Classic English Digestive Cookie Recipe (Dairy Free & Vegan)


These dairy-free English digestive cookies are deliciously healthy, slightly sweet and have the perfect slightly crunchy texture. Think of them as graham crackers that adults can enjoy with tea or coffee. Store-bought English digestive cookies are often suitable for vegans, but the recipes to make your own usually contain dairy. Many home bakers choose to use butter, which creates more shortbread. These are closer to the traditional British favorite. We originally shared this recipe over 15 years ago, but today we’re giving it a big update!

Dairy Free English Digestive Cookie Recipe - Naturally Vegan & Nut Free

Special Diet Notes: English Digestive Biscuits

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy free / dairy free, egg free, nut free, peanut free, soy free, vegan and vegetarian.

Dairy-free English digestive cookies


Recipe type: Dessert

Food: English

  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup stone-ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of non-hydrogenated shortening (like Spectrum or Nutiva)
  • ¾ cup powdered icing sugar
  • ¼ cup dairy-free cold unsweetened milk beverage, or as needed
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt. Add the shortening and whisk until coarse crumbs form. Add sugar and enough milk to make a stiff dough.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  3. If you have time, return the dough to your bowl, cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. This standing time will make the cookies more tender and crisp.
  4. Once the dough has cooled, preheat your oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Roll out the dough until it is just over ⅛ of an inch thick. Cut it with a 2½ inch cookie cutter or into desired shapes.
  6. Place cookie dough cutouts on your prepared baking sheets. Prick cookies evenly with a fork.
  7. Bake cookies until light golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool completely.
  8. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1 week.
Note on flour: If you don’t have whole wheat flour on hand, you can substitute all-purpose flour. You can also add a little oatmeal to some of the flour for a slightly different texture.

Brown sugar option: If you prefer that mild molasses taste, you can replace all the powdered sugar with ½ cup brown sugar.

Oats option: If you like the rustic texture of oats in English digestive cookies, toss ½ cup oatmeal in your spice grinder or food processor a few times. There should still be a few coarse pieces left. Substitute ½ cup whole wheat flour for oats (reduce whole wheat flour to 1 cup.)

Portion: 1 cookie Calories: 46 Fat: 3g Saturated fat: 1.3 g Carbohydrates: 4.9g Sugar: 2.5g Sodium: 32mg Fiber: .2g Protein: .4g


More dairy-free treats to enjoy with tea

Classic chocolate covered biscotti with vegan and gluten free options

4 Ways Chocolate Coated Dairy Free Biscotti Recipe - Classic, Whole Wheat, Gluten Free and Vegan

Vegan scones with wild blueberries (Panera Copycat!)

Classic shortbread cookies without dairy products

Classic recipe for dairy free shortbread cookies with a perfect buttery finish.  It also happens to be vegan, nut free, and possibly soy free.

Want more dairy-free recipes? Enjoy Eat dairy free!

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks & Sweets

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