Spiced cheese biscuits

A blue marble slate topped with little golden cheese biscuits

Bake these spiced cheese biscuits for a festive treat, then check out our Christmas biscuitslebkuchen and rosemary and walnut shortbread.

Rosie says: “I first ate these delicious biscuits at a friend’s party, fresh from the oven, buttery and fragrant, and showered in finely grated parmesan. I became obsessed with how perfectly cheesy and melty they were, and so friends directed me to Jonathan Meades’ The Plagiarist in the Kitchen cookbook for the recipe, a variation on chef Simon Hopkinson’s biscuits.

“I bust them out for all manner of hosting situations because they’re quick to throw together and never fail. I add nutmeg to make them more festive, a hit of caraway for a fragrant edge, and sesame for nuttiness. They’re impossibly light, dissolve on the tongue and very hard to resist.

“The joy of these cheesy biscuits is that, once cooled, you can wrap them in a pretty bag (warning: they are too buttery for paper bags), tie with ribbon and you’ve got a beautiful edible gift. Or you can make the cheesy log and freeze it or stash it in the fridge ready to slice and bake just before your guests arrive, filling your kitchen with the heavenly scent of butter and cheese while you offer still-warm biscuits with a welcome drink. They are ideal with negronis and whisky sours. Add an over-the-top flurry of parmesan just before you serve them.”

  • 1757
  • Total time 25 minutes
  • Note + chilling
  • Difficulty Easy


  • unsalted butter 100g, chilled
  • plain or white spelt flour 100g
  • cayenne pepper a good pinch
  • nutmeg a good grating
  • caraway seeds ½ tsp
  • cheddar (or Cornish Kern, comté or Lincolnshire Poacher) 50g, grated
  • parmesan 50g, grated, plus extra to serve
  • sesame seeds 1 tsp
  • flavourless oil, for the tray


  • Step 1

    Put all of the ingredients, except for the sesame seeds and oil, into a food processor and pulse in short bursts to combine, forming a dough – it should be a similar texture to mashed potato. Lay out a some baking paper and scoop out the dough into the middle to form a long log, about 2½cm in thickness and 35cm in length. Roll up into a sausage shape, then peel back the paper and evenly scatter over the sesame seeds. Wrap and chill for at least an hour. Can be chilled for up to one week or frozen for three months.

    Step 2

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut into slices, about 8mm thick. Arrange the biscuits on a large oiled baking tray, 2cm apart, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then either serve warm, covered with extra freshly grated parmesan, or allow to cool and crisp up completely.

Nutritional data

  • kcals 38
  • fat 3g
  • saturates 1.8g
  • carbs 1.7g
  • fibre 0.1g
  • protein 1.1g
  • salt 0.1g

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