Boozy Baking with Craft56° - Gin & Lemon Empire Biscuits

Our latest 'Boozy Bake' is one we're very excited about as Empire Biscuits are a firm favourite in our house (and in Scotland in general) and we've introduced a tangy, gin infused twist to them!

Gin & Lemon Empire Biscuits

The sweet biscuits are hugely popular in Scotland along with some other Commonwealth countries including Canada where they are an iconic dish in Winnipeg. Within Scotland, the name will vary depending on where you're from. In the northeast they are known as 'Double Shortbread' whereas in the west the common name is an Empire Biscuit. A classic empire biscuits consists of two shortbread biscuits filled with jam, topped with icing and a cherry or a jelly sweet. 

However, we have introduced a gin themed twist for a grown-up version of the classic Scottish biscuit which is perfect for the warmer weather. We have swapped out the jam for a tangy gin infused lemon curd with a kick and also added a dash of gin to the icing.

For this bake, we chose to use Biggar Original Recipe Gin as it has a heavy citrus influence so was perfect to add to the lemon flavour.

Scottish Gin & Lemon Empire Biscuit Recipe

Gin Infused Lemon Curd

Make the gin infused lemon curd first so it has time to set. We left the lemon curd to set overnight in the fridge but it should be ready in around 4 hours. 

Ingredients & Method:

  • 2 lemons (zest and juice)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Biggar Original Gin
  • 2 eggs
  1. Zest and juice the lemons, adding to a heatproof bowl along with the caster sugar, butter and gin.
  2. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, ensuring that the water and the bottom of the bowl are not touching.
  3. Stir the mixture until the butter has completely melted.
  4. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the eggs to the mixture slowly, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk the mixture over the simmering pan for around 10 minutes or until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. When the curd is thick enough, sieve into a jug and then pour into your sterilised jar. Leave to cool before sealing and then place in the fridge to set.

Now time to make the shortbread biscuits. 

Ingredients & Method:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 225g margarine
  • 55g cornflour
  • 55g icing sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 175°C (fan).
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together to form a small dough. If you have a mixer with a dough hook this is perfect.
  3. Sprinkle some extra icing sugar on the work surface and roll the dough to about 1/2cm thick and cut into circles.
  4. Lay on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack.

How to make the gin infused icing.

Mix around 125g of icing sugar with 15ml of gin in a bowl. The icing should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You can reach the desired consistency by adding more icing sugar or more gin a little at a time. 

Putting the Gin & Lemon Empire Biscuits together:

Once the biscuits are completely cool, sandwich two together with a layer of the lemon curd in between them. 

Cover with a layer of the gin infused icing and top with some candied lemon peel to bring out the classic G&T flavours!


Scottish Gin & Lemon Empire Biscuits