. :) Were you trying to have another or was this pregnancy a pleasant surprise?

At 8 October 2012 at 14:35 , Blogger Noor said...

Mabrook once again dear <3 These look delicious yummy and perfect with tea.

At 9 October 2012 at 01:12 , Blogger khadijah said...

assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu sis!!!
masha'Allah this looks delicious!!! how do u get such pretty flower looking designs on top?!! also, Mabrook to your news masha'ALLAH!!! i didnt even know you had two little ones!! masha'Allah! may Allah grant you righteous children Ameen!! i wish to have kids one day *sigh* !!!


At 9 October 2012 at 08:30 , Blogger Unknown said...

@Louise - Thank you <3

Maryam Sheikh - Salam Alaikum sister and thank you for visiting my blog, no sister it is not a dating site, what you are seeing is an advert not endorsed by the forum but something we can't remove without paying X amount of money sorry about that and inshaAllah you will join the ladies only forum.

@UmmAhmed - Salam Alaikum, Thank you sister and may Allah grant you more children and make them all good muslims.ameen. No we were not trying or planning for more but then Allah is the best of planners and i'm happy to have more, i ask Allah to grant me patience/sabr upon this test of motherhood. <3

@Noor - Salam Alaikum, Thanks sweety and for the pin too <3

@One Lovely Muslimah - Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu, the pretty flower design is made by using a 1M icing/piping nozzle, starting in the centre, hold down for a few seconds and then swirl around the centre point and there you have a rose BUT it's much easier to do using buttercream icing as this biscuit dough is very stiff! Ameen to your d'ua and may allah grant you righteous children too <3

At 9 October 2012 at 11:35 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mabrook sister! MashaAllah tabarkillah and WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!!!!!!! lol
Hope you are having twins, it's always good to get two for the price of one!

At 10 October 2012 at 18:41 , Blogger Aiza said...

Omg CONGRATULATIONS! This must be a really happy time for you :) I'll pray for you and yours sister ♥ Have a good day!

At 11 October 2012 at 07:47 , Blogger Unknown said...

@sanaa - thank you and lol jungle you got that right and 2 for price of 1 ❤

@aiza - thank you sister it's really nerve racking and exciting at the same time to think i will have 3 children soon mashaAllah

At 11 October 2012 at 17:12 , Blogger Karima said...

I love these biscuits! Congratulations on your pregnancy I hope things go smoothly for you. I have 3 children and they keep me busy but I love it!

At 13 October 2012 at 19:46 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulation on your pregnancy! These biscuits look amazing but much too complicated for me.

At 14 October 2012 at 10:24 , Blogger Unknown said...

@Karima - thank you and inshaAllah

@muslimathome - thank you sis for visiting and all your comments :)

At 21 October 2012 at 15:58 , Blogger Salihah said...

Congratulations, ukhti! May Allaah subhana wa'tala bless you through your pregnancy, birth, and always, your little one, and your family. Those Viennese treats look delicate and lovely, masha'Allah!

At 23 October 2012 at 07:40 , Blogger Unknown said...

@salihah- asalamu Alaikum sis, thank you for visiting and leaving such a nice comment.

At 6 February 2014 at 13:57 , Blogger Unknown said...

WOW! Sis these look really delish! xx

At 7 February 2014 at 10:39 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks sis you should give them a whirl just get ready though it's tiring work hence why I haven't made them since this post lol


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