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Cookies vs. Biscuits: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 19, 2023
In the U.S., cookies are sweet, baked treats, while biscuits are savory, flaky breads; elsewhere, "biscuits" often means what Americans call "cookies."

Key Differences

Cookies, in American English, are sweet, baked confections that come in various flavors and textures, from soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy. Biscuits, in the same American context, are savory, flaky breads typically served with meals.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
In many parts of the world outside the U.S., especially in British English, the term "biscuits" denotes what Americans refer to as "cookies." The diversity in naming these treats is a testament to the varied culinary traditions and linguistic nuances across regions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
When an American asks for biscuits, they're usually expecting a buttery, soft accompaniment to their meal, while in the U.K., a request for biscuits would likely yield a sweet treat perfect for tea time.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
Both cookies and biscuits have ancient origins, with each evolving over time to fit cultural preferences and occasions.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Comparison Chart

American Meaning

Sweet, baked treats of various flavors and textures.
Savory, flaky breads served with meals.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
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British Meaning

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Sweet, baked treats similar to American cookies.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Texture

Can be chewy, soft, or crisp.
Typically soft and flaky in the U.S.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Main Ingredients

Often contains sugar, butter, eggs, and flavorings.
In the U.S., primarily flour, butter, and leavening.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Serving Occasion

Commonly as a snack or dessert.
In the U.S., often with meals like breakfast or dinner.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Cookies and Biscuits Definitions

Cookies

Dessert items that can be soft, chewy, or crunchy.
Some people prefer their cookies soft, while others like them crispy.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023
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Biscuits

Soft, round breads made from a simple mixture of flour, butter, and a leavening agent.
Gravy and biscuits make a hearty, traditional meal.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Cookies

Sweet, baked confections varying in flavor and texture.
My grandmother makes the best chocolate chip cookies.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Biscuits

In British English, baked sweet treats akin to what Americans call "cookies."
Tea and biscuits are a classic British combination.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cookies

Small, flat baked treats typically made with flour, sugar, and fats.
The aroma of freshly baked cookies filled the house.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Biscuits

Edible items that can be savory or sweet, based on regional interpretations.
Whether savory or sweet, biscuits are enjoyed by people worldwide.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Cookies

Sweet biscuits in British terminology.
I ordered cookies at the cafe, and they served me what looked like biscuits.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Biscuits

In the U.S., savory, flaky breads commonly served with meals.
Fresh biscuits with butter and jam are a breakfast staple in the South.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Cookies

Edible delights often containing mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins.
Oatmeal raisin cookies are a classic favorite for many.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Biscuits

Can be both soft or hard, depending on cultural context.
In the U.S., biscuits are soft and bread-like, while in the U.K., they're hard and sweet.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Cookies

Plural of cookie
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

Biscuits

A small cake of shortened bread leavened with baking powder or soda.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

Cookies

A small, usually flat and crisp cake made from sweetened dough.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

Biscuits

A thin, crisp cracker.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

Cookies

(Slang) A person, usually of a specified kind
A lawyer who was a tough cookie.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

Cookies

(Computers) A collection of information, usually including a username and the current date and time, stored on the local computer of a person using the World Wide Web, used chiefly by websites to identify users who have previously registered or visited the site.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

Cookies

Variant of cookie.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

Cookies

(dated) cooky
Sumera Saeed
Jul 23, 2020

FAQs

Can you find cookies at a British tea time?

Yes, but they'd be referred to as biscuits during British tea time.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Are American biscuits typically sweet?

No, American biscuits are typically savory and often served with meals.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

What do Americans refer to as cookies?

Americans refer to sweet, baked confections of various flavors and textures as cookies.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Can cookies be savory?

While cookies are predominantly sweet, there are savory cookie recipes that exist.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

In the U.K., what are biscuits similar to?

In the U.K., biscuits are similar to what Americans call cookies, which are sweet baked goods.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

What are common ingredients in cookies?

Common ingredients in cookies include flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and various flavorings or add-ins.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

How are British biscuits and American cookies similar?

British biscuits and American cookies are both sweet and can have similar ingredients and textures.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

How are biscuits different from cookies in the U.S.?

In the U.S., biscuits are savory, flaky breads, while cookies are sweet treats.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Is the term "cookie" used in British English?

While "biscuit" is the predominant term in British English, "cookie" can be used for certain American-style treats.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Are British biscuits always hard and crunchy?

While many British biscuits are crunchy, there are also softer varieties available.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Do all cookies have a crunchy texture?

No, cookies can vary in texture from soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Are cookies and biscuits served at the same occasions in the U.S.?

Not typically. In the U.S., cookies are often snacks or desserts, while biscuits are served with meals.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Can you use biscuit dough for other dishes in the U.S.?

Yes, biscuit dough can be used in various dishes, from pot pies to casseroles.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

What can you typically spread on American biscuits?

Butter, jam, gravy, and honey are common spreads for American biscuits.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Can you make biscuits without butter?

While traditional biscuits often contain butter, there are recipes that use alternatives for different textures or dietary needs.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Do cookies always contain chocolate chips?

No, cookies can have a variety of ingredients, and many don't contain chocolate chips.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Why are biscuits served with gravy in the U.S.?

Biscuits and gravy is a traditional Southern dish, where the savory biscuits complement the rich gravy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

What's a popular British biscuit?

The Digestive and the Bourbon are examples of popular British biscuits.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Which is typically sweeter, cookies or American biscuits?

Cookies are typically sweeter than American biscuits.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

How are cookies typically stored?

Cookies are usually stored in airtight containers to maintain their freshness and texture.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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