Gluten Free “Mars” Soft Centres Cookies Recipe

3rd November 2020
Blog post

How these Gluten Free Mars Cookies came about: Standard practise in this household… we’re walking around the shops, Charlie sees something that contains gluten, I want it, I go home and make my own version 🙂

When I set out to make Mars Cookies, I never expected them to be this good. I was half expecting to open the oven and see melted caramel and nougat EVERYWHERE but nope!! The caramel remains in a beautifully chewy, delicious layer. The nougat stays light and fluffy, just like the Mars we know and love. And that cookie… yum. It’s almost brownie-like with a crunchy cookie shell. Have I sold them to you yet?!!!

If not, this might push you over the edge…

"Mars" Soft Centres Cookies Recipe

(Note – I promise you this has not been photoshopped in ANY WAY. This is exactly how they turn out!!!!)

The Nougat Bit: Do I need a thermometer?

Yes, unfortunately if you want to make the Mars nougat bit you do need a thermometer. YOU COULD LEAVE OUT THE NOUGAT IF YOU HAVEN’T GOT ONE!! That caramel is perfectly good enough on its own 😉

Why do you need it for the Mars nougat? You really need to know when your sugar mixture has hit the right temperature to get the perfect fluffy gluten free nougat. You could guess based on my cook-a-long videos (see my story highlights on Instagram), but its never going to be perfect.

I think digital thermometers are the best and you can pick them up for as little as £10. I use a Thermapen – more expensive but I use it all the time and absolutely love it. Perfect for anything from making sweets to checking the temperature of your meat. (I’m not working with them on this recipe, just sharing the love haha).

The Caramel Bit: What to use

Making caramel can be a challenge so I’ve found a way to make it wayyyy easier for you!!! This gluten free Mars Cookies recipe works perfectly with shop bought “soft caramels”. What I mean by that is something that is soft enough to mould with your fingers.

  • Perfect thing to use: Werther’s Original Soft Caramels (the pink packet below)
  • Second best: Werther’s Creamy Toffees (blue packet) will work too, the soft ones are just a tiny bit better!
  • Dairy free: you can get Kuhbonbon Caramels (via Amazon or tons of vegan online stores) or you can accept the challenge of making your own – promise its not that difficult!!! There’s loads of recipes online or if you’d mine, steal the caramel bit out of my Twix recipe.
  • Where can you get them from? You can pick either up from almost all supermarkets, poundshops or even petrol stations.
Werther's Original Soft Caramels | Ocado

Gluten Free “Mars” Soft Centres Cookies Recipe

There will be some leftover "Mars" Nougat filling but either eat it as is, or use as frosting on cupcakes! I haven't made the recipe any smaller otherwise you'd start to need 1/2 an egg and then it gets complicated 🙂
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Servings: 6 large cookies
Course: baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American, english
Keyword: breakfast cookie, filled cookie, gluten free cookies



  • 200 g Gluten free plain flour
  • 35 g Cocoa Powder
  • 115 g Stork Butter - comes in a foil packet and says "for biscuits" on the front – its naturally dairy free
  • 65 g Light Brown Sugar - *or caster sugar
  • 65 g Golden Caster Sugar - *or caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda


  • 70g Liquid Glucose - easy to buy in the cake decorating aisle of any supermarket. Comes in a squeezy tube by Dr Oetker.
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 5 grams cocoa powder
  • 1 egg white


  • 18 soft caramels e.g. Werthers Original Soft (pink packet)



  • Place the caster sugar & liquid glucose into a saucepan. Add 125ml of water.
    >It can be tough to get every last drop of liquid glucose out of the tube. Two tips (1) Microwave the tube for 5-10 seconds to make it more runny and easier to squeeze out (2) Cut the end off the tube and pour out from that side
  • Turn the pan to a low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. At this point, you won’t see any grains of sugar in the mix and it will have changed to a water-like consistency.
  • Increase the temperature so the mixture is simmering. Do not stir it anymore!! Leave it simmering until it reaches 132-135oC.
    >The pic shows what it will look like at this stage – the metal skewer is just my thermometer
  • Whilst the mixture is reaching temperature, place the egg white in a large, clean mixing bowl and beat until they reach stiff peaks.
    >Here is a pic I have taken from google images to show what stiff peaks looks like!
  • Once the egg white is mixed to stiff peaks and the sugar has reached temperature, add a tiny bit of the sugar mix to the egg and whisk in. Repeat until you have whisked in all of the mixture.
    >I pour in approximately 3 tbsp at a time. It takes 1-2 mins to add all of the sugar mixture to the egg white.
  • Use an electric whisk to beat the mix on high speed for a full 5 minutes.
    >Don't cut this time short!!! Its difficult to overwhisk, but if you underwhisk you won't have a fluffy nougat.
    >It will go from looking like melted marshmellows to a dough like consistency and then to a reallyyy sticky, almost chewing gum like consistency. At this point, the mix will be coming away from the bowl and you'll feel like your whisk is about to give up!
  • Add the cocoa powder and whisk in. Set aside and move onto the next bit…

Cookie Dough

  • Cut the butter into cubes. Place into a large mixing bowl with both types of sugar. Whisk until just combined.
  • Add the egg and whisk until just combined.
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and whisk until fully combined.
    >At this point, you shouldn't see any little lumps of flour/white dusty bits!


  • Pre-heat your oven to 175oC. Cover a baking tray with tin foil/baking paper.
  • Divide the cookie dough into 6 roughly equal balls.
  • Take 3 of your soft caramels. Unwrap them and mush them together a bit to form a rough ball (yess…"mush" is absolutely a word haha). Flatten in your hands.
  • Take a heaped tbsp of nougat mix. Place ontop of the caramel.
  • Flatten 1 of the cookie dough balls until about 1/2cm thick (I just use the palm of my hand to flatten them). Place the nougat and caramel onto the cookie dough so it looks like the picture.
  • Encase the centre in the dough (so you've got a ball of cookie dough with the caramel and nougat in the middle). Place onto a baking tray and repeat for the rest of the cookie dough.
    >Easiest way to do this: place the cookie dough with the caramel and nougat ontop onto the palm of your hand. Cup your hand so the dough starts to come round the sides of the caramel and nougat. Then, gently start to mould it over the top – like you would with a scotch egg!
    >You can see two of my finish cookie balls at the back of the picture.


  • Place the cookies into the oven for 10 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and leave them alone for at least 15 mins to cool before attempting to touch them!
    >Under NO circumstances should you try to move the cookies from the tray when you've removed them from the oven!!!! They need at least 10-15mins to cool, during which time they will keep cooking. If you try to move them before, they will crumble and the inside will still be raw.
  • EAT!!!!
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