Whole Wheat Digestive Cookies

(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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    […] Whole Wheat Digestive Cookies from Eggless Cooking […]

  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.

  16. Purvi

    Hello Madhuram,

    I stumbled upon your website while searching for eggless baking recipes.I have tried the oat-raisin cookies with flaxseed and they are heavenly. I am new to baking and wanted to try these out. I am not sure what is the “disk” when you say – “Press the dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes.” Can you please elaborate what this means and where can I get it?


    Purvi, thanks for trying the oatmeal raisin cookies. Pressing into disk means, simply flattening the dough ball into a disk (circular) shape, just you would do while preparing rotis. Simply gather together the dough and flatten it with your palm. Please feel free to ask any questions regarding baking. Do not hesitate.

  17. priya

    Hi Madhuram,
    Baked these cookies today.I must say they came out well.
    I have tasted digestive cookies however these tasted like sweet chappathi.Maybe the next time i will add more tbs of oats and reduce the quantity of sugar.Thanks.Enjoy your vacation.

  18. Shoba Shrinivasan


    Hope you are having a great time at Chennai. Have a great time and enjoy your break. I have nominated you for the Kreativ Bloggr Award. Please do visit my blog and post it on your site.



    Thanks Shobha.strong>

  19. anudivya

    I am so gonna try this Madhuram. SOunds perfect.

  20. natalie

    omg i loveee digestives! haven’t had them for a long time since i turned vegan and i think the store bought ones have milk powder or eggs.

    Hi Natalie, these digestive cookies were good but since I have not tried the store bought ones, I don’t know if these taste exactly like store bought ones.

  21. Colleen

    The “taste” tab describes these well. However, they
    are nothing like traditional “Digestive” biscuits.
    Maybe there is too much sugar in the recipe? I was
    disappointed that they were not soft and crumbly–
    I should have listened to the “taste” description.

  22. priya

    I have not baked anything with whole wheat flour.Can use the wheat flour bought from the indian store as I have it on hand.Thanks.

  23. Gourmet Mama

    Have been eating whole wheat cereals all the time and haven’t tried digestive cookies eversince. I think I’ll try this one for a change. Thanks for sharing this recipe. 😀

  24. Jyoti

    Never tried making digestive cookies at home. This is a great recipe.
    Will let you know when I try!

  25. Kiran

    This is a great recipe, you are right it is a good British classic. All of my family members like to have at least 2 with their tea. So this is one recipe I will be trying out fo rsure, I did not relise that it had such little butter, will need to try them out soon 🙂

  26. jayasri

    they are absolutely amazing madhu, must try this sometime.

  27. Lakshmi Venkatesh

    Cookies look lovely. My children like these digestive cookies.
    Will try to make it for them.

  28. Sweatha

    Awesome Madhu.Love the delicious cookies.Cannot say they are made of whole wheat and not APF.
    The sweet roti recipe is good as well ;P

  29. Priya N

    Cookies looks so good Madhuram..Did your son like it? I mean would the kids like to have these cookies? If so , I can also make them for my son..

    Yes, yes he liked it. My husband felt that it was too sweet for him.

  30. Hari Chandana

    Woww… looks soo yummyyy… very tempting snap..

  31. Soma

    Sounds pretty simple, but they look awesome.. oh darn my oven…

  32. Divya Vikram

    That is a pretty straightforward recipe. Looks perfectly baked Madhu!

  33. Sumi

    love to try it out sometime..we are big fans of digestive cookies

  34. Parita

    Cookies look perfect!

  35. Miakoda

    I love digestive cookies…and I must comment on on the format of your blog posts, I love the separate tabs for ingredients, procedure, etc. Unique but still user-friendly 🙂

    Thanks Mia.

  36. Cilantro

    Cookies look perfect. This is a simple recipe for me. Would love to make some for my daughter. I have had the sweet chappatis you are talking about.

  37. Shri

    I have eaten sweet chapathis couple of times and love it..Who
    doesnt like sugar?The cookies look too good!

  38. Usha

    Looks perfect !

  39. prathibha

    Wow they look completely store bought….never attempted these kind….looks perfect

  40. Sonu

    Madhu, cookies looks so beautiful!:) err…pastry blender? I don’t have it. Can we use food processor instead? Thanks for sharing.:)

    I’m sure you could use it Sonu.