These custard creams are a re-creation of a sweet British biscuit and a favourite childhood treat. Sweet, dainty custard flavoured biscuits (cookies) that are perfect as an afternoon tea treat.

Custard creams laying on a gray surface in random positions next to a cup of tea

This recipe actually came about some time ago when I was craving custard. One thing led to another and I turned it into cookies with a custard cream centre and these Vanilla Cupcakes with Custard Buttercream.

While I love to make things from scratch, there are some packet mixes I just cannot live without – gravy, custard powder and all purpose seasoning. The first 2, I grew up with, and the last I just love on steak, right before being grilled.

A stack of 4 custard creams with another one leaning on the stack

So, what is custard powder?

Custard powder is basically a custard sauce in powdered form, or at least an imitation of it. It’s mostly thickeners and milk powder with the flavour of custard. Just add milk and sugar and apply heat until you have a warm, thick and pourable custard sauce perfect for any number of desserts.

While easy to find in Australia and some other parts of the world, if you can’t find custard powder, you have two options: Use this link to buy it on Amazon or make it yourself using my How to Make Custard Powder recipe (tip: making it yourself is quicker).

Since I love making things from scratch, it was inevitable that I was going to try to create homemade custard powder at some point.

What are custard creams?

Traditional custard creams are a crunchy British biscuit (cookie) with a soft creamy buttercream centre.

Custard powder is used in the dough and the buttercream as well, making for an intense buttery, vanilla flavour and are just perfect served with a cup of tea.

How to make Custard Creams

Collage of 4 photos showing how to make custard cream cookie dough

  1. Start by beating together butter and sugar until light and creamy, then add milk, vanilla and dry ingredients until the dough starts clumping together.
  2. Gather the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface
  3. Use a regular rolling pin to roll out the dough, then if you want the embossed effect, roll over it once with an embossed rolling pin.
  4. I use a circle cookie cutter to cut out 56 circles. If you want traditional looking custard creams, you can get these british cookie cutters which make your cookies the authentic shape and design. 
Cookies on a wire rack being filled with custard cream
The custard buttercream is a simple case of beating together icing sugar, butter, custard powder and milk. That’s it. Pipe it onto half the cookies and top them with their other halves and they’re done and ready to serve.

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3 stacked custard cream cookies on a grey surface with some others around them
With a batch of Homemade Custard Creams in the oven, your home will begin to fill with their wonderful aroma. So pop the kettle on and brew up a cuppa to go with them.

A stack of custard creams, with another leaning up against it. On a grey surface with a striped tea towel in the background.

Homemade Custard Creams

4.34 from 9 votes
This Custard Creams recipe is a homemade version of the classic British biscuits. These delightful custard flavoured cookies are quick to make and perfect with a cuppa.

Ingredients

FOR THE CUSTARD COOKIES

  • 130 g plain (all purp) flour (1 cup / 4.6oz)
  • 60 g custard powder (½ cup / 2.1oz)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g caster sugar (½ cup / 3.5oz)
  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons milk or water

FOR THE CUSTARD CREAM FILLING

  • 175 g icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar (1 ¼ cups)
  • 30 g custard powder (¼ cup)
  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions
 

FOR THE CUSTARD COOKIES

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line 2 cookie baking trays with baking paper.
  • Whisk together the flour, custard powder and salt in a bowl so that it's all well dispersed.
  • Beat the butter and sugar (using a stand mixer or handheld beateuntil light and creamy. Add the vanilla and milk and beat it through.
  • Add the dry ingredients and and beat just until it starts forming large clumps.
  • Pull the dough together and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust some flour over the top and roll it out to about 3-4mm thick (see notes if using a patterned roller).
  • Use a 5cm (2 inccircle cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough. Transfer them to baking trays about 1 inch apart, and bake for 10 minutes (see notes for patterned cookies). Bake in two batches as they may not all fit in the oven in one batch (or freeze half the dough for another time).

FOR THE CUSTARD CREAM FILLING

  • Place all ingredients - icing sugar, custard powder, butter and milk - into a medium bowl and beat with a handheld beater on low first until it all comes together then turn the beater up to med-high. Beat for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often.

Notes

Specialty equipment: folk embossed rolling pin, circle cookie cutter, british cookie cutters
  1. Patterned cookies: Roll the dough first with a standard roller to about 4-5 mm thick, then swap to the patterned roller. Dust it well with flour, then in just one smooth, firm roll, roll over the top of the dough to create the pattern.
    Place the baking trays in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking to help keep a more defined pattern and prevent them spreading too much.
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4 custard cream biscuits leaning up against a saucer. A cup of tea on top is filled with tea.