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How to Make Biscuits From Scratch

I'm a non-militant vegetarian who wants to teach people how to make easy vegetarian dishes at home that save money and your waistline.

Finished homemade biscuits.

Finished homemade biscuits.

Homemade Biscuits Are so Much Better

For years, I threw away money (and any self-respect I had as a cook) by using canned biscuits. Sure, they were quick. Sure, they tasted fine. But, deep in my heart, I knew that there was a better way to go about ingesting flour and shortening. Oh, but I'm just so busy in my hectic life to make biscuits from scratch, I hear you saying. Or, perhaps, But, the ones in the can are just so easy!

Well, snap out of it, is what I say. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on a package of biscuits? It's a mile long. Let me present to you a six-ingredient biscuit that takes less than 10 minutes to prep, and will show your family that you love them.

Quick, Easy, and Delicious Biscuits From Scratch

Prep Time: 5–10 mins

Bake Time: 13–15 mins

Recipe Yields: Approximately 10–12 regular-sized biscuits


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of shortening
  • 1 cup of milk of choice


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Cut in the margarine—in other words, cut up the margarine into cute little square pats and put them into the bowl. Then, mix in the margarine (I've found hands work best for this) until what's in the bowl resembles coarse meal.
  4. Gradually stir in the milk until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If your dough seems too sticky, add a tablespoon or two more flour. If it's too dry, add more milk.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface (like your countertop, or a large cutting board placed on top of your countertop).
  6. Knead the dough. You don't want to overwork it. Just until there are no sticky parts.
  7. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Use a round cookie cutter (or the rim of a glass if you're cool like me) to punch out the biscuits. Or, you could just pull off a little less than a handful and call them drop-biscuits, if presentation means nothing to you.
  9. Place the cut-outs onto a greased cookie pan.
  10. Bake in the oven for 13–15 minutes, or until the tops and edges start to brown.


  • Baking powder is the stuff in the white can, not the stuff in the orange box that you can also brush your teeth with or add to your laundry detergent. Pro-tips!
  • I use an organic butter substitute because I'm fancy. I don't use butter because it's a little too delicate for the high heat these bad boys get baked at. But you know what, if you want to use regular margarine, you do it. Because it's your house and you make the rules, dang it!
  • You can try using non-dairy milk like soy or almond to make your biscuits vegan.

So, now you've got some amazing biscuits to feed your adoring family. Don't you dare put store-bought jam on them.

Enjoy your food!


Oscar Jones from Monroeville, Alabama on November 21, 2015:

my guess is 135 calories, basic recipe

jeff on November 21, 2015:

How much is one calories is one biscuit?

lilmomma on March 06, 2015:

OMG!!! I have tried many a biscuit recipe as if late and sadly non filled the biscuit void!... Till i found these!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! We use them instead of dinner buns and dip them in gravy! Soooooo good!! Also added some pressed garlic and cheese!! DIVINE!!! Thank you again! You're officially in my favorites!!

Gaylle on October 20, 2014:

can i put something like ham and cheese in them before putting it in the oven?

mrs. Spradley Jr. on October 03, 2014:

I did half butter and half shortening, they came out amazing! My first tme ever making biscuits. Thank you so much my family loves them!

man of the house on March 27, 2014:

Awsome,my kids loved them thanks

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on February 19, 2014:

Louise, thank you for the update! I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe.

Louise on February 19, 2014:

I'm lactose intolerant and also though I do cook with most dairy products, I never keep milk around because it spoils and I'm too cheap to let expensive milk go to waste... I keep tons of evaporated milk in my pantry.

So, I just wanted to add that you *can* use evaporated milk in this recipe and that they came out great. I'm a college student and this is not only yummy and easy, it's also affordable because the entire recipe is made of common ingredients.

Nadia on February 16, 2014:

Used this recipe tonight. My husband loves them, also your sense of humor is just precious! Haha. :) Keep up the good work!

julia on February 13, 2014:

As a single lady getting myself ready to be super mom i. e after I meet Mr right, this recipe looks so easy n fun, totally trying it out this weekend! Thanks!

toya on February 11, 2014:

omg the best biscuits I have ever had. I will keep this recipe forever thank you

Alex on January 30, 2014:

Brought home from work some chicken pot pie filling, decided on biscuits to pour it over, going to make this tonight or tomorrow for dinner

Transplant on January 30, 2014:

I've lived in the Deep South now for 13 years. Might have tried making biscuits from Bisquick once or twice...but during the recent "Snowpocalypse," we ran out of bread and I made your biscuits to go with a hearty soup. I made drop biscuits (as presentation means nothing to me when it's just the two of us LOL). They were great! I used Smart Balance, and my dough was still somewhat sticky even adding extra flour, but I went for it and they were delicious :-). And as one of my FB friends wrote, now I'm *really* a Southerner! Well, even if I'm not...thanks for the recipe!

peaceandlove on January 29, 2014:

I made this twice and loved it both times ..however I did something different I actually melted 1/3 of smart balanced butter and it made the biscuits a lot smoother. To me either way is great but I wanted to share the change just incase someone feel the original is not coming out great. Also afterwards you can brush some honey over the biscuits yum yum good.

jeedwards on January 26, 2014:

Turned out great first time ever making scratch made biscuits....easy and simple directions

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 23, 2014:

Hi Heather. I have not tried these with cooking oil. And, other than when greasing a pan, I've never switched between butter and oil in a recipe, so I do not know what the conversion amount would be. Do you have margarine? That would work as a 1 to 1 substitution.

Heather on January 23, 2014:

What if one does not have butter or shorting? Can you use cooking oil?

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 16, 2014:

Keyanna, flat biscuits are usually caused by old baking powder. I have had this happen to me more than once. A new can should fix you right up.

keyanna on January 16, 2014:

Really funny and delicious! Mine came out flat, but they were still tasty.

Angelica on January 06, 2014:

Your humor makes me want to try this recipe lol, love it! Thank you for sharing :)

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 05, 2014:

You'll need to get some. If you use baking soda, the biscuits won't taste right.

Corey on January 05, 2014:

Wat if I don't have baking powder

Frankie on January 02, 2014:

Best biscuits I used buttermilk. Thanks

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on December 29, 2013:

Greg, that is a great tip! Thanks for sharing. Have a great evening.

Greg on December 29, 2013:

Another good tip would be to roll out the dough in to a rectangle-ish shape and using a pizza cutter to cut the dough into square biscuits. Works well for me.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on December 26, 2013:

Fahrenheit. Otherwise, you'd burn the house down. ;-) I hope you enjoy these biscuits.

Linda on December 26, 2013:

Is it 425 degrees C or F ?

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on December 26, 2013:

Marley I am so glad you enjoyed these biscuits. And thank you for the cute poem. :-)

Marley Kramer on December 26, 2013:

Being a Yankee (I know, that's no excuse) I've only ever eaten the biscuits from a refrigerated tube. I'm a recent transplant to Georgia. The people in Georgia talk biscuits all the time. Some I've had were good, some I've had were not as good. I knew I would have to try making biscuits sooner or later.

It's the day after Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring...especially my spouse. I opened my laptop, and to my surprise, saw your biscuit recipe to aid the unwise. I ran to the pantry with doubt in my mind, but everything I needed was easy to find. In a matter of minutes, be it the aroma or the clatter, my spouse was awakened and asked, "What's the matter?". I buttered that biscuit and fed it to him, and he went back to bed with a nod and a grin.

Thanks for the recipe. It was easy. I used the "drop" method because I like that random look with all the peaks. No need to look for any other recipe, this one's a keeper.

phil on December 15, 2013:

Very good I'm going to use this recipe all the time. Thank you

Ed Sills on December 15, 2013:

Thanks for the recipe, I tweaked it a little bit and the family left one for me I was able to make a dozen.

Jennifer Hopkins on December 07, 2013:

I've never been able to make biscuits but these turned out do good. My kids thought they were store bought and didn't believe I made them. So soft and fluffy they were excellent. I will never buy biscuits again. Thanks for the recipe!!!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on December 07, 2013:

Mrs Theresa, what a GREAT surprise for your family! Stay warm. :-)

Mrs. Theresa on December 07, 2013:

AdD Your Comment...Hi! I wanted to thankyou for this recipe. It seems totally doable. So I'm gonna sneak into the kitchen this morning and bake em up while the rest of the house is sleeping. On this cold&snowy morning biscuits, gravy, and fruit kabobs is the way! I think..yes!! :) Again thanks!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on October 14, 2013:

mcollison - I'm so happy that you enjoyed these. And yes, this is definitely a kid friendly recipe (even my husband can make them!)


mcollison on October 14, 2013:

GREAT! My 6 year old could even help me successfully with these! Thanks!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on October 11, 2013:

Vann, M.L., I'm so happy that you enjoy these biscuits. My brother-in-law is a Marine, so there's a special place in my heart for y'all. Have a great day. :-)

Vann, M.L. on October 11, 2013:

I'm eating one of your biscuits well, made from your instructions and as a former Marine, I can say this would please the Commandant! Hod no problem, worked the dough til it was easy to handle, cut the dough and fed the oven, return was great.

Vann, M.L.


Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on August 01, 2013:

medic mike, I'm really glad you enjoyed the recipe. Have a great evening.

medic mike on August 01, 2013:

this recipe worked so easy and they came out excellent. Now on to the gravy and sausage.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on July 24, 2013:

That sounds like a marvelous way to use these biscuits, Dejonn. :-)

Dejonn one on July 24, 2013:

Thank you I used butter and used the dough like a a base for my chile and rice and cheese.

Toy Tasting from Mumbai on July 05, 2013:

Thanks for posting the recipe, will surely try this out sometime :)

Deez biscuits on July 04, 2013:

You don't need to kneed these biscuits. Just a gentle press and fold and you have the perfect biscuit. Great recipe!!!!! Add some melted butter for buttery glory.

NIKI on May 27, 2013:

Found this recipe this morning, going baking now MMMMM YUMMY!

KayH on May 15, 2013:

I am 20 yrs old and the first time i tried to make homemade biscuits they turned out to thin and way to brown. But this i made 3 times in one night. Cooked 2 batches and froze the other. Im happy that im 20 yrs old and can make homemade biscuits!! :)

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on May 12, 2013:

Pool of Thoughts, I'm so happy your family enjoyed these! My husband and I trade mornings on the weekends to sleep in. On his mornings to get up with our toddler, he makes biscuits. I hope our kids will have fond memories of dad and biscuits just like you and your kids

David Steffy from Southern Ohio on May 12, 2013:

I just wanted to tell you that I was a big hit with my kids last week because of your hub here. My wife had to do some early shopping and asked me to fix the kids some fried potatoes if they got hungry. I remembered that my Dad used to impress me on those days when Mom was on a mini-vacation away from us kids. He used to make the best biscuits from just flour and water and a few other pinches of "stuff". I couldn't believe how good they tasted...and it was Dad's baking, not Mom's!

After I found your hub I used your recipe, but since we didn't have any milk, I used water. The kids were so impressed that they had to call their Mommy's cell phone and tell her, "Daddy made biscuits and THEY ACTUALLY TASTE GOOOOD!" I was so proud that I saved one for my wife who told me that she couldn't believe it either. She always told me that there was no way to make biscuits taste good without so kind of milk! Well, with my chest stuck out I had to say, "NOW what about it?!"

I used an upside down coffee cup to cut them out where I think my Dad just used a big spoon and plopped them on the pan. Dad's were way more fluffy and had the look of an old gnarled willow tree or something. But this was a start! Thanks for you hub. I enjoyed it...and so did my kids!

Leeann on April 21, 2013:

These biscuits are amazing! I had to add a little more flour, maybe because of the margarine. I also threw in some shredded cheese. The batch made 8 drop biscuits. I'm definitely having these again!

Chan. on April 20, 2013:

My family loves them and said its better than Crackle Barel! I'm only 12! With my cutter it makes 6 a perfect amount for my family, perfect!

samantha on March 02, 2013:

sound like i am a winner already tanx for ur recipes.

JITENDRA from INDIA on February 11, 2013:

I like home made biscuits also my daughter , i will definitely try it at home

Jmillis2006 from North Carolina on February 11, 2013:

My great aunt use to make homemade biscuits for us as kids, they where great. I am going to try this recipe. Voted up.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on February 09, 2013:

Mccjustin, I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe. My husband does make cheddar biscuits with this basic recipe, plus a few other ingredients. He's been bugging me to post his recipe for a while now. Maybe it'll be my next post. Lol. Enjoy your weekend!

@mccjustin on February 09, 2013:

Tasted great, and I loved your writing style, made it seem possible. I've never made from scratch before and didn't have the baking powder. I used an egg instead, why? I dunno, seemed like egg is a popular addition to flour :) anyway, turned out good although they didn't rise.

In the end, me and my 2 and 7 year old boys were happy. I Beth these would be great for making cheddar biscuits!

Great recipe and awesome writing...


Weekend Hobbyist on February 04, 2013:

Thanks! this is great! I always wanted to try to make one of these, starbucks just over prices them. I do however would prefer to add raisins in the mix too before baking. Great hub!

lesliebyars on February 03, 2013:

These sound really yummy!! Voted up and useful!

amy2kids on February 02, 2013:


Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on February 02, 2013:

Okay, so, posting from my phone has proven to be more of a hassle than I originally thought. Please see my thoughts below. I hope they help for next time!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on February 02, 2013:

I amHi amy2kids. The first thing that pops to mind is that maybe they were too low in the oven. Put the rack in the middle (or even 1 notch above, if you really want to test this theory). Because you said the bottoms did brown, I'm thinking they were closer to the lower heating coils. Second possibility would be that maybe your oven cooks at a lower temp than what you set your dial to. Try leaving them in for another 2 minutes. Another possibility would be that you didn't add enough sugar. I'm going to lean most heavily toward the first possibility, though.

amy2kids on February 02, 2013:

What would have caused mine not to brown? They did on the bottom just not the top

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 22, 2013:

Thanks, Cookie2013! I'm so glad these turned out so well for you, and I'm also super jealous that you live in a land with no canned biscuits :-)

Cookie2013 on January 22, 2013:

HOLY Mother of biscuits!!! They turned out fantastic!!! Yay! Thank You very much!


Cookie2013 on January 22, 2013:

I didn't know Biscuits came in a can. Maybe living in desolate Northern Canada has made me immune to canned biscuits. Anyway canned biscuits just sounds nasty.

I am going to make this recipe tonight for the simple fact that the author had me giggling while reading the recipe. How I do enjoy a good sense of humor.

Hopefully these turn out. I have been trying to master the art of biscuit making. Who knew 6 ingredients could be so evil.

Here's trying.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 15, 2013:

Thank you for the comment, Jonas. I'm glad you enjoyed these! Enjoy your new canned biscuit-free world :-)

Jonas on January 14, 2013:

I just made these in hopes of having something better than the store bought stuff. WOW! These are outstanding! Thank you so much for sharing this. Incredible! THANK YOU!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 12, 2013:

Hey Jeff, thanks for your comment. Sugar and salt, when used in baking, serve other roles beyond just flavor. Baking is a whole lot of science, and the amounts of ingredients are important for precise chemical reactions to take place. The sugar in this recipe helps the biscuits to take on that lovely golden brown color on top. Salt in any bread recipe makes the wonderful nooks and crannies inside that give fluffiness and places for butter and jam to pool. Feel free to vary from this recipe, but your results will be different. Not necessarily worse, but you'll be baking up a different beast.

Thanks again for your comment. I hope you enjoy the weekend!

Jeff on January 11, 2013:

Interesting recipe, I have never tried sugar, and an entire teaspoon of salt seems like overkill. Use just a pinch of salt, but I am going to try the sugar.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 04, 2013:

I've never tried the addition of a small amount of sugar to my recipe but I am going to do so the very next time I make biscuits. It's a wonderful idea. I like your comments throughout your recipe as well.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 02, 2013:

Thanks for the comments, timtalkstech and Oscarlites. I hope you really enjoy these. Way to ring in the new year by kicking the canned biscuit habit! ;-)

Oscar Jones from Monroeville, Alabama on January 02, 2013:

My mouth's a watering already! Moms home made, home made, home made biscuits coming right up!! voted up!

timtalkstech on January 02, 2013:

This looks great - I can't wait to try this with my wife over the weekend. Looking forward to more of your recipes.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 02, 2013:

Kyli - Thanks for your high praise. I'm happy to have helped convert another scratch biscuiteer!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 02, 2013:

Lemonkerdz - I've only had scones made in America and never by anyone British, so I don't know how accurate they were, but from my experience scones are denser than American biscuits and have a harder (not in an unpleasant way) exterior. But, jam and cream on them are quite lovely! Thanks for your comment. :-)

kyli on January 01, 2013:

wow that recipe really worked awesome !i loved my biscuits they were great my family loved them as well.from now on i will not but the biscuits in the can because these are so much better thanks for the advice.

lemonkerdz from LIMA, PERU on January 01, 2013:

These do look good, in England we call them Scones and they are amazing served with a coffee and then put lashings of strawberry jam and a huge dollop of thick cream on top.....yum

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on January 01, 2013:

Mari, I'm glad these worked out well for you. It's always a bonus to get to try a new recipe with on-hand ingredients! I know it always makes me happy. Enjoy the new year.

Mari on January 01, 2013:

Just finished baking and they look perfect

I really liked that I had all ingredients and was able begin without going to the store :) thank you

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on December 31, 2012:

I'm sorry they didn't turn out for you, cookmazing. The recipe is sound, though. Perhaps your oven cooks at a hotter setting than most. You might try turning it down 25 degrees.

If your oven is electric, make sure you've got the baking sheet in the center rack position.

Also, if you kneaded them too much, the oils in your hands could have made the dough hard.

And, finally, another common reason biscuits come out hard is that too much flour gets added by mistake. Don't pack the flour into your measuring cup - try spooning it in to insure that it does not pack down. I hope these tips help. Happy baking!

cookmazing on December 31, 2012:

to be very honest.... they turned out to be quite hard and bad, i dont know how you did it cauz we simply cant!

sfport on December 24, 2012:

I followed this receipe and the biscuits turned out very good

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on December 12, 2012:

I'm really glad you enjoyed these, K!

k on December 12, 2012:

Best biscuits ever. I've been tryng to make biscuits for months and these were amazing. Mine made about 18! Also, I made mine to go with pot pie soup & ahhh so good. I added 1T thyme, 1T salt free garlic herb spice, and 1tsp powdered boullion. So perfect.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on November 14, 2012:

That sounds awesome, and a great way to use extra biscuits after breakfast. Thanks for sharing!

Emily-Ann on November 14, 2012:

A cup of sugar, a tablespoon of butter, 1 1/2 cups of milk, and three tablespoons of coco powder. Mix all your dry ingredients in a pot then stir in your milk. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until you get the consistency you want (some people like it super thick, I like mine a bit runny almost like a sauce. If it gets to thick just add more milk.) then stir in your butter until it melts. Serve over your biscuits with a nice big glass of milk and a little extra butter if you want. Classic Tennessee po' folk dessert!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on November 14, 2012:

Chocolate gravy? Do tell!

Emily-Ann on November 14, 2012:

My great-grandmother was my daycare when I was little and she came from the backwoods of Tennessee (as in she was one of 17 kids and did things like write our names on eggs, place them in a sock, and nail them to the bedpost to help with teething pains when we were babies) and she could cook like no other. This is exactly how she made her biscuits. I can't stand the taste of canned biscuits now! Thanks for posting this. I am making them with chocolate gravy Saturday morning. They also go perfect with country ham or egg gravy!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on November 11, 2012:

Yes. Take a palmful of flour, dust the top of the dough in your bowl, put the rest in a small pile on your rolling surface. Knead the dough on top of the flour on your rolling surface. Shortening can cause a stickier dough, but you can use more flour until it's at a point that you can roll it out. After you roll out the dough, if there's excess flour on the dough, dust it off with a dry basting brush. I hope this helps!

Cookie on November 11, 2012:

if after mixing all the ingredients, my dough is super sticky, should I add more flour? I already exceeded your 1-2 tablespoons. I followed directions exactly as appeared except I used shortening instead. Should I just use a lot of flour when kneading?

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on November 04, 2012:

I'm not sure how they freeze. We refrigerate our baked leftovers, and reheat them in the microwave up to a week later, and they hold up well. Next time you make them, wrap up one of the cut outs and freeze it as an experiment.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe :-)

Jo on November 04, 2012:

WOW. These were sooooo good! I used a buttery olive oil spread instead of shortening, and they went perfectly with my mother's sausage gravy recipe.

I wonder how these would freeze? That way I could make up a double batch on the weekends and bake them any time.

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on October 22, 2012:

I'm glad this has helped liberate you from the shackles of canned/frozen biscuits, topperswife! ;-)

topperswife on October 21, 2012:

I think it worked! I'm a 43 yr old gramma and I need to be making biscuits, not opening a can or a package from the freezer! thanks :)

jeff on September 26, 2012:

i live in China and one of the things i have been craving is good biscuits. i never thought about just making them myself til i woke up and had a craving to kill all cravings. this was the easiest recipe and they are great. i will be adding this to my menu here.


Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on September 20, 2012:

It makes 10 - 12 regular-sized biscuits, but it depends on the size of your cutter. Sorry, by the way for taking so long to reply. I thought I had replied, but it turns out there's a glitch when I try to reply in the mobile mode. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these!

Frankly My Dear (author) from Texas on September 20, 2012:

It's baking powder for sure. Yours might be old. I've had that happen before. It made for a sad-ish Saturday morning (the biscuits still tasted good).

Christi on September 20, 2012:

Is that supposed to be baking soda and not baking powder? My biscuits didn't rise :(

GarnVanMew on September 09, 2012:

How many biscuits does this make?

Tania on September 02, 2012:

These are very delicious and very easy to make...

Brittany on August 30, 2012:

This recipe was wonderful. Very easy to make and inexpensive as you said. Thanks so much my family loved them.

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