Custard cream biscuits are the perfect British tea time treat! Melt in your mouth custard biscuits sandwiched with simple vanilla buttercream in this nostalgic and homely bake. A perfect biscuit to enjoy with a cup of tea!
What are custard cream biscuits?
If you’re not from the UK, custard cream biscuits won’t mean anything to you. However, anyone who has lived in the UK will have come across this British classic biscuit in some way, shape or form. They are, sadly, not a huge deal across the rest of the world.
So if you are a Brit living in a different country, it is highly likely you will struggle to get a hold of these simple but yummy biscuits. But fear not, I have your back! Now you can make them yourself at home and enjoy all the nostalgic pleasure of these biscuits wherever you are in the world!
And if you know a Brit living in a different part of the world, make these for them and share: they will love you for life! 😘
But first, a bit of history: what is custard powder?
Custard powder is a fairly common staple pantry ingredient in British households. It’s basically an eggless way of making custard, which normally uses eggs to make. Using a powder is also much quicker than making a custard using eggs. This makes it a popular choice not just for vegans or anyone allergic to eggs, but also because it is so darn convenient!
Now you know what it is, I wanted to share a rather sweet tale behind how it came to be too.
Custard powder was invented by an awesome guy called Alfred Bird way back in 1837. He created it for his wife, who was allergic to eggs. Since eggs are a key ingredient in making custard from scratch, this was clearly an issue for her! In short, Alfred created custard powder just so his wife could also enjoy custard along with everyone else. I mean, if that’s not love, I really do not know what is!
All together now: Aaaaaaaaaawwwww!! ❤️ Is that not just the cutest thing ever??
Additional trivia: what is the difference between biscuits and cookies?
Cookies are generally made from a dough that is much softer than biscuit dough. When baked, cookies tend to be softer and chunkier than biscuits, often with a bit of chewiness too which means you can almost “bend” your cookies. Biscuits on the other hand will bake much firmer and will have a more delicate texture to them meaning they can snap or be broken and will not bend in the same way cookies do. Biscuits tend to be used more often when a filling is required, or if decorating with icing art, but cookies can be “stuffed” resulting in the filling being baked within the cookie itself.
Having said all this, I am well aware the word “biscuits” are used in parts of the world to also mean a tender baked dough not dissimilar to what we in the UK know as scones. They are both made in a very similar way, but served differently, in the UK being sweet rather than savoury elsewhere.
What ingredients do I need to make these custard cream biscuits?
- Unsalted butter: as with all my recipes, I like to use unsalted butter so I can control how much salt is in the bake. For best results, use butter at room temperature.
- Caster sugar: for sweetness in your biscuits.
- Flour: I use plain (all purpose) flour to make these biscuits.
- Custard powder: found down the baking/dessert aisle of most stores in the UK. For other parts of the world, do check your local British store for some, or Amazon is always good!
- Baking powder: your raising agent in this bake, makes for lighter biscuits that melt in your mouth.
- Icing (powdered) sugar: mixed with butter to make the buttercream filling. I mix the ingredients for the filling together just by hand as I prefer the filling to be denser rather than light and fluffly like buttercream on a cupcake. If you prefer it fluffier, go ahead and beat it! 😊
- Vanilla: just a few drops go into my buttercream filling, for a subtle flavour.
What tools do I need to make custard creams?
- Baking tray*: to bake your biscuits on.
- Parchment paper: used to line your baking tray.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I always recommend using digital kitchen scales to weigh out your ingredients. I find weighing out my ingredients is much more accurate than measuring by volume, and will ensure better results in your biscuits. Digital scales are now relatively inexpensive and widely available, so what are you waiting for? 😊
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantities such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp). Honestly, a set of dedicated measuring spoons for your baking is a must! These are far more accurate than your everyday eating spoons, and are really easy to get hold of too.
- Mixing bowl*: to mix all your ingredients together to make your biscuits and icing.
- Electric handheld mixer*: investing in a good electric mixer is a brilliant help with all your baking. Honestly, it makes baking anything a total breeze!
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from your dry ingredients, ensuring everything gets mixed together evenly.
- Spatula*: to help with mixing ingredients and scraping your mixing bowl down.
- Cooling rack*: for cooling your biscuits when they come out of the oven. I also use my cooling rack to help me get the imprint on the tops of my biscuits. If you are not keen to do this method, you could easily use a fork or just leave your biscuits plain too.
How to make homemade custard cream biscuits
These homemade custard creams are actually really simple to make. There is no chilling time, and minimal cooling as they cool fairly speedily. The longest wait you have really is the baking time!
For the biscuits
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 160C/320F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
Step 2: In a large bowl, soften slightly, then add in your caster sugar and beat together for 4-5 minutes until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour, custard powder and baking powder and mix well to combine.
Step 3: Scoop out spoonfuls of your biscuit dough and shape into balls about the size of a walnut. Place your balls on your prepared baking tray, spacing them a couple of inches apart.
Step 4: Using the wire of your cooling rack, or a fork, gently press down on each biscuit to create a pattern on top of each biscuit and slightly flattening them. If you prefer plain biscuits, just flatten them slightly using the heel of your palm or the bottom of a glass.
Step 5: Bake your biscuits in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. The edges should be just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before you sandwich them together.
For the filling
Step 1: To make the filling, first soften your butter in a mixing bowl. Add in the icing sugar and mixing completely. Add a few drops of vanilla to bring it all together. You can either do this by hand using a spatula or with an electric whisk. Doing it by hand will give you a denser, creamier filling. Beating it with an electric whisk will give you a light and fluffy filling. I prefer the denser, creamier filling, so I do this step by hand.
Step 2: Transfer your filling mixture into a small piping bag and pipe rounds of the filling onto the flat bottom of one of your cooled biscuits. Gently take another biscuit and use it to sandwich the filling together, pressing very carefully so you don’t break the biscuits. Your custard cream biscuits are ready to be devoured!
As there are many different types of biscuit, so there are many methods for making them too. From rolling, stamping, shaping, chilling and even piping, the variety can be overwhelming. I have covered a few of the questions you may have, in relation to making these custard creams. However, if you have any questions I have not answered, please ask away in the comments below and I’ll answer them as soon as I can!
Why have my biscuits spread when baking?
Your biscuits may have spread out more than usual when baking if your butter was really soft. If you live in a warmer climate, this is likely the culprit. If this is the case, simply chill your prepared biscuits at the end of step 4 for about 30 minutes before baking and they should hold their shape much better!
How long will these custard creams last? How do I store biscuits?
These custard creams must be stored in an airtight container and will keep well for 4-5 days. If they are not gobbled up before then!
Can I freeze biscuits?
Yes absolutely! Read on for how to freeze your custard cream biscuits. I share how you can freeze biscuit dough as well as how you can freeze baked biscuits.
How to freeze biscuit dough
Yes, I do this all the time! This is a brilliant option as it means you can always have biscuits ready to bake and be enjoyed in super quick time!
To freeze your biscuit dough, simply follow the instructions to the end of step 4. Then, instead of baking your biscuits, place your baking tray in the freezer for an hour or so to freeze the biscuits. Once frozen, transfer the biscuits into an airtight container and keep in the freezer until you are ready to bake.
How to freeze biscuits
The first thing to remember is your biscuits must be completely cool. Any moisture from still warm biscuits will absorb back into the biscuits, making them soggy and not very pleasant. So completely cool is really important!
When they are cool, wrap up each individual biscuit tightly in cling film and place them in an airtight freezer bag or an airtight container. These biscuits freeze well for two months.
Please note too, these biscuits are best frozen before they are filled and sandwiched together. Freeze the biscuits on their own, then plan to fill and decorate them when you thaw them.
How to defrost custard cream biscuits dough and baked biscuits
When you want to bake your frozen custard creams, simply preheat your oven and continue with the recipe, adding an additional 5 minutes baking time for your frozen biscuits. You need the additional time as the biscuits will be much colder due to being frozen, so will need longer to bake.
If you froze your custard cream biscuits after baking, it’s easy too! Simply remove the biscuits from the freezer, then unwrap them and leave to come to room temperature on a cooling rack. These should only take an hour or so to defrost and are then ready for filling and enjoying!
Can these custard cream biscuits be made gluten free or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free biscuits, simply swap the plain flour for a gluten free plain flour blend. If you wish you make them dairy free, swap out the butter for a dairy free block butter. Do make sure it’s the type that is a hard block in the fridge, not the spreadable sort. Custard powder is naturally vegan, so there is no worry about it containing any dairy products.
Additional tips for making this homemade custard creams recipe
- Make sure you’ve prepared your tools and ingredients before you start mixing. Line your baking tray, preheat your oven and get your ingredients out ready to use.
- Take time to read through the recipe so you are familiar with what steps come next. Don’t skip details and instructions or swap ingredients given as it could affect the results of your final bake.
- You can adjust the size of your biscuits if you wish, but don’t forget to also modify the baking time!
- The biscuits will be very soft when just out of the oven, but will firm up quickly as they cool.
- Remember, beating the filling more will make it lighter and fluffier, but just pressing together with a spatula will give you a denser and creamier filling. I prefer the latter, but you can do it either way to suit your taste!
- This biscuit dough is really quite forgiving, making it a fabulous biscuit to make with young children. Young bakers can practice a variety of skills here, from mixing dough, to rolling balls, stamping impressions on the biscuits and even simple piping for the filling. Tasty treats AND fun in the kitchen! What more could you want? 😇
If you have any other questions about this custard creams recipe, please use the comments below to ask away and I’ll do my best to help! And if you made and enjoyed this, I’d love to hear from you too!
And don’t forget: if you make this recipe for homemade custard cream biscuits, please do consider leaving a rating and review below. I would really love to hear how you enjoy making them and it really helps others looking for a recipe too! You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world, I’d love to see! 😊
More biscuit recipes for you to enjoy
If you enjoyed this custard creams recipe, do check out these other delicious recipes on my blog too!
Rose pistachio and cardamom shortbread cookies: these shortbread cookies are simply magnificent! Packed with all the beautiful flavours of floral rose, earthy pistachio and fragrant cardamom, these buttery shortbread biscuits are a delight for all the senses!
Mini cherry bakewell tarts: these are truly a well loved British bake, and for good reason too! Beautiful buttery pastry, rich cherry jam, delicious almond frangipane, a layer of icing, and of course, the obligatory cherry on top!
Sticky toffee pudding: my sticky toffee pudding cake is light and delicious, with lashings of smooth toffee sauce. This one is so good served just as is, but I love it with vanilla ice cream. This classic British bake is the ultimate comfort food, and you would not believe how easy it is to make!
Thanks for joining me today, my friends! Happy baking! x