Empire biscuit

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Empire biscuit
German biscuit.png
Alternative names Empire Cookie, Imperial biscuit, double biscuit, German biscuit, Linzer biscuit, Deutsch biscuit, Belgian biscuit, biscuit bun
Type Cake
Place of origin United Kingdom
Region or state Scotland
Main ingredients Biscuits, jam in between two biscuits. The top is covered with white water icing, usually decorated with a glace cherry
Cookbook: Empire biscuit  Media: Empire biscuit

An Empire biscuit (Imperial biscuit, Double biscuit, German biscuit, Belgian biscuit, Double Shortbread, Empire Cookie or biscuit bun) is a sweet biscuit popular in the United Kingdom, particularly Scotland, and other Commonwealth countries. It is typically considered a traditional Scottish snack, but is also popular in Northern Ireland, and are an iconic dish in Winnipeg, Canada. [1]


The biscuit was originally known as the "Linzer Biscuit", and later the "Deutsch Biscuit". With the outbreak of the First World War it was renamed: in England to Empire biscuit, in Scotland to Belgian biscuit because Belgium had just been invaded, but in Northern Ireland it remains known as the German Biscuit or biscuit bun. In Northern Ireland it is commonly found with a jam and coconut topping. It is also known as the "Belgian biscuit", due to being topped in a similar way to a Belgian bun made of pastry or dough.


The typical Empire Biscuit has a layer of jam in between two biscuits, typically Shortbread. The top is covered with white water icing, usually decorated with a glace cherry in the centre, but Jelly Tots are common too. They are derived from the Austrian Linzer Torte.[2] The biscuit is smaller than the Linzer Torte and does not have a cut-out section on the top.

Similar products[edit]

Empire biscuits are similar to Viennese Whirls.[3]

New Zealand[edit]

Known as "Belgium" or "Belgian Biscuit" in New Zealand. Typically found in most bakeries as either a biscuit as described, or in the form of a slice. Typically spiced biscuits are utilised, filled with jam, topped with pink or white icing, and the distinct addition of raspberry jelly crystals scattered on top instead of the cherry. These are quite different to the Empire biscuits pictures, which bear more similarity to a NZ 'Shrewsbury'.

See also[edit]

Other foods renamed for political reasons include:


External links[edit]