American Biscuits (Savoury Flaky Scones)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
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Want me to confuse you a little? American biscuits are different to Australian biscuits because they are more like Australian and British Scones. American Scones are also different again. Aussies refer to cookies and biscuits the same.

My version may not be the authentic ‘Southern American’ Biscuit, whatever that is. It’s more of an interpretation of what I like to eat and I hope you do too!

It’s a weird and crazy world we live in BUT this recipe is delicious and you need it in your life. Once you make it, all the biscuit/scone, drama will disappear and you’ll just have these delicious flaky morsels of yum!

Why this recipe is amazing

Flavour & Texture: THE FLAKIEST, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that you need in your life. Buttery, cheesy and just good on their own or loaded with butter, cream cheese or even make into a breakfast sandwich.

Difficulty & Time: 2/5: They are a little extra work if you roll the dough out rather than scoop but gosh, they are so simple! Less than 40 minutes! Perfect as a quick breakfast or snack.

Versatility: You can make them savoury with cheese & chive, sundried tomatoes or even a sweet variation with spices and chopped fruit. Be mindful of adding extra moisture as it may change the texture.

Close up of American biscuit on baking paper lined tray surrounded by other biscuits.

Key ingredients that are needed:

Plain flour: Nothing fancy here, just your good ole all-purpose/plain flour. You don’t want to add bread flour as it contains more protein which will develop more gluten. Plain flour allows the dough to be airy, light and flaky when combined with the butter. If you want to make it healthy-ish, you can try out wholemeal/wheat flour too! Be aware that different flour blends may create different results therefore you may need to tweak the recipe.

Baking powder: The classic leavener you’ll need when it comes to most cakes, cupcakes and muffins.

Salted Butter: A good butter brand is best, one that has a higher fat content. I use lightly salted grass-fed butter therefore only add a small amount of salt to this recipe. Yes, you can use unsalted but add 1/4-1/2 tsp extra salt.

Heavy whipping cream: Cream provides rich butterfat that creates a flaky, tender crumb and gives a wonderful flavour. The liquid also helps to create moisture within the biscuits.

Salt: A huge part of bread baking but really, all cooking needs SALT! While enhancing the flavour of all ingredients in the recipe and giving the ‘bready’ flavour we all love, it helps to tighten the gluten structure. That strengthening allows the dough to trap and hold more carbon dioxide more efficiently.

Cheddar cheese and variations: This part is optional but boy is it recommended! Cheese in these biscuits takes them up a notch. Extra flavour and extra crunch is always a good thing. Cheddar is just the start though, go forth and try numerous types of cheese but also herbs and maybe sundried tomatoes or olives.

Egg Wash: For purely aesthetic reasons, the whisked egg is used to give a brown, shiny appearance on baked goods. Eggwash just makes you feel all professional and takes your baked goods to another level.

Close up of American biscuit texture. Biscuit is leaning on another biscuit surrounded by other biscuits.

How to make Biscuits

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F and line tray with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Grate the Butter: Coat the butter block in flour then grate into bowl. Toss to ensure butter stands don’t stick together. Gently work the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers. This can also be done in a food processor to create a rough breadcrumb texture.
  • Mix until just combined: Slowly drizzle the cream until it comes together and creates a dough. Be gentle and do not overmix, it will create tough biscuits. Add the cheese here if using. 
  • Scoop or Cut:
    • Option 1: Take scoopfuls in your hand and gently create a round shape (I like this as it creates an uneven, crunchy texture when baked). Place onto tray or
    • Option 2: Place on a lightly floured workbench. Pat it into a rough rectangle about 2.5cm /1 inch thick. Fold it into thirds, then third again. Gently press or use a rolling pin to roll out until the dough is 2.5cm /1 inch thick again. Either use or knife and cut into squares or use a glass/cookie cutter to cut circles around 6cm /2.5 inch. Gently gather scraps and roll again. Place them together so that they are touching on a tray.
  • Brush & Bake: Brush the biscuits with egg wash to enhance browning. Place in the hot oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve warm with butter and even some honey!
4 American biscuits sitting on baking paper lines tray.

uses for flaky biscuits

Flaky biscuits can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Biscuit dumplings/pot pie: Drop the biscuits into a pot of soup or stew to create dumplings
  2. Breakfast slider/sandwiches: Cut the biscuits in half and use them as the base for breakfast sandwiches with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese.
  3. Biscuit pizzas: Top the biscuits with pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice for a quick and easy pizza-like snack.
  4. Strawberry shortcake: Split the biscuits in half, and top with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream for a classic dessert.
  5. Chicken and biscuits: Top the biscuits with cooked chicken and gravy for a comforting meal.
  6. Biscuit breakfast casserole: Layer the biscuits with eggs, sausage, and cheese for a hearty breakfast casserole.
  7. Biscuit croutons: Cut the biscuits into small pieces, toss them with melted butter and herbs, and bake until crispy for a unique salad topping.

Mix-ins variations for biscuits

There are many great mix-in variations that you can add to your biscuits to make them even more delicious. Here are some ideas:

  1. Cheddar cheese and jalapeno: Add shredded cheddar cheese and diced jalapeno to your biscuit dough for a spicy, cheesy twist.
  2. Rosemary and Parmesan: Mix chopped fresh rosemary and grated Parmesan cheese into the dough for a savoury, herby biscuit.
  3. Ham and Swiss cheese: Add diced ham and shredded Swiss cheese to the dough for a hearty, savoury biscuit that’s perfect for breakfast or lunch.
  4. Bacon and chives: Fold crispy bacon and chopped fresh chives into the dough for a savoury, hearty biscuit.
  5. Sundried tomatoes and feta cheese: Mix chopped sundried tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese into the dough for a Mediterranean-inspired biscuit.
  6. Blueberries and lemon zest: Fold fresh blueberries and grated lemon zest into the dough for a sweet and tangy biscuit that’s perfect for brunch.
  7. Chocolate chips and pecans: Add chocolate chips and chopped pecans to the dough for a sweet and nutty biscuit that’s great for dessert.
  8. Spring/green onions and garlic: Mix chopped spring/green onions and minced garlic into the dough for a savoury, garlicky biscuit.
  9. Apple and cinnamon: Fold chopped apples and cinnamon into the dough for a sweet and spiced biscuit.
  10. Cinnamon and sugar: Add cinnamon and sugar to the dough for a sweet, breakfast-inspired biscuit.

Setting you up for success – Tips & Tricks

  • Use cold butter: Make sure the butter you use is cold and solid, not melted or softened. This will help create a flaky texture.
  • Use plain all-purpose flour: Plain all-purpose has a lower protein content which can result in a more tender biscuit.
  • Weigh ingredients or measure properly: Do you know that scooping flour out of the container can actually compress the flour and you’ll possibly end up with ~50% extra?! Compressed flour = Over-measuring = dry, dense and cakey baked products. Weighing is ALWAYS recommended. Grab kitchen scales and you’ll get much more consistent results. If you don’t have scales, you have two options. 1. spoon flour into the measuring cup or 2. use the cup to stir and ‘fluff up’ the flour before scooping and measuring, so it isn’t packed.
  • Don’t overwork the dough: Be gentle when mixing the dough and don’t knead it too much, as this can result in tough biscuits.
  • Use a biscuit cutter: Use a biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles instead of using a knife to avoid squishing the layers together.
  • Don’t twist the cutter: When cutting the biscuits, press the biscuit cutter straight down without twisting it. Twisting can seal the edges of the dough and prevent the biscuits from rising properly.
  • Chill the dough: After cutting the biscuits, chill the dough for 10-15 minutes before baking. This will help the butter or shortening solidify again, which can help create a flaky texture.
  • Use a hot oven: Preheat the oven to a high temperature, around  200°C/400°F, to help the biscuits rise quickly and develop a golden crust.
  • Serve warm: Serve the biscuits warm for the best taste and texture. Reheat them in a low oven or toaster oven if needed.
4 biscuits sitting on baking paper lined tray with one biscuit having torn surface to showcase flakey texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

When I made this dish on our live cooking show, some community members asked:

How long can these Biscuits last?

Keep biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

How long should Biscuits sit before eating?

Allow the biscuits to cool for 10 minutes to help them firm up slightly before eating them on their own or adding toppings.

Can you save the biscuits for later or freeze them?

Yes, After step 5, cover and refrigerate the dough balls for ~2-3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Place onto a lined tray (if frozen, allow to sit at room temp for 10 minutes) and bake at 180°c/ 350°f as per step 6. You can also freeze them semi-baked.

Why didn’t my biscuits rise properly?

Using expired baking powder, not handling the dough gently enough, or cutting the biscuits too thin can result in flat biscuits.

Can I use a food processor to make biscuit dough?

Yeah! Pulse the dry ingredients together, then add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running, slowly pour in the cream until the dough comes together. Be careful not to over-process the dough.

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know how it turned out for you! Comment below, tag @missmolly_makes on Instagram using #missmollymakes or visit us LIVE at twitch.tv/missmollymakes.com

American Biscuits on baking tray

American Biscuits (Savoury Flaky Scones)

Servings 8
A Southern US classic. They’re effectively savoury scones that are flaky rather than crumbly. They make an excellent side or breakfast.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 60 g (¼ cup) butter cold
  • 190 g (¾ cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg whisked

Optional

  • 65-125 g (½-1 cup) cheddar cheese grated

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F and line tray with baking paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Cover butter block in flour then grate into bowl. Toss to ensure butter stands don't stick together. Gently work the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers. This can also be done in a food processor to create a rough bread crumb texture.
  • While mixing, slowly drizzle the cream until it comes together and creates a dough. Be gentle and not overmix, it will create tough biscuits. Add the cheese here if using. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add 1-2 tbsp cream or milk until it comes together.
  • Take scoopfuls in your hand and gently create round shape (I like this as it creates an uneven, crunchy texture when baked).Place onto tray.
    or
    Place on a lightly floured work bench. Pat it into a rough rectangle about 2.5cm /1 inch thick. Fold it into thirds, then third again. Gently press or use rolling pin to roll out until the dough is 2.5cm /1 inch thick again. Either use or knife and cut into squares or use a glass/cookie cutter to cut circles around 6cm /2.5 inch. Gently gather scraps and roll again. Place together and touching and tray.
  • Brush the biscuits with egg wash to enhance browning. Place in hot oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
    Serve warm with butter and even some honey!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 472IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 271mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Recipe Published: February 20, 2023 Last Updated: July 29, 2023

Did you make this recipe?

Please let us know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @missmollymakes on Instagram and hashtag it #missmollymakes.

Lauren and Troy George, Creators of MissMollyMakes smiling to camera.

Hiya, I’m Lauren but you can call me Molly!

Former OR Nurse and self-taught home cook passionate about Approachable, No-Nonsense recipes to help you level up in the kitchen. Together with my husband Troy, we create simplified dishes for busy people with easy-to-find ingredients!
To learn more about us, our cooking show and more, click here!

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Leave a Comment

  1. 2 stars
    I’m from the American South, and I have no idea what this is – it’s not a biscuit, though. Also, we don’t add things to our biscuits like sundried tomatoes, etc. At that point it’s just a savory scone, and an American Biscuit *is not a scone*. I personally have never seen a recipe for biscuits that uses whipping cream. We use buttermilk as American biscuits are not sweet and have a different texture. We do not do an egg wash. She is also overworking the dough, which will make it dense. An American Biscuit is light & fluffy – perfectly paired with butter on its own, or a great way to sop up your favorite gravy. If we have something sweet with our biscuit, it’s normally a little honey on top of the butter, but not usually. There are actual biscuit cutters you can buy, or you can fashion on your own with a wide-mouthed mason jar. We do not cut into squares. A finished biscuit should cover the palm of your hand, if not be a little bigger.

    1. 5 stars
      These biscuits are great! While the recipe might differ from your traditional buttermilk biscuits, these are still just as good. It’s a deliciously simple recipe that can be adapted to specific needs- for me, I made them into breakfast biscuits by adding sun dried tomatoes and cheese. I highly suggest this recipe! I’d have photos, but they were eaten too quickly 😉

  2. Wolf_Runner says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I have made it twice now and it was a huge hit with my family. I made the version with cheese and it had great flavour. Tasted great on its own with butter and with roast chicken and gravy. The square shape option was fun and stacked well in containers for storage.
    I will make this again and maybe I’ll try one of the other mix ins next time.

  3. 5 stars
    These are fantastic! Wasn’t sure how tasty they would be compared to regular scones, but they were a hit in our household! I added cinnamon and sugar to make them a sweet breakfast scone, and brushed with milk instead of egg because I didn’t have egg. Super quick and easy, I made them while waiting for dinner to cook, and really cheap using just pantry staples. Really delicious warm and with some butter, will be making these regularly!

  4. Thank you, first time I have seen an American say that American biscuits are scones in Australia, UK and I will add New Zealand. Everyone has their favourite method and variation, sweet or savoury. Usually there is an insistence that they are different. It fascinated me so I checked many recipes and they could be published as scone recipes, every single one. What pleased me is your method is close to identical to my mother’s scones, and she made the best scones in the world. She was widely known for her light fluffy scones.

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      Thankyou so much for your comment and the research that you did Annemarie. I’m happy I was able to share a new insight with you about our Aussie culture! Its nice to know that your Mum’s technique is similar to mine and that you enjoyed them that way. I tend to agree, I love them too!
      Happy Holidays, Molly x

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