I’m experimenting with making digestive biscuits without using the oven today. I’m trying it out ahead of the cubs cooking competition to see if it works. The cubs aren’t allowed to use electrical stuff and only have gas rings to cook on.

This year’s theme is the cub scout centenary. We’ve not yet finalised the menu, the choice is between something jungle book inspired and a twist on classic cub camp food. So the digestive biscuits I’m trying will become the base for smores.

Digestive biscuits without an oven


rolled out dough for the digestive biscuits
rolled out dough for the digestive biscuits

2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk

I’ve given the measures there as cups, but I used a nominal 100g per cup for my trial.


  1. Take a large frying pan with a lid and lightly grease it. Put it on the hob on a low heat (slightly more than the minimum).
  2. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.
  3. Cube the butter and add it to the bowl. Rub it in with your hands until you have crumbs.
  4. Add the milk and stir with a metal spoon until it has clumped together.
  5. Knead the mixture with your hands until it turns into a dry ball of dough. If it is sticky add some more flour. If there are too many crumbs add a very small amount of water.
  6. Put the dough on a floured surface and roll it to about 3-4mm thick (1/8 inch). The thinner they are the faster they’ll cook and the crisper they will be.
  7. Cut out shapes.

    biscuits in the pan with the lid about to go on.
    biscuits in the pan with the lid about to go on.
  8. Check the pan is hot.
  9. Put the shapes in the pan and put the lid on.
  10. Gather up the dough and refill it so that you can do a second batch.
  11. Check how the first batch are doing. Turn them over and put the lid back on.
  12. When the first batch are firm then put them on a wire rack to cool.
  13. Cook the rest of your biscuits.
  14. Tidy up while the biscuits are cooking.