Ratafia Biscuits

Small, chewy, almondy...Need I go on? These light little gluten-free bites are great with coffee after dinner or can be used in lots of different recipes that require amaretti biscuits.

I discovered early on in my gluten-free journey that the amaretti biscuits I frequently used for my desserts contained wheat. Originally I gave up on those recipes but quite by chance I came across a Mrs Beeton recipe on the bbc recipe website. Hers looked rather challenging and indeed I wasn't sure if I could source the bitter almonds and sweet almonds required. So I magpied the idea and came up with a recipe I could easily achieve. Thank you Mrs Beeton.

Gluten-Free Ratafia Biscuits

Almondy, crunchy, chewy, dunkable ratafia biscuits...


To make around 20 small ratafias (around the size of a 2p piece):

  • 1 egg white
  • 90g ground almonds
  • 90g icing sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/gas mark 5.
  • In a clean bowl, beat the egg white until stiff.
  • Stir in the almonds and icing sugar. It will be a sticky paste consistency.
  • Put teaspoonfuls on to a very lightly greased baking sheet.
  • If you want your ratafias to have a uniform shape, wet your hands and form the spoonfuls into a ball. If you are using your ratafias crushed in a recipe (as in my chocolate amaretti mouse) or are happy with a rustic look you can just leave them as they are.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until they have puffed up slightly and turned a pale golden colour.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • If you are using your ratafias for a recipe that requires ratafia crumbs you may wish to bake your ratafias for another few minutes for a firm texture.

I usually make a two egg white batch - 1 egg white is enough for a recipe with a few spares, 2 egg whites leave you with enough to eat some too!