Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
Wildly spiced shortbreads for a foraging course in Cornwall

Melt in the mouth shortbreads, with a tang of Alexander seeds and orange – scrumptious! If you're not familiar with Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) then I have whole blog on Alexanders for you to browse. I also have a dozen recipes for Alexander seeds.

Makes 25


  • 100 g salted butter
  • 40 g Demerara sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • 1 tsp roughly ground Alexander seeds
  • 125 g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C fan and grease a large (30 x 40 cm) baking tray, or 2 smaller ones. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar add the orange zest and Alexander seeds and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, and then add to the creamed butter mix. Work the mix together, though don’t over mix as this will make the shortbreads tough.

Wildly spiced shortbreads for a foraging course in Cornwall

Flatten the dough onto a clean surface (you can roll it or use your hands) to about 20 x 15 cm, cut into around 25 rectangles, and using a table knife or palette knife (not a sharp knife), slice the rectangles off the surface and place in the baking tray, with at least 1 cm between them. Lightly prick the surface of each with a fork to create dotted design and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Wildly spiced shortbreads for a foraging course in Cornwall
Luscious vegan ice cream spiced with wild seeds

This is a divine, non-cream ice cream. Not vegan? You'll love this anyway! At the risk of repeating the whole theme of bitter-sweet, but hey, why change something that works so well.

Vegan, delicious and personally, I must put it back in the freezer to stop myself eating it all. This is one of the 6 (half a dozen) Alexander Seed recipes on my Alexanders blog.

Sign up to access this post

Access this post and more for £3.50. Already a member? Sign in here.

£3.50 per month

Seasonal taster monthly basket

Every month you'll receive 1 seasonal wild food recipe from my edible plant of the month, plus links to additional seasonal posts AND be able to access the last 6 months of Taster basket offerings. 

Buy Now

Unsubscribe at any time.

Identifying alexander seeds and leaves on a foraging course in Cornwall

Alexander seeds are an amazing spice, known for their peppery, aromatic tang with a hint of bitterness. An unusual flavour when bitten into, sometimes it's hard to know how to use these seeds. Here I share 6 of my best recipes for Alexander seeds.

1. Alexander seeded bread

A beautifully wild seeded bread recipe. Alexander seeds add a wonderful aromatic flavour and is perfect served with wild pesto from my Wild Food Foraging Book, great with Rock samphire salsa verde or even with kelp hummus from my Seaweed book.

2. Raw cacao and alexander truffles

Delicious and wild date-rich energy balls infused with the myrrh-like scent of alexander seeds. These are quick to make and a wonderful adult treat.

3. Alexander and orange shortbreads

Buttery, melt in the mouth shortbreads, with a tang of Alexander seeds and orange – scrumptious! The combination of orange and the bitter of alexander seeds is a winning combination.

4. Alexander and lemon drizzle cake

Looking like a poppy-seed cake, the slight bitter of the seeds go nicely with lemon, especially if you prefer a sweeter edge to your treats.

5. Alexander seed and chocolate truffles

Truffles get people excited; they feel special and luxurious. I love the crisp outer and soft inner of these chocolate truffles with the Alexander seeds playing on the pleasure of bittersweet.

Alexander and coconut vegan ice cream

Everyone agreed that this is a divine, non-cream ice cream. Vegan, delicious and personally, I must put it back in the freezer to stop myself eating it all.

Balls of freshly made raw alexander seed truffles

As a wild cook, sometimes I hit upon creating a new recipe that works first time, I mean, really works. This recipe was one of those. It uses Alexander seeds (Smyrnium olusatrum) which is one of my favourite wild spices. Meanwhile, here's my Alexander seed bread recipe, while we're at it!

Alexander seeds has an unusual bitter, peppery flavour which balance the wonderfully deep chocolate tone of these raw truffles perfectly. They can be made in an instant too.

Moist bites of alexander seeded truffles

I start teaching alexander seeds on my foraging courses from August through to Winter. I love individually wrapping them as tasters for course participants, ok, my wrapping isn't brilliant but the taste is pretty good! Alexanders are a member of the umbelliferae family and must be identified properly.

Handful of wild and raw truffles

Recipe for Alexander Seed and Cacao Truffles

Makes 18


  • 250 g dates (pitted)
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 dessertspoon ground alexander seeds*
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp blackberry cordial (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil


  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp ground alexander seeds
Freshly rolled alexander seed and coconut raw truffles

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or by-hand. I tend to do this by hand by roughly chopping the dates and firmly massaging with the rest of the ingredients until combined. You can also heat the chopped dates in the oil first and soften them that way. Break off pieces and roll into 18 balls.

Finely grind the coating in a seed or coffee grinder and roll the balls in the mixture. Keep in the fridge and use within a week – they won’t go off, but the truffles will harden if you keep them much longer.

Upcoming events

Become a Member

Love foraging? Get exclusive access to my most treasured wild food recipes and the hottest tips on foraging every month. 

Wild Blog Posts

Sign up to the newsletter

Receive regular updates on news, recipes and events.

Privacy policy

Rachel's books

Popular posts