Christmas seems to come earlier each year. So why not begin the celebrations with this recipe for our Nordic-inspired Spiced Rosewater Christmas Biscuits?

Traditional Scandinavian Christmas biscuit recipes get passed down from generation to generation. These festive treats keep well, so they are perfect to have on hand for unexpected Christmas visitors. So easy to make, these attractive spiced and iced biscuits also provide a wonderful homemade edible gift.

The spices used in traditional Swedish Pepparkakor Christmas biscuits vary between recipes but usually include a mix of cinnamon, cloves, white pepper and ginger. For our own take on Swedish Pepparkakor festive biscuits we’ve kept the irresistible taste of cinnamon. We’ve then laced our icing with rosewater, which is perfectly complemented by the addition of cardamom – a longstanding favourite within Scandinavian baking recipes.

The end result is a biscuit that isn’t too sweet, despite the rosewater sugar icing, thanks to its plentiful spices. Package your festive biscuits in ribbon-tied Kilner jars or clear bags for the perfect homemade edible gift idea. (That is if you can resist eating them warm off the rack!)


Spiced Rosewater Christmas Biscuits


50ml golden syrup

60g brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

60g butter

50ml double cream

pinch of baking powder

230g plain flour


100g icing sugar

teaspoon of rosewater


Mix the golden syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon powder, crushed cardamom and butter in a big mixing bowl until soft and smooth. Next add the cream and combine. Finally add a pinch of baking powder to the flour and then mix everything together.

Lightly dust flour over your work surface and knead the dough well. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

The next day roll out the dough to about the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out your biscuits with shaped biscuit cutters.

Set the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. They should be quite soft but starting to colour at the edges.


Let the biscuits firm up for a minute or two then gently move to a cooling rack using a palette knife.

When cold, decorate with icing. Mix icing sugar with a teaspoon of rosewater and then add hot water, a little bit at a time, until the icing is smooth. Make sure it isn’t too runny. Spread evenly over the biscuits or pipe on if you prefer a slightly thicker icing.