Chocolate & Orange Sandwich Cookies
With Gluten Free Or Regular Wheat Flour
Perfect For Easter/Spring Cookie Cutters
Here's my Chocolate & Orange Sandwich Cookies, my homemade version of Oreos. With a firmer buttercream, these cookies can be customized to any season or theme. Super simple to make too.
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Can Be Gluten Free
Here’s my ‘Oreo-style’ cookies, Chocolate & orange sandwich cookies, themed for Easter & Spring and filled with an orange flavoured buttercream. They can be made with regular flour or Gluten Free flour in exactly the same way. Just be sure to add the Xanthan Gum if your Gluten Free flour doesn’t contain it.
Orange Flavour & Coloured Filling
I chose to colour the frosting a pastel orange colour to represent the orange flavouring I used and it went really well with the chocolate cookies.
Chocolate & orange sandwich cookies are super simple to make – you won’t go back to the bought ones! The filling is made from clarified butter, (don’t worry, it’s super simple to make in about 10 minutes) and sets very quickly. So ideal for a sandwich cookie, with no filling squashing out.
Just A Little Ingredient Note
A note for US/Canadian bakers, who might not be able to source golden syrup, just use maple syrup, honey or something similar. (You can find recipes on-line to make the golden syrup if you need it). It is not essential to have the exact syrup for this particular bake. I have made it without it and used maple syrup.
Orange Food Colouring
I also used orange colouring in the form of a paste, and like the brand Sugarflair. You don’t use as much as a gel and the colours are very concentrated and vibrant. So ideally use a paste or gel, rather than the little bottles of liquid – also be careful, as it stains – so please wear gloves! I still managed to get some on my fingers!
These cookies are great for anytime of the year but perfect for the holidays too. The keep their shape nicely if using shaped cookie cutters. Here are Christmas themed ones above, made by my friend Diana.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: easy, with guidance
- Scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Stand or hand-held mixer (or by hand with a mixing bowl)
- Other mixing bowl for dry ingredients
- Orange Food Colouring (preferably paste or gel), see below)
- Baking trays/sheets x 2 or 3
- Baking paper/parchment
- Rolling Pin
- Small bowl of flour for dipping
- Cookie Cutters
- Timer or Phone Timer
- Cooling rack
- Small Cooking Pot
- Sieve (small & fine preferably) (small & fine preferably)
- Pastry bag (optional) or spoon & palette knife
For The Cookie Dough
- 113 grams Butter, unsalted, cubed & softened (½ cup, 1 stick, 4 oz)
- 100 grams Granulated Sugar (½ cup, 3½ oz)
- 3 tbsp Golden Syrup * (see notes)
- ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- 33 grams Cocoa Powder (¼ cup, 1 oz, 4½ tbsp)
- 172 grams Plain Flour (1⅓ cup, 6 oz, All Purpose) OR – Plain/All Purpose Gluten Free flour option, plus the addition of ⅜ tsp Xanthan Gum
For The Filling:
- 128 grams Butter unsalted & roughly cubed (6 oz or ¾ cup)
- ¾ tsp Vanilla Extract (Learn how to make homemade vanilla extract)
- Sprinkle of Salt
- 187 grams Icing Sugar, sieved (1½ cups, 6½ oz Powdered sugar)
- Orange Food Colouring (paste preferred or gel)
- Orange Extract (⅛ tsp at a time, to taste, or use orange zest)
Prepare The Dough
- Begin by beating the softened butter with a hand/stand mixer, till smooth (see Photo 1).
- Next add in the sugar and beat on low to medium speed till incorporated. Then beat further, on high speed, until smoother, paste like and paler in colour (know as 'creaming' the butter and sugar together). See Photo 2.
- Add in the Bicarbonate of soda (Baking soda), Salt & Golden Syrup (or alternative) and mix together. Tip for using a spoon with Golden Syrup – oil the spoon first before adding the syrup and it will slide off much easier into your bowl. I use Frylight Cooking spray. See Photo 3.
- Sieve the flour & cocoa powder over the bowl with the mixture. If making Gluten free ones, be sure to also add the Xanthan Gum too. See Photo 4.
- Slowly miix through the dry ingredients, until it forms a relatively stiff dough. It will start off as looking like very small brown pebbles. At that stage switch to a baking spatula (or big spoon), and use it to push against the dough until it starts to come together (see the stages in Photo 5 below).
- Test if it's mixed enough by checking with a little dough, if it forms a dough when squashed together in your fingers (see Photo 6). Now, using your hands, knead against the insides of the bowl to form a smooth ball of dough. Then flatten into a disc and place on top of some baking/parchment paper. See Photo 7.
- Line the baking trays/sheets with baking/parchment paper. If it’s a tray/sheet with no lip, I hold the paper in place with some baking spray or lining paste. I have learned the hard way, that without it, the paper and dough or cookies, can fall off and onto the floor and we don’t want that!
- On a worktop/counter, place some baking/parchment paper down and a little icing/powdered sugar if needed. Flatten the dough into a disc. Place another sheet of paper on top and you shouldn’t need any flour of even cocoa powder. See Photo 7. Roll out the dough to a 4-5mm (⅙- ⅕ inch) thickness. I used a £2 coin and 1p to get a minimum thickness. Brush excess sugar/cocoa off if you used it.
- Dust the cutter in icing/powdered sugar or cocoa and cut out as many cookies as you can, re-rolling the scraps and repeating until all used up, remembering to try to make pairs of cookies to sandwich together. See Photo 8. (Note for some shapes that aren’t symmetrical, for proper ‘pairs’ you should tun over the cutter, or the cut-out dough).
- Place the cookies on the baking sheets with a gap in-between. See Photo 9. If doing different sizes of cookies, or ones with cut-outs, please be sure to keep similar sizes ones on the same tray and note that there will be a very slight difference in baking times according to the size of cutters you used. See Photo 10.
- Chill for 1 hr before baking, to ensure they keep their shape and don’t spread out much (but also so that the gluten in the dough & YOU, can rest a bit!) ?
Bake The Cookies
- Heat up the oven up to 180/160c Fan Oven/350f/Gas Mark 4, before the 1-hour chilling time is up.
- Bake until firm enough that you can move them slightly by pushing gently with a spatula, They should still be soft. Remember to turn and rotate the baking sheets during cooking if your oven doesn’t bake evenly. With the 3 different shapes I baked them for 8-9 minutes. So I would advise on checking them at about the 7 minute mark (provided they aren’t really small). See Photo 11.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes on the tray/sheet, before transferring, paper and all to a cooling rack. Leave to cool down while you make the filling. (Don’t make too far ahead as it firms up quite quickly).
Prepare The Buttercream
- Meanwhile, melt the second lot of butter, in a small cooking pot on the stove top on medium to high heat. Then turn the heat down to low-medium setting, letting it simmer and remember to stir occasionally. The butter will hiss & pop. If browning, reduce the heat further. Continue until pretty much silent and then strain through a sieve into a mixing bowl. There will be foamy fat residue sticking to the sides of the bowl and in the bottom of the sieve. See Photo 12. If after sieving, there are still pieces of foam/fats in your liquid, leave for 5 – 10 minutes for it to sink to the bottom and pour the liquid only, into a new bowl. Avery fine sieve is best
- Add in the salt. The mixture will sizzle again so be careful. This whole process is called ‘clarifying the butter’ and simply is separating the fat. It only takes about 10 minutes and makes for a really firm buttercream that sets perfectly for sandwich cookies and tastes great too. See Photo 12. Leave to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add in the sieved icing/powdered sugar and mix by hand until all sugar is incorporated and a smooth paste is formed. See Photo 9. This will only take a minute, so no need to get the mixer out again. Leave till it cools down a little, and then add in the orange extract (if using, or orange zest), an ⅛ tsp at a time. Have a taste and add more is desired. See Photo 13. (My youngest son helping himself!)
- Next add a very small amount of the orange colouring paste by using a cocktail stick. I found it easiest to scrape onto the end of the mixing spoon. (That way you don’t stain your bowl). Then simply mix thoroughly and leave 30 seconds for the colour to develop, before adding another very small amount until you get a shade like in Photo 13 above. Best to always add small drops and get the exact shade you want, than add too much.
Assemble The Cookies
- Begin by pairing up your cookies with as best matches as possible and keep any 'less perfect' ones for the bottoms. Lay out on baking/parchment paper, with all the 'bottom' cookies in a row and the 'tops' above.
- Fit a piping bag with a medium round nozzle, or cut the tip, leaving a folded diameter of about ½cm (⅕"). Next fill the bag with the prepared buttercream filling. (If cutting, do so after filling with buttercream). Alternatively, you can use a small spoon and a butter knife or palette knife to apply. See Photo 13 below.
- Pipe a line of the filling into the centre of the rectangular cookie, or pipe a circle for the square/circle/shaped cookies. If using a spoon, drop a small spoon's worth onto the cookie and spread a little. Don’t worry if you add too much – as you can scrape off the excess. Place the second/'top' cookie on top and squeeze together gently, letting the filling spread and fill & sandwich cookie. Let the filling almost come to the edges. If it comes out further, just use a small thin tool or the end of a small spoon and scrape along the edges, removing the excess. See the pics in Photo 14 below.
- You can also apply the filling to the 'bottom' cookie and leave to set a little, filling all the rest, and once finished, proceed to sandwich the cookies together. This results in less frosting coming out and no need to scrape the edges. For the piping method, see my Chocolate Filled Vanilla Sandwich Cookies.
- Store in a tin or airtight container and these cookies will last at least 3 days.
Chocolate & Orange Sandwich Cookies
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