The delicious crumbs at the base of my cheesecakes are almost always made with digestive biscuits. The subtly sweet and rich wheat-y flavor of these biscuits with their crunchy texture are yet to be beaten.
However, digestive biscuits seem to keep getting harder and harder to find. So, if I want a snack or an ingredient in my desserts but digestive biscuits are not available, I will often refer to my handy dandy substitutes list.
The best overall substitute digestive biscuits are graham crackers. Other great substitutes for snacking include BelVita and Oreos. If you’re looking for baking substitutes, try Marie biscuits, HobNobs, shortbread, ginger biscuits, or Nilla wafers. For healthier substitutes, you can enjoy popcorn, rice cakes, whole-grain breadsticks, or almonds.
This article will look into the different substitutions of digestive biscuits based on the needed applications. We will also dive into how you can make Digestive Biscuit Cheesecake. In addition, we will address some commonly asked questions pertaining to Digestive biscuits.
- Substitutes for Snacking
- Substitutes for Baking
- Healthy & Low Calorie Substitutes
- About Digestive Biscuits
- Homemade Digestive Biscuit Cheesecake
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Substitutes for Snacking
Who doesn’t enjoy dunking biscuits in a hot cup of tea? By far, my favorite biscuits for this snack are digestive biscuits. They remain sturdy yet very soft. Not only is it fun to dunk the biscuits, but it’s also a filling snack.
Some people like using digestive biscuits as a crunchy bed for their cheese or jam. Others get even more creative and start adding all sorts of food items on top of the biscuits. In addition, digestive biscuits are often enjoyed plain.
By far, digestive biscuits are mostly compared to graham crackers. Their similar properties make graham crackers a good substitute for digestive biscuits.
Graham crackers are whole wheat sweet crackers made with graham flour. They are used as an ingredient in baking or snacks. Generally, graham crackers go well with chocolatey, creamy, and fruity foods.
Graham crackers are a great substitute snack for digestive biscuits, especially if you live in the U.S. Graham crackers, however, tend to be thinner and crisper than digestive biscuits. In addition, they tend to have a crunchier texture and a nuttier, sweeter taste.
Instead of snacking on five digestive biscuits, you can snack on five graham crackers.
Nutritional Information of Graham crackers (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 430kcal
- Total Fat: 10.6g
- Sodium: 516mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 77.7g
- Dietary Fiber: 3.4g
- Total Sugars: 24.8g
- Protein: 6.69g
A better match with digestive biscuits in terms of texture and flavor is BelVita biscuits. That’s why they can be great substitutes for digestive biscuits, especially when snacking.
BelVita is a brand of breakfast biscuits that are made with ingredients like oats, rye flakes, and wheat flour. They are available in many countries, including the United States.
The texture and flavors of BelVita biscuits could significantly match those of digestive biscuits. However, this match all depends on what type of BelVita you choose. For example, chocolate-flavored BelVita isn’t the perfect match with digestive biscuits.
Nutritional Information of Breakfast Cereals and Milk Biscuits, BelVita (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 435kcal
- Total Fat: 14.5g
- Sodium: 0.98mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 66g
- Dietary Fiber: 6.5g
- Total Sugars: 20g
- Protein: 7.9g
If you’re looking for something to dip, Oreo cookies work well as a substitute for digestive biscuits. However, you’ll likely want to substitute the tea with milk.
Oreo cookies are creme-filled sandwich cookies we have probably all tried. Two chocolaty wafers with sweet crème filling make for one delicious snack.
Oreos are a substitute that gives you something completely different yet retains the elements of digestive biscuits, which include having a nice crunch, dunking abilities, and snacking. This substitute is suitable if you’re not looking for the exact taste of digestive biscuits but instead are looking for a delicious dippable snack.
Nutritional Information of Oreo Cookies (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 473kcal
- Total Fat: 20g
- Sodium: 400mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 73g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.5g
- Total Sugars: 38g
- Protein: 5g
Substitutes for Baking
The recipes that include digestive biscuits are endless. These biscuits give the recipes suitable textures. However, most need the crushed version of the digestive biscuits.
Many people that make cheesecake, including me, absolutely love using digestive biscuits as its base. It gives it a gorgeously crumby and mouth-watering texture.
In addition to cheesecake, digestive biscuits can be incorporated in brownies, moose, custard, pie, porridge, cake, etc. You’ll need to find a suitable substitute for digestive biscuits to use within these recipes.
If you are looking for great substitutes for digestive biscuits in desserts like cheesecake or lazy cake, Marie Biscuits would be a great choice.
Marie biscuits are similar to rich tea biscuits. They aren’t as popular in the U.S. as in countries like England or South Africa. However, they are loved by many for their texture, taste, and affordable cost.
Marie biscuits and digestive biscuits share a crispy, dry texture and a semi-sweet taste. In addition, they both serve as handy bases for a cheesecake. They have an extremely crumbly texture, so you don’t need to throw them into a food processer. Instead, you can simply place them in a bag and grind them with a rolling pin until you reach the right consistency. For this substitution, you can use them interchangeably.
Nutritional Information of Marie Biscuit (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 406kcal
- Total Fat: 10.6g
- Sodium: 370mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 70.5g
- Dietary Fiber: 3.5g
- Total Sugars: 21.2g
- Protein: 7.05g
A great British creation, HobNobs are famous for their dunking ability. Also, they make great baking substitutes for digestive biscuits.
HobNobs is the brand name of a commercially made biscuit. They are made with oat and have a nice, crunchy texture with a mildly sweet taste. They are a popular “dunking” product in the United Kingdom and are often enjoyed with tea.
HobNobs and digestive biscuits are similar; however, HobNobs results in a drier and crispier texture than digestive biscuits. So, when it is substituted to be a cheesecake base, for example, make sure to add a little bit of extra butter. For this substitution, you can use them interchangeably. However, add in the HobNobs slowly to make sure you don’t overdo it and adjust accordingly.
Nutritional Information of HobNob, McVities (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 472kcal
- Total Fat: 20.2g
- Sodium: 0.82mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 61.8g
- Dietary Fiber: 6.5g
- Total Sugars: 22.9g
- Protein: 7.4g
For digestive biscuits in baking and even no-bake recipes, choose a shortbread as a great alternative.
Shortbread is a crispy, crumbly, and rich type of biscuit. Butter, flour, and sugar are the three main ingredients. It’s dangerously tasty with a not-too-sweet and perfectly buttery flavor.
In desserts, shortbread provides similar crumbly textures as digestive biscuits. This substitute is also great for making cheesecake crusts. However, since shortbread is relatively high in butter, you don’t want to put as much of it as you would with digestives. So, you can try using about ½ to ¾ of its quantity and adjust as needed.
Nutritional Information of Shortbread (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 514kcal
- Total Fat: 26.2g
- Sodium: 353mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 63.8g
- Dietary Fiber: 1.3g
- Total Sugars: 21.6g
- Protein: 5.37g
If you like spicing up your desserts with a gingery kick, this substitution is for you. Replacing digestive biscuits with ginger biscuits could be a suitable substitution in baking.
Ginger biscuits, also called ginger nuts or ginger snaps, are ginger-flavored crispy cookies. This substitute is not for you if you aren’t an admirer of ginger.
Ginger biscuits substitute digestive biscuits well in biscuit cakes or cheesecake bases. That’s because ginger biscuits have a hard texture that eventually softens when baking. However, some kinds might be tougher than others, so grinding them could take longer and require more effort than digestive biscuits.
For this substitution, you could use fewer ginger biscuits than you would use digestive biscuits. Ginger biscuits pair well in baked goods that contain chocolate, key lime, or lemon.
Nutritional Information of Ginger Biscuits (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 433kcal
- Total Fat: 13.3g
- Sodium: 367mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 76.7g
- Dietary Fiber: 3.3g
- Total Sugars: 36.7g
- Protein: 3.33g
You’re probably familiar with Nilla Wafers, also known as Vanilla wafers. These wafers are good substitutes for digestive biscuits in cooking.
Nilla Wafers have a very crispy and light texture that melts in your mouth. Its vanilla flavor is great for not overwhelming the taste of the recipes it is used in.
Nilla Wafers can substitute digestive biscuits in puddings, cheesecake crusts, pies, custards, and so much more. To use it instead of digestive biscuits in cheesecake crust recipes, you’re going to have to break down the Nilla Wafers into crumbs. There is not one specific ratio for this substitution, as you should use as much as needed for the right texture.
Nutritional Information of Nilla Wafers (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 455kcal
- Total Fat: 16.4g
- Sodium: 325mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 72.6g
- Dietary Fiber: 1.6g
- Total Sugars: 35.1g
- Protein: 4.9g
Healthy & Low Calorie Substitutes
If you paid close attention to the nutrition facts of the previous substitutes, you might have noticed that many are high in fat, sugar, or sodium. Therefore, it’s crucial to find ways to satisfy our snacking cravings in a healthier way. The following are healthy snacking substitutes for digestive biscuits.
No, I don’t mean buttery movie theater popcorn. A good healthy substitute for digestive biscuits is plain popcorn.
We are all familiar with the deliciousness that is popcorn. It is made by heating starch-filled corn kernels. If not loaded with other ingredients, popcorn is a light and healthy snack.
Popcorn is high in fiber, and when no additional ingredients are added, low in fat, salt, and sugar. It is also lower in calories! For popcorn to be a healthy alternative to digestive biscuits, it should be eaten plain. If that is not possible, add only a bit of salt or healthy oil.
To prepare popcorn with the best health benefits, you should air-pop it with no oil. You can do so in either a popcorn maker or on a stovetop.
According to Amy’s Healthy Baking, to make air-popped popcorn on the stove, you’ll need 3 ½ tablespoons (58g) of fresh popcorn kernels and ¼ teaspoon of salt. If you can go without the salt, it’s better.
- For two minutes, preheat nonstick pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium to high heat
- Add a bit of water. If sizzling occurs immediately, reduce heat to a bit above low
- Add in kernels
- Gently shake the pot every bit
- Once ready, remove the pot from heat
- Pour the popcorn into a bowl
- Add salt on top
Nutritional Information of Air-popped Popcorn (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 387kcal
- Total Fat: 4.54g
- Sodium: 8mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 77.8g
- Dietary Fiber: 14.5g
- Total Sugars: 0.87g
- Protein: 12.9g
Remember the rice cake health craze? They have become a popular snack and a pantry staple. They are also great substitutes for when you want a dry, crunchy snack, like digestive biscuits.
Rice cakes are made by puffing rice and pressing it together to create a circular cake. They are as simple to snack on as digestive biscuits. You can put cheese or jam on the rice cake instead of on the digestive biscuit.
The nutritional information and benefits differ greatly between brands and types of rice cakes. Choose the ones made from brown rice as they are healthier. In addition, rice cakes have lower calories than digestive biscuits.
Nutritional Information of Rice cake (Brown Rice) (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 385kcal
- Total Fat: 3.2g
- Sodium: 167mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 81.2g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.9g
- Protein: 8.4g
11.Whole Grain Breadsticks
You might be familiar with breadsticks and have never thought of them as healthy. That’s true, but when they are made from whole grains and eaten alongside healthy foods, they are better and slightly lower in calories than digestive biscuits.
Breadsticks are pencil-shaped dry bread-like sticks. They go great with many dishes and dips. So, you will get to experience the fun of dipping. In addition, it is great with sweet ingredients like melted chocolate or jams.
Nutritional Information of Whole Grain Breadsticks (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 410kcal
- Total Fat: 10.9g
- Sodium: 576mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 68.1g
- Dietary Fiber: 7.2g
- Total Sugars: 3.29g
- Protein: 13.2g
Yes, I understand that digestive biscuits are drastically different than almonds; however, you’ll be getting the desirable crunch with lots of nutrients in this substitution.
Almonds are high in healthy fats, protein, fiber, magnesium, and more. So instead of grabbing a digestive biscuit when you’re in the mood to munch, grab a handful of raw almonds instead.
Nutritional Information of Raw Almonds (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 579kcal
- Total Fat: 49.9g
- Sodium: 1mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 21.6g
- Dietary Fiber: 12.5g
- Total Sugars: 4.35g
- Protein: 21.2g
About Digestive Biscuits
Digestive biscuits are crunchy, semi-sweet biscuits created in the 1830s and originate from Scotland. These biscuits, sometimes referred to as sweet-meal biscuits, were designed to keep people full for a long time.
Commercially made digestive biscuits often use flours, vegetable oil, sugar, partially inverted sugar syrup, raising agents, and salt. There are several types of these biscuits. Except for the chocolate-coated ones, all types are a great companion to tea.
Digestive biscuits commonly have rich and nutty flavors with hints of sweetness. This large-diameter biscuit comes in various sized packs and can be purchased worldwide. You could have trouble locating them if you live in the United States, but you can try a supermarket or an online website.
Digestive biscuits are greatly used as a base in cheesecakes. They are also incorporated in many other desserts, such as chocolate biscuit cake, pies, biscuit bars, etc. in addition, digestive biscuits are consumed with any kind of cheese or jam. They are also commonly enjoyed dunked in tea or coffee as they soften slightly before consumption.
I have always been interested in the nutrition behind digestive biscuits, as many people have a false misconception that digestive biscuits are incredibly healthy. However, if they are not made with whole-grain flour or other ingredients containing fibers, most nutrition claims will be deemed false.
Though they contain fibers, the biscuits also possess a good amount of sugar. However, the current health claims say digestive biscuits are healthy because they compare them to ordinary biscuits, which are generally not nutritious. But, compared to actually healthy foods, digestive biscuits are considered not healthy.
Nutritional Information of Digestives Biscuit, McVitie’s (serving of 100g):
- Calories: 471kcal
- Total Fat: 23.5g
- Sodium: 382mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 64.7g
- Dietary Fiber: 5.9g
- Total Sugars: 29.4g
- Protein: 5.88g
- 100g melted butter (For Crust)
- 250g digestive biscuits (For Crust)
- 150g icing sugar
- 600g cream cheese
- 280ml double cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- Butter a loose-bottomed tin, then line with baking paper
- Crush biscuits and combine with butter
- Pour them into the tin and press down firmly for an even layer
- Refrigerate for around 20 minutes
- For the filling, add the icing sugar, cheese, and vanilla in a bowl
- Beat with an electric mixer
- Add in cream
- Beat till fully combined
- Spoon the mixture onto the base. Go from the edges inwards
- Smooth out the top
- Let it sit for 1-2 hours in the fridge
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference between a Rich Tea Biscuit and a Digestive Biscuit?
The textures of rich tea biscuits and digestive biscuits differ significantly. Digestive biscuits are thicker, coarser, and have a darker color. Rich tea biscuits are smoother and have a lighter color. They are also much thinner and crisper.
What is the American Equivalent of Digestive Biscuits?
Many people use digestive biscuits interchangeably with graham crackers as these crackers are easier to find in the U.S. Whole wheat shortbread could also do the trick.
Digestive biscuits are crunchy, semi-sweet biscuits that have rich and nutty flavors with hints of sweetness. They can be eaten alone, with tea or other drinks, or can be used in recipes. In addition, digestive biscuits have several substitutions.
The most common substitute for digestive biscuits is graham crackers. BelVita and Oreos are other great snack substitutes. Try Marie biscuits, HobNobs, shortbread, ginger biscuits, or Nilla wafers for baking substitutes. If you’re looking for healthier substitutes, popcorn, rice cakes, whole-grain breadsticks, and almonds are good.
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