This Bourbon biscuit recipe with two tender, melt in the mouth chocolate biscuits and chocolate buttercream filling, is an easy and delicious way to enjoy the iconic English biscuit. These chocolate sandwich biscuits are a tasty addition to the biscuit tin, and will become a firm family favourite!
What are Bourbon Biscuits?
Bourbon biscuits, also known as Bourbon creams, are a classic English biscuit. Two chocolate biscuits are sandwiched together with a chocolate buttercream filling. They go very well with a a cup of tea – either dipped in or served on the side – as well as with a glass of milk.
Despite their name, there is no bourbon in the biscuits, they are alcohol free.
Whilst you can easily buy them if you live in the UK, there is nothing better than a homemade bourbon biscuit; and here is the recipe to show you how to make them!
Why we love this recipe
- Egg free biscuit – which makes it a great recipe for those with an egg allergy (alongside my egg free chocolate cake)
- Easy chocolate biscuit recipe – one bowl, 5 ingredient dough.
- Classic British biscuit recipe – so reminds me and Mr Jones of home 🙂
- The biscuits transport well, making them a great recipe for picnics and lunchboxes, or if you want to bake them to take in to work (and these chocolate biscuits have been taken to Mr Jones’s work many, many times!)
- Plain flour
- Cocoa powder – dutch processed for extra richness
- Granulated sugar
- Milk chocolate – for the buttercream, you can also use dark 70% chocolate, which I like, but the rest of my family prefer the buttercream made with milk chocolate.
- Icing sugar – aka confectioners sugar.
- Butter or margarine – if you use butter in this recipe, the biscuits will come out of the oven looking different to if you make them with margarine.
Butter vs Margarine in this Recipe
In some baking recipes you can get away with substituting butter for margarine, and vice versa. In this recipe however, they give different results. They both taste amazing – the main thing in my book! – but the texture and appearance is slightly different.
- Butter (photo on the left): The biscuits have spread slightly and the edges aren’t as straight and neat (not that my biscuits are ever the neatest!). They have a crisper texture.
- Margarine (photo on the right): The biscuits have straighter edges and have kept their shape. They have a softer texture.
Note: The butter ones are darker due to being made with Dutch cocoa powder as opposed to regular cocoa powder in the margarine ones, the colour has nothing to do with the fat used.
If you are after a traditional English bourbon biscuit, I would recommend using margarine. My Australian taste testing neighbours liked the butter bourbon biscuits but the English taste testers preferred the biscuits made with margarine.
How to Make Homemade Bourbon Biscuits
For detailed recipe please see recipe card below.
- Mix the flour, cocoa powder and sugar.
- Add the butter or margarine.
- Mix together until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
- It will look very crumbly at first but use your hands and keep mixing!
- Roll out out the dough.
- Cut into an even number of shapes with a cutter or a knife.
- Place the biscuits on a lined baking tin.
- Carefully press the blunt end of a skewer along the longer edges of the biscuits for decoration. Bake.
- Once cool, make the chocolate buttercream
- When the biscuits are cold, make the chocolate buttercream bu mixing butter with icing sugar.
- Add melted chocolate.
- Mix until smooth.
- Place a spoonful of buttercream on half the biscuits, and sandwich them together.
Frequently Asked Questions
No they don’t!
Apparently, McVities, the company that makes them commercially, explains the holes let steam out, which prevents the biscuits from cracking.
It is named after the former French Royal House of Bourbon, although originally they were called Creola biscuits.
No they don’t.
My tips for this recipe
- Keep mixing the dough – it doesn’t seem crumbly at first, and you wonder how on earth it will hold together, but it does! If it doesn’t come together, even after mixing well with your hands, add half a teaspoon of milk.
- If you are short on time, I find a cookie cutter much quicker than measuring and cutting the dough. Whilst the biscuits are traditionally rectangular, I often make them square or round.
- Transferring biscuits to the tray: slide the spatula under the long side of the rectangle rather than the short one to help keep the rectangular shape of the biscuit.
- Don’t attempt to fill the biscuits with the chocolate buttercream until they are completely cold, otherwise the buttercream will melt and result in a bit of a mess.
Store in an airtight container and eat within 3 days. The buttercream causes them to go soft after this time. But honestly, they won’t last that long!
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This recipe was originally published in May 2020. It has since been updated with better images and more informative text. The recipe remains the same.
Bourbon Biscuit Recipe
- 100 g plain flour
- 25 g cocoa powder
- 40 g granulated sugar
- 85 g butter/margarine *please see notes below
- splash milk if needed
- 30 g milk chocolate
- 20 g butter/margarine
- 35 g icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ 355 ˚F
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Combine the flour, cocoa and sugar in a roomy mixing bowl.
- Add the margarine and beat together until the mixture forms a smooth paste, it is easier to start off mixing with a spoon and then use your hands.
- It will look very crumbly at first, but it will come together.
- If it doesn't seem to be getting less crumbly, add ½ teaspoon of milk.
- Bring the dough together to form a ball.
- Place the dough in between 2 sheets of baking paper, and roll out out to a thickness of 4-5mm (.15" -.19")
- Cut into an even number of shapes with a cutter or use a knife to cut rectangles 7cmx 3.5 cm (2.8" x 1.4")
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- If you want to add some decoration to the biscuits, carefully press the blunt end of a skewer along the longer edges of the biscuits, taking care not to press right through the dough.
- Place in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes.
- Leave for a minute on the tin, and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling
- When the biscuits are cold, make the chocolate buttercream.
To Make the Buttercream
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water.
- Beat the butter/margarine until soft, then sift the sugar into it, and pour in melted chocolate. Mix to combine.
- Spread a teaspoonful of the buttercream onto half the biscuits (taking care as they can be crumbly), then top with the other biscuits, moving around slightly to squidge the filling to the edges – not too much or the filling will escape!
- Store in an airtight container.