These buttery sultana cookies are my answer to Marks & Spencers All Butter Sultana cookies and after testing, these are the perfect copycat recipe.

It’s just an absolutely winning combination of crispy edges, chewy middle and supreme buttery goodness.

A reader favourite on this blog, 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.

A pile of sultana filled cookies with a small bowl of sultanas.

A little history

Living in Australia, we’d often have our UK relatives visit for long, wonderful holidays and the one thing mum and I would always request – M&S All Butter Sultana Cookies.

Marks & Spencers don’t have shops here in Australia and we craved these cookies like you wouldn’t believe. I mean, SO buttery and chewy, crispy edges – these things are addictive.

Anyway, once most of our relatives moved to Australia we no longer had access to these amazing fruity biscuits (biscuits, as they’re known here and in the UK).

Well, no more pining for lost loves because I did it. I recreated those sultanas cookies and they’re perfect.

I tested, tested, tested and when I thought I finally had them right, I gave a batch to mum for confirmation – she’s always very honest with her critiques on my recipes.

A confident, cheerful “Yes!” followed her first bite and I knew we would never need to go without again. So there, M&S (I’m poking my tongue out right now).

“Wow these are delicious and I agree they are better than the M&S ones.”

Ali
A very tall stack of sultana cookies on a wooden board.

What makes these fruity cookies perfect?

There are a few keys to making these sultana cookies as great as they can be

  1. The colour – pale but golden on the edges (ensures the right flavour and texture)
  2. 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 fruity biscuits, the base cookie dough recipe is probably my favourite, followed very closely by my Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Ingredients in sultana cookies

Ingredients for sultana cookies in glass bowls on a marble benchtop.

7 ingredients are all you need – flour, sugar, butter, sultanas, milk, baking soda and salt.

How to make them – step by step

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 these sultana cookies to taste exactly like the real deal.

Making the dough for Buttery Sultana cookies
  1. Cream together butter and sugar, add dry ingredients, a little milk and plenty of sultanas.
Scooping the dough for Buttery Sultana Cookies
  1. I portion these out using a cookie scoop onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Using one baking tin on top of another to flatten cookies
Showing the flattened cookies
  1. 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.
  2. Now bake them  and they’re done.

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 fruity biscuits 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.

How to store sultana cookies

These sultana cookies 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.

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).

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A pile of sultana filled cookies with a small bowl of sultanas.

So my mum says these buttery sultana cookies are better than the M&S originals. Why are you still reading? Go make some, now! You won’t regret it.

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A pile of sultana filled cookies with a small bowl of sultanas.

Buttery Sultana Cookies

4.53 from 34 votes
Chewy, crisp and soft all at once, these Buttery Sultana Cookies will become a family favourite. Taking around 30 minutes and with only 7 ingredients these copy-cat British fruity biscuits are incredibly easy to make and perfect for gifting too.

Ingredients

  • 360 g plain (all purp) flour (12.7oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 250 g caster (superfine) sugar (8.8oz)
  • 190 g unsalted butter, softened (6.7oz)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (note 1)
  • 170 g sultanas (or raisins) (6oz)

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • 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 1½ 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 just starting to turn golden on the edges for the best flavour.

Video

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. 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).
  3. All ovens vary – always check your cookies 2-3 minutes before the recipe suggests.
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