These sweet, crispy vegan Anzac biscuits are a healthier version of the popular Anzac biscuits made with less sugar, no golden syrup, and no butter!
What Are Anzac Biscuits?
Anzac Biscuits are popular New Zealand and Australian cookies mainly made of rolled oats, coconut, butter, baking soda, golden syrup, and flour.
They are sweet, crispy cookies traditionally served on Anzac Day on April 25 to remember the soldiers who fought in Gallipoli during World War I.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Let’s have a look at what you need to make crispy Anzac biscuits:
- Flour – all-purpose wheat flour or spelt or all-purpose gluten-free flour.
- Rolled Oats – not instant oats, you need jumbo rolled oats.
- Unsweetened Desiccated coconut
- Brown Sugar – this is the secret to making crispy cookies on the outside but still chewy on the inside. You can also use white sugar but you won’t have a chewy Anzac biscuit inside.
- Maple Syrup – the classic recipe is made of golden syrup, maple syrup is a refined sugar-free option that adds a delicious flavor to the cookies.
- Baking Soda – to rise them a tad.
- Boiling Water
- Coconut Oil – or melted vegan butter.
How To Make Vegan Anzac Biscuits
A classic Anzac biscuit recipe is not vegan because it contains butter. To make vegan Anzac biscuits, you can replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil. Also, to add nutrients to your vegan Anzac biscuits, I recommend using an unrefined liquid sweetener like maple syrup or date syrup, or coconut nectar.
So basically, an Anzac biscuit is an egg-free oatmeal cookie with coconut. It tastes like oat breakfast cookies, and you don’t have to wait for Anzac day to make some. They are great vegan breakfast cookies for any day.
- Preheat and prep: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. This ensures even baking and prevents sticking.
- Combine dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, and brown sugar. This dry mix forms the base of your cookies, providing structure and texture.
- Activate the baking soda: In a separate bowl or jug, combine the boiling water, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and baking soda. The hot water activates the baking soda, creating a leavening reaction for fluffy cookies.
- Mix wet and dry: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined. Don’t overmix, as this can lead to tough cookies. A few pockets of flour are okay!
- Shape and bake: Now comes the fun part! Using your hands, shape the dough into 12 evenly sized balls. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch of space between each cookie. Here’s where the chewy vs. crispy magic happens: Chewy cookies: Keep the balls thicker, around 1-1.5 inches in diameter. Slightly flatten them with your palm, but avoid pressing down too much. Crispy cookies: Flatten the balls more, aiming for a thinner cookie (around 1/2 inch thick). This will result in a crispier texture. Tip: If the dough feels too sticky, chill it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This will make it easier to handle and shape.
- Bake to perfection: Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes on the center rack of your preheated oven. The edges should be golden brown, while the centers may still be slightly soft. Don’t worry, they’ll continue to firm up as they cool.
- Cool and enjoy: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. They will firm up more as they cool, reaching their peak chewy texture within an hour.
Tips For Chewy Anzac Biscuits
There are two teams when it comes to Anzac biscuits. Some people love them thin and crispy, and others like them, chewy.
Let me share my tips to make them match your favorite texture.
The key to making your Anzac biscuits chewy is to use brown sugar, slightly more liquid sweetener than the classic recipe, and flatten the cookies a bit thicker.
If you follow these 3 steps, you will have a chewy cookie on the inside.
On the other hand, if you love yours crispy and thin, use white sugar, reduce the liquid sweetener by 2 tablespoons and flatten your cookies thinly before baking. This will make crispy Anzac biscuits.
A Healthier Anzac Biscuit Recipe
This recipe contains 30% less sugar than a classic Anzac biscuit recipe and uses coconut oil instead of butter. In fact, coconut oil has great antibacterial properties due to the high amount of lauric acid, and it doesn’t contain vegetable oils as you would find in most vegan butter types.
Also, coconut oil’s flavor is amazing, and the texture of the cookies is crispier on the border. However, if you prefer to use vegan butter, you can. The cookies will spread more on the baking sheet, and the texture will be softer.
Frequently Asked Questions
They are called Anzac biscuits after the name of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) which was established at the beginning of World War I.
It is believed that the wives of the soldiers were sending them cookies from Australia and New Zealand.
But because of the very long trip from Downunder to the Western and Mediterranean fronts, they needed a recipe that keeps well.
The making of Anzac Cookies became a tradition, particularly to celebrate Anzac Day, a public holiday on 25 April in New Zealand and Australia.
This date commemorates the landing in Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.
The Anzac soldiers were missioned to secure the Gallipoli peninsula to control access to the Black Sea.
This date is now in Australia and New Zealand, a day to remember all the men and women who served and lost their lives in all wars.
You can store them for up to 2 weeks in a cookie jar or freeze them in zip-lock bags.
More Vegan Breakfast Recipes
If you love oatmeal recipes, but you want something different, try some of the vegan recipes below.
Did You Like This Recipe?
Anzac Biscuit Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, desiccated coconut, brown sugar.
- In another bowl, combine boiling water with maple syrup, coconut oil, and baking soda.
- Pour the liquid ingredients onto the dry ingredients.
- Combine with a spatula until it forms a cookie batter.
- Shape 12 cookie balls of the same size and place each ball, 1 thumb apart, on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Slightly flatten each cookie with your hand palm. Thinner will make them crispier. For chewy cookies, keep them thicker. Smoothen the edge if it cracks.
- Bake 12-14 minutes in center rack.
- Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes on the tray before transferring on a cooling rack.
- The cookie firms up after about 1 hour.
- Store them for up to 2 weeks in a cookie jar or freeze them in zip-lock bags.