Digestive Biscuits Recipe

You’ll love this Digestive Biscuits Recipe. Choose the healthy sugar free option or sweeten with golden syrup and cover with dark chocolate – delicious whichever way you choose and so much better than shop bought !

My favourite sweet treat is a nice cup of tea and a good digestive biscuit, perfect for dunking. Did you know the Victorians called these biscuits digestives because they had bicarbonate of soda in them, thereby making them good for your digestion ? Apparently one in nine packets of biscuits now sold in the UK is a packet of Digestives, making them the nation’s favourite biscuit regardless of their questionable aid to digestion.

I much prefer home-made biscuits over shop bought and whilst a digestive recipe using oatmeal and spelt flour is a good basis for a healthy biscuit, there is still the matter of the high sugar level in traditional digestive biscuits. Looking to reduce the sugar content and not being keen on the taste or the idea of artificial sweeteners, I settled on maple syrup as this seemed to pair with the oatmeal and add a malty taste. Maple syrup contains zinc and manganate and whilst it has a lower glycaemic index than sugar it still needs to be used in moderation – I used 4 tablespoons in the recipe to make about 30 biscuits. Wholemeal spelt flour made the biscuits a little too dry so I substituted white spelt flour.

I was really pleased with these biscuits, a lovely snap, the maple syrup really worked well to give a malty flavour and they were great for dunking. OH prefers them a little sweeter for dunking so I coated some with dark chocolate – which is still good for you isn’t it :–) The non-chocolate version go perfectly with cheese so I’m going to pop them into OH’s packed lunches.

I’m sure these biscuits are going to be baked on a regular basis at the Kitchen Shed and not just because they are the healthy option. So if you fancy a digestive biscuit that is much better for you and tastes so much better than shop bought, have a go at baking a batch of these.

My Digestive Biscuits Recipe is so easy to make. Make your dough and roll it out and cut your biscuits with a pastry cutter.

Place on a tray and bake.

And purely, optional 🙂 Cover with melted chocolate.

Here’s the Digestive Biscuits Recipe in quick printable format so you can have it to hand while you try it out.


You'll love this Digestive Biscuits Recipe. Choose the healthy sugar free option or sweeten with golden syrup and cover with dark chocolate - delicious whichever way you choose and so much better than shop bought !

Digestive Biscuits Recipe

You'll love this Digestive Biscuits Recipe. Choose the healthy sugar free option or sweeten with golden syrup and cover with dark chocolate - delicious whichever way you choose and so much better than shop bought !
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Snack, Afternoon Tea, Biscuit
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 30
Calories: 68kcal
Author: Sarah James


  • 2 x large baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silicone mats


  • 175 g white spelt flour or plain flour
  • 150 g fine oatmeal
  • 150 g ( 5 oz ) sunflower margarine or butter I used Pure Sunflower
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 60 ml maple syrup or golden syrup or milk.


  • Sieve the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add the butter or margarine. Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the maple syrup or golden syrup or milk (depending on which version you want to make) and bring the mixture together into a ball using your hands.
  • Flatten the dough into a thick disc ready for rolling out. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 4
  • Remove your biscuit dough from the fridge and roll out to about 3 to 4 mm thick.
  • I used a 6 cm circle cutter and although you can use whatever shape you like, this may mean adjusting the cooking times.
  • Place the biscuits onto your baking trays – I used a fork to make a basic pattern on the biscuits.
  • Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. If you like a really crisp biscuit, switch the oven off and leave them in for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  • Optional: decorate with melted chocolate.
  • Store in an airtight container.


Use golden syrup instead of maple syrup if you want a sweeter biscuit made with sugar.
If you prefer a totally sugar free biscuit, omit the maple syrup and use 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk and flavour with ¼ teaspoon of salt.
Calories are based on using sunflower margarine and maple syrup in the recipe.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Nutrition Facts
Digestive Biscuits Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Polyunsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.




Putting your biscuit dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes, treating it just like pastry, results in a lovely short biscuit.


Pin my Digestive Biscuits Recipe for later:

You'll love this Digestive Biscuits Recipe. Choose the healthy sugar free option or sweeten with golden syrup and cover with dark chocolate - delicious whichever way you choose and so much better than shop bought !

I’m entering my Digestive Biscuits Recipe into a few challenges this month:
  • Teatime Treats, created  by Karen at Lavender & Lovage and hosted this month by Janie at the Hedgecombers.
  • Healthy Digestive Biscuits have been entered into Treat Petite created by Stuart at CakeyBoi & Kat at The Baking Explorer, hosted this month by Stuart over at CakeyBoi.
  • The Biscuit Barrel Challenge created by Laura at I’d Much Rather Bake Than & hosted this month by Alexandra over at Lass In The Apron.
  • I’m also putting them forward for this month’s Family Foodies, organised by Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, which is looking for “healthier child-friendly recipes”. I’m sure kids will love these Healthy Digestive Biscuits with or without chocolate! ( Not suitable for children under 12 months )

And linking to:

You'll love this Digestive Biscuits Recipe. Choose the healthy sugar free option or sweeten with golden syrup and cover with dark chocolate - delicious whichever way you choose and so much better than shop bought !

43 thoughts on “Digestive Biscuits Recipe”

  • Hi Sarah,

    Recipe looks great.
    I assume the oatmeal you mention is porridge oats. If using porridge is it best to blitz it finer in a processor first.


    • Hi Victor, sorry for the late reply but I’ve been on a bit of a break from my blog. You can buy oatmeal or like you say you can give some porridge oats a fine blitz.

  • Thank you – thank you – thank you! I will never go back to the store bought version of Digestives. The cookies came out PERFECT!

  • 5 stars
    I had been buying chocolate covered digestives for my family and wanted to find a recipe so that I could do away with the packaging. I analyzed many recipes on Pinterest and decided on these ones. I made them with vegan butter as I have vegan family members, used half whole wheat and white organic flour and I added the maple syrup. I also brushed on melted milk chocolate (my favourite) and they were devoured by everyone in the household. So good! I am making a double batch to day with my grandkids, and I am going to get them to cut them out and poke them with the fork and brush the chocolate on top. I use a smaller size cutter and they look really cute and then it makes more cookies too. I am going to brush some of them with melted ‘Enjoy Life’ dairy free chocolate chips for my sister who is vegan and also ship some across Canada to my daughter who loves digestives (and homemade cookies). These were soooooo good, I will never go back to store bought! They are like a little scottish oat cake with chocolate so none of us feel guilty eating them. Yum! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Hi Nancy, pleased to hear you found our recipe on Pinterest. I hadn’t thought about the advantage of doing away with packaging. You sound like you have fun experimenting with the dairy free and vegan option, it’s good to hear vegan butter works well in the recipe. It’s a pleasure to share the recipe and I really appreciate your feedback.

    • Thanks Sara, the biscuits should keep for at least a week in an airtight container. thanks for popping by 🙂

  • Would you say the sugar-free version is as good as the maple syrup version? I love digestives but know how unhealthy they can be so am thrilled to find this recipe which doesn’t involve loads of expensive flour and sugar substitutes.

    • Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the recipe. The maple syrup version is our favourite, sometimes I make them with a little less syrup, I think it depends on your taste buds and how much sugar you eat on a day to day basis. I prefer to serve the sugar free version with cheese, they go so well together. Let me know how you get on 🙂

      • I need to cut as much sugar and sweetner from my diet as possible for medical reasons so I’m so glad to have found your recipe! I am making the sugar free version, and would never have thought of using milk by myself. Thank you!

    • That’s great to hear Alison, thanks so much for letting me know & it’s a pleasure to share the recipe.

  • 5 stars
    Just tried these. Somewhat like an oat shortbread cookie. Delish! I was thinking of putting chocolate on some, but don’t know if they will last long enough. Next time might have to make 2x to have enough. I’m thinking they might also be good with a hint of lemon rind, or vanilla… so many possibilities!

  • I’ve been searching for a good digestive biscuit recipe and found you over at CakeyBoi’s site! I’m going to try your recipe soon. THANK YOU!!!

  • Homemade biscuits are definitely the best. I’ve never made digestive biscuits but these look very good indeed, so I will add them to my list. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Janice, homemade biscuits are the best. Hope you enjoy healthy digestive biscuits as much as my oat biscuits 🙂

  • Ha! Homemade digestive biccies have been on my baking To Do list for quite some time. I’m very drawn to your healthier than usual recipe, and your use of maple syrup instead of sugar. They sound perfect! Mine with the choccie please! Thanks so much linking up to January’s Family Foodies ‘Healthy Kids’ event.

    • It’s a pleasure to link up with Family Foodies. The maple syrup makes the digestives easier to make too, some recipes I’ve tried ended up rather dry & not worth the bother. Hope you get time to try my Healthy Digestive Biscuits 🙂

  • Mmmm, they look very tasty, and I have a mug of tea here that could do with one (or three?) to dunk in in!
    Thanks so much for sharing with Tea Time Treats 🙂
    Janie x

    • Thanks Janie, you can have as many as you like 🙂 Thanks for joining in the dunking debate on Twitter x

  • Brilliant adaptations. Bough I will confess that given the option I would always take the chocolate covered version because my sweet tooth is incurable! Thanks for entering them into the Biscuit Barrel.

    • Thanks Laura & you’re welcome. I must admit the dark chocolate digestives are delicious 🙂

  • These look amazing and love that they’re so good for you-I think I’d make them even more virtuous and use buckwheat flour. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

    • Thanks Vicki, what a good idea. Buckwheat flour is very popular here in Brittany for galettes, very tasty. Reckon I’ll give it a go.

    • Oh you must have a go, they don’t take long & they’re so much better than shop bought. If you cover them with chocolate you can make sure it’s real chocolate too 🙂

  • What an interesting recipe. We always have maple syrup in the cupboard but it only ever gets used on pancakes…it’ll be good to get to use in in something else. Digestives have always been my favourite too! Thanks from sharing 🙂

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