English Digestive Biscuits go Perfectly with a Spot of Tea or Coffee


These dairy-free English Digestive Biscuits are delightfully wholesome, gently sweet, and have the perfect lightly crisp texture. Think of them as graham crackers for grown-ups to enjoy with tea or coffee. Store-bought English Digestive Biscuits are often vegan-friendly, but recipes for making your own usually contain dairy. Many home bakers opt to use butter, which creates more of a shortbread. These are closer to the traditional British favorite. We originally shared this recipe over 15 years ago, but today are giving it a big update!

Dairy-Free English Digestive Biscuits Recipe - naturally vegan and nut-free

Special Diet Notes: English Digestive Biscuits

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free English Digestive Biscuits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These classic cookie-like biscuits simply beg to be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. They're the perfect little treat after a meal.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Serves: about 3 dozen biscuits
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening (like Spectrum or Nutiva)
  • ¾ cup powdered confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup cold unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage, or as needed
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and whisk until coarse crumbs form. Add the sugar and enough milk to make a stiff dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until smooth.
  3. If you have time, return the dough to your bowl, cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. This resting time will make the biscuits more tender and crisp.
  4. After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Roll the dough out until it is a bit more than ⅛ inch thick. Cut it with a 2½-inch biscuit cutter or into your desired shapes.
  6. Place the biscuit dough cut outs on your prepared baking sheets. Prick the biscuits evenly with a fork.
  7. Bake the biscuits until pale gold, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool completely.
  8. The biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1 week.
Flour Note: If you don't have whole wheat flour on hand, you can substitute all-purpose flour. You can also cut in a little oat flour for part of the flour for a slightly different texture.

Brown Sugar Option: If you prefer that slight molasses flavor, you can substitute ½ cup brown sugar for all of the powdered sugar.

Oat Option: If you like the rustic texture of oats in English digestive biscuits, pulse ½ cup rolled oats in your spice grinder or food processor a few times. There should still be some coarse bits remaining. Substitute the oats for ½ cup of the whole wheat flour (reduce the whole wheat flour to 1 cup.)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 46 Fat: 3g Saturated fat: 1.3g Carbohydrates: 4.9g Sugar: 2.5g Sodium: 32mg Fiber: .2g Protein: .4g

More Dairy-Free Treats to Enjoy with Tea

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Chocolate Dipped Dairy-Free Biscotti Recipe 4 Ways - Classic, Whole Wheat, Gluten-Free and Vegan

Vegan Wild Blueberry Scones (Panera Copycat!)

Classic Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies

Classic Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies Recipe with the Perfect Buttery Finish. Also happen to be vegan, nut-free, and optionally soy-free.

Want More Dairy-Free Recipes? Enjoy Eat Dairy Free!

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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