Shrewsbury biscuits are crisp lemony biscuits that are perfect with a cup of tea, coffee or just as a snack on their own.
They are really easy to make and keep their shape when baking, even without chilling the dough, so they are perfect to make with the kids in different shapes too.
These biscuits are also perfect for dunking into your favourite desserts too!
These biscuits date back to the 1600's and take their name from the town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
They were originally made as Shrewsbury cakes and could be made as a large cake rather than biscuits.
Today, these biscuits are apparently very popular in India! I can really see why because they are really crisp, buttery and simple.
What I really love is that this is a biscuit mixture that doesn't require the dough to be chilled. This means that it only takes 15 minutes to prepare them and 15 minutes to cook.
And the best bit? The dough doesn't spread, so you can get more on the baking tray and use different cutters for different times of the year and they will always keep their shape.
- Butter - unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter then leave the extra salt out.
- Sugar - caster or superfine sugar, golden or white.
- Eggs -large and free range egg yolks.
- Flour - plain or all purpose flour.
- Lemon - zest of a lemon
💭 Top Tip
- If you are not going to use the juice of the lemon in the next few days just put it in the freezer and defrost when you need it. I use mine to pop into the cavity of a chicken before cooking to keep it moist and make the most delicious gravy!
- Large bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Baking trays
- Rolling pin
- Baking parchment
Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined, pale and soft.
Beat in the egg yolks thoroughly, one at a time.
💭 Top Tip
- It's easier to separate eggs if you keep them in the refrigerator for about an hour beforehand.
Add the flour and lemon zest to the bowl.
Stir to combine the mixture.
Use your hands to bring the mixture together into a ball in the bowl.
Sprinkle a little flour on a work surface and knead the dough briefly.
Roll out the dough to half a centimetre or a quarter of an inch thick.
Use a cutter around 7.5 centimetres or 3 inch.
Depending on the size of the cutter there will be approximately 16 biscuits.
⏲️ Baking time
Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/160 FAN/Gas 4 and bake the biscuits for 15 minutes until golden.
Leave the biscuits to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes then transfer to a rack to cool.
🥗 Serve with
- Butter - use baking spread or margarine but the flavour of the biscuits will not be as good.
- Fruit - replace the lemon or add 25g /1 oz of currants or other dried fruit.
- Traditional - add 25 g/ 1 oz caraway seeds with the flour
- Christmas - leave the biscuits plain or with lemon and use Christmas cutters instead then decorate.
- Lemon - use grated zest of an orange or lime for a change
- Spice -swap the lemon for a teaspoon of mixed spice and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Orange and Cinnamon - this combination and picture came from reader Brenda - just use the zest of an orange and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
These biscuits will keep crisp for at least a week in an airtight container.
If you have egg whites leftover from a recipe then you can freeze them for up to 12 months. It's easier if you do this in ice cube trays then put the frozen wgg whites into bags.
Leave to thaw to room temperature before using.
When you are ready to make something try chocolate meringues or macarons.
More baking recipes
- Large bowl
- Wooden spoon
- baking trays
- Rolling Pin
- baking parchment
- 115 g butter
- 140 g caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 225 g plain flour
- 1 zest of a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/160 FAN/Gas 4 and Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined, pale and soft.
- Beat in the egg yolks thoroughly, one at a time.
- Add the flour and lemon zest to the bowl and stir to combine the mixture.
- Use your hands to bring the mixture together into a ball in the bowl.
- Sprinkle a little flour on a work surface and knead the dough briefly.
- Roll out the dough to half a centimetre or a quarter of an inch thick.
- Use a cutter around 7.5 centimetres or 3 inch to cut 16 shapes
- Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes until golden.
- Leave the biscuits to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes then transfer to a rack to cool.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
I love Shrewsbury biscuits, they are the perfect snack with a cup of tea! Definitely giving this recipe a try!
Lauren Michael Harris
I have never heard of Shewsbury biscuits before, but they sound light and so delicious. If I'm craving a fruit-flavored snack, lemon is always my go-to and these will be perfect with my afternoon tea.
These shrewsbury biscuits were the perfect after school snack! My kids loved them!
I've never had one, but I'm craving them right now, love the lemon flavor!
My kids really loved it! A huge hit at my house!
Very tasty. I cooked them for quite a lot longer, but would recommend 190c to brown them nicely and develop the flavour of the dough.
Hi. I am so glad you liked them. Ovens are very variable aren't they? Definitely cook them at a higher heat if it works. Thanks, Amanda
I first learnt about these biscuits back in 1996. There is this bakery in Pune that is known for its Shrewsbury biscuits. I had never tasted such delicious biscuits!
And the funny thing is I always thought they were made with some kind of berry. Hahaha
Today, I ordered some Shrewsbury biscuits from a store nearby because I haven't had them in years. I would only have then when i visited Pune.
I then decided to find out what the ingredients are and realised I was so wrong. But it's even more wondrous to know that it carries history from so far away. In a country that's got this fever to erase its colonial history, I am happy to know about this little biscuit's lineage.
Thanks for this. Wish you the very best.
~ From Mumbai, India