How good are Anzac biscuits? Incredibly tasty and pretty simple to make. The recipe for these traditional Anzac biscuits literally comes from my Grandma, with very little modification by me. Let’s dive in and learn how to make Anzac biscuits, get the kids to help if you want, they are pretty easy!
Did you know that you can be fined for selling Anzac biscuits that do not conform to the original recipe?! Neither did I! However we are not selling anything here, just showing you how to make Anzac biscuits into these amazing tasty treats.
The ingredients for Anzac biscuits are fairly simple, you may have many of them in your pantry already. They are primarily made of oats, coconut, sugar, flour and butter.
Oats – Rolled Oats vs. Quick Oats
The two main kinds of oats that you will find to purchase in the store are rolled oats and quick oats. Rolled oats have not been processed as much as quick oats have been, and rolled oats are larger as they have not been cut like quick oats. In the picture below, you can see the individual pieces of rolled oats on the left are much larger than the quick oats on the right.
This original Anzac biscuit recipe calls for rolled oats, but if you only have quick oats available that will still work, the texture of the resulting biscuit will be a little different.
Called dessicated coconut in Australia, these are dried flakes of coconut meat. In the USA and other countries, you might only find shredded coconut in the stores, and that is perfectly fine to use. It is essentially the same thing, usually shredded coconut has a little moisture left in it, but it will work just fine in this recipe.
Leftover coconut can be used to make my 3 ingredient coconut macaroons, they are so delicious and easy to make.
I like to use brown sugar here, as it has a nicer, earthier flavor. Eagle eyed readers will spot that my photo of ingredients above has plain white sugar in it, the day I took the photo I happened to be out of brown sugar. Oops. So rest assured white sugar will work just fine.
A mixture of half and half plain flour and whole wheat flour adds that little bit of extra flavor here. The flour mostly helps to hold things together, so if you only have plain flour available that is just fine.
Self raising flour
Sometimes people ask me if they can use self raising flour with these Anzac biscuits. The answer is yes, that will work just fine, all you need to do is leave out the baking soda called for in the ingredient list. Your self raising flour already contains the correct amount.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or approx 375 degrees F) so it is ready to put the baking tray into once you are good to go.
Grease a baking tray or line it with baking paper so the biscuits will not stick.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients called for in the recipe and mix very well with something like a large spoon. In the picture below, all the dry ingredients are well mixed and ready to go.
In a small saucepan over a medium heat combine the butter and golden syrup together, and stir until the butter has completely melted. You can also use a microwave safe container for this step, but I find the butter tends to splatter a lot in the microwave so I prefer to use a pan.
In a small bowl, combine the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Skip this step if you are using self raising flour.
Add the bicarb and water mixture with the melted butter and golden syrup, skipping this step for self raising flour.
Add the wet ingredients that are now all your pan (or microwave container) to the large bowl with the already mixed dry ingredients.
Fold and mix the combined ingredients really well. The resulting mixture should look like the picture below. If it is too dry, add a little more moisture, warm water is fine or even a bit more melted butter. If the mixture is too dry it will not hold together properly for the next step. It should look like the picture below.
Now you are ready to get the biscuit mixture onto the baking tray. You can use your hands to roll small balls of mixture, and then flatten them a little bit. Or use a spoon to scoop out the size you want for the tray. I find using a ball of mixture rolled in my clean hands works best and give me more control.
Make sure to leave lots of space between the individual biscuits because they spread a lot during baking! The picture below is the same 6 Anzac biscuits after baking as the 6 above. Check out how much the expanded.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until they are nice and golden brown like the picture above.
Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking tray for 5 or 10 minutes. They will actually keep baking a little at this step.
Allow the easy Anzac biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Anzac Biscuit History
Anzac biscuits (originally called Soldiers’ biscuits) came into being around 1915 – during World War 1 – when soldiers’ wives and/ or mothers would bake and send the biscuits to the troops stationed overseas. The biscuits were ideal because they were cheap to make (remember that it was the Great Depression), non-perishable (contain no eggs or milk) and so didn’t need refrigeration.
After the now-famous landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) in Gallipoli, the biscuits were renamed in honour of those brave soldiers who landed that fateful 25th day of April on the coast of Turkey, now known as Anzac Cove.
Now, more than 100 years after their conception, Anzac biscuits are still hugely popular, and are even available to buy commercially in supermarkets. But – as always – the best tasting ones are those you bake at home.
(If you’re looking for more Australian fare to bake, you might like to try our Australian pavlova. It is truly amazing, even if I do say so myself!)
I’ve put this recipe together based on what my Grandma taught me. I hope you can try baking some for yourself, and that you enjoy them as much as my family does.
- Large mixing bowl
- Small mixing bowl
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (level spoon)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or approx 375 degrees F).
- Grease a biscuit tray or line with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In a small saucepan over a medium heat (or in a microwave proof jug or bowl in the microwave), combine the butter and golden syrup until the butter has melted.
- In a small bowl, combine the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda.
- Add the bicarb and water mixture with the melted butter and golden syrup.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Dollop teaspoonfuls of the biscuit mixture onto the greased baking tray.
- Don't forget that the biscuits WILL spread during baking, so make sure you leave room for them to spread!
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven.
- Allow the Anzac biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Anzac biscuits without coconut
Did you know the original Anzac biscuit recipe did not contain any coconuts? Neither did I until I was doing some research to update this page.
The image below is a recipe printed in a 1926 newspaper in Australia.
The text in the newspaper is:
Two breakfast-cupfuls John Bull oats, half a cupful sugar, one scant cupful plain flour, half a cupful melted butter. Mix one tablespoonful golden syrup, two tablespoonfuls boiling water, and one teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda until they froth; then add the melted butter. Mix in dry ingredients, and drop in spoonfuls on a floured slide. Bake in a slow oven.The Capricornian, Rockhampton, August 14, 1926
If you have a recipe you’d like to share with us (and the rest of the world!), or if you have a related anecdote, we’d love it if you’d take the time to email us.
I hope you had fun learning how to make Anzac biscuits the traditional way as has been done for over 100 years now!
Until next time…
Love & Grandma’s recipes, Bella X