Shaped biscuits on a baking tray

Basic biscuit dough

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(161 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 15 mins


Makes about 30 cookies

This simple recipe for cookie dough can be adapted to suit your tastes- experiment with different shapes and flavours

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily doubled / halved
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal118
  • fat7g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs13g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre0g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.13g
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  • 250g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour


  1. Mix 250g softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then add 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla extract and briefly beat to combine.

  2. Sift over 300g plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined – you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Lula Maunoir's picture
Lula Maunoir
30th Jun, 2020
I tried this recipe and my family absolutely loved it. Thank you! I would recommend you making icing to go on top as well.
linda davies's picture
linda davies
24th May, 2020
Cooking time and setting missing
Jane Morris Denktaşlı's picture
Jane Morris Den...
30th Jun, 2019
This is like a butter biscuit dough, you don't roll it out! You pipe it onto the baking sheet or roll into a cylinder using clingfilm, chill for 20 minutes and then slice into discs. DON'T add more flour! It takes only about 12 minutes to bake them and they aren't supposed to turn brown.
25th Jun, 2019
cooking temperature? Cooking time? I can't see it anywhere?
16th Feb, 2019
More like a wet cake mix, way to runny for cookies.
emmamaywright's picture
9th Dec, 2018
easy to make, turns out very light and fluffy biscuits. only downside is they're a wet dough, so add a little more flour .
Ruby Wally's picture
Ruby Wally
26th Dec, 2017
I haven't baked in a while and wanted to start with something easy. This is an easy recipe but not much information is given. I had to go through the list of comments to see how long I needed to keep the biscuits in the oven and I did what one user said to keep the dough in the fridge before cutting which made it easier to cut. One mistake I did was keeping the biscuits in the oven for too long, they didnt look cooked so I left it in longer then 15 mins but that made my biscuits a tad bit burnt. I will be making them again but will keep in the oven for only 15 mins!
Delia De Ponte Yiannakakis's picture
Delia De Ponte ...
16th Dec, 2017
16 Dec 2017 Ive just made this dough and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Ive taken it out to roll out so my noys can use cookie cutters to make Christmas shapes. It is awfully wet and impossible to roll out without masses of dough breaking up onto the roller. ive added extra flour but now have rolled it back into a ball and chilling it again. Im disappointed as i was hoping for an easy kid friendly recipe.
18th Nov, 2017
We prefer soft brown sugar to caster sugar. Will this recipe work using it?
27th Oct, 2017
Hi there. If you check out the Red Nose cookies, it uses the basic dough and seems to say 160C for 20 minutes. As it also says 180C if using fan oven for the same time, it looks as if this is a good recipe, badly written. Anyway, from baking experience I would say try 160C for 15 minutes and check to make sure they aren't burning. (They are sugary and thin, so it will happen.) I'll also post this as a general comment (it was originally a reply), as I think it's pretty poor that no-one bothers to check what their own website is saying.


Jon Parker's picture
Jon Parker
10th Sep, 2019
I am looking for additional information about oven temperature and times in oven please?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can find different ways of using this dough with timings and oven temperature here:
Roselle Azzopardi
13th Feb, 2019
Do i need to leave it overnight the dough or can do the dough and cook it when it’s ready? Thank you
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Feb, 2019
Thanks for your question. No, you don't need to leave the dough overnight. Take a look at the following recipes for ideas of how you can use the dough:
Sophie Green's picture
Sophie Green
17th Mar, 2018
Why has this recipe not got information on how long and at what temperature the biscuits should be baked at? Not everyone has time to search other recipes online for this vital part of info.
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. This recipe is designed to be a versatile base for a number of different types of biscuits which feature on this site. Take a look at the following article to find all kinds of different biscuits you can make with this dough:
20th Oct, 2017
How many biscuits would be 'one' serving?
goodfoodteam's picture
25th Oct, 2017
Thanks for your question. A serving is based upon one biscuit if you make thirty out of the dough.
biscuitbrand's picture
12th Nov, 2015
Has anyone used this recipe and made large quantity of biscuits or cookies? Please contact me Stephen on
29th Jul, 2015
Has anyone try making it without eggs, as some of my family member don't eat eggs?


Jerry the Robot's picture
Jerry the Robot
13th Mar, 2019
Yo dudes, you should add some spices and it makes it nicer.
emoli's picture
25th Aug, 2017
If you wanted to try something different, go to the lemon sherbet jammy dodgers recipe and use the cream out of that with these biscuits because they taste delicious and it's really simple.
4th Aug, 2016
For anyone that isn't sure on the temp of the oven I found the following via the ultimate biscuit guide: Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Make a batch of the basic biscuit dough, then chill until firm, roll out and cut out shapes as above. Bake on a non-stick baking tray for 10-12 minutes until pale golden colour. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool and crisp up.
19th Feb, 2015
I'm making these in Germany where it is difficult to get hold of vanilla essence. The closest I've found is vanilla sugar which comes in little sachets. I included the weight of the vanilla sugar in with the caster sugar then added a little water to make the consistency right and the finished result seemed ok!
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