Fluffy Southern Cat Head Biscuits
Fluffy Southern Cat Head Biscuits Recipe – The biggest, softest, most amazing biscuit recipe with buttery golden tops! Flaky on the outside, pillowy inside!
Cathead Biscuits from Scratch
There are biscuits, and then there are biscuits.
The jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, knee-buckling, eyes-roll-back-in-your-head kind of biscuits.
Although there’s nothing wrong with popping open the canned variety on occasion, nothing compares to a buttery scratch-made biscuit straight out of the oven.
Fluffy Biscuit Recipe
Biscuits are one of the first things I learned to bake as a newlywed. My first few attempts were more like savory hockey pucks than fluffy bread.
After much trial and error, I learned that light airy biscuits come from gentle, yet speedy, hands.
How to Make Biscuits
Biscuits need to be handled with delicacy. Yet they also need to be made in a hurry so the dough is cold when it goes in the oven.
Using cold ingredients like buttermilk, butter, and refrigerated shortening creates a cold dough.
When the cold dough is placed in the oven, it quickly creates an outer crust while the dough is still cool on the inside. The outer crust causes the biscuits to grow up, instead of flattening out, once the insides start to bake.
Cold dough, that hasn’t been over-worked, is the secret to successful biscuit making!
Today’s Cathead Biscuits recipe is my personal favorite biscuit variety.
I learned to make them over a decade ago when we first moved to North Carolina.
What Are Cat Head Biscuits?
In the south, cathead biscuits are all about size… They are roughly the same dimensions as a cat’s head.
Weird name and association, but ridiculously enormous biscuit perfection!
I mean, who wants a scrawny biscuit? Not me.
How to Make Biscuits from Scratch
Baking this Fluffy Cat Head Biscuit recipe in a deep skillet serves two purposes.
First, the sides of the skillet offer support so that the biscuits rise to ethereal heights.
Second, the biscuits edges on the outside of the pan turn crispy, while the center edges are soft and feathery. That way you get a little crunch and a whole lot of tender goodness.
What if I Want to Make a Double Batch?
You can make a double batch in a 9 x 13 or 10 x 15-inch baking dish and refrigerate them overnight if needed.
Just make sure to cover them well with plastic while in the refrigerator!
Is This The Best Biscuit Recipe?
Our Fluffy Southern Cat Head Biscuits have the most delicate texture on the inside, yet are crispy and flaky on the outside. The light airy flavor of butter and wheat creates a perfect platform of all sorts of toppings.
Basically, they are what all biscuits aspire to be.
This Is A Southern Biscuit Recipe
Southern Cathead Biscuits aren’t the kind of biscuit one might make while on a diet.
In fact, although we now provide nutritional facts, I suggest you not look at them.
Really, why torture yourself when you know you are going to eat that biscuit anyway?
Perfect for Celebrations!
Fluffy Cat Head Biscuits are the kind of biscuit you make for holiday gatherings, for elaborately-stuffed Saturday morning breakfast sandwiches, and for “splurge day” biscuits and gravy.
In other words, they are for the celebratory days when calories don’t count!
Thanksgiving or Christmas Biscuits
The holidays are quickly approaching. Why not give these big beauties a try?
You might decide they need to be on your Thanksgiving table or at Christmas morning brunch this year!
See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make Fluffy Southern Cat Head Biscuits.
other recipes you might like:
- Kahlua Banana Bread
- Blackberry Bread Pudding Recipe
- Savory Breakfast Scones
- Magic Mug Low Carb Bread Recipe
- Grandma Barb’s Southern Buttermilk Biscuits from Divas Can Cook
- One Pan Sausage Biscuit Gravy Skillet Cobbler from The Cookie Rookie
- Skillet Apple Pie Biscuits from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen
- Pumpkin Biscuits from Recipe Girl
Fluffy Southern Cat Head Biscuits
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, well-sifted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, divided (half cold, half melted)
- 1/3 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening, cold
- 2 cups buttermilk, cold
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a 12-inch deep dish cast iron skillet and set aside.
- Sift the flour, then scoop and level. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix.
- Next, add the cold shortening and 1/4 cup cold butter. Pulse again until the fat is mixed into the flour creating a pebble texture. Continue pulsing as you add in the cold buttermilk.
- Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, stop pulsing. The dough should look wet, but even.
- Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface. Press it flat with your hands until it is smooth, in an even 2-inch thick disk. Use a drinking glass, or 3-inch cutter, to cut out 8 biscuits. If needed, cut out 7, then gather the dough and cut out the last biscuit.
- Place the biscuits in the skillet. Then brush the tops with the melted butter, and place in the oven immediately.
- Bake in the center of the oven until the tops are golden and the biscuits have risen at least 1 inch above the top of the skillet. Around 30-35 minutes. Make sure to move the oven racks, if need, to allow room for growth.
- Use a spatula or knife to separate the biscuits before lifting out of the pan.
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Made these biscuits as a test run before Thanksgiving and they were a hit!!!! I planned on testing a few recipes but was done searching after this one. The biscuits have such a nice crust on them and oh so delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
I haven’t made these yet, but I can see already that this would be too much for my husband and myself. I could certainly give half away, but is it also possible to freeze them?
Do you heat your skillet in the oven to get the grease hot before putting the biscuits in to cook?
No, use a cold pan. You want the biscuit dough to be as cold as possible when it goes in the oven to make them flaky. :)
So my question is… is it 4 1/2 cups flour before sifting? Or 4 1/2 cups sifted flour?
Sift first, then measure and level the measuring cups. Happy Baking!
I have made these a few times now. I put my buttermilk in the freezer for about half an hour then return to the fridge. I keep my lard in the back of the fridge. I know! Lard, ugh! But these biscuits were likely made originally with lard, and once I tried it I was convinced. I used the wrong size cast iron skillet first, & it was for sure a jumble LOL! I think the CIS is very important, but it is heavy, & sometimes you have to do something else. 😊 Sides touching is important. If you want a sweeter biscuit, eliminate 1/2 tsp of salt & they almost taste like scones. SO GOOD no matter how you fix them!
These biscuits are SO awesome! My husband even prefers them over canned biscuits & Jiffy mix biscuits— and that’s a super big deal LOL
Best recipe yet, I just use a pastry cutter to add in butter and shortening and watch the time, less than 15 minutes when making 1/2 a batch and less than 30 doing a full. My go to for biscuits now
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Followed the recipe to the letter. First time I made them, I didn’t use the dough blade in the food processor. Dough was too soggy to shape. Second time, I used the dough blade and the consistency of the dough was perfect. Since I didn’t have a large skillet, I placed them on a silicone baking mat in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. The biscuits were beautiful going in, but like hockey pucks coming out. Thirty minutes was about 15 minutes too long. Next time I make them, I’ll cook for only 15 minutes which is the time suggested in other recipes.
I’m not giving up because I can see (and taste) that, if I do it right, these will be amazing biscuits.
The reason they bake so long in the skillet is because they are all touching sides. It’s almost like baking one giant biscuit that can break apart into smaller biscuits. When they are separated the heat surrounds each biscuit and bakes them much faster. However, because this is a delicate biscuit dough (for fluffy biscuits) they sort of NEED to be touching to support each other as they rise. If you added flour to create firmer consistency, that might be why they were tough. Hope this helps!
This is a great if not the best biscuit recipe. I didn’t have shortning so just used shift buttet ;)
WOW! Just made them. Way to many for the two of us. Lol, hubby said taste like a pancake, fluffy! Just called a friend to come and get some. A keeper for company. Will cut in half next time.
P.S. I had homemade strawberry, blackberry and peach jam.
These biscuits were crazy good and your sausage gravy recipe was amazing and quite easy! I must add that I very nearly burned up my 11 cup Cuisinart food processor, when cutting in the butter and shortening and never really achieved the “pebble-like consistency” but I could tell my processor was getting hot, so I began adding the buttermilk and just as I was finishing, my processor overheated and shut down! I will make these again but might do that part in two waves. I will also cut the biscuits with a 2 or 2 and a half inch diameter because these are so HUGE! I know that’s why they call them cat head, but I could easily get a dozen great biscuits out of this recipe. Thank you – it was the best biscuits and gravy breakfast I have had in a long time! (and had the leftovers the next morning)
DO YOU USE SALTED OR UNSALTED BUTTER?
I followed the recipe exactly- including the sifting of the flour. I know it says dough will be wet, but mine was SO wet it was completely unworkable. Just a pile of wet grossness. I had to add so much flour just to get them to a workable texture to even make “biscuits”
:( :( I have no idea where it went wrong but boy that was a f*^!ing mess!! Lol!
Update!! Even after having to add a tonnn of flour and my biscuits just being a gross mess- I threw them in the oven anyway and prayed they’d not be like hockey pucks…
They came out amazing! 🥳🤷♀️ By some miracle!
I’ve been looking for the perfect biscuit recipe. And I think I found it! These biscuits sound like a dream! Yum! I love the fact that they’re as big as a cat’s head !!!
will enjoy baking!
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Great recipe made it today 12/30/2017…used a mixer as I didn’t pull out the food ptocessor and used all butter and no butter shortening…I received great reviews!!!!
I was just wondering if anyone had used all butter! Yeah! That’s how I will be doing it!
Hi Sommer, My first time making these– Thank you for the great recipe! These are easy and soooo delicious!
So glad you like them!! :) :)
I want to make these for a large family dinner. Can I mix and cut them out early in the day or the day before and keep in fridge. any ideas for making a large batch at once? They sound delicious!!!
Yes, you can make a double batch in a 9X13 or 10X15 inch baking dish and refrigerate them over night if needed. Just make sure to cover them well with plastic while in the refrigerator. :)
Makes me doubly sorry for the folks in France who are facing practically a butter famine. If it can be found at all you might have to pay $10 for a pound of butter. No croissants, no cat-head biscuits, …
That’s a scone not a biscuit.
Technically, southern biscuits are ancestors of scones brought over by Scotch immigrants. Therefore all American biscuit varieties are a modern form of scones. Adding a little sugar to a biscuit recipe does not automatically make it a scone, just like taking the sugar out of a scone recipe doesn’t make it a southern biscuit.
Actually, in this recipe the sugar helps create the outer crispy texture, as well as keeping the interior moist. Texturally, these biscuits are very un-scone-like in the traditional sense. ;)
These biscuits are like crack cocaine to us biscuit-loving carb junkies! I strongly suggest making two batches instead of one–that way you can sneak a couple while they’re still hot from the oven and still have enough left to serve with your meal. (Hey, munching on hot biscuits is the cook’s prerogative, right?)
I just made these biscuits. My food processor isn’t large enough so I used a stand mixer with bread hook. Worked perfectly. Easiest biscuits I’ve ever made. Of course the best also. Thanks for a great recipe. I’m making your fried steak fingers and country gravy to go with the biscuits tonight. I’m not planning on calorie counting today.
LOL! Wow David, you are fast! Thanks for reporting back. I hope you like the steak fingers just as much!
I wouldn’t think a stand mixer with bread hook would cut in cold butter and shortening. Did you change the order of addition?
Do these biscuits have to be made in a cast iron skillet or can some other type of skillet be used?
As long as your skillet is large, deep, and oven-safe it should be fine. Happy baking! :)
Great explanation on the art of making great biscuits. I shared to my readers on my face book page thanks for the added details that will help them this holiday season and perhaps during the cold morning ahead. I see a sausage patty and an egg in mine or may just some homemade apple butter.
I just purchased my first cast iron skillet, but it is 10.5 inches. Can I make the recipe using this size? If not, can you tell me how to alter it so it will fit the pan I have. I would love to make these for Thanksgiving……
Absolutely! Your biscuits will just be taller than shown in the images. Make sure to adjust the oven racks accordingly. :)
Don’t have a food processor or mixer with hook can these be done by hand mixing
Yes, if you have a pastry cutter that would be the best way to hand-mix the butter into the flour mixture. :)