Ever closer: Chewy sultana biscuit perfection

Now you know I have been on the search for the M&S Sultana biscuit look alike since my mate brought me back a packet from London recently. I tried with these a week or so ago, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the texture. I got a comment from a reader saying that I should check out Ottolenghi’s biscuit base which I have done seeing as I got Ottolenghi’s cookbook for my birthday (thanks Rob)!

I had Sophie from Local is Lovely  over for morning tea last week to record a new episode in her Open Kitchen series and so I knew I had to get baking. I will admit, I was nervous as it was like having the Queen come to visit – she is real deal when it comes to Country Cooking! I decided to have another crack using this variation on the Ottolenghi White chocolate & cranberry biscuits that is in his original cookbook, but with sultanas instead (as that’s what was in my pantry) and to see if I could narrow down that elusive taste.

Now, this is NOT the M&S biscuit, but it’s a bloody RIPPA of a recipe. You could use the base for anything you wanted: the original uses white chocolate and dried cranberries, but I used sultanas instead…but you could add in whatever you liked. These are SUPER sweet though so if I was adding chocolate I would take some of the sugar out. They are chewy and golden (thanks to the brown sugar) and so moreish. The girls LOVED them asked for another batch to be made which I have done this morning, ready for arvo tea scoffs.

Ottolenghi’s Chewy biscuit perfection (with sultanas)
makes 25-30 biscuits

90g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g soft brown sugar
25g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
80g whole rolled oats
80g sultanas

1. Preheat the oven to 170 deg Celsius. Line a baking tray or two with baking paper.

2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.

3. Put the butter, vanilla and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

4. Gradually add the egg, making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding more.

5. Mix in the flour mixture and the oats, then the sultanas. Do not overmix: stop mixing when the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

6. Roll a teaspoon of the dough into a ball (about the size of a walnut). Put the balls onto the prepared trays and flatten the balls lightly. Leave about 5cm between them for spreading.

7. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until they are light brown and crisp. Leave to cool on the tray before removing to a wire rack.

Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to a week. These haven’t lasted the day in our house (yes, even with 25 being made).

[gmc_recipe 27289]


  1. Yum!!!! I’m also trying to recreate that deliciousness that is M&S and then when I Google, this also comes up.
    We’re not alone in the quest for perfection x

  2. This is soooo good. Your recipes always work! Who needs a test kitchen? I haven’t even had the M&S version but if this is anything to go by, I must look for them in a few weeks when I get to an M&S store 👏🏼

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