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Vegan Viennese Whirls

lavender viennese whirls

There's this one cookie at the Rainbow Bakery called the Viennese Whirl that tends to draw a crowd. It's not in the case that often -- maybe once or twice a week -- because there's only one person on staff who makes it. His name is Gary Whelpdale.

"It's essentially two pieces of light, fluffy shortbread with buttercream frosting and raspberry jam," he says.

The 28-year-old grew up eating cookies like these in northeastern England. He measures the cookie recipe in grams because that's how his mom taught him to bake.

My mom definitely prepared me early on, without me realizing, for working in a commercial kitchen environment. Just from kind of growing up and her being pretty hard on me and very authoritative in the kitchen, which I appreciate now. I remember growing up thinking I didn't like that. Now that I think about it in retrospect, I'm like, 'Oh yeah.'

The challenging part of the recipe is forming the cookies. He fills a piping bag with the stiff dough. Using a star-shaped nozzle, he squeezes it out in a back-and-forth-motion. He recommends using room temperature butter to make the dough easier to work with.

After the cookies bake, he lets them cool completely before building the whirls. Half of the cookies are loaded with buttercream frosting and the other half with raspberry jam. He'll sandwich them together to make twelve Viennese Whirls.

Vegan Viennese Whirls


  • For the shortbread cookies:
  • 250 grams of vegan butter
  • 250 grams of flour
  • 50 grams cornstarch
  • 50 grams powder sugar
  • a splash of vanilla
  • For the buttercream frosting:
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup veggie shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • soy creamer
  • raspberry jam


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a heavy-duty mixer, cream the butter. (You'll know it's ready when the butter pulls away from the sides of the bowl.)
  3. Combine flour, corn starch and powdered sugar. Add this dry mixture little by little to the creamed butter, mixing as you go. Add a splash of vanilla and mix.
  4. Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your baking pan. Sketch 24 squares (slightly smaller than playing cards) on the parchment paper. Flip parchment paper over.
  5. Scoop the dough into a piping bag with a diamond tip. Using a back-and-forth motion, fill each square with dough. (It will take a lot of force to push the dough out of the piping bag.)
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Then rotate tray and cook for an additional 7 minutes. The edges should become golden. Allow cookies to cool completely.
  7. For the buttercream frosting, mix together butter, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add as much soy creamer as necessary to achieved a stiff, frosting-like consistency.
  8. Flip the cooled cookies so the flat sides are facing up. Using another piping bag, frost half the cookies with the buttercream. Spread raspberry jam on the other 12 cookies. Sandwich the cookies together.

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