Golden and crisp on the outside while soft and chewy in the middle, these delicious and healthy ANZAC biscuits are made to last! They are eggless and are made with golden syrup, which makes them sweeter and last longer than other biscuits. They are the perfect addition to your baking repertoire.
What are ANZAC Biscuits?
ANZAC biscuits are an important part of celebrating ANZAC Day, which falls on April 25th in Australia and New Zealand. It is such an iconic treat that Australian law protects its production. It is an acronym for the 'Australian and New Zealand Army Corps', which back then were fighting in the frontiers of World War II. The loving wives and family of these soldiers made made the biscuits extra special so that they’ll last long enough to reach their loved ones.
These historical biscuits don't include eggs, which is why they last longer (a month or more!) compared to others. Even better, they are as chewy and flavourful as the first day you make them! These days, while ANZAC biscuits are mass-produced for commercial consumption, they still stay true to the original recipe, which includes old-fashioned oats as well as the richly-flavoured golden syrup. I always have my ANZAC biscuits with a cup of tea or coffee. And I rarely ever stop at just one!
What do I need?
- Plain flour / all-purpose flour: this versatile flour is ideal in making these crumbly and chewy biscuits.
- Can I use almond flour as a substitute? Absolutely. The exact measurements apply.
- Can I use self-raising flour? Not for this recipe, as we will use a different leavening agent, and using self-raising flour will mess with the rising process.
- Can I use a gluten-free flour brand instead? Yes, you absolutely can.
- Desiccated coconut: this ingredient gives the ANZAC biscuits their distinctive chewiness and flavor.
- Can I omit desiccated coconut? If you want to remove this, just add an extra ½ cup of rolled oats to the recipe.
- Rolled oats / old-fashioned oats: give the biscuits a nutty flavor, chewy texture, and a great nutritional boost!
- Can I use instant oats? I do not recommend using this as they tend to cook faster and do not give the same hearty texture as rolled oats.
- Brown sugar: Aside from giving the biscuits a sweet, deeply caramelized flavour, this will also make the biscuit spread better and become chewier.
- Can I use white sugar? Yes, preferably caster or superfine sugar. Though white sugar usually makes crispier biscuits. If you do not mind this, you can use it as a sub 1:1.
- Salted butter: adds a richer taste and gives the dough the needed fat and moisture.
- Can I use unsalted butter? Of course. If this is what you have, you can just add a pinch of salt to the cookie dough.
- Can I use vegan butter? Yes, no problem.
- Golden syrup: this biscuit isn’t complete without this ingredient. The syrup doesn’t simply add sweetness to the ANZAC biscuits; it actually acts as a substitute for eggs and binds all the ingredients together.
- Is there any substitute for this? Golden syrup is essential to the flavour of ANZAC biscuits. However, in a pinch, you can use light molasses or honey.
- Bicarbonate of soda / baking soda: is the leavening agent used to make the cookie dough rise as it bakes. Make sure your bicarbonate of soda is in date before using.
- Can I use baking powder instead? No, I do not recommend it.
- Water: dissolved into the baking soda to create a slurry.
How To Make the Best ANZAC Biscuits
- Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F (fan/convection) or 180°C/355°F (standard).
- Grease two large baking trays and line with baking paper.
- Mix flour, coconut, oats, and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat and mix with golden syrup. Stir until butter melts completely and the mixture has bubbled on the edges.
- Mix bicarbonate of soda and water in a different bowl, then add to bubbling butter mixture. Remove the pan from the heat at once and stir until it foams.
- Pour butter mixture into the bowl with dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms.
- Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball and place it on the tray. Flatten it firmly and repeat with the remaining dough mixture.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or when biscuits turn a light golden color, especially on the edges. Let the biscuits rest on the trays for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Some foods with great historical value are meant to stay true to their recipes, and ANZAC biscuits are one of them. However, you can still tweak things to fit your dietary requirements as long as the core ingredients, process, and shape are the same.
- Vegan ANZAC biscuits. This recipe is already eggless, so it is quite easy to veganize. All you need to do is replace your regular butter with a vegan brand.
- Gluten-free ANZAC biscuits. Use a gluten-free flour brand; the rest of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free.
Tips when Making ANZAC Biscuits
- When adding the baking soda slurry to the butter and golden syrup mixture, it will foam up quickly, so be careful, or you might get burned. Make sure that you immediately remove the mixture from the heat too.
- Once the dough is formed, do not let it sit on the counter for a long time before shaping them. It might dry out, and you will have a hard time rolling them into balls.
- The dough should be firm enough that you can easily roll and shape it into balls but pliable enough that it won’t fall apart when flattened.
- For equally sized biscuits, you can use a quick-release scooper. The biscuits will bake evenly, and you will work faster this way.
- Place the dough balls evenly spaced on the prepared baking pan to give them space to spread.
- Let the biscuits rest and firm up on the baking trays before moving them to a wire rack. They will still be too soft just out of the oven, but will set once aired and cooled.
- Why is my biscuit falling apart? The dry to wet ingredients ratio is probably off. Fix it by adding more liquid like melted butter.
- Is ANZAC biscuit supposed to be chewy or crunchy? A hotly debated topic, this question may have ruined countless dinner tables. Initially, crispiness may have been preferred back in the day, as these biscuits took months to get to soldiers. Measures such as Billy Tea tins were even used to ensure the biscuits stayed crispy. These days, however, the question of chewy or crunchy is mainly left to who’s going to eat it.
- What is the main ingredient of ANZAC biscuits? There is no such thing as the main ingredient, as all of the ones listed here are necessary to make the perfect ANZAC biscuit.
- How are Anzac Biscuits different from oat cookies? Aside from it’s historical value, this biscuit recipe does not contain egg and uses golden syrup both as a sweetener and binder.
How to store ANZAC Biscuits?
Keep the biscuits in an airtight container or jar. Place the container in a cool, dry place at all times. The biscuits will remain good for up to 3 weeks or even more!
- 1 cup (150 g) plain flour / all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (100 g) desiccated coconut
- 1 cup (105 g) rolled / old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup (165 g) brown sugar, packed
- 150 g (5.5 oz) salted butter, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup (95 g) golden syrup
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
- 1 tablespoon (20 mL) water
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan/convection) or 180°C/355°F (standard). Grease and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, coconut, oats, and sugar.
- Heat butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the butter has completely melted and the mixture begins to bubble around the edges.
- In a separate small bowl, stir together the bicarbonate of soda and the water. Add to the bubbling butter mixture. Immediately take the saucepan off the heat and stir until the mixture is foaming.
- Pour butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir well until a soft dough comes together.
- Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into a ball and place onto the prepared tray. Firmly flatten the ball. Repeat with remaining mixture.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are lightly golden, especially golden around the edges. Allow to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The biscuits will firm up as they cool.
- Please note that my recipes are measured in metric cups and spoons which are larger than US cups and spoons. Most recipes will be fine if measured in US cups and spoons, but please use the weight (grams) measurement for the most accurate result.
- You can keep the biscuits in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Substitutions & Tips
- Desiccated coconut: desiccated coconut gives the ANZAC biscuits their distinctive chewiness and flavour. If you want to omit the coconut, add an extra ½ cup of rolled oats.
- Brown sugar: you can substitute brown sugar with an equal amount of regular white sugar (preferably caster / superfine sugar).
- Salted butter: if you want to use unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon of salt to the dry ingredients.
- Golden syrup: golden syrup is essential to the flavour of ANZAC biscuits. In a pinch, you can use light molasses or honey.
- Bicarbonate of soda / baking soda: do NOT substitute with baking powder. Make sure your bicarbonate of soda is in date before using.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Biscuit
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7.9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 17.9mgSodium: 394.4mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 9.3gProtein: 2g