A plate of freshly baked Anzac biscuits, showcasing their golden-brown color and rustic texture.

Of the iconic recipes that have come out of Australia and New Zealand, Anzac biscuits are one of the most treasured — as well as one with the richest stories behind it. There you have it folks, simple yet tasty biscuits that are a staple not only in homes but ones steeped with historical and cultural significance. Anzac biscuits — once designed to be dispatched to soldiers during World War I, have grown into an emblem of defiance and memory and a source of national pride. How did Anzac biscuits start and where are they now? Let’s examine the story behind Anzac biscuits – from their beginnings to how they’ve changed and planted themselves in culinary history as well as present-day customs.

A jar filled with homemade Anzac biscuits, perfect for sharing or gifting.

Historical Origins

— Anzac is an acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a collaboration of forces between the two countries which fought together in World War I. The term now refers to otherwise mateship, valour and the common military history shared by Australia and New Zealand One legend tells that during 1915, wives and mothers would bake Anzac biscuits to send their soldiers in place of sweets which had a tendency to spoil.

Anzac biscuits were created in a way that they could survive the long mari time without going bad, unlike other kinds of baked goods. * As (Kil) was done in a time when the means of transport and conservation were rather poor. The absence of eggs and milk in the recipe — two ingredients that were scarce during the war — are part of what helped them to last. The ingredients were simply rolled oats, flour, sugar, butter, golden syrup and either baking soda or desiccated coconut. What I particularly like about these ingredients though is although they were convenient, they also have added nutritional value and taste great too!

The biscuits soon became a favourite item in care packages for soldiers. baking them with love. These gems would offer some comfort and a familiar taste to their brave but homesick boys, husbands or sweethearts far away on the battlefield. The hardy nature of the wdbos Anzac biscuit, able to be transported over long distances without deteriorating in quality, also made them a suitable option for wartime.

Recipe and Ingredients

The traditional Anzac biscuit recipe has remained largely unchanged over the years, a testament to its simplicity and effectiveness. The core ingredients are:

  • Rolled Oats: These form the base of the biscuit, providing texture and a hearty, nutty flavor.
  • Plain Flour: Adds structure to the biscuit, ensuring it holds together.
  • Sugar: Typically, both white sugar and brown sugar are used, adding sweetness and a hint of caramel.
  • Butter: Essential for flavor and binding the ingredients together.
  • Golden Syrup: A key ingredient that imparts a distinct, rich sweetness and helps to hold the biscuit together.
  • Baking Soda: Acts as a leavening agent, contributing to the biscuit’s light, airy texture.
  • Desiccated Coconut: Adds texture and a subtle coconut flavor.

Traditional Anzac Biscuit Recipe:


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • 125g (4 oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, flour, sugar, and desiccated coconut.
  3. Melt Butter and Syrup: In a small saucepan, melt the butter and golden syrup over low heat. Stir until fully melted and combined.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Add this mixture to the melted butter and syrup. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Shape Biscuits: Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place them on the prepared baking tray, flattening each slightly with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake: Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

This simple recipe produces biscuits that are crunchy on the outside, with a slightly chewy center. The golden syrup not only adds flavor but also helps to create a beautiful, golden-brown finish.

A step-by-step display of the traditional Anzac biscuits recipe, with each ingredient and process illustrated.

Evolution and Variations

Over time, Anzac biscuits have evolved, with many households and bakeries putting their own spin on the traditional recipe. While purists may argue that any deviation from the original is sacrilege, others appreciate the creativity and variety that modern interpretations bring.

Chewy Anzac Biscuits: Some prefer their Anzac biscuits to be chewier rather than crunchy. To achieve this texture, the baking time can be reduced slightly, or a bit of extra golden syrup can be added to the mixture. Chewy Anzac biscuits have a soft, moist center that contrasts nicely with their crisp edges.

Anzac Slice: An alternative to the traditional biscuit form is the Anzac slice. This involves pressing the biscuit mixture into a baking tray and cutting it into squares or bars after baking. Anzac slice is often denser and can be a convenient way to prepare and serve this beloved treat.

Chocolate-Dipped Anzac Biscuits: For a more indulgent version, some bakers dip half of each biscuit in melted chocolate. This adds a rich, sweet contrast to the oat and coconut flavors and creates a more decadent treat.

Healthier Variations: In recent years, health-conscious bakers have experimented with alternative ingredients to make Anzac biscuits more nutritious. Wholemeal flour can replace plain flour, and honey or maple syrup can be used instead of golden syrup. Adding nuts, seeds, or dried fruits can also boost the nutritional profile and add interesting flavors and textures.

Cultural Significance

Anzac biscuits are not only a delicious indulgence but also an emblem of nationalistic sentiment in all Australians and New Zealanders. They are closely linked with Anzac Day (from a story like ‘A…N…Z-A-C’), the national day of honour held in Australia and New Zealand on 25 April each year. Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. It also commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

On Anzac Day, the holiday to remember veterans of Australia and New Zealand forces who fought in wars past and present, families often make and exchange them. Baking these biscuits, some believe that it is a way to remember history and the sacrifices made by past generations. Other community events, such as dawn services and parades, include stalls selling home-made Anzac Biscuits with proceeds going to help support veterans’ organizations.

“What it really comes down to is the simple fact that Anzac biscuits are delicious and they have played a real role in everyday, ordinary life,” he said. If there ever was a biscuit that was in every Aussie lunchbox, arvo tea time and on every picnic blanket it would be the humble Monte Carlo. There is something so unassuming,yet pleasingly nostalgic about them. For many people, Anzac biscuit baking is a tradition that spans generations with every family adding its own twist to the recipe. “This continuity is essential to ensuring that the memory of the Anzacs not only remains living in our hearts, but this legacy lives on and continues to be observed” (Anzac Day, 2012).

Legal Protection and Commercialization

Anzac biscuits are protected by law in Australia and New Zealand as the name “Anzac,” along with such words as “biscuit”, or “corpse”, cannot be used to directly describe any other product. The word “Anzac” is legally a protected one under Australian law, with strict regulations about how it can be used in commercial products. This Act also covers the recipe and title of Anzac biscuits, has enabled them to be enjoyed in their traditional form and tasted.

The use of the term “Anzac” is monitored by Australia’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which has also had its say on what makes a ‘bona fide’ Anzac biscuit. Commercial producers have to follow these rules, and the guidelines mandate that certain components should be included since some adjustments cannot be made, such as chocolate chips). The regulations also serve to protect the Anzac biscuit so they keep their name and are not used for what many in Australia would consider unwarranted or disrespectful commercialisation of an historical legacy.

But despite the rule, Anzac biscuits are still sold in supermarkets, bakeries and cafes all over Australia and New Zealand. Anzac biscuits are produced by many commercial brands that each have slightly different interpretations of the original recipe But for many of us, it doesn’t really get much better than a lovingly baked batch made with your favourite family Anzac biscuits recipe.

Anzac Biscuits in Modern Cuisine

In contemporary cuisine, Anzac biscuits continue to inspire chefs and home bakers alike. Their simple yet flavorful profile makes them a versatile ingredient in various desserts and culinary creations. Here are some innovative ways to incorporate Anzac biscuits into modern dishes:

Anzac Biscuit Cheesecake Base: Instead of using the traditional graham cracker crust, Anzac biscuits can be crushed and used as a base for cheesecakes. The combination of oats, coconut, and golden syrup adds a delightful twist to the dessert, complementing the creamy filling.

Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream: Crumbled Anzac biscuits can be mixed into homemade or store-bought ice cream, creating a crunchy, flavorful mix-in. The biscuits’ texture and sweetness pair wonderfully with vanilla, caramel, or even chocolate ice cream.

Anzac Biscuit Trifles: Layering crumbled Anzac biscuits with custard, whipped cream, and fresh fruit can create a delicious trifle. This dessert showcases the biscuits in a new light, offering a blend of textures and flavors that are both nostalgic and innovative.

Anzac Biscuit Granola: For a breakfast twist, the ingredients of Anzac biscuits can be adapted into a granola mix. Baking rolled oats, coconut, and a touch of golden syrup together creates a granola with the familiar flavors of Anzac biscuits, perfect for topping yogurt or enjoying with milk.

The Role of Anzac Biscuits in Education

Anzac biscuits also play a role in education, serving as a practical way to teach children about history, culture, and cooking. Schools often incorporate the baking of Anzac biscuits into lessons around Anzac Day, providing a hands-on activity that engages students and helps them connect with the past.

Through the process of making Anzac biscuits, children learn about the historical context in which they were created, the importance of the Anzacs, and the significance of Anzac Day. This educational activity combines history and home economics, fostering an appreciation for both the culinary arts and national heritage.

The simplicity of the recipe makes it accessible for children to participate in, fostering a sense of achievement and connection to tradition. Moreover, sharing the biscuits with family and friends can spark conversations about history and remembrance, ensuring that the stories and sacrifices of the Anzacs are passed down through generations.

Anzac biscuits surrounded by the key ingredients, including rolled oats, golden syrup, and desiccated coconut.

The Global Reach of Anzac Biscuits

While Anzac biscuits are quintessentially Australian and New Zealand, their appeal has spread beyond these shores. As people from these countries have traveled and emigrated around the world, they have taken their culinary traditions with them, introducing Anzac biscuits to new audiences.

Expat communities often celebrate Anzac Day abroad, baking and sharing Anzac biscuits as a way to honor their heritage and connect with fellow nationals. International food festivals and markets may feature Anzac biscuits, offering a taste of Australia and New Zealand to curious food enthusiasts.

In some cases, the story of Anzac biscuits has been incorporated into global discussions about food and history, highlighting how simple recipes can carry profound cultural and historical significance. This international interest helps to preserve the legacy of Anzac biscuits and ensures that their story continues to be told.


Anzac biscuits are more than just a delicious treat; they are a tangible connection to history, a symbol of national pride, and a beloved tradition in Australia and New Zealand. From their humble origins as a wartime necessity to their status as a cherished cultural icon, Anzac biscuits embody resilience, remembrance, and the enduring spirit of the Anzacs. If you enjoyed reading this article, please consider reading our article about Swimming Pools.