Shrewsbury Biscuits Recipe - British Cookies Inspired by Downton Abbey
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Shrewsbury Biscuits Recipe

Shrewsbury biscuits (sometimes called Shrewsbury cakes) are classic British butter cookies. This Shrewsbury biscuits recipe has a totally unique flavor profile because of some of its ingredients: caraway seeds, mace, and lemon.

Shrewsbury Biscuts

I originally baked Shrewsbury biscuits in preparation for the Downton Abbey 4th season premiere in the U.S. I was looking for an interesting British dessert recipe and this one fit the bill. I also created sticky toffee pudding cupcakes for the occasion (you can see them in the background of the photo above).

(Shrewsbury is not only a British town, but it is also the name of the town right next to mine here in Missouri. Clearly, I was destined to bake these Shrewsbury biscuits.)

What You’ll Need to Make This Shrewsbury Biscuits Recipe

Before making Shrewsbury biscuits, I’d only tasted caraway seeds in rye bread. I couldn’t believe how well the caraway worked in these Shrewsbury biscuits. It gave the cookies a bit of an anise flavor. Not all Shrewsbury biscuit recipes call for caraway seeds and you could leave them out, but I urge you to give them as try as they are what separates these cookies from the butter cookie masses. (View on Amazon)

Mace is extremely similar to nutmeg (it even comes from the same plant). However, mace has a stronger, more peppery taste. You could make these cookies with nutmeg, but I strongly recommend baking them with mace. (View on Amazon)

There is just enough lemon zest in the Shrewsbury biscuit recipe to brighten up the flavor without making the Shrewsbury biscuits taste like lemon cookies. (View on Amazon)

How to Make This Shrewsbury Biscuit Recipe

Shrewsbury Biscuits

My recipe for Shrewsbury biscuits is an adaptation of a recipe from the captivating site, The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies. The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies explores recipes from a book of the same name. That book is “a manuscript recipe book in the collections of Westminster City Archives. The recipes, recorded in several different hands, span 150 years of British cookery, providing a fascinating insight into culinary craft of the Georgian and Regency periods.” I also used a post on Shrewsbury biscuits from Mouthful of Paradise as inspiration.

Here’s how Shrewsbury biscuits are made:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F.
  2. Mix together flour and butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add in caraway seeds, mace, lemon zest, and powdered sugar and mix together.
  4. Mix in the egg.
  5. Form balls of dough about 3 tablespoons big and place onto a cookie sheet about three inches apart.
  6. Flatten the tops of the dough balls and run a fork across them to create a bit of texture.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of the Shrewsbury cookies just start to brown, and remove and cool on a cooling rack.
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Shrewsbury Biscuts
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3.5 from 2 votes

Shrewsbury Biscuits

Shrewsbury biscuits (sometimes called Shrewsbury cakes) are classic British butter cookies with a totally unique flavor profile.
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword butter cookie recipe, Shrewsbury biscuits, Shrewsbury cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 18 large cookies
Calories 177kcal
Author Stef


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix flour and butter.
  • Mix in caraway seeds, mace, lemon zest, and powdered sugar.
  • Mix in egg.
  • Place balls of dough (about 3 tablespoons for a large cookie) onto a cookie sheet about three inches apart.
  • Flatten the tops of the balls and run a fork across them to create some texture on top of the cookies.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until edges of the cookies just begin to brown.
  • Cool on a cooling rack.


Nutrition Facts
Shrewsbury Biscuits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 5mg0%
Potassium 22mg1%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 330IU7%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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