Cheese Biscuits

These cheese biscuits from Garrett are the best, enjoy! ~Elise

There are a three secrets to making successful biscuits.

1. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty. Mixing with a spoon overworks the dough. Your hands keep things delicate. Plus, all that squishing and making a mess is fun. (Or put the kids to work. They’ll love it.)

2. Keep your butter cold. This ensures plenty of rise, rich flavor, and delicate layers of puffy biscuit.

3. Add lots of cheese. I mean LOTS. Because cheese is good.

Follow these steps and I promise you perfect biscuits every time.

These biscuits only take about five minutes of active work and 12-16 minutes to bake. This means you can whip these babies up in no time flat for picnics, last minute guests, or dinner parties.

The cut up biscuit dough can be frozen in an airtight container and stored for a few months. This means that if you want to double or triple the recipe and save some aside for quick baking later you can. Just plop them on a tray, sling ‘em into the oven, and sit back.

Cheese Biscuits Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16 biscuits

I prefer Parmesan and plenty of black pepper for these, but feel free to substitute cheddar, feta, or your favorite blue cheese. Instead of scallions you can use chives or olives. This recipe is merely a guideline to making perfect cheese biscuits.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • dash cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure your baking powder is fresh! no more than 6 months old or you may not get a good rise)
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Kosher, Maldon, or Black salt for topping (optional; not table/iodized salt)

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cayenne, black pepper, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2 Dice the butter into small pieces. If they get too warm then place them in a bowl and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before continuing. Toss the diced butter with the flour mixture until well coated. (Again, if into tossing the butter gets hot in your hands place the whole mixture in the freezer for a few minutes.) Add the scallions and cheese and toss until well coated.

3 Add the buttermilk and mix with your hands until it just comes together. You may find you need an extra dribble of buttermilk, if so then go right ahead but do so judiciously. Do not over-knead.

4 Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice; no more. Form into an 8x8-inch square and cut into 2x2-inch squares and top with a bit of high-quality salt if using. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until golden.

45 Comments

  1. Lee

    I make something like these with Gruyere and fresh sage. Also, caramelized shallots and Clemson Blue is great!

  2. Char James-Tanny

    Thank you! I’ve been craving cheese biscuits lately, so this recipe popped up at just the right time. I don’t do a good job of forming an 8×8 square, but they still came out really good. :-)

    • Dee

      It is hard to roll dough into a perfect square, so after kneading, I just spread the dough into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment, and cut it easily into the squares. Works perfectly!

      • Dee

        Of course, I remove the dough from the pan after cutting, and space them out on a cookie sheet to bake, to allow room for rising.

  3. lmfny

    I replaced the dash of cayenne with a dash of paprika, added a heaping TBSP of ground flax, and used 3 kinds of cheese (colby, cheddar, parmesan). These came out AWESOME. Thanks so much for a great, easy recipe! ;)

    One thing I found is that they really stuck to the pan, though. Even with some grease…

  4. Hank

    Garrett, if you freeze the biscuit dough for storage, how do you use the hard dough? Defrost it, or bake them from frozen? (If so, how long…)

    Just toss them in the oven straight away. They may need a slightly longer baking time. ~Garrett

  5. Audrey

    When I cook scones (biscuits) I just sprinkle flour onto the baking sheet rather than greasing and they do not stick.

  6. Susan

    I made these for Sunday breakfast with sausage and eggs. Borrowed from one of the commenters the idea to use carmelized shallots since I didn’t have scallions…These were a hit! Put coarse sea salt on some of them and loved that addition. Fun to veer off the usual southern biscuits of my childhood!

  7. Yasmin

    These are amazing!! I made these this afternoon using pepper jack cheese and chives. They took no more than a few minutes to make and were flaky and delicious! What a wonderful recipe.

  8. Michele

    We were given a cheese biscuits mix by a famous chef and just for fun I made those and this recipe and had a taste test with the family. Didn’t come close – the preferred cheese biscuits are Garrett’s. xoxo michele

  9. ellina

    Hi there! Just to make sure: You don’t rub the butter into the flour, just toss the pieces? I think I’ll be making these tonight. Please do clarify, they look amazing!
    Thank you!

    Yep, just toss the butter. ~Garrett

  10. J.

    When dicing the butter, how small should the small pieces be?

    A small dice, but not miniscule. Anything too big and you’ll just have giant pools of butter making your biscuits soggy. ~Garrett

  11. Tempy

    I LOVE cheese, it is good. But I can’t eat it. Lactose intolerance. Is there any nice alteration i could make to make some tasty, cheese-less biscuits?

    Well, Tempy, this is a cheese biscuit recipe. Cutting out the main ingredient will affect the final product. I would suggest a different recipe or just testing this one to see how it stands up without the moisture and salt from cheese. Another option is that some people who are lactose intolerant can eat some goat cheeses since they have a low amount of lactose. ~Garrett

  12. Sara

    I tried them last night. I think I was a little light on the rock salt as I was afraid of overdoing it. This is a fantastic basic buttermilk biscuit recipe to use as a base for just about anything you want to add. I’m going to try it with cheddar next time. If I do it again with Parmesan then I’ll probably crush a clove of garlic in there because I found the parm to be a bit overwhelming. I made it according to the directions the first time, so we’ll see what happens with future experiments. Thank you!

  13. Adam

    Thanks! A fast biscuit that tastes like you must have slaved away in the kitchen all afternoon. We did make a double batch and froze some for next week. Even though this is a pretty fast recipe some nights we don’t even have the energy to do an easy meal but would still love a tasty home cooked meal.

  14. www.theculinarygraveyard.wordpress.com

    So good! Made these one afternoon and they were eaten within around an hour of coming out of the oven!

  15. Sarah

    I just made these this morning using whole wheat pastry flour and cheddar cheese (it was what I had on hand) and they were FANTASTIC. Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Brautigan

    Followed recipe closely, and ended up with a tasty biscuit. However, I would prefer a bit more rise. Anybody have any suggestions how to achieve that? Double amount of baking powder? Add some baking soda?

  17. Jenn daCat

    These look delicious – great to pair with tomato soup or slices of country ham!

    Re: the lactose intolerance, many cheeses are safe to eat. Parmesan and aged cheddar are two easy examples. The microbial fermentation takes care of the lactose. I believe other aged cheeses (blue, feta, etc) are also safe. There’s a lot of information on the internet re: options for the lactose intolerant. You don’t have to give up your cheese :)

  18. Michelle

    I have always worried about measuring flour. I want to just scoop some out of the bag and level the cup, but since you have specifically said two tablespoons more, would you mind telling me how the flour is measured? Thanks! I really want to make these biscuits!

    I use a spoon to scoop flour into a measuring cup and then level it off. ~Garrett

  19. J.

    Thanks Garrett. I’ll aim for black-eyed pea sized butter cubes. Do you have any special technique for dicing butter? Room temperature here is Texas is on the warm side so there’s definitely a need to move quickly. Even then, I’m sure it will need to go in the freezer for a while. Just wondering if you had any advice for avoiding melted puddles of butter.

    Just chop them up with a knife. I have no particular tips. You will get one or two melty pools of butter in the oven with this recipe. No doubt. However, don’t fret about it. Just follow the instructions and they’ll be just fine. ~Garrett

  20. Lynn

    I learned a hint from Cooks Illustrated. Pat the dough into an 8 x 8 pan and then turn back out onto your surface to cut into squares. It works perfectly.

  21. Bhaktigirl

    While I haven’t made the recipe yet, as a cheese substitute use daiya. It comes in cheddar and mozzarella. It melts and tastes pretty close to the real thing. It’s a vegan thing, a little pricey, but so worth it for those of us avoiding dairy. :-)

  22. trixie bell

    These biscuits were delicious! I used a cup of grated cheddar and 1/4 cup chopped black and green olives, ommitting the parmesan and scallions, and topped them with crumbled feta before baking. I am definitely going to do these again! Thanks :)

  23. Tempy

    I will definitely try it with the goat cheese. I have not had it before and may not settle too bad. Thanks for the suggestion!

  24. Nia

    How do you know whether your over-kneading or not? I’ve never been successful at making biscuits, but this recipe is perfect for me because I love cheese! Thanks for posting a such a great recipe.

    When the dough becomes tight and very fibrous-looking when you pull it apart. Just knead it as per the directions. ~Garrett

  25. Elaine

    Never tried them before and never will again. They were OK, but on a 1-5 scale, these were a 1.
    There’s no way you’d get 16 biscuits out of that unless they were all the size of your finger nail. I got 6 and I used a biscuit cutter.
    Mixing them up it was hard to keep them together so I refrigerated them a about 30 minutes. Added more buttermilk like it suggested. Just didn’t work all the way around. Won’t make them again. Yes we ate them, but they weren’t good!

    If you only got 6 biscuits then your biscuits were WAY too big. Sorry these weren’t to your liking otherwise, but it sounds like there was a hiccup or two. The dough should come together just fine. ~Garrett

  26. Eileen

    This will sound silly but in step 2 am I supposed to cut in the butter into the flour like I would do for a pie crust? Or am I just supposed to coat the butter by stirring it around the flour?

    Just toss the butter. You’re aiming for a small dice so the butter cooks and steams in the dough. ~Garrett

  27. Brooke

    I love this recipe! I want to makes these with dinner tomorrow, but I have a question first;

    Do you have to use buttermilk, or can you use regular whole milk instead?

    Thanks again for posting this recipe!

    For a buttermilk substitute add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar for each cup of milk. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes to sour. ~Garrett

  28. Limor

    I made these yesterday and added blue cheese with the Parmesan, and replaced the scallions with olives. It was heavenly! The whole thing was gone the same night. Great recipe! Love it.

  29. Kristen

    Just a quick comment about dicing butter for biscuits – I often semi-freeze my sticks of butter and then use a cheese grater to get it into smaller pieces – works every time.

  30. Valerie

    I used cheddar, chives, and dill, and also nonfat plain yogurt because apparently, I was out of buttermilk.

    A note of encouragement for future bakers: Some of the biscuits were VERY crumbly (floury even) before baking, because I did not mix the dough very much. I just heaped them into a pile on the baking sheet, and after baking they were just as good as the ones that stayed in a square-shape. I guess this is an example of the magic of cheese. I did not add extra yogurt. I did pat the dough into an 8×8 pan and then dumped it onto the cutting board like a previous poster suggested.

    YUM.

  31. Mary

    Elise (or Garret),

    I live in China (but from the US) where ovens are scarce. Do you know any way to “bake” biscuits without an oven?? I tried steaming them (the Chinese way to make bread), but that just made the butter melt and made slimy biscuits. So I’m looking for a method that can create fluffy biscuits without the use of an oven.

    Thanks!

  32. Penni

    ok.. I tried to make these biscuits and I love the flavor, I can see the layers but they didn’t rise… HELP!! How do I fix that?

    Sounds like your baking powder has gone flat. Baking powder is a mix of baking soda which is alkaline and a dry acid. You should always use baking soda for baking that is 6 months or less old. Longer than that and the leavening power can be greatly reduced. ~Elise

  33. Roy

    I didn’t follow the 3 steps… they were good but next I will strictly adhere to your cold butter rule, hoping for ‘plenty of rise, rich flavor, and delicate layers of puffy biscuit’. Thanks!

  34. Katrina

    For Mary:

    I’m also living in China (also from the US). I actually made these in a toaster oven without any temperature control. They turned out amazingly well! Obviously, I would still prefer working with an oven, but many stores here sell toaster ovens with temperature controls. Those would probably work even better than mine.
    I made my biscuits small, so I was able to fit nine on a tray and finished
    them in batches. They weren’t hurt by sitting for fifteen minutes.

    Hope that helps!

  35. Adam Grzegorczyk

    These are awesome. When iI made them the first time I didn’t cool the butter enough, so I had trouble dicing it, and the biscuits ended so so.

    This time I have frozen my butter into a rock and had no broblems at all. I added chives and choped garlic, and when these were cooking you could smell them on the other end of the building.

    I also experimented with topping them with mozzarella. That turned out great BUT you either have to add only a tiny piece or add it late into the cooking. Otherwise your oven will be flooded with moisture and fatty from the melted cheese. If that happens you just have to take them out for a few seconds and pour it all out – I ended out with a perfectly golden and cheesy biscuits.

  36. linda

    Great biscuit recipe! Loved not having to rub butter into flour, after I made the biscuits (used goat cheese and Kalamata olives, and put a bit of buttermilk on the top of each biscuit) I froze them on the baking sheet. Popped them into a hot oven (used 2 baking sheets to prevent burning the bottom crust and it ensures a browned top)18 minutes later, perfect biscuits to go w/black bean soup on a very cold night.

    Thanks for the recipe, will be doing many variations on a theme.
    Looking forward to fresh summer blueberries biscuits, yum yum!

  37. Amy

    I loved this recipe. However did not have Parmesan. Instead I used Asiago cheese and cheddar cheese. I also added 3 teaspoons of pesto. My family loved them.

  38. Ellen

    I made these yummy biscuits for the second time tonight. The first time I followed the recipe as written. My husband loved them, said that he has never been a biscuit fan but really thought they were great. Today I substituded cheddar and again they were a great hit! I am starting to keep buttermilk in the fridge on a regular basis as I have been discovering many recipes that we enjoy made with buttermilk. Next one up to try is the ranch dressing!

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.