I wonder why these biscuits are called ‘Empire Biscuits’. It seems there are different names in different regions, but I call them ‘Empire Biscuits’. I use my old classic ‘Shortbread’ recipe for the biscuits. Many people use red coloured Glacé Cherries for the topping, but I prefer natural coloured ones. This is a perfect treat in the festive season.


About 20 Pieces
*Today I made 38 x 4.5cm Round Cookies, and 19 Pieces


125g Butter *softened
1/4 cup Caster Sugar
1 cup Plain Flour *plus extra for dusting the work surface
2 tablespoons Rice Flour OR Corn Starch *OR Custard Powder

Assembly & Decoration
Raspberry Jam
1/2 cup Icing Sugar
1 tablespoon Milk OR Cold Water
Glacé Cherries *cut in half if large

  1. Preheat oven to 160℃. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Mix softened Butter and Sugar until smooth and well combined. Add Plain Flour and Rice Flour (OR Corn Starch), and mix well. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.
  3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 3-4mm thick and cut out rounds. *Note: Today I used a round cutter 4.5cm in diameter and made 38 cookies. *Note: If the dough is too soft to work with, allow it to cool in the fridge until firm enough.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking. Set aside on the trays for 10 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  5. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Raspberry Jam on a cookie and sandwich with another.
  6. To make Icing, place Icing Sugar in a bowl, add Milk (OR Water) and mix well until smooth. *Note: Add extra Icing Sugar OR Milk if required.
  7. Add some Icing on each Biscuit piece, spread nicely, and place a Glacé Cherry (OR 1/2 Glacé Cherry if large) on top.