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  • Writer's pictureCity of Albany

Continue the ANZAC Biscuit Making tradition

Making Anzac biscuits is one tradition that Australians use to commemorate Anzac day.

The origin and invention of the sweet Anzac biscuit is contested. Conventionally it is an eggless sweet biscuit made from oats and golden syrup, but these sweet biscuits are not the same rations that were supplied to soldiers in Gallipoli.

The staple of soldiers' and sailors' rations for centuries, was the hardtack biscuit. They were very hard and unpalatable, a substitute for bread, but unlike bread they did not go mouldy. Soldiers used to find ways to make them easier to eat, like grating them and soaking them in water to make a porridge. Nothing like the ANZAC biscuit of today.

From the 1920s onwards Australian recipe books nearly always included Anzac biscuits but exactly how this recipe became identified with Anzac, or the First World War, is unknown. They don't have the shelf-life of hardtack biscuits but they do last a reasonable amount of time, so it is possible that they became known as a suitable inclusion in parcels of small luxuries and comforts that families and charitable organisations used to send overseas to soldiers.

Anzac Biscuit Recipe


  • 1 cup each of rolled oats, sugar and coconut

  • 1 tablespoon syrup

  • 3/4 cup flour

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water)


  1. Melt butter.

  2. Add syrup to dissolved soda and water. Combine with melted butter.

  3. Mix dry ingredients and stir in liquid.

  4. Place small balls on to buttered tray and bake in moderate oven.

  5. Lift out carefully with a knife as they are soft till cold.


Australian War Memorial


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