Sam’s historical recipe corner: Anzac biscuits

  • Difficulty 2/10

BBC History Magazine's picture editor Sam Nott recreates Anzac biscuits – a sweet treat sent out to New Zealand and Australian troops serving in Gallipoli during the First World War

These nutritious and long-lasting Anzac biscuits are often associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. (Credit: Sam Nott)

Tasty, nutritious and easy to make, it’s not surprising that Anzac biscuits are still a popular snack in Australia and New Zealand, particularly on Anzac Day (25 April), which marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.



  • Porridge oats 85g
  • Desiccated coconut 85g
  • Plain white flour 100g
  • Caster sugar 100g
  • Butter 100g, plus extra for greasing
  • Golden syrup 1 tbsp
  • Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp


  • Step 1

    Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the oats, coconut, flour and sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the golden syrup. Add the bicarbonate of soda to 2 tbsp boiling water, then stir into the golden syrup and butter mixture.

  • Step 2

    Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter and golden syrup mixture. Stir gently to incorporate the dry ingredients.

  • Step 3

    Put dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on to buttered baking sheets – about 2.5cm/1in apart to allow room for spreading. Bake in batches for 8-10 mins until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

BBC History Magazine team verdict: "I’ve often read that Anzac biscuits were sent out to New Zealand and Australian troops serving in Gallipoli during the First World War. According to the National Army Museum, though, this is a myth and most of these deliciously chewy biscuits were in fact sold at fetes and galas at home, often as part of fundraising efforts. You can imagine, though, that they would have been an ideal biscuit for soldiers: hearty, nutritious and long-lasting.

On a Monday morning, the BBC History Magazine team tucked into a few that had been left in the office all weekend: they still tasted just as good!

For more tasty treats from the past, visit our historical recipes page here, including:

Not doughnuts, not profiteroles but semlor - creamy treats to beat pancakes. (Credit: Sam Nott)

Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food.

This article was first published in the July 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine