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Cragside Crackle biscuits

Have a go at making the Cragside Crackle. This oaty, cinnamon and ginger biscuit, created by the chefs in the tea-room at Cragside, was inspired by Lord Armstrong's photos of electrical currents as they passed through water. As the biscuits bake, the dough splits to create an electrifying crackle effect. It's now a firm favourite at Cragside.

  • 15 minutes prep. time
  • 15 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 10–12 biscuits
  • Cakes, bakes & desserts, Vegetarian & vegan
Cragside crackle biscuits: deep golden biscuits containing oats, with a crackled top, in a red box
Cragside crackles have a real snap | © National Trust Images/David Levenson


For the biscuits

  • 135g margarine or butter
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 190g plain flour
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 65g oats
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

For the coating

  • 1 egg white
  • 30g caster sugar


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan/gas mark 3). Put the margarine or butter, bicarbonate of soda, flour, ginger, mixed spice, cinnamon, oats, salt and sugars into a mixing bowl and bring together until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.

Step 2

Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix until it forms a soft dough.

Step 3

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1.5cm thick and cut into circles using a scone or cookie cutter.

Step 4

Place the biscuits onto a lined baking tray, brush with egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar.


Step 5

Bake for around 15 minutes until the biscuits are firm and lightly golden.

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