Bristol Easter Biscuit Recipe

10 oz plain flour

7 oz butter

5 oz castor sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)

2 oz currants

1 or 2 egg yolks

6 – 8 drops oil of Cassia

Mix all of the ingredients together adding a little milk if too dry.  Roll out to about  ⅜”/1 cm thick and cut with a fluted cutter.

Bake at 160˚C (conventional oven) for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with caster sugar as soon as you remove the biscuits from the oven, then cool on a rack.


The original recipe said 6 drops of oil of cassia, my mother-in-law has now increased this to 8, but do count the drops carefully as too strong a flavour of cassia ruins the biscuits.

Likewise, according to my husband, the biscuits are RUINED if they are cooked for too long.  According to him, they should retain some substance in the middle and not be too biscuity.  He does have some technical description of the degree of resistance to snapping the biscuits should have, but it is a bit too complicated to explain – let’s just say they shouldn’t snap too easily!

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12 Responses to Bristol Easter Biscuit Recipe

  1. Pingback: Regional Baking for Easter | The Campaign for Real Farming

  2. Pingback: Easter biscuits | Lois Elsden

  3. John Rostron says:

    …and very nice they are too. Agree that only 7 drops of Cassia needed and we baked at 150 in a microwave combi for 13 mins.

  4. David Gifford says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe Suzanne. I have such fond memories of my mother making these every Easter from the 1950s to the late 90s. We lived just north of Bristol. For some reason they came into my mind this year and I found your recipe. Delicious!

  5. Philippa Illsley says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe. My Somerset born and bred mother-in-law made these delicious biscuits every year. I searched for the recipe but couldn’t find it at first as most recipes use cinnamon which doesn’t taste the same. DELICIOUS! 7 drops of oil are plenty.

  6. adele srevens says:

    My lovely mum always made these biscuits at Easter but never used a recipe that I could find. I have tried all different recipes using mixed spice, cinnamon Tec., but I always remember the oil of caddis bottle in the cupboard (part of my inheritance!) just couldn’t find the recipe. Thank you so much for reminding me of my childhood and for making my husband a very happy man as this was my mums legacy to him!!!!

  7. This recipe or very similar was used for years by my Aunt Olive and she would make a huge amount to be wrapped in threes and sold to raise money for her church….in BRISTOL. so I wonder at the origin of the name given!
    Happy Easter!


  8. pam says:

    This is far the best recipe I’ve found. As the shop bought Easter biscuits are changing their recipe and not including chassis oil. We made loads last year and now preparing for a marathon bake. With our new family secret recipe :) we found 8 drops in this amount was fab for us, and no definitely don’t cook them to much at all xxxx thank you xx

  9. Tessa says:

    If you live in or near London, Brixton Wholefoods has cassia oil – the only place in London I’ve found that does.

  10. Margaret Dalton says:

    Lovely recipe, biscuits are so tasty.

  11. REX WILLIE says:

    Further to previous Postings. I learnt to make Bristol Easter biscuits in the 1940’s from my Mother and she bought Cassia Oil from Boots in Keynsham, Somerset. I now live in the West Midlands and a few years ago our local Boots found me the supplier of this oil:
    Top Fit Health Products, Clevedon Somerset
    Tel: 01275 340042 WebSite:
    Rex Willie 19th December 2018

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