Whole Wheat Digestive Cookies

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(from 4 reviews)
Digestive Cookies

Digestive cookies (or digestive biscuits) are the backbone of British baking (that’s what I read in a book). I was looking for a recipe with British origin in the Reader’s Digest Cookies book and found this one to be very simple to bake with ingredients easily available.

I have not changed anything in the recipe and also don’t have anything to write in the My Notes section because it’s pretty straightforward. Just mixing dry ingredients and wet ingredients, forming a soft dough, rolling it out and cutting shapes with a cookie cutter. How difficult is this?

Digestive Cookies Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins15 Mins45 Cookies
Whole Wheat Digestive Cookies
4.0 from 4 reviews
A simple recipe for Britain’s famous digestive cookies.
  • 1 and 1/3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Rolled oats/quick cooking oats
  • 5 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Milk (I used 2%)
  1. In a large mixing bowl sift all the dry ingredients except oats and sugar. Stir in the oats.
  2. Take out the butter from the refrigerator, cut up into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender further cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a pastry blender you can do this with your fingers or fork too, but it’s more work.
  3. Stir in the sugar and add milk little by little to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth.
  4. Press the dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off start preheating the oven at 375F for 15 minutes. So by the time the oven preheats it will be 30 minutes and you can start working on the cookie dough. Also butter 2 cookie sheets.
  5. Lightly flour the surface. Roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Gather the dough scraps, re-roll and continue the same procedure until all the dough is used.
  6. The cookies tend to stick to the floor, so use a spatula to lift and transfer the cookies to the baking sheets. Place them 1 inch apart. Prick all over with a fork.
  7. The baking time depends on the thickness of the cookies and the material of the baking sheet. Note that cookies baked on a dark-colored non stick baking sheet tend to bake faster and if not alert the bottom will get burnt. My second batch cookies were thinner than the first batch. So the first batch took 13 minutes, while the second batch was done in 10 minutes. Look for golden color cookies. If baking both the batches at the same time, place each baking sheet in individual racks and shift sheets halfway through baking.
  8. Leave the cookies in the baking sheet itself for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  1. These digestive cookies taste exactly like sweet chapathi (or what we call chakkara roti in our house). I don’t if everybody makes this chapathi. First you roll out the chapathi dough, apply generous amount of ghee and sprinkle sugar all over, then fold it and apply ghee and sugar on each fold and roll it out once again and then cook it on a hot tava. So these cookies taste exactly like that. If you like the sweet chapathi you will definitely like this one too. Initially you may feel that it is very sweet but once you eat one cookie you will get addicted to the sweetness and will reach out for one more.
  2. As for the texture, it is crispy but not “melt in your mouth” type of crispness but quite similar to a hard candy. After reading hard candy don’t assume that you cannot bite it. It’s definitely chewable and very tasty.
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  1. VidyaShree G

    My husband has lot of restrictions for food.he doesnt have milk n milk products, no dry fruits, no sugar,no apple, no banana., no maida and ragi.. can u suggest some cookies and cakes for him that i can prepare…

    • Madhuram

      That’s a lot of restrictions Vidya. Look for gluten free and vegan recipes in Google and Pinterest. You might be able to find some recipes. But it won’t taste like the cookies/cakes which you bake with maida and sugar.

  2. Nisha

    Wow just landed on your website. Its too good. I had a question . how to bake cookies if we do not have a microwave oven?

  3. Lakshmi

    Hi Madhu,
    Thanks for the recipe. My biscuits were tasty and crisp. Can you suggest a recipe for spicy biscuits. While rolling the dough I used greased sheet and found it easy to roll and cut into desired shapes.

  4. Pervinder

    i don’t want to add oats in this. hat will be the replacement for oats?

    • Madhuram

      Use flour iteself.

  5. Deepa

    Good recipe however my cookies too were a little burnt at 190 deg c. had to flip over in between and agree with the above comment that it was too sweet.

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  7. Divya

    This was a very good recipe! Thanks!

    Like many have already noted, I found the cookies too sweet. I would probably try a couple of changes to it –

    A. Try a cup of powdered sugar instead of a cup of sugar. That will tone down the sweetness (1cup granulated sugar = 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar). Also I found that the sugar did not dissolve completely and was left with granules even after baking.

    B. My cookies needed to be flipped in between. I baked at 190C and my first batch came out with bottoms burnt but the top still not golden brown. From the second batch on, I baked at 150 for 10 mins and then flipped them over for another 5 and they came out looking gorgeous!

  8. shails

    thanks alot for this great recipe. tried yesterday with my daughter(3 yr)as she was asking me to bake something…saw this one n tried…..came out perfectly n tasted delicious….would definitely be making these more often

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Shails.

  9. Nandhini

    I tried Your Dates cake which turned out too good. This weekend i want to try out this digestive cookie for my Dad. As my Dad is a diabetic, I want to make a low calorie cookie for him. Can i replace butter with oil in the above recipe. If yes, tell me the oil quantity i should use.

    Thanks for trying it Nandhini. I won’t suggest baking these cookies for a diabetic because it is very sweet. Secondly oil substitution will not be right in the recipe, because the digestive cookies gets it’s distinctive flavor from the butter. Instead try the whole wheat crackers. It’s a savory cookie, so no sugar at all. You can even try reducing the quantity of oil a little bit.

  10. shobha

    I came across this recipe today …will try it out soon.
    I have made many types of cookies but not digestive.
    Thanks for the recipe.

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  12. Twinsy Rachel Abraham

    Tx for replying n u guess what, I read the your note section only after posting my first comment. I should have read that before asking my doubts {learnt that I need to pay attention to the smallest detail:)}


    No problem Twinsy.

  13. darshna

    hello , tried the digestive cookies but turned out to be hard and sweet. can you help me. would also like the butter in gms.

    Darshna, that’s what I had mentioned in the Taste section too. I think around 50gms butter.

  14. anushruti

    This seems to be a great recipe….after all who will not relish digestive biscuits, homemade to boot? Bookmarked!

  15. Twinsy Rachel Abraham

    Hello Madhu:

    Have been following ur blog for some time n got a chance to bake the digestive biscuits yesterday.. Gotta few doubts n I hope u would clear them for me

    1. The biscuits werent soft n crumbly as I thought it would be, but since I have never tasted a digestive biscuit before, thought I would ask you on the texture.

    2. They were quite hard n I thought it was because i used cold milk. Can u tell me if i should use hot milk or cold milk to the dough?

    3. They expanded only a bit. Mine is a very old round oven where u cant adjust the temperature. do u think that is the reason?

    All in all, I wud say the biscuit did taste good except a bit sugary n hubby took it office 🙂 Thank you madhu for sharing a wonderful recipe n I hope to have the doubts cleared once u r back from Chennai.

    Take Care

    You’re welcome Twinsy. I have already mentioned in the taste section that the cookies were hard and not soft. I have not tasted actual Digestive cookies so was not able to compare.