Eggless Indian Custard Powder Cookies (Shortbread)

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read the disclaimer.

Jump to Recipe
5 out of 5 Stars by 3 readers!

These eggless custard powder cookies are some of the best Indian cookie recipes using custard powder! Using just a handful of ingredients, these vanilla custard shortbread cookies are easy to make quickly; and become the perfect tea time snack!

Remember that feeling you get when you eat peanut butter and it sticks to the roof of your mouth? I just love that! But there’s only so much peanut butter I can eat. Cookies, on the other hand, I can eat quite a few. Which is why I love these Indian custard powder cookies. They give you that exact same feeling, the powder dissolving and you not being able to speak or do anything for a few seconds. Fun!

These crisp eggless custard powder cookies are found at tea stalls all across Mumbai, but they can be easily made at home too. But I’ve experimented a bit and modified my recipe to make it more powdery so that the almost choking feeling lasts a little longer. Talk about gruesome! But it is an acquired taste.

Did you know that if you’re afraid of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth it’s called arachibutyrophobia? Why not just peanut butter phobia? Okay okay, someone told me, because “arachi” means “ground nuts” and “butyr” means “butter”. Anyways, if you don’t suffer from arachibutyrophobia and you enjoy that feeling, try my homemade custard powder cookie recipe. You’ll love it!

What are the ingredients for Custard Powder Cookies?

These eggless custard powder cookies are made with just a few ingredients – custard powder, maida or all-purpose flour, icing sugar, vanilla essence, butter and baking soda.

How to make the easiest Custard Powder Shortbread Cookies?

Start by creaming the butter and sugar together for a minute. Then add the vanilla essence or vanilla extract and mix it again. In another vessel, mix together the custard powder, maida (all-purpose flour) and baking soda. Add this flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture and form into a dough.

Butter and sugar that has been creamed in a steel pan.
Cream the butter and sugar
Custard Powder and Maida (all-purpose flour) in a steel plate.
Add the custard powder and maida

Now depending on how much time you have, you can skip the next step. Once the dough is formed, you can either refrigerate it for an hour or go straight to forming the cookie balls. We don’t refrigerate these cookies. We used to, but we don’t. The cookies become perfect even when you put them straight in the oven. Like custard powder magic. 🙂

Of course the other cookies that we make, rose cookies or heart cookies, yep, they need refrigeration because the dough is different.

Yellow colored custard powder cookie dough on a steel plate.
Mix the whisk cream and custard powder and maida together in to a dough. Leave it to rest for an hour

Roll the cookies into inch sized balls or logs. Now comes the fun part of creating a ridge-shaped design on it. To create this design, all you need to do is take a clean fork and use the tines to press down on the cookie till the lines are formed. If you want the tyre shaped rises on the round cookies, do the same thing again with the fork at 90 degrees to the first impressions. For cookies with holes, just hold the fork vertical and press down in three rows. For the long cookies, just create impressions with a roller pin. If you don’t have a roller pin, only make the round cookies. They’re pretty good looking. 😉

And that’s it. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake the cookies for about 20 minutes. With this recipe, you’ll make about 80 cookies.

Yellow coloured custard powder cookies cooling in a baking tray.
Small custard powder cookies on a baking tray
Freshly baked yellow colour custard powder cookies cooling on a tray.
Custard powder cookies are baked and ready to eat

If you have butterscotch nuts, add them to the top of the cookies. These are not part of the traditional recipe. We just add them if we have them lying around. So it’s optional!

Custard powder shortbreads with butterscotch nuts.
Custard powder cookies with butterscotch nuts
Yellow colored custard powder cookies are cooling on a baking tray.
Crisp Custard powder cookies. Don’t they look yummy?

Cooking tips for the best Custard Cookie Biscuits

  • If you want to make the cookies less powdery, swap the portions of custard powder and all-purpose flour.
  • Use salted butter. If you’re using unsalted butter, add about 1/4 teaspoon of powdered salt.
  • If your custard powder is flavorless, add in an extra 1.5 teaspoon of vanilla essence or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Add butterscotch nuts on top if you want to, but it’s not essential.
  • Use the tines of a fork to create a design on the cookies. But it’s okay to leave the cookies without any design too.

FAQs about Custard Powder Cookies

What is custard powder?

Custard powder is a mix of cornflour or cornstarch, yellow food colour and vanilla flavouring. It tastes similar to the vanilla custard made with eggs but does not have any egg in it. The first Birds Custard Powder was created by Alfred Bird in his pharmacy in Birmingham, UK in 1837. Bird made the powder for his wife who was allergic to eggs, and it soon became the world’s most popular brand.

What does custard powder do to cookies?

Using custard powder in cookies gives them a vanilla flavour, and makes them lighter and crumblier than usual. A larger amount of custard powder will also cause the exciting and scary effect similar to peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. Some love it, some don’t.

How long will these soft powder cookies last?

These soft custard powder cookies can be stored in an airtight cookie jar for 3 to 4 weeks.

How long should I refrigerate the custard shortbread cookie dough?

If you want to, you can refrigerate the cookie dough for an hour or so before baking. However, this recipe is so good that you can bake the cookies straightaway after forming the dough. We bake instantly. So these are the perfect vegetarian cookies to make when you need a batch in a hurry.

I made too much dough. Can I refrigerate it?

Yes, if you have extra dough, wrap it in a cling film and refrigerate it. It will last for a week or 2 in the freezer. When it’s time to bake it, make sure you let it thaw to room temperature before baking these melt in your mouth eggless cookies.

Other Recipes you might like

You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).

Did you love our recipe? Was it 4-star or 5-star? Please click on the stars or your review below!

You can also tag us on Instagram or join TheWingedFork Facebook group and share your lovely food pics and results of your food experiments there!

Freshly baked yellow colour custard powder cookies cooling on a tray.

Indian Vegetarian Custard Powder Cookies

These eggless custard powder cookies are the best Indian cookie recipes using custard powder for teatime!
5 out of 5 Stars by 3 readers!

Click the stars to add your rating!

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Snacks
Cuisine Australian, British, Fusion, Indian
Diet Vegetarian
Servings 80 cookies
Calories 50 kcal


  • 175 g Custard Powder
  • 250 g Maida All-purpose Flour
  • 125 g Icing Sugar
  • 250 g Butter
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract Or 3 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1.5 teaspoon Baking Soda


  • 10 g Butterscotch Nuts


  • Cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla essence or vanilla extract.
  • Mix the maida (all-purpose flour), custard powder and baking soda together in another vessel.
  • Add this flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar and form into a dough.
  • Line two baking trays with butter paper.
  • Form round inch-sized balls of the dough and flatten them. Place these balls onto the trays about half an inch apart. (This recipe makes about 80 cookies.)
  • Use the tines of a fork to press down on the custard powder cookies and create ridges in different forms.
    Yellow coloured custard powder cookies cooling in a baking tray.
  • Optionally, top some of the cookies with butterscotch nuts.
    Custard powder shortbreads with butterscotch nuts.
  • Preheat an oven for 10 minutes and bake the cookies at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
  • Cool the custard powder shortbread cookies before storing them in an airtight container.

Please click to rate the recipe!


  • You can use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • These cookies can store in an airtight jar for up to 3 weeks.
  • If you are using flavourless custard powder, add in an extra 1.5 teaspoon of vanilla essence or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Stuff You Might Want To Use

Vintage Looking Baking Tray

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

Pinterest image of cookie dough and baked cookies for a post about Easiest Custard Powder Shortbread Recipe.
Pinterest image of freshly baked custard powder cookies on a baking tray for a post about Eggless Custard Powder Cookies Recipe.
Pinterest image of a butter-sugar mix and some baked cookies cooling on a tray for a post about How to make Indian Custard Cookies.

4 thoughts on “Eggless Indian Custard Powder Cookies (Shortbread)”

  1. I’ve just made these, swapping the custard powder and flour as you suggested. They smell amazing, but there is a slight bitterness when you taste them. Is it possible you mean baking powder not baking soda?

    • Hi Anne,
      No, we used baking soda to give it more of an airiness that baking powder doesn’t. The only reason I can think of for the bitterness would be from an excess of vanilla essence falling in. Could that be what happened with the ones you tried?


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating