Figures of Eight Recipe - Traditional Maltese Treat

Figures of Eight

Figures of Eight Recipe - Traditional Maltese Treat
Region / culture: Malta | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 12


Figures of Eight
Figures of Eight

Figures of Eight is a traditional British biscuit recipe that is not only delicious but also fun to make. These sweet treats are perfect for serving with tea or coffee, or as a snack on their own.


Figures of Eight have been a popular treat in Britain for many years. The unique shape of these biscuits is said to have originated from the practice of shaping the dough into the number eight, which is considered lucky in many cultures.


How to prepare

  1. Sieve the flour and add the sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Add the lemon and orange rinds. Bind together with the juice and the beaten egg, adding a small amount of water if necessary to make the dough workable.
  3. Break the dough into small balls and roll them into thin sausage shapes, or shape them into rings.
  4. Twist the dough in the middle to form figures of eight, which is the traditional shape.
  5. On a plate, spread a quantity of sesame seeds. Press each shape into the seeds so that the top is covered.
  6. Place the shapes well spaced on a greased baking tray and bake at 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6. Then, reduce the heat to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.


  • Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough for a warm, spicy flavor.
  • Drizzle melted chocolate over the baked biscuits for an extra indulgent touch.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to twist the dough in the middle to form the traditional figure of eight shape.

- Press the dough into sesame seeds before baking for added flavor and texture.

- Keep an eye on the biscuits while baking to ensure they don't overcook and become too crispy.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Figures of Eight with a cup of tea or coffee for a delightful afternoon treat.

Cooking Techniques

Bake Figures of Eight in the oven until golden brown and crispy.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use margarine instead of butter for a dairy-free option.

- Substitute the sesame seeds with poppy seeds or chopped nuts for a different texture.

Make Ahead Tips

Figures of Eight can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange Figures of Eight on a decorative plate for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Figures of Eight with a glass of milk or a fruity dessert wine for a delicious combination.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store Figures of Eight in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Figures of Eight contains approximately 200 calories.


Each serving of Figures of Eight contains approximately 25g of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Figures of Eight contains approximately 8g of fats.


Each serving of Figures of Eight contains approximately 3g of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Figures of Eight are not a significant source of vitamins and minerals.


Figures of Eight contain gluten and dairy.


Figures of Eight are a delicious sweet treat that is relatively low in calories but should be enjoyed in moderation due to their sugar content.


Figures of Eight are a delightful and traditional British biscuit recipe that is perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea or coffee. With their unique shape and delicious flavor, these sweet treats are sure to be a hit with family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Figures of Eight. It was a warm summer day, just like any other, when I decided to visit my dear friend Doris. Doris was known in our small town for her incredible baking skills and I knew that I could always count on her to share a new recipe with me.

As soon as I walked into Doris's cozy kitchen, I could smell the delicious aroma of freshly baked goods filling the air. Doris greeted me with a warm hug and a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "I have something special to share with you today, my dear," she said, leading me to the kitchen table where a plate of beautifully decorated pastries sat waiting for us.

"These are Figures of Eight," Doris explained, pointing to the delicate pastries that were shaped like the number eight. "They are a family recipe that has been passed down through generations, and I am honored to share it with you."

I was immediately intrigued by the unique shape of the pastries and couldn't wait to learn how to make them. Doris began to walk me through the recipe, explaining each step in detail and sharing stories of how her grandmother used to make them when she was a little girl.

The recipe for Figures of Eight was surprisingly simple, requiring just a few basic ingredients that I already had in my pantry. The dough was a buttery, flaky pastry that melted in your mouth with each bite. Doris showed me how to roll out the dough and shape it into the figures of eight, carefully pinching the ends together to create the perfect shape.

As the pastries baked in the oven, filling the kitchen with a tantalizing scent, Doris shared with me the story of how this recipe came to be a family tradition. It all started with her great-grandmother, who was a renowned baker in their small village. She used to bake these pastries for special occasions, like weddings and holidays, and they were always a hit with everyone who tried them.

Over the years, the recipe was passed down from mother to daughter, each adding their own twist to make it their own. Doris had perfected the recipe over the years, experimenting with different ingredients and techniques until she had created the perfect Figures of Eight.

As we sat down to enjoy the freshly baked pastries, I couldn't help but marvel at the delicious taste and the rich history behind this family recipe. Doris and I spent the afternoon chatting and laughing, savoring each bite of the sweet pastries and creating new memories together.

From that day on, Figures of Eight became a staple in my own kitchen. I loved making them for my family and friends, sharing not only the delicious pastries but also the story behind them. Every time I baked a batch of Figures of Eight, I felt a connection to the past and a sense of pride in carrying on the tradition that Doris had so graciously shared with me.

And so, the recipe for Figures of Eight became a cherished part of my culinary repertoire, a reminder of the power of tradition and the joy of sharing delicious food with the ones you love. I will always be grateful to Doris for introducing me to this recipe and for the memories we created that day in her kitchen.


| Cookie Recipes | Egg Recipes | Lemon Juice Recipes | Lemon Peel Recipes | Maltese Appetizers | Maltese Recipes | Orange Juice Recipes | Orange Peel Recipes | Self-rising Flour Recipes | Sesame Seed Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients