Orange Viennese Whirls

These Viennese whirls are flavoured with orange zest and filled with orange buttercream and a layer of marmalade to give a summery, citrusy twist to a classic treat. 

orange viennese whirls

Viennese whirls are so easy to make that I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get a recipe up. A good Viennese whirl should have two key things: two swirly crumbly biscuits and a thick duo layer of jam and buttercream in the centre. Anything else just doesn’t cut it.

This Viennese whirl recipe had its humble beginnings, as so many of these things do, in the Homepride Book of Home Baking, circa 1970. A ringbound, stiff-papered recipe book, it must have been one of the first picture recipe books. The dog-eared pages are yellowing, there’s splatters of fat on the edges, and spots of butter down the side. It came from my Aunty, who I’m sure wasn’t my real aunty but my mum called her Aunty (and so did my Nan) so that was her name. She was a cook during the war, and used to make Viennese whirls for my mum and put them in a silver tin. (Although they were piped into paper cases with a dollop of jam in the centre). We now own both the silver tin, and the book from which said Viennese whirl recipe came from.

So it seemed apt to use it as a starting point for this Viennese whirl recipe. The recipe from the book was too crunchy, so I swapped the caster sugar for icing sugar which made them much softer. I added a bit of cornflour, to try to keep the swirled shape, and now they’re perfect: short, crumbly, soft, and delicious. I had to restrain myself from eating them ALL. (And the best thing is that you get two biscuits in one, winner!) I think orange is an unusual flavour to go for but with the marmalade it works so nicely and it gives them a sharper, less sickly-sweet flavour. You could also try using lemon zest and a lemon curd filling instead and I think that would work just as nicely.

These are such a quick recipe that they’re easy to bake and have ready in an hour or so. You could also make the biscuits up and freeze them. Then all you’d need to do is pop them in the oven to have homemade Viennese whirls whenever you want! And seriously, once you’ve tried them, you’ll want them all the time. So nice!

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Orange Viennese Whirls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 biscuits

Orange Viennese Whirls

These Viennese whirls are flavoured with orange zest and filled with orange buttercream and a layer of marmalade to give a summery, citrusy twist to a classic treat.


  • 100g softened butter
  • 25g icing sugar
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 75g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp orange marmalade
  • 25g softened butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Zest of half an orange
  • Icing sugar, to dust.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°c/325°f/gas mark 3. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and draw 16 6cm circles onto the paper. Leave a little space between each to allow the biscuits to spread. Turn it over, so the pencil marks are on the underside of the paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon. Sieve in the icing sugar and add the orange zest, then beat together until smooth and creamy. Sieve in the flour, cornflour, and baking powder. Use a large metal spoon to fold in the flour until smooth, taking care not to overbeat once combined. It should be a stiff, pipe-able mixture.
  3. Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle (I used Wilton 1M tip) and fill the bag with the mixture. Pipe the Viennese whirls by holding the bag at a right angle to the paper, and piping a straight star until the swirl is the size of the circle outline.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack.
  5. Whilst the biscuits cool, make the buttercream filling. Beat the softened butter, then sieve in the icing sugar and add the orange zest. Beat until smooth.
  6. Once the biscuits have cooled, turn over and spread eight of the biscuits with marmalade. On the remaining eight, spread on the buttercream (or pipe on the buttercream if you prefer). Sandwich two biscuits together, then dust with icing sugar. ▪

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