Gail's Easter biscuit recipe

It wouldn’t be Easter without GAIL’s. We begged them to share their recipe for the best hot cross buns in the world™ but apparently it’s a closely guarded secret! They have, though, told us how to make these show-stopping cookies, which are almost as good. Hop to it…

Time: 3hrs (including chilling and cooking time)  |  Makes: 15 biscuits


For the biscuits
150g cold, unsalted butter, diced
240g plain flour
30g light
brown sugar
30g caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt

For the icing
110g, sifted icing sugar
1-2 tbsp lemon juice


1. In a large bowl, using a pastry knife (or your fingertips), break the butter into the flour. Keep rubbing with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sugars and salt and bring the mixture to a dough.

2. Transfer the dough onto a sheet of baking paper and knead it for a minute or so. Cover the dough with another piece of baking paper and press the dough evenly between the two sheets. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough (still encased between the two sheets) until 5mm thick.

3. Transfer onto a baking tray and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

4. When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

5. Remove the shortbread from the fridge and peel off the top baking paper. The dough will be hard, so leave it for 5-10 minutes to relax. Dip your favourite cookie cutter in flour and cut out your shapes.

6. Transfer the ready-to-bake biscuits onto a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper.

7. Bake the biscuits for 20-25 minutes. They should stay pale golden brown.

8. Remove from the oven, leave to cool down for 5 minutes and gently transfer onto a cooling rack to cool down completely.

9. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and, using a wooden spoon, gradually stir until the mixture is the consistency of thick cream – you may need to add a little more lemon juice if too stiff.

10. When the biscuits are completely cool, ice them with the lemon icing.