Classic Empire Biscuits are one of the most popular bakery treats in Scotland – but you can easily make them at home!
This post was originally posted September 2014. Updated on 28th August 2018 with a slightly amended recipe and new pictures.
Soft, buttery biscuits sandwiched together with fruity jam, topped with icing and adorned with a jelly tot (or joob joob as they’re commonly known as in Scotland) or glace cherry – what’s not to love?
No wonder this biscuit is adored by both children and adults in equal measures! Empire biscuits will always hold a certain retro charm for me. They take me back to the days when the local bakery van used to come round our street on a Saturday and I was allowed to choose a treat.
I remember being very indecisive – how could I possibly just choose one thing out of all these gorgeous looking sweet treats? More often than not I chose a cream cookie (a sweet bun filled with cream and dusted with icing sugar), a pink finger or an empire biscuit.
If I was really lucky, I would be allowed a small bag of traditional Scottish tablet as well!
I just love the look of these biscuits, with their snow-white blanket of icing and the cute little red cherry or joob-joob sitting proudly on top.
My tips for making the best empire biscuits
You could make smaller empires if you wanted to – just use whatever size of round cutter you have but do bear in mind that you will have to adjust the baking time if you make smaller/larger biscuits.
Keep a good eye on the biscuits while they are baking – if they are very golden/starting to go brown, you’ve left them in for too long!
Make sure the butter is very soft – if it’s too hard the mixture won’t cream properly and you’ll never achieve the right consistency.
Use good quality strawberry or raspberry jam for the filling. You’ll need approximately 1 tsp jam for each biscuit.
It’s important to get the correct consistency for the icing – too thick and it won’t spread, too thin and it will run down the sides of the biscuits.
When making up the icing, add the water little by little until you have an icing that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping off. If you think you’ve added too much water, add more icing (confectioner’s) sugar.
I also have a recipe for a giant empire biscuitif you fancy trying it – it’s a different recipe because I wasn’t very successful making a huge version of this one for some reason!
I’m sharing these Empire biscuits with the following blog link ups:
#CookBlogShare hosted this week by Eb of Easy Peasy Foodie
Pin this Empire biscuit recipe for later….
Did you make these empire biscuits? Leave a comment/rating and let me know what you thought, Or follow me on Instagram and leave me a comment. If you need help with the recipe, please get in touch! I’m happy to help.
- 225 g Very Soft Salted Butter
- 325 g Plain Flour
- 125 g Caster Sugar
- 1 Medium Egg, Beaten
For the Icing
- 200 g Icing Sugar
- Strawberry or Raspberry Jam for sandwiching the biscuits together
- Cherries or Jelly Tots for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a baking tray.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the beaten egg. Gradually mix in the flour until you have a soft, pliable dough. I use my my mixer as it makes life easier, but it can be done by hand - it just takes a bit of muscle work!
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and very lightly give it a few turns to bring together. Roll out the dough (about 1/2 inch thick) and cut out rounds using circle cutters. If you don't have round cutters an upturned pint glass will work fine.
- Place the biscuits on the lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 mins or until tinted very pale golden around the sides and bottom. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes, then using a palette knife transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- When the biscuits are cold, spread with a thin layer of the jam and place another biscuit on top. Mix the icing sugar with a few drops of water - what you're looking for is a thick icing that won't drip off the sides of the biscuits.
- Carefully dip a biscuit into the bowl of icing and scrape off the excess icing with your finger. Place back on the wire rack, top with a jelly tot, cherry or sweetie of your choice and leave to set.
If you like, you can add 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract to the dough.
I use salted butter in biscuits because I prefer the flavour, but you can use unsalted if you like. If you do, I would recommend adding a pinch of salt to the dough.
This recipe makes 14 large Empire biscuits
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 367 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 46mg Sodium: 140mg Carbohydrates: 57g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 32g Protein: 3g