Anzac Biscuits are a tasty Australian cookie recipe that dates back to the early 1900s. These traditional cookies are crunchy and sweet, with wholesome oats and flaky coconut.
It’s easy to make these biscuits, which are a favorite for Aussie celebrations. Anzac biscuits are a unique treat that you won’t be able to get enough of!
What are Anzac biscuits?
Anzac biscuits are Australia’s favorite biscuit! Aussies make this recipe to commemorate ANZAC day, which is a national holiday to mark the anniversary of a military action during WWI that resulted in many casualties.
ANZAC is an acronym that stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
These buttery, caramelly cookies are said to have been originally made by soldiers’ wives. Their crunchy texture allowed the biscuits to travel well and therefore would stay fresh for weeks as they were shipped overseas.
Those original biscuits were likely hard as rocks! But this modern recipe for Anzac biscuits is delightfully crisp and hearty.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Minimal Ingredients – the ingredients in Anzac biscuits are pretty basic, and most should be already in your pantry. There are a few that might be tricky to find outside of Australia or the UK, but they’re easy to order online for this recipe.
- Crunchy Cookies – Anzac biscuits are meant to be crunchy, and these are, especially around the edges! This recipe also results in slightly soft and chewy centers, and the different textures are divine together!
- Delicious Flavor – These oatmeal cookies’ buttery, caramel-like flavor is made even better with finely shredded coconut. It’s hard to eat just one of these, so feel free to double the recipe.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: To get the correct texture in these cookies, avoid instant oats or quick cooking oats.
- Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut: Look for this style of fine, dried coconut in the baking aisle of a large grocery store, or a health food store, or pick some up online.
- Golden Syrup: This thick and buttery syrup is another ingredient that is common in Australia and the UK but potentially harder to find in other countries. Luckily you can easily order golden syrup and have it shipped right to your home!
- Sugar: A combination of both brown sugar and granulated sugar gives us the perfect texture here.
- Butter: Be sure to use unsalted butter—no need to soften it first, as we’ll be melting it to create a delicious caramel.
How To Make Anzac Biscuits
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside while you make the cookie dough.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine flour with oats, coconut, and sugars. Set aside.
- Cook the Caramel Mixture: In a small saucepan, combine butter with golden syrup and melt the butter, keep stirring until completely melted. Stir in the baking soda. The mixture will foam! this is normal. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.
- Combine to Make the Dough: Pour the caramel mixture over the dry ingredient mixture, and mix with a spatula until combined. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer dry and will hold its shape.
- Scoop and Shape: Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough into balls. Lightly roll and then flatten with your hands and place on the prepared cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
- Bake: Bake the Anzac cookies in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. At 12 minutes you’ll have chewy cookies, and at 15 you’ll have crispy ones. Allow the biscuits to cool on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Don’t overcook the syrup: You only need to heat the syrup and butter until the mixture is melted and smooth. Then stir in the baking soda and immediately remove the mixture from the heat. If the caramel cooks too long, you will end up with very hard cookies.
- For chewier biscuits, bake the cookies for a few minutes less. Note that the cookies will be soft straight from the oven and will harden as they cool.
- Use a cookie scoop to make evenly-sized biscuits. You should be able to make 30 cookies with a 1-tablespoon scoop or twenty larger cookies with a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop.
How to Store Anzac Biscuits
Homemade Anzac Biscuits will stay crisp in an airtight container for up to a week. After that, they will soften, but can still be enjoyed. If you like, crisp them up in a low oven for a few minutes before serving.
Other Crispy and Crunchy Cookies You’ll Love
Is there a difference between desiccated coconut and shredded coconut?
While the two are similar, they are also quite different in terms of texture. Shredded coconut is made of thin strands of coconut flesh, and resembles shredded cheese. Desiccated coconut has a texture more like grated parmesan because the dried coconut is finer.
Desiccated coconut also has a lower moisture content than shredded coconut.
You should use desiccated coconut for Anzac biscuits. In a pinch, you can add shredded (unsweetened) coconut to a food processor or coffee grinder to make smaller pieces. Just note that the texture of the cookies will be different.
What can I use in place of golden syrup?
The best replacement for golden syrup that will give you a similar flavor would be a combination of light corn syrup and molasses. For every 2 tablespoons of golden syrup called for, use 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup plus 1 teaspoon of molasses.
Another option is to use honey plus molasses in the same amounts if you’d like to avoid using corn syrup.
Why are these cookies called biscuits?
In Australia, the word used to describe small sweets like this is “biscuit”. In the US we would call this a cookie, but calling these Anzac biscuits stays true to the history of this dessert.
Enjoy making the most famous biscuit in Australia! These Anzac biscuits are delicious, and a fun way to learn about a new culture too.