Easter in England is celebrated with chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and other traditional British delicacies. For our chef at our Napa Valley inns, it just wouldn’t be Easter without these delicious biscuits. The subtle taste of cinnamon coming through from the cassia oil mixed with the creamy butter and the sweetness of the currants makes this one our all-time favorite cookies!

 Mum’s Easter Biscuits


1½ cups unsalted butter

2 cups white sugar, plus one tablespoon for sprinkling

1 egg

6 drops of cassia oil

¼ cup currants

2 ¾ cups all purpose flour



Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line four 16″ X 12″ heavy duty baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring the butter to room temperature. In a free standing mixer with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and the 2 cups of sugar together for about two minutes until the mixture is a pale yellow color. In a separate bowl beat the egg lightly together with the cassia oil and then add to the creamed butter and sugar. Pulse the mixer a few times to combine. Replace thewhisk attachment with a paddle. Sieve the flour into a bowl then add to the mixer bowl along with the currants.  Mix together on a slow speed until a dough is formed.

Remove the dough from the mixer, cut into four equal parts and shape each part into a rough ball. Roll out each ball to ¼ inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper and cut out biscuits with a 3 inch diameter cookie cutter. Place onto the prepared baking sheet leaving about an inch of space between them.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack, sprinkle with the extra sugar. Makes 30.



Gill’s Notes:

  • Cassia is the oil of cinnamon bark; it adds a distinct and subtle flavor when used sparingly. You can find it at good health food stores.
  • Rolling the cookies between parchment paper stops the dough sticking to the rolling pin without adding lots of flour which would make the dough drier.
  • Baking sheets come in lots of different sizes; you can use whatever you have. Ideally use enough to prepare all the cookies ready for baking. Whatever size you use don’t crowd the cookies or they will not bake evenly.

These are a must-have for any Easter Sunday lunch. For more of Gill’s recipes, check out her cookbook available for purchase here.