Anzac Cookies

Anzac Cookies Recipe

Not overly-sweet, Anzacs are made from oats, coconut, and flour coming together in a butter-kissed dough. You end up with a hearty, sturdy cookie, with little fuss - altogether hard to get wrong. Today's recipe is based on a somewhat traditional Anzac cookie recipe, with a few little twists (and notes) I couldn't help but throw in. In this version I've added a bit of orange zest and a splash of orange blossom water to play off the oats and coconut.

Anzac Cookie Recipe

A little context here, ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The legend and lore surrounding the origin of the recipe are murky and contested, many tell the story of these cookies (biscuits) being made by Australian and New Zealand women for soldiers during WWI. This wartime version is famous for being able to withstand overseas travel and oft described as rock hard and barely edible. What we are talking about today is a different beast. How it evolved from the barely edible variety, I'm not entirely sure, but maybe someone will come out of the woodwork in the comments to give us a bit more context.

Anzac Cookie Recipe

A couple final notes, one of the signature ingredients in this Anzac cookie recipe is golden syrup - tricky to find here in the United States. Don't let this stump you, feel free to substitute honey, it gives the cookies a slightly different flavor profile, but is delicious just the same. And if you come across golden syrup, grab some.

Some people like their Anzac cookies on the thin and crisp side - I, on the other hand, like them thick so they are moist and chewy on the inside, with a golden crust. If you like crisper cookies, pat the dough out into thinner disks and bake for a few minutes longer. Delicious either way.

Anzac Cookie Recipe

There are many other things you can do with the tasty Anzac dough. It's great as a cobbler topping, or even a tart base. Leftover cookies keep well in an air-tight container for a few days. Have fun experimenting with other zests or spice additions, anything that pairs nicely with oats and coconut will likely work here. For a more traditional Anzac cookie leave out the orange zest and orange blossom water.

1 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar OR brown sugar
1 cup finely shredded non-sweetened coconut
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup butter, cut into little cubes
2 tablespoons golden syrup or honey
zest of one medium orange

1 tablespoon boiling water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon orange blossom water*

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl; flour, oats, sugars, and coconut. Mix well.

In a small saucepan over low heat combine the butter syrup (or honey), and orange zest. Stir until melted and remove from heat. In a small bowl whisk together the boiling water and baking soda. Stir it into the butter. Now pour the butter mixture over the big bowl of oats and stir. Add the orange blossom water and stir again. This is a dough I like to mix it with my hands to make sure the butter is evenly distributed and the dough is moist throughout. I baked this batch of cookies in a well-buttered, heart-shaped cast iron pan, but you can simply drop them by the tablespoonful onto parchment lined baking sheets. Make sure they aren't too flat or they will get crispy. Bake for about 12 minutes or until deeply golden.**

Makes 18 - 24 medium cookies.

*Orange blossom water is sometimes available on, for example here and here. I also find it regularly at places like Whole Foods Markets and/or other natural food stores.

** The most recent batch that I baked in the heart-shaped pan took more like 20 minutes to fully bake and brown. Free-form on a baking sheet will take less - 12 minutes or so.


I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi
Heidi Swanson


They look superb! And I love the fact that the ingredients, except for the golden syrup, are all present in my pantry and fridge. Can I substitute quick oats for rolled oats?
Orange blossom water is also cheaper and easier to find in Middle Eastern grocery stores.


Yum! I love Anzacs! Thanks for posting this recipe! I can make this tonight.


these are adorable, heidi! (and yummy-looking, too.) where on earth did you find that marvelous pan?


Heidi: I have the same exact pan! Can't wait to make these. I was wondering, though, do you know exactly what golden syrup is?

the italian dish

Will try! I'm addicted to cookies of all kinds. It's truly my weakness.

On a slightly unrelated note, i did a vegan version of the Garlic Soba Noodles with nutritional yeast in the place of parmesan, oil for eggs, and a bit of soy sauce. Success!


World Market nearly always have a healthy stock of Golden Syrup for all the expats heading to pick up their supplies of PG Tips, Cadbury's choc, Marmite and Heinz Baked Beans. One of the best comfort foods is golden syrup pudding and custard. I love Anzac cookies, but down my way (originally Devon, England), this is basically a flapjack.


These sound amazing! A must try--very soon. Thank you for always sharing such great recipes.


I love that you add orange blossom water, one of my favorite ingredients. I don't make cookies very often but I will definitely try these. Thanks Heidi!

Eric Gower

Oh man! I was just talking about laying low on the baking. i'm very tempted- i guess a few wouldn't hurt. i'll make them and share them with the office.


I love cookies like this, I have a feeling these will fast become a favorite. I love the use of flower waters.


The first thing I thought of was Rogers Golden Corn Syrup, so I went to and checked to see what golden syrup is and it showed Lyle's in a can. I wonder if they would be similar?

The cookies look wonderful and I can't wait to try them.

What is a url?


Lyle's Golden Syrup is occasionally available in supermarkets in the US. If you happen to have a British food store in your area, they're pretty likely to have it, too.
There is also a seller that sells it on Amazon (somewhat expensively, in my opinion), but you can find that here:

It sometimes works to substitute light corn syrup for it in recipes, or better yet, equal parts light corn syrup and honey, or light corn syrup with some molasses added (about 2:1) to try and approximate the flavor.



i've never heard of these, but they look yummy and i have a jar of lyle's golden syrup in my pantry that i've been trying to figure out what to do with. love that pan, too!

-- michelle @ TNS

michelle @ TNS

I've never gone looking for it, but I'm told that Whole Foods carries golden syrup. These sound delightful!


These look perfect for dunking in a nice up of tea in teh afternoon. I'm a fan of big hearty biscuit-like cookies. Although I might use sweetened coconut just to add some sugar, along with the honey.


I can't wait to try this one out!

I always have used the Martha Stewart recipe for Anzac biscuits, and I just LOVE them.



I was at gallipoli last year to celebrate anzac day, in our little bags they gave us - they had two anzac biscuits, it was pretty unreal seeing all us Aussies line up in Turkey then let out a high pitched squeal when we realised we had anzac biccies..

I have attached my post about going there, if you would like to read.




For golden syrup sources in NYC (or via special order) try Meyers of Keswick (in the West Village):

or the Key Foods stores in Park Slope, Brooklyn, who are known to carry many British food imports.

Yum! Thanks, Heidi!

Auntie Mame

Heh, it's strange seeing Anzacs being called "cookies". Here in Australia they're always biscuits, never cookies. (I think the other Aussies who've dropped by here have already called them biscuits.)


Nice, different, but NOT an Anzac. Maybe an American interpretation of our favourite biscuit Downunder. Golden Syrup is essential for that true Anzac taste.

anne martin

I am very excited to try these!


Would you believe...I have never tried one of these? Clearly this must change! They look so excellent!


Want Golden Syrup? Go to
Lyle's Golden Syrup can be found in the gourmet section.

James Dale

For those looking for the heart shaped pan, I recently found one on eBay for ~$10. There seemed to be a decent number available too... search 'cast iron heart' or something like that

Jen (Modern Beet)

Oooh. Now you've done it. You've made me miss my grandma.

Mary Simpson made great Anzac cookies in her time.


I hadn't realised that Anzac biscuits were basically flapjacks!

Golden syrup is horrible - don't go there! You Americans have missed absolutely nothing. Never have liked it. I do substitute honey, but in fact, you can make a very good flapjack (or Anzac cookie) with just oatmeal, demerara sugar and butter/margarine.

And then I add a bit of banana and some peanut butter, just for fun, and.....

Mrs Redboots

yes, this cookie is amazing and one my favorites. i love golden syrup in place of honey when i bake my granola.
it makes the end result very crunchy and sweet. yum-o!
good on you for posting this recipe and bringing a little known cookie from australia and nz out in the world via your k/a site. (k/a=kickass)



I was also going to say - sounds like a flapjack to me :-)

At last, being a Brit has paid off - we are swimming in Golden Syrup in comparison!


When I lived in San Francisco I used to buy what they called "oat cakes." They were sold in a small corner store, and at a coffee kiosk. They were sold individually from a large cookie jar and were about 3 inches in diameter and an inch thick (I see that you said the thickness could vary to personal taste). Could this be the same thing? I loved them and haven't found anything close to them since. If this is it, I'm jumping up and down! If it's NOT, could someone help me? -- lo


One can never have too many oatmeal cookie recipes. I love anything with oatmeal in it. And this one has cane syrup. I grew up on the stuff and prefer it to maple. If you live in the South you can buy fresh locally made Cane Syrup. It is sort of the micro-brew of the South. For some reason all the foodies haven't discovered it yet. Every time I go visit my sister in Massachusetts I take them a bottle. My own grandparents grew their own cane and made their own syrup.


If you are making Anzac cookies in winter, adding a touch of cinnamon, and a small pinch of chilli powder (in place of the orange zest /flower water) makes them absolutely fantastic. Not enough chilli to really taste, just enough to warm your belly!


My mum made anzacs so often I got heartily sick of them but I still find the smell of melting butter mixed with golden syrup takes me back to my childhood - would be interesting to find out why golden syrup was used traditionally - and ANZAC day is coming up on 25 April which means we get a holiday in Australia and there will be Anzac biscuits everywhere.

While I am here, I wanted to invite you to join in an event if you are interested - I am encouraging people to make a nut roast and send it to me by 18 April. I haven't seen one on your site and wondered if you had come across them as they are a great vegetarian main dish - to find out more about nut roasts (whether you are interested in participating or not) visit me at


I sell anzac biscuits (among many other things) at a farmers market over in Australia. Even though golden syrup is plentiful here I now make mine with maple syrup, organic wholemeal spelt flour, organic rolled oats, organic raw sugar, unsalted butter and vanilla extract. I make them thin and crisp as Aussies prefer them that way. I do like your idea of the orange blossom water. Another variation is to add pepitas and dried cranberries.


As a Kiwi food writer, I've done quite a bit of research on Anzac biscuits, including consulting several old cookbooks from Australia and New Zealand. Here are a couple of links giving the history and recipes (which don't vary much): and
Golden syrup is a must.

Pat Churchill

Is golden syrup like light treacle? A friend from the UK gave me some and I'm not sure what to do with it.


Bridgett - yes, golden syrup is also called treacle...use it to make pecan pies too.


In Canada you will easily find Roger's Golden Syrup, made from sugar cane, probably either in the sugar department, or along with the pancake syrup. You can see the shape of the bottle by typing 'Roger's golden syrup' into google.



beautiful cake


YOYO Cooking

I was born in Australia over 60 years ago, and much of my Mum's family still lives there (my family are in their third century there).

My Nanna was a great Aussie cook, but my only remembrance was a round Anzac biccie (the endearing usual term for biscuit - which is like the hard American "cookie", NOT the soft American "biscuit").

It is very hard to translate American and "strine" (Australian) which is different than Brit English. All the colloquialisms are completely different, but whatever was British, stays fairly "true". Treacle is one such item. It is pretty much the same everywhere in the former-Empire.

As a modern day low-glycemic substitute, I would suggest using agave nectar and seeing what happens. Maybe you will find your own particular combination of molasses, maple, honey and agave to substitute for treacle / golden syrup (which I used to hate).

The ANZACS were the soldiers of Australia and New Zealand who were given an "impossible" task, to defend the Gallipoli Penninsula against the Turks in WW1. It was a critical assignment, necessary, and produced few survivors. Their heroism is one that is important to learn about.

It would not surprise me that their official version of this biscuit was more like hard-tack, as they did have to use it for rations in a war-zone closer to Hell than almost any other, and supply lines which mostly were inoperable.

So, the best thing is to make the biccies like you enjoy them (start with Heidi's "new" recipe), and remember to share the ANZAC'S real legacy --- their deeds, their honor, their love of country and defense of comrades --- as you eat the biscuits on Anzac Day, in April.

Take care.

new horizons

After spending a year in Australia I was addicted to these. I find the coconut in the US isn't quite right. It is too moist and large cut and not as fragrant. I have been able to buy McKenzies dessicated coconut and golden syrup from Everything Australian (an online importer) and it makes the cookies come out just right.


i'm an aussie living in germany, and make my anzacs (a huge hit everytime) with stuff called
Zuckerrübensirup. it's not made from cane sugar, but from sugar beets. but it's a remarkably good substitute.
(dunno if there are any euro-based bakers reading this, but you never know)

mel p

Oh my gosh, change it to biscuits!!! We don't have cookies in Oz! Although, I suppose 'cookie' is quite appropriate since this is not an authentic recipe to say the least. It is interesting to see what tweaks people make to recipes, and before judging I will surely give this a try. Heidi your recipes are truly inspiring! However, everyone do yourselves a favor and try the real thing someday! You can even buy them from Arnott's here in the states, though homemade is obviously heaps better. Not to mention, if you are to buy something from arnott's go straight for the tim tams!!


Golden syrup?? I remember making a batch a couple of years ago...using this was quite easy and turned out pretty well. (though i think golden syrup is a vegan/cheaper substitute for honey..:P )


I have an oat allergy - would these work with rolled spelt or kamut instead?


Wow! As an Aussie, I'm stoked to see such a response to the humble Anzac - and as an Aussie, can't help adding my opinion to the mix.

Golden syrup - NEVER replace it with honey, it has a totally different crystalline structure, and while I'm sure you'll get a lovely bikkie, it sure won't be an Anzac. Treacle, molasses, or simply half and half raw and brown sugar will do the trick - and I think those ingredients are largely available in the US?

Cookies v Biscuits - for heavens sake, we can't start calling ANZACS "cookies" - every other biscuit, if you must, but not the most emblematic baked good we've got...

Anzac Day - I'm sure you know lots of Aussie recipes, Heidi, but in my various travels I have found that many people are unaware of our traditional treats - and pavlova, lamingtons, scones etc etc never fail to delight. Seriously, NEVER - it's a little odd, actually, lamingtons in particular seem to evoke some deep-seated childhood happiness the world over, from the Middle East to Europe to Africa - so perhaps and Anzac Day special?

Almost finally - heresy it may be, but we used to make what we called "nutties" that were an Anzac but with delicious toasted almonds, hazelnuts etc. It's pretty damn tasty.

And finally - I hear (to my horror) that hot cross buns aren't a world-wide phenomenon: appalling, they are divine, proper little yeasty slightly sweet buns, studded with delicious sultanas, an absolute treat on a chilly autumn (southern hemisphere) Easter weekend...give them a whirl, they are SO satisfying and surprisingly easy, a good first recipe for people afraid of using yeast.

Happy Canberra Day!



Do you have a favorite sub for sugar? ie agave, honey, maple syrup, etc.



You have to call them ANZAC biscuits!!!! And you must use golden syrup. Flapjacks are more cakey and soft. ANZAC biscuits were made to withstand the distance of ship travel, so they need to be tough and hardy. Rather like the ANZACs themselves :-)


That's a new cookie to me, and what a pretty pan!


funny, i'd never heard of anzacs until recently stumbling upon a recipe in Cooking Light while looking for an oatmeal cookie. LOVED THEM. and while i am familiar with Lyle's, i didn't have any handy but used organic blue agave nectar...a new offering at Trader Joe's. it has similar consistency to honey but a tangy/floral flavor. just squeeze some directly into your mouth and be happy!


in reply to Said, sure replace the oats with anything similar. If the replacement grain is short on texture add some chopped nuts and/or raisins. It's a flexible recipe and as long as the golden syrup, butter, and soda are there to give the authentic Anzac taste play around with the other ingredients. For the true history of the biscuits go to and type in "The Anzac biscuit myth"

anne martin

Just wanted to add - what ever you do, don't muddle golden syrup with black treacle - they are totally different!


re origin: I know the military history well, and it makes good sense; need strong buiscuits/cookies to survive a trip to the Dardanelles, a sad place for the Anzacs in all respects. When the war ended Mom and Sis could relax a bit and make the cookies more palatable, a process going on now for almost 100 years.

You should find and read Ataturk's dedication for the memorial there (he was, among many other things, the opposing general). Tears to your eyes.

michael bash

I came across your lovely site, recently, and i must say,to you that i LOVE IT.Is fresh,natural and inspiring.I only wish that you post more often, i am always anxious to see your fotos and recipes, and to read your words.Parabéns e felicidades.


Martha Stewart has an almost identical recipe in her halloween book, her version has walnuts and maple syrup (very conveniant for a canadian such as myself). I can see why you like them so much, this is my favourite oatmeal cookie recipe, too.

Great photo by the way, the heart shaped cookies are adorable.


Heidi, the way you made these reminds me of the somewhat salty but super duper chewy and mind-bogglingly delicious "Aussie Bites" that Costco delivers to my place of work every month.

For those of you who don't know them, think rolled oats, coconut, tons of dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, dates, etc), honey, sunflower seeds....YUM!

Judging from what the Aussie natives are saying, I gather the Anzac "bikkies" are not meant to be that chewy, hmm...

Can we get some background info on the "Aussie Bites" from the natives? Or, like the burrito, are they an American invention?



Everybody talk about goldensyrup ; for my case I have heard about it in some frenchblog ; It was related in some english-biscuit , I never try (it was not in my supermarket) but in place of this , we have a multitude game of honey ; I hope the bee keeping the healthy because the insecticide are everywhere .Don't be surprise if you break my heart, but you know the song ....


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