Bourbon biscuit

The Bourbon biscuit (pronounced /ˈbʊərbən/[1] or /ˈbɔːbən/[2]) is a sandwich biscuit consisting of two thin rectangular dark chocolate-flavoured biscuits with a chocolate buttercream filling. It was voted the UK's number one biscuit in 2018.

Bourbon biscuit
Bourbon biscuit.jpg
Alternative namesBourbon cream, Bourbon, Chocolate Bourbon
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Region or stateLondon
Created byPeek Freans
Main ingredientsDark chocolate-flavoured biscuits, chocolate buttercream

The biscuit was introduced in 1910 (originally under the name "Creola") by the biscuit company Peek Freans, of Bermondsey, London, originator of the Garibaldi biscuit.[3][4][5] The Bourbon name, dating from the 1930s, comes from the former French royal House of Bourbon.[6] A 2009 survey found that the Bourbon biscuit was the fifth most popular biscuit in the United Kingdom for dunking into tea.[7]

The small holes in bourbon biscuits are to prevent the biscuits from cracking or breaking during the baking process, by allowing steam to escape.[8] Many other companies make their own version of the biscuit under the "Bourbon" name, including major supermarkets.[9]

McVitie's chocolate-coated Penguin biscuits are made with the same biscuit mix as their bourbon biscuit, but the filling is different.[10]


It is commonly believed that Peek Freans chose the name based on the French House of Bourbon.[6] Some sources report the name of the bourbon to be a portmanteau of "Bourneville", the place of its conception, and "Bonn", the hometown of the biscuit's creator, Dr Hans Zehnloch.[11] This explains the origin of the 10 holes on the surface of the biscuit - Zehnloch is German for "Ten Holes". Other sources say that the name was derived from "Buerre bon", as they originally used butter from milk skin.[11][12]


  1. ^ "BOURBON | Definition of BOURBON by Oxford Dictionary on". Lexico Dictionaries | English. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  2. ^ Amis, Kingsley (2 June 2011). The King's English. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-0-14-196191-0. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  3. ^ Schofield, Hugh (26 December 2014). "The link between bourbon biscuits and bourbon whiskey" – via
  4. ^ Prudames, David (25 Jan 2005). "Museum to remember birthplace of the Bourbon". Culture24. Retrieved 11 Dec 2009.
  5. ^ Hibbert, Colette (8 Feb 2005). "Biscuit factory makes 'comeback'". BBC News Online. Retrieved 11 Dec 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Bourbon or Bourbon biscuit". Chambers Concise Dictionary. Allied Publishers. 2004. p. 144. ISBN 9788186062364.
  7. ^ "Chocolate digestive is nation's favourite dunking biscuit". The Telegraph. 2 May 2009
  8. ^ "This is why bourbon biscuits have holes in them". The Independent. 27 October 2017.
  9. ^ Gi, Melanie; zi (2020-09-01). "The best bourbon biscuits". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  10. ^ @mcvities (September 5, 2018). "Hi there, thanks for your message. The biscuits within the penguin is the same as a bourbon but the chocolate and filling is different. :) Thanks!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ a b "Bourbon Biscuit: The First Biscuit on the Moon". Biscuit people. 2020-12-03. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  12. ^ Martin (2021-03-01). "Bourbon Biscuits. Are they as posh as they sound? - Redundant Midlife". Retrieved 2021-10-26.

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