Rooibos tea & barley fig rolls by Henrietta Inman

Henrietta Inman rooibos and fig roll recipe

By Henrietta Inman from her book, The Natural Baker

Photography by Philippa Langley

The full-bodied flavour of Good & Proper Wild Rooibos tea really flatters the rich sweetness of the fig filling in these biscuits. I always loved fig rolls as a child, but it’s such fun to make your own from scratch and they’re so much more delicious with those nourishing and tasty wholegrains, which create a great consistency, too. Barley flour gives a bit of extra crunch, while spelt flour keeps it crumbly and soft. These are the perfect teatime treat to enjoy with a cup of tea.

What you need

Makes 20

For the fig filling:

  • 2 tsp Good & Proper Wild Rooibos loose leaf tea
  • 240g dried figs, stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium orange - finely grated zest plus 80g orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 15g ground cinnamon
  • 15g honey
  • 160g water

For the biscuit dough

  • 4 tsp Good & Proper Wild Rooibos loose leaf tea
  • 80g wholegrain barley flour, plus more to dust
  • 120g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 70g light brown muscovado or coconut sugar
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • finely grated orange zest
  • 100g virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
A cup of good and proper tea


  • Start by making the filling. Add all of the filling ingredients into a medium-small sized saucepan with the water and bring to the boil.
  • Cook until the liquids are just absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat and blend with a hand-held blender until relatively smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, get on with the biscuit dough. In a frying pan over a medium heat, spoon in the loose leaf tea and toast for 2 minutes, just to release its flavours.
  • When cool, mix it with the flours, sugar, salt and orange zest in a bowl.
  • Add the coconut oil, 1 tbsp water and the vanilla extract and mix until well combined, bringing it together with your hands into a ball. 
  • Flatten the dough out on a lightly floured piece of baking parchment into a rough rectangle.
  • Lightly flour the dough, place a piece of baking parchment on top and roll it out to a 23 x 18cm (9 x 7in) rectangle, using your hands to reshape when necessary. The dough should be a bit less than 5mm thick.
  • Transfer to a baking tray (sheet), with the sheet of baking parchment underneath.
  • Place the cooled fig paste in a cylinder down the middle of the rectangle of dough, leaving a rim of about 6cm on either side.
  • Carefully roll the left side of the dough rectangle over the paste, to create a cylinder shape with a flat bottom. The dough might crack a bit on the left side, but that is normal.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firmer and easy to cut with a sharp knife.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray (sheet) with baking parchment.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge. Carefully cut into 1cm thick pieces using a sharp knife, and place on the prepared tray.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, turning the rolls over halfway with a spatula, so they colour evenly on both sides.
  • Leave to cool slightly, then serve.  

These will keep for up to 5 days in a jar, biscuit tin or airtight container, or freeze for up to 1 month. The raw biscuits (cookies) can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time.

You can find this recipe among in Henrietta's cookery book, The Natural Baker. Available to preorder here.

Henrietta Inman book cover

Shop Rooibos to make this recipe