Like an oatmeal cookie but better, Anzac biscuits are soft and chewy in the middle with crispy, caramelized edges. Made in one bowl, no mixer needed!

Anzac Biscuits | katiebirdbakes

Let me introduce you to my new favorite cookie! It comes all the way from the other side of the world.

One of the great things about our trip to New Zealand last month was the opportunity to try the food. Unlike other trips where I knew what I was getting into with the cuisine (i.e. Italy, Portugal), I wasn’t sure what to expect in New Zealand. Former British colony…pub food?

I was surprised and excited to discover that, while pub food was definitely part of the menu, there is a huge variety of cuisines and that it is all really well prepared and delicious. I loved the focus on local ingredients in every restaurant we went to, and could NOT get over the coffee.

Anzac Biscuits | katiebirdbakes

Seriously, it may sound weird, but the coffee.was.amazing. You could be at a random truck stop in the middle of the countryside, and they would have an espresso machine and serve you the best flat white you’ve ever had. I couldn’t get over it and frankly, probably overdosed on espresso during our two weeks because I couldn’t stop myself.

Always, along with your flat white, there were fresh pastries and cookies (or “biscuits”) to be had. Sometimes savory pies, sometimes sweet ones. Sometimes cheese scones! But always an assortment of cookies.

Anzac Biscuits | katiebirdbakes

These Anzac biscuits first caught my eye at the unreal breakfast buffet at our hotel in Queenstown, the QT Queenstown. If you ever have the chance to go, you must stay there. It was the most insane breakfast I’ve ever had at a hotel, with the most beautiful view over the lake.

This isn’t sponsored at all – I just absolutely loved it. Can you blame me?

Breakfast at the QT Queenstown, New Zealand
Breakfast at the QT Queenstown, New Zealand

That’s not a stock photo, I promise. I took that photo on the first morning we spent in Queenstown, sipping my (delicious) coffee by the window. New Zealand is, without a doubt, the most effortlessly beautiful place I’ve ever been.

So back to the cookie. As I was perusing the fresh fruits and smoothies, meats and cheeses, full English breakfast, and extensive bread and pastry sections, this humble nubby oatmeal cookie caught the corner of my eye.

I added it to the pile and, as is my practice, saved my breakfast dessert for last. Imagine my shock when what I was expecting to be an average oatmeal cookie turned out to be something COMPLETELY different.

Anzac Biscuits | katiebirdbakes

The flavor was buttery and caramelized. The outer edges were crispy. The interior was chewy and textured and soft. There was a hint of some other rich flavor I couldn’t put my finger on.

I immediately went back for another.

Brian and I both devoured these cookies at every opportunity for the rest of our trip, and the first weekend after we got home I set my mind to recreating them.

I discovered after some research that these lovely cookies, called “Anzac biscuits” in Australia and New Zealand, are actually extremely simple to make.

Most recipes call for melted butter (a feature you know I love in a cookie, as displayed in my recipe for the easiest chocolate chip cookies). You can stir the dough together in one bowl. And the best part is, they don’t contain eggs so they can totally be vegan if you use melted coconut oil instead of butter (though I think the flavor the butter imparts is excellent).

Anzac Biscuits | katiebirdbakes

What makes Anzac biscuits unique, though, is their use of golden syrup in the dough. This, it turns out, was that mystery flavor I couldn’t put my finger on when I tried them before.

Golden syrup (also called light treacle) is a cane sugar syrup used often in British and Australian/Kiwi baking. It is a natural byproduct of the cane sugar refining process, one step removed from molasses (also called “dark” or “black” treacle). It’s not commonly sold in stores in the US, but you can buy it on Amazon here!

Golden syrup has a light and buttery flavor, and its viscosity is similar to honey or corn syrup. In fact, if you don’t want to buy golden syrup, you could use corn syrup here instead with similar results. I wouldn’t recommend honey since it has a very distinct flavor (unless you want that).

Anzac Biscuits | katiebirdbakes

The golden syrup adds a butteryness and richness to the Anzac biscuits, while also keeping them fresh longer because as an invert sugar, it is hygroscopic (meaning it attracts and retains moisture). This recipe was actually developed during WWI to last long enough to send to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops, and I’m sure this is why golden syrup was used. Baking science is so cool!

The one thing I did discover through the course of my testing (and if you follow me on Instagram, you know I went through several rounds of testing, poor me) was that although the basic ingredients are uniform in most published recipes for Anzac biscuits, the baking times and temperatures recommended vary wildly from recipe to recipe. This was frustrating.

After a few overly crunchy tests, I found that slightly flattening the cookie dough balls and then baking for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F was the appropriate method. This yielded perfectly crisp edges, yet chewy interiors, just the way I remembered it.

Anzac Biscuits | katiebirdbakes

I hope you try these humble yet delicious Anzac biscuits for yourself. They’re worth it!

Anzac Cookies | katiebirdbakes
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4.60 from 10 votes

Anzac Biscuits

Like an oatmeal cookie but better, Anzac biscuits are soft and chewy in the middle with crispy, caramelized edges. Made in one bowl, no mixer needed!
Servings: 22 biscuits (cookies)
Author: katiebirdbakes.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup (can sub corn syrup if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl (or on the stove), melt the butter and golden syrup until bubbling.  Whisk in the baking soda and hot water – it may bubble even more, and that’s ok.
  • Whisk in the sugar and salt until well-combined, then stir in the flour, rolled oats, and shredded coconut until a dough is formed.
  • Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons (I use a #40 size tablespoon cookie scoop), roll dough into balls in your hands, and place at least 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.  These cookies spread!  Flatten each dough ball slightly with your fingers.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies are brown around the edges but still pale in the center.  They may look underdone, but they will firm up as they cool.  Serve!

Notes

These Anzac biscuits will keep for up to one week in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. Baked biscuits will also freeze, well-wrapped, for up to 3 months.
 
The unbaked dough also freezes well – scoop dough into balls, freeze on a plate until frozen, then place dough into a freezer bag for Anzac biscuits whenever you want them! Bake directly from frozen, adding a minute or two to the baking time.
 
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.

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46 Comments

    1. Hi Claudia – I’d love to know what you’d do differently or how the recipe deviates from your ideal Anzac biscuit. I’ve never had these come out dry when they are baked for the time directed in the recipe (just 10 minutes). If you baked them longer than that, they definitely could come out dry. thanks!

    1. Thanks Betty, glad you enjoyed! The sugar in the recipe actually is important for the cookies to spread, so I’d recommend using the full amount or using a granulated sugar substitute if you’re cutting back.

  1. To those who may not understand the “culture” of the Anzac biscuit and why it is disrespectful to change the recipe or call them cookies, it may be useful to point out that ANZAC actually stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, for whom these biscuits/bikkies were created. Also, the true recipe actually calls for brown sugar, that also enhances the flavor. May I respectfully suggest that, with the modifications you (and others) have made, you modify their name–perhaps even Anzac style biscuits, as they are not the true Anzacs, which will last many weeks.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these biscuits – what a wonderful texture and distinct flavor from the butter, syrup, oats, and coconut. I will definitely be making again! I did find that my second batch came out a little lighter colored at 350degrees for 9 minutes (instead of 10, but each oven is different). I used silpat on my baking sheet and they spread out the perfect amount.

    Thanks for the recipe, Katie!

  3. 5 stars
    I had seen these cookies on your Instagram a long time ago and finally decided I just had to make them NOW! Holy cow, what had I been waiting for?? They’re absolutely AMAZING…a definite fan favorite of the whole family! These will be made on repeat, for sure.

  4. I used coconut sugar and they turned out wonderful. I ate them with some raisins on the side and I think next time will add them in the batter!

  5. These look delish! Has anyone tried subbing coconut sugar for the granulated sugar and coconut nectar for the golden syrup? It seems like they would work and have a low glycemic index (it’s like having 1/2 the amount of sugar). Thank you!

    1. Hi Thea – I haven’t tried it but it might work! Just keep in mind that coconut sugar has a different texture from granulated sugar so the cookies will likely be darker and may not spread as much. Let me know if you try it!

  6. Just for the record the Department of Veterans Affairs has guidelines regarding A.N.Z.A.C biscuits and one should avoid using the word “cookie” : -“Anzac Biscuits
    The production of Anzac Biscuits is the only purely commercial use of the word ‘Anzac’ that is generally
    approved.
    However, such products must:
     not substantially deviate from the traditional recipe and shape
     be referred to as ‘Anzac Biscuits’ or ‘Anzac Slice’, not ‘Anzac Cookies’
     not use the word ‘Anzac’ inappropriately—such as disrespectful advertising. ” Australians have an upmost respect their ANZAC’s and honour their memory every April.

    1. Hi Katie,

      Now that you know that in calling ANZAC biscuits “cookies” you are being disrespectful to another culture, would you consider amending your article?

      Kindest regards, Fiona McInerney.

      1. 5 stars
        Fiona — what a smug response. If calling a “biscuit” a “cookie” is disrespecting another culture, you need some perspective. The author’s innocent sharing of a recipe certainly does not qualify for such a heavy-handed reply. Sounds like you need a little humor in your life (or a big chocolate chip cookie).

        1. 5 stars
          Good Grief to the “other” Debbie and Fiona. Seriously….I think most of the people of Australia and New Zealand would understand that Katie was simply trying to share a delicious taste treat that makes reference to a much loved and cherished food that holds a dear spot in many people’s hearts and was not at all trying to be disrespectful or tarnish the beloved heritage and prestige of THE ANZAC BISCUIT. This is a sweet, friendly ,recipe site for goodness sake!
          On top of the fact that even if you felt it was necessary to shed light on the issue, you certainly could have done it in a much less rude and ridiculous manner.

  7. I just used honey about two thirds of a cup panicked and added a tablespoon of granulated sugar which made them a little sweeter. I love these biscuits, I have tried to learn how to make the perfect Anzac biscuit.I am diabetic but I will eat something sweet if I know the contents, by baking it myself. I also added a fresh squeeze of lemon also.It seemed like a good idea, of which I enjoyed.

    1. As an Australian who made this recipe and didn’t have golden syrup (a molasses product), I would never think of using honey. The options I would consider using are maple syrup (I only ever buy the genuine stuff), raw sugar (added and melted into wet ingredients before adding dry—raw sugar still has some molasses before it’s washed out during refining), or brown sugar (also for the molasses which is added back after refining—or so I’ve been told). I used maple syrup the other day and was happy with the result.

  8. Thank you soooo much for this recipe it’s amazing and I even tried them with pecans … sooooo goooood … I definitely will be making these more often

  9. This is my new favorite cookie! Not too sweet, perfectly crisp around the edges, and soft in the middle. Thank you for this recipe! Currently freezing some of these to make ice cream sandwiches!

  10. Hi Katie as every good Aussie baker knows when cooking Anzac biscuits use brown sugar. White sugar doesn’t have the taste needed to go with the other ingredients

  11. Hi there!! Fantastic post…I love me a good oatmeal cookie! Do you think you could use maple syrup instead of the golden syrup (not found in Canada) or corn syrup (doesn’t this get a really bad rap for being incredibly unhealthy?)…? Thanks so much!!

  12. Question: aznacs are supposed to be great for keeping and shipping but you said one week in the recipe? It’ll take a week by mail to arrive…curious JC made adjustments to the Anzac recipe that make them more perishable? Thanks!!!

    1. I think they baked them a bit longer than I do so that they were quite crunchy. You can certainly do that, but I like the soft middles better 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    I just made these to serve as a new variety of cookies for the showing of my house (on the market). Very good. I made two trays at once – one in the middle of the oven and the second, one rack below. Those on the lower rack were browner and spread more. After 10 minutes, I removed those on the center rack and let them cool. Those on the lower rack were moved to the center rack…they were more spread and browner on the bottom. Both very good. Hoping they help sell the house! I wonder what vanilla extract might add (?) or orange zest? Anyone tried either of those additions?

  14. 5 stars
    I fell in love with these cookies when I lived in Australia for a year and this recipe tasted better than any cookie I had over there! They were an absolute delight and brought back some great memories for me. Thank you so much! They were a HUGE hit with the family as well. I also loved how easy they were to make. I can’t wait to make another batch! I made them last night and I think we have one left.

    1. YAY! Thank you so much Lindsay. They bring back great memories for me too every time I taste one and it took some refining to get them just right! So glad you enjoyed these!

  15. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe but my cookies didn’t spread at all! Tasted amazing though – I immediately made a second batch!

    1. Yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed these! Make sure you measure your flour using the “spoon and level” method – it produces a lighter cup of flour than scooping directly from the back with the measuring cup. That might be the issue with the spreading!

    2. Yes, mine didn’t either (and the colour was too uniform). I may reduce the flour and sift it before measuring. The cooled bikkies were much thicker and harder than I anticipated and I used convection baking so temperature and time were reduced. Let’s see how reduced flour recipe works. My sister bakes a version with very little flour (and it’s delicious) so I know I can keep reducing until I get the consistency I’m looking for. The KatieBirdBakes’ pics look awesome so that’s what I’m going for.