The absolute best Sultana Cookies. Buttery, soft and chewy all at once, these fruit cookies will become a family favourite.
This recipe is one that I’ve tried over and over but the perfect Buttery Sultana Cookie had eluded me. Until now…
Often, I try recipes many times over before I get the finished product looking and tasting like the amazing treat that my ever-ambitious mind dreamed up. This is definitely one of those. I knew exactly what I wanted it to taste like, look like and feel like. Each time I tried, I just couldn’t work out the secret. Yes, yes but the secret to what, I hear you ask. Marks & Spencers All Butter Sultana cookies.
Why you’ll love these Buttery Sultana Cookies
They are the very best of every cookie world – crisp edges, chewy centres and a delectably buttery flavour.
DIFFICULTY – Easy. So simple to make, just a regular cookie dough and no chilling involved.
MAKE AHEAD – Yes, you can make these 1-2 days ahead for best results but they’ll last up to a week (more according to my mum).
STORAGE – These should be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week. They can also be frozen. For best results when freezing, wrap well in plastic wrap then into an airtight container for up to 3 months.
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If only Marks & Spencers would open up here in Australia, but they haven’t. Where were you when we needed you, M&S? The relatives that used to kindly bring packets with them each time they would visit us from the UK have either moved to Australia now or can’t travel as easily anymore.
Yes, thank you UK relatives for getting mum and I addicted to those amazing, chewy, buttery, soft and crispy Sultana Cookies. For many years, we have been without. That jewel of all sultana cookies but a mere memory in our minds. I did manage to find them once in Singapore and, like a good daughter, I dutifully brought a packet home for mum. (PS mum, they nearly didn’t make it. I’m sure you can understand how difficult it was for 7 hours on a plane with those cookies stashed in my hand luggage. Oh, the agony).
Well, no more pining for lost loves because I did it. I recreated them and they’re perfect. When I first cracked the code, I loved them but I had to get that confirmation from mum too, just to be sure. And with that first bite and the confident, cheerful “Yes!” that followed I knew we would never need to go without again. So there, M&S (I’m poking my tongue out right now).
The perfect sultana cookie
There are a few keys to making these sultana cookies as great as they can be
- The colour – pale but golden on the edges (ensures the right flavour and texture)
- The shape – flat with cracked edges (those cracks give more surface area for crispy edges)
While I’m sure nostalgia plays a big part in my love for these delicious fruit cookies, the base cookie dough recipe is probably my favourite, followed very closely by my Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. This cookie dough has gone on to inspire so many more including my Soft Chewy Ginger Cookies, Buttery White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies and even these Almond Muscovado Sugar Cookies. It’s just an absolutely winning combination of crispy edges, chewy middle and supreme buttery goodness.
The measurements in this recipe are not standard and you’ll need to break out your kitchen scales for this one but it’s worth it if you want them to taste exactly like the real deal.
This is simple stuff so let’s go. Cream together butter and sugar, add dry ingredients, a little milk and plenty of sultanas.
I portion these out using a cookie scoop onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Here’s where it gets a little bit different – I have a shortcut for rolling them out. Lay another sheet of baking paper over the top of the cookies. Sit another baking tray on top and press down really hard, all over. This will flatten them out. You want to get them to about 5mm thick. If you can’t do that, by all means, use a rolling pin to roll them out individually.
Some quick tips though;
- make sure to bake them just until those edges start to get golden. Oven temperatures can vary, so even though you’ve set it to 180C / 350F, your thermostat may be incorrect and you could be baking them at a higher temp. The colour is key to the flavour.
- The easiest method to making (and hence baking) these evenly is making sure each cookie is the same size. My best tip is to get yourself a cookie scoop. This will make all your cookies perfect.
- How to get those perfectly flat yet crinkle edged cookies. Once you have your cookie dough balls sitting on the cookie tray, lay a sheet of baking paper over the top, then another cookie tray on top. Now press down firmly all over until they are all even and about 5-6mm thick.
PS My mum is always very honest with her feedback and will confidently tell me if she doesn’t like something I make – an honest opinion from someone so close is truly invaluable. I can confirm mum says these are better than the M&S originals.
Why are you still reading? Go make some, now! You won’t regret it.
Buttery Sultana Cookies
- 360 g (12.7oz) plain (all purp) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 250 g (8.8oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 190 g (6.7oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon milk (notes)
- 170 g (6oz) sultanas (or raisins)
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F /160C fan forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well to distribute evenly.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until lightened and fluffy (a minute or two). Scrape down the side of the bowl and add half the flour mix. Beat until just combined. Add the milk and remainder of the flour and mix until it just starts to come together. Finally, add the sultanas and give the mix another beat until mixed through and the dough is clumping.
- Pull the dough together with your hands then take approximately 1.5 to 2 tablespoons full of mixture, roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart (or you can use a mini ice cream scoop and just scoop it onto the baking trays). Once you have filled a tray lay a sheet of baking paper over the top and use a second baking tray to press down all over to flatten the cookie out to about 5-6mm thick. (this will create rough, broken edges – this is a good thing).
- Bake for 6 minutes. Sprinkle with a little extra caster sugar, turn the trays and bake for a further 6-7 minutes. Make sure they are nice and golden around the edges – this gives lots of extra flavour.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- A couple of regular cookie trays
- A small cookie scoop
- I find a stand mixer easiest but a handheld beater will work too
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