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A Digestive Biscuits Recipe

How to Make Digestive Biscuits

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From a tea time snack to entire pie crust, my Digestive Biscuits recipe is as versatile as it is delicious.

Hi Bold Bakers!

I’ve wanted to make Homemade Digestive Biscuits for you for a long time now because they are a very popular biscuit in Ireland and used in many recipes. We use them for the base of Cheesecakes like my No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake or in biscuit cake like my Chocolate Salami. They are also enjoyed simply with a cup of tea.

In my house, we used to put butter on them which I think is a personal choice.

What are Digestive Biscuits?

Digestive biscuits are used in a similar way as graham crackers in the U.S. They are best described as a whole wheat shortbread, and are crisp like shortbread and equally as buttery. Biscuits in Ireland are not the same as the soft American biscuits, they are a cookie. However, cookies can be soft and chewy whereas biscuits are mostly crisp and crunchy, with no softness.

When to Eat Digestive Biscuits

Biscuits are made to be enjoyed with a cup of tea. Dunking them in your tea is what softens them. The Irish are a nation of tea drinkers. Tea is consumed morning, noon, and night in my house. Even living in the States now I still carry on the tradition and have tea time every day around 3 o’ clock. I sit down, watch my stories, and have a cup of Irish tea.

What Can I Make with Digestive Biscuits?

I love making homemade versions of baked good that are commonly bought in the store. I have a fantastic recipe for Homemade Graham Crackers that taste just like the real thing. In the case of these Digestive Biscuits, they can be ground up into crumbs and used in place of Graham cracker crumbs or shortbread cookies to make no-bake pie crusts for all kinds of pies and cheesecakes.

They can also be crushed into larger chunks and added into ice cream or trifles for incredible texture and flavor.

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Are Digestive Biscuits Good for You?

As far as cookies and biscuits go, these are a dessert with benefits. The whole wheat flour that is the base of these cookies makes for nutty rich flavored but also have added fiber and nutrients. But it’s still dessert.

How to Store Digestive Biscuits

My Digestive Biscuits will last for 3-4 days. To keep them fresh, just cover and store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They are so good the next day and are the perfect mid-day pick-me-up or late night treat!

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4.09 from 12 votes
A Digestive Biscuits Recipe
Digestive Biscuits Recipe
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Irish
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 1 2/3 cups ( 8 1/3oz/236g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (3oz/85g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup (2floz/57ml) milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix to combine the ingredients.
  3. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a blender, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk and work through to form a dough.
  4. Turn out on a floured surface and roll to form a smooth dough. (IF your dough seems dry add a little more milk.)

  5. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a bit more than 1/8 inch thick and cut into rounds, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. You can keep rolling the scraps together to make additional biscuits.

  6. Transfer the biscuits to your baking pan and, if desired, prick the biscuits with a fork to create holes. Bake for 20 minutes until biscuits are pale gold.
  7. Cover and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Freeze the raw dough for up to 1 month. 


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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Fitri nurwanti on August 28, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Hi gemma, can i not to use sugar for this recipe? Or i have to change with another ingredient?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 28, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      You can try to make your own powdered sugar. Or if you are looking for a sugar substitute, Lakanto Monk Sugar or Swerve should work here. Hope this answers your question. Gemma 😊

  2. sweetcakes22 on July 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Gemma, made your digestives today and they came out lovely, nice snap when you bite into them and nice and crunchy. Now to make a cup of tea to dunk them in!!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 5, 2019 at 4:53 am

      Hi there,
      wow! you made a great job of these, really perfect, well done you. In Ireland we have a famous tea, Barry’s tea, that would be a delight!
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Mir Nasim Tabassum on July 3, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I love your recipes. I would like to make these digestive cookies. Don’t know how would I write ‘ Digestive Cookies’ on raw cookies. Please suggest me something. If you share a video on tube on it I would be very grateful to you.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2019 at 7:31 am

      Hi there,
      I am not sure if I responded to this before if so then apologies.
      I have had this tool in my kit for a long time, and I got it here (
      I hope this is of help, I am not sure how generally available this is but you may find it in a cooks shop or craft shop near you.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Lynda on July 3, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Can the milk be replaced with water or almond milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2019 at 2:25 am

      Hi Lynda,
      almond milk will be great in this. I would prefer that to water for this recipe.
      I hope you enjoy it!
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Margaret on July 3, 2019 at 7:00 am

    I am in USA for a holiday, staying at my friend’s. I tried making your banana bread but didn’t sieve my ingredients with the result there were bits of baking powder in the finished result. Will definitely sieve in future. X

    • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2019 at 1:44 am

      Hi Margaret,
      oh dear! that is too bad. Most modern baking powder is free-flowing unless it gets a bit damp when it should be discarded as it will not be as effective.
      Other than that it is a good place to start with sieving the dry ingredients as it also helps to aerate the batter.
      Poor you, I hope you were not too disappointed and that you are having a good trip to the USA. Happy 4th of July to you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Margaret on July 4, 2019 at 6:55 am

        Hi Gemma, hindsight is a wonderful thing, it won’t happen again. Many thanks for your reply. Happy 4th July to you and your family. X

  6. Jeff on July 2, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I read Adrian Mckinty ‘s books about Sean Duffy, an Irish detective. Digestive biscuits were always offered wherever the detective went. I wanted to know how to make them and here you are! Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 3, 2019 at 2:10 am

      Hi Jeff,
      haha, I do not mind where your inspiration came from, I am glad you are here with us!
      Digestive biscuits, to be politically correct, are a British invention, to a degree a bit like Graham crackers, deemed to be better than the average biscuit for nutrition. Delightful with that cup of tea!
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Shaz on July 2, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks Gemma!
    By the way, do you have any substitute recipes for buttercream? I find it takes too long to make.

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