Vanilla and Strawberry Swirls

, from Issue #49. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Vanilla and Strawberry Swirls

The flavour and colour combinations in this recipe are limited only by your imagination. Use a gel to get a rich deep colour and a concentrated fruit extract in the dough – but use sparingly as they are both very concentrated. I used a thin wooden skewer to add them in tiny drips.


200 grams butter at room temperature
¾ cup icing sugar
2 cups plain flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
drop of red gel food colouring
about ¼ teaspoon strawberry fruit extract


Preheat the oven to 170˚C.

Beat the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour and salt. Remove half the dough and set aside.

Beat the vanilla extract into the dough left in the bowl then remove this and set aside.

Put the first portion of dough back into the bowl and add the strawberry extract and the food colouring. Beat until the colouring is fully mixed through and the dough is an even colour.

Roll out each piece of dough between two pieces of baking paper to a 22 cm x 30 cm rectangle. Place the vanilla dough on top of the red dough and using a ruler, trim the edges evenly and reserve the trimmed dough.

Using the baking paper for support, roll the dough from the long side into a firm log.

Slice the log into ½ cm rounds and fill any gaps with the reserved dough. Place the dough rounds on a lined baking tray and chill for 30 minutes to firm up.

Bake for 7-8 minutes, turning the tray for even cooking if needed. Transfer to a cooling rack. Makes about 24 biscuits

Pantry note: I used LorAnn brand strawberry oil for flavouring and Wilton gel colouring when making these biscuits. Both are available from Milly’s Kitchen. Order online for nationwide delivery from