Baking SOS: How to fix 10 common biscuit problems by Jo Wheatley

As part of our new series of troubleshooting articles, we called upon some of our famous baking friends to solve your common kitchen disasters. From sunken sponge to disastrous biscuits, we have the answers to every flour-based problem. Read on to discover Jo Wheatley's 10 tips for rescuing biscuits...

Baking SOS: How to fix 10 common biscuit problems by Jo Wheatley

Problem one: My biscuits stick to the baking tray.

Jo's solution: You can buy silicone mats quite cheaply in supermarkets that can be reused. This will totally eliminate this problem. 


Problem two: I wanted my cookies to be soft and squidgy, but they’ve gone hard. 

CookiesJo's solution: You’ve overbaked them. Take the cookies or biscuits out just before they firm up. Once cooled the edges will firm but the centres will remain soft and squidgy.


Problem three: My biscuits have cooked unevenly.

Jo's solution: Try freezing them before putting on the baking tray. 


Problem four: My biscuits are greasy.

Jo's solution: Always use cold, unsalted butter and it should stop your biscuits being too oily. 


Problem five: Rather than puff up, my biscuits have splayed and spread out until flat during cooking.

Cookies rackJo's solution: Again, try freezing them before putting on the baking tray. 


Problem six: I don’t have a cutter. 

Jo's solution: Try using a glass or teacup instead. Also, if you don’t have a rolling pin a wine bottle makes a great alternative. 


Problem seven: My crackers are soggy.

Jo's solution: You can make them super-crisp by baking them low and slow. 


Problem eight: Once cooled, if I know my biscuits are underbaked can I put them back in the oven?  

Jo's solution: You can. Also, if you don’t eat shortbread within a few days and they go soft, you can refresh them in the oven, too.  


Problem nine: My biscuits are burnt underneath.

Peanut butter cookiesJo's solution: It sounds like your oven may be running too fast - pick up an oven themometer for precision. 


Problem 10: My biscuits have broken up as I removed them from the baking tray – what’s the best technique for avoiding this?  

Jo's solution: Make sure you leave the biscuits until they're totally cold before moving them.

More from Jo Wheatley...

10 ways to rescue cake
Raspberry red velvet cake
Chocolate layer cake with passion fruit icing


More biscuit and baking guidance... 

Our favourite cookie recipes
Our favourite biscuit recipes
The ultimate guide to making biscuits
How to make biscuits video
How to make iced decorative biscuits video
How to make palmier biscuits video
How to make Edd Kimber's fancy iced biscuits
Visit our cakes & baking hub

Are you prone to biscuit disasters? Post your common complaints below and we'll try to help... 

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.