Why are these called cat head biscuits? Some highly observant person looked at them and said “Hey. These things are as big as a cat’s head.” What a big observation that was. But the truth is, they really are huge and soft, and pillowy and wonderful. Oh–and easy. You don’t even have to roll these or cut them out. Just mix them up and drop them in the pan.Jump to Recipe
These cat head biscuits are so simple–even if you’ve never made a biscuit before. If you’ve baked a cake, you can do this. The combination of butter and vegetable shortening (aka Crisco) work great together and the buttermilk is a must. You must.
Why are they called cat head biscuits?
Cathead biscuits are simple, easy-to-make, massive drop biscuits. Roughly 4 inches wide and 2 inches tall, their large size garners their name. They are as big as a cat’s head!
What makes cat head biscuits so easy
These cathead biscuits require just a few simple ingredients that are mixed together to make a dough that is dropped onto a pan and baked. It’s as simple as that. No fancy mixing strategies, no rolling, and no slicing here.
Plus, the use of cake flour in this recipe makes the dough difficult to overwork (a common mistake made when making biscuits) and pretty much guarantees a lovely, tender biscuit. It’s the perfect beginner recipe.
How to make your own cake flour
Cake flour is a fine, low-protein flour that’s ideal for making tender baked goods. The lower protein content makes it harder for the glutens to overdevelop and, consequentially, toughen the finished product.
You can buy cake flour in stores but you can easily make your own in a pinch. All you’ll need to do is sift together all-purpose flour and cornstarch in a 7:1 ratio and you’ll be good to go. Check out this recipe to learn how to do it.
For the best rise on your biscuits
There’s just something about a tender, fluffy, flaky biscuit. What’s the secret?
- Cold butter. First, start with extra cold fat (I used vegetable shortening) and keep it cold by resisting the temptation to over-handle it. The cold bits of butter in the dough will steam as it bakes, creating the flakiness that defines the perfect biscuit.
- Baking powder. Be sure to use baking powder that is less than 6 months old. Baking powder that is older than that will not act as an effective leavening agent and you will likely find yourself with flat biscuits.
How to keep cat head biscuits from burning on the bottom
Cathead biscuits are larger than standard biscuits and thus need to spend a bit more time in the oven. This makes them susceptible to burning on the bottom. To prevent this, take note of the following tips and tricks.
- Use the right pan. I highly suggest using a cast iron or a sturdy 8-inch round cake pan. They will absorb and distribute heat evenly. A thin, black, old cookie sheet or pan, on the other hand, will conduct heat too effectively and likely burn the bottoms of the biscuits.
- Position matters. Bake the biscuits in the upper ⅔ of your oven and position them close to the door. The heat is less intense there.
- Rotate. Halfway through baking, rotate the pan. Different parts of the oven bake at slightly different temperatures. Keeping the biscuits moving will help ensure that they bake evenly and that they do not burn on the bottom.
How to make cat head biscuits
Blend cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
Add shortening and cold butter and use your fingers or a fork to break the fat into the size of small peas.
It’s leave some larger pieces of shortening and butter showing.
Add buttermilk and mix to make the dough.
Transfer the dough to a greased cake pan or skillet and bake until golden brown.
Can cat head biscuits be frozen?
Absolutely. They freeze and reheat quite nicely.
Make a big batch and, once the biscuits have cooled fully, arrange them in a single layer in an airtight container. Separate any additional layers with a sheet of parchment paper. Store the biscuits in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat the biscuits, allow them to thaw at room temperature before arranging them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover the biscuits with aluminum foil and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or until heated through.
Alternatively, you can microwave a biscuit in 20-second intervals until heated through.
No time to thaw? Reheat these flaky goodies directly from frozen. Use the same method (oven or microwave), just tack on a few minutes if using the oven.
Unless you have some sort of massive appetite, one will be plenty. That’s why this recipe only makes 6. But six feeds like 24 people if you ask me.
What to serve with cat head biscuits
These cathead biscuits are delightful on their own with a pad of butter but feel free to dress them up. Here are some ideas for you.
- Country ham. Top a buttered biscuit with a slice (or several) of my delicious Country Ham.
- Homemade sausage gravy. Whip up the sausage gravy from this recipe and pour it over these biscuits for a real breakfast treat.
- Apple butter. I love cutting these biscuits in half and smothering them with my Slow Cooked Apple Butter for a sweet treat.
- Jam. Keep it simple and spread a bit of butter and/or your favorite jam over both sides of a halved biscuit.
Cat head biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Spray a 9 inch round cake pan or oven safe skillet with cooking spray or grease it with a bit of bacon grease or shortening and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, soda, and salt together with a fork until blended.
- Add the butter and shortening and toss them in the flour to coat; then using your fingers, break the butter and shortening up until they are about the size of peas. It’s okay if some larger bits remain.
- Add the buttermilk and mix with the fork until everything is combined and no pockets of flour remain but don’t overmix it.
- Drop with an ice cream scoop or with a 1/2 cup measure into the cake pan. Five around the outside and one in the center.
- Bake about 20 minutes until browned and golden. Serve warm with butter and jam.
- ** Adapted from the Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook