Try this recipe for empire biscuits, then try lemon biscuits, vegan shortbread biscuits, snickerdoodles and cobnut and chocolate shortbreads. Now try more biscuit recipes.

Chef's tips for empire biscuits:

  • Don’t knead the biscuit dough too much as this can result in biscuits that are tough, rather than light and crumbly
  • If the dough becomes too soft when re-rolling, wrap and chill for 5-10 mins until it has firmed up
  • Use a fluted biscuit cutter, if you like
  • Keeps in an airtight container for up to two days

Empire biscuits recipe


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 160g raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 8 glacé cherries, halved


  • STEP 1

    Beat together the butter and 100g of the icing sugar in a bowl using an electric whisk on low speed until just combined, then turn the speed up to high and continue to beat for 2-3 mins or until pale and fluffy. Or do this in a stand mixer.

  • STEP 2

    Add the egg yolks and vanilla, then beat again briefly until just combined. Add the flour and a pinch of salt, and mix using a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. Lightly knead the dough using your hands until smooth, then pat into a rough disc, wrap and chill for 30 mins until firm.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Roll the chilled dough out on a lightly floured worksurface until it's roughly 3mm thick. Use a 7cm round cutter to stamp out eight circles, then transfer these to one of the baking sheets, leaving space between each. Re-roll the offcuts and repeat until you have 16 circles. Bake for 10-12 mins or until lightly golden at the edges – you may need to swap the trays around halfway through baking to ensure they cook evenly.

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, re-roll the offcuts and repeat the process until you have cut out another 16 circles (making 32 in total). Arrange these on a sheet of baking paper and chill while the first batch bakes. Once the first batch is baked, leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes until firmed up slightly, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Bake and cool the second batch in the same way.

  • STEP 5

    Sift the remaining 150g of icing sugar into a bowl and mix with 1 tbsp of water until you have a thick, smooth icing – you can add an extra ½ tsp of water at a time to loosen, if needed. Spread the icing over half the cooled biscuits using an offset spatula or palette knife, leaving a small border around the edge. Leave to set for 20 mins.

  • STEP 6

    Spread the jam over the other half of the biscuits, then sandwich these with the iced biscuits to make 16 in total. Top each biscuit with a halved glacé cherry before serving.

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