Flaky Biscuits


Homemade biscuits taste as good as they look! This easy flaky biscuit recipe is ready to serve in about 30 minutes. Serve warm for the perfect dinner roll.

flaky biscuits

BHG / Ana Cadena

Prep Time:
15 mins
Bake Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
12 biscuits

Virtually no one can resist the aroma of a homemade flaky biscuit recipe wafting through the house. The key to flaky biscuits is in the fat. Fat—butter and shortening in this recipe—creates the tender texture of biscuits and helps form the flaky layers. Butter delivers rich flavor. But because shortening contains no water, it creates more-distinct layers, which is why our Test Kitchen uses a combination of the two. You could use just ¾ cup butter total and skip the shortening in this biscuit recipe, if you prefer more butter flavor or don't have shortening on hand.

The "lift" of your biscuits is also impacted by the baking powder. If you look at the baking powder in your pantry it likely says "double-acting baking powder" on it. That double action creates carbon dioxide bubbles that "lift" baked goods in two ways: once when it's combined with liquid and again when it's exposed to heat.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ½ cup butter, cut up

  • ¼ cup shortening

  • 1 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar.

    Test Kitchen Tip: If baking powder or cream of tartar appears lumpy, sift through a fine-mesh sieve before using.

  2. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk all at once. Using a fork, stir just until mixture is moistened.

  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing it for four to six strokes or just until dough holds together.

    Pat or lightly roll dough until ¾ inch thick. Cut dough with a floured 2½-inch biscuit cutter; reroll scraps as necessary and dip cutter into flour between cuts.

  5. Place dough circles 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. If desired, brush with additional milk for browning. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve warm.

Test Kitchen Tip: Biscuits don't have to be round. You could also cut biscuits with a square cutter, or roll the dough into a rectangle and cut it into strips or squares. Or roll the dough into a circle and cut into wedges. Just always aim for 12 biscuits so the bake time doesn't need adjusting.

Drop Biscuits Variation:

Cut the prep time of this recipe almost in half by skipping the kneading, rolling, and cutting steps. Prepare as above through Step 3, except increase the milk to 1¼ cups. Using a large spoon, drop dough into 12 mounds onto a greased baking sheet. Bake as directed above. Makes 12 biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits Variation:

Prepare as above, except for rolled dough biscuits substitute 1¼ cups buttermilk or sour milk for the 1 cup milk. For drop biscuits substitute 1½ cups buttermilk or sour milk for the 1¼ cups milk.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

231 Calories
12g Fat
26g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 231
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 375mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Calcium 121.2mg 9%
Iron 1.6mg 9%
Potassium 98mg 2%
Folate, total 60.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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