Craving for Empire Biscuits


For a sugar lover this classic Scottish biscuit hits the right spot. We sure know how to indulge with a double layer buttery  biscuit. There’s sweetness upon sweetness with the jam and icing sugar, and of course there’s the cherry on top.

This is my first time making these biscuits but the recipe I found online is quite simple. Several people wrote in the reviews and comments about adding some custard powder so that’s what I’ve done. When you look up recipes online it’s quite interesting to read people’s comments as they will have followed the same instructions…just in case they experienced any issues (save you from making the same mistakes!). For example in the recipe I looked at it called for 950g of icing sugar – this is for the icing on top of the biscuit. Now I don’t have much experience with icing sugar but I thought that’s too much – and that is what some people found that commented. So instead of following the measures I just did it by eye…which explains why it’s slightly runny! OOps!



  • 225g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder
  • Half jar of raspberry jam (~170g)
  • Icing sugar
  • Milk (1-2 tablespoon)
  • Glace cherries to decorate


  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 160 C (fan) / Gas 4. Line baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Using an electric whisk blend together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You can use a manual whisk if you’re feeling strong.
  3. Stir the flour and custard powder into the butter mix until well blended. I find it best to do this by hand.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 5-6mm thickness. I love using my Joseph Joseph rolling pin as it has integrated guides to help you roll to the desired thickness.  Cut into circles using a pastry/cookie cutter. (I’ve actually cut-out various sizes and thickness of circles as you can see in my photos – Mike thought the largest cutter was the best size for the biscuit but even I thought that was too big. Anyway, hence the mix of sizes to keep us both happy). By the way, make sure you cut up enough pairs to make the sandwich biscuits – unless you want single ones of course!
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. My 10mm thick biscuits took a bit longer but remember every oven is different so times may differ slightly. Allow the biscuits to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes (as they will be too delicate to handle when still hot) before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For the jam filling I sieved the jam to remove the seeds. I also boiled the jam as one person wrote that it will make the jam more jelly like and also stick to the biscuit more? Anyway, that’s what I did and seemed to work. Sandwich one teaspoon of jam between two biscuits. Repeat with remaining biscuits.
  7. In another bowl, mix together some icing sugar and a little of the milk first to see how it looks. Add some more milk little by little until you get a nice thick spreadable consistency. You can keep making more if it’s not enough. I find it’s better this way so you don’t end up with lots of leftover icing. Spread the icing on top of the biscuit sandwiches and lastly gently place half a cherry whilst the icing is still wet.

There you have it – simple right?






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