How to make Embroidery Biscuits

How to make embroidery biscuits

Embroidery Biscuits

These exquisite biscuits, iced with pastel-coloured sugarpaste and decorated with delicate royal icing ‘embroidery’, will be the stars of any tea party.

They wouldn’t look out-of-place in an upmarket patisserie window and they are surprisingly simple to make.


  • For vanilla biscuits
  • Unsalted butter 175g (6oz), softened
  • Caster sugar 200g (7oz)
  • Eggs 2, at room temperature
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Plain flour 400g (14oz)
  • Salt ½ tsp
  • For royal icing
  • Icing sugar 250g (9oz)
  • Egg white 1 large
  • Lemon juice ¼ tsp

To decorate

  • Sugarpaste in different pastel colours (about 15g/½oz for each biscuit)
  • Apricot jam warmed
  • Sugar pearls and tiny sugarpaste roses optional


  1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then gradually beat in eggs followed by vanilla extract.
  2. Sift in flour and salt and stir until evenly mixed. Bring the mixture together with your hands to make a soft dough, then flatten it into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 1 hour until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 180˚C/160˚fan/Gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm (¼in) thick and stamp out rounds using a 6.5cm (2½in) plain cutter, gathering up and re-rolling trimmings to make about 30 biscuits in total. Place onto baking sheets, leaving a little space between each, so they have room to spread.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until their edges are just turning gold – don’t worry if the biscuits are still soft in the middle, they will firm up as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before decorating.


  1. Sieve icing sugar into a bowl, add egg white and whisk, using an electric mixer on a slow speed, for about 5 minutes until icing is standing in stiff peaks. Stir in lemon juice.
  2. To prevent a crust from forming, press a sheet of cling film over the surface and cover the bowl with a damp cloth.



  1. Working with one colour at a time, knead paste until smooth; on a non-stick surface using a non-stick rolling pin, roll out to 3mm (less than ¼in) thick.
  2. Stamp out rounds of sugarpaste using the same cutter as for the biscuits. Brush a thin layer of jam onto each biscuit and place sugarpaste on top. Gently rub the top and edges to smooth out any marks.
  3. Lightly press a large flower cutter into the paste to emboss it with the outline. Press a smaller flower cutter in the centre. Set aside for about 1 hour at room temperature to firm up.


  1. Spoon royal icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle; then pipe a squiggly line of icing over the imprint of the large flower. Pipe a small section at a time to avoid the icing starting to dry.
  2. Using a dampened, fine paintbrush, drag icing towards the centre in short strokes to achieve a feathered effect. Clean the paintbrush frequently.
  3. Once the larger flower is complete, repeat for the inner section. Set aside for at least 2 hours to allow the icing to dry. Then, with a dab of royal icing, attach a small sugarpaste rose in the centre. Use a dry brush to remove any icing that oozes out from under the rose.


  1. As well as roses, add sugar pearls for a more elaborate design; or use sugar pearls on their own if you like.
  2. If sugarpaste doesn’t entirely cover a biscuit, ice a border.


  • If biscuit dough is difficult to roll out, roll it between two sheets of cling film or baking parchment.
  • Unless the dough is really sticky, it’s best not to knead in more flour as this will make it dry, and your baked biscuits will be tough and chewy rather than crisp.

A Dairy Diary recipe.





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