Basil Cheddar Biscuits with Calabrian Butter

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
June 29, 2024 | Updated on June 29, 2024

Learn how to make cheddar biscuits from scratch with this easy recipe. Soft, flaky, and slathered in spicy Calabrian butter, this homemade biscuits recipe features fresh basil and sharp cheddar cheese in every savory bite.

Looking for another delicious biscuit recipe? I have recipes for Biscuits and Gravy, Buttermilk Biscuits, Buttery Drop Biscuits, and Cheddar Bay Biscuits so take your pick!

plated cheddar biscuits

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These basil cheddar biscuits are delicious mounds of herby, buttery dough baked to golden brown perfection. With crisp edges and a warm fluffy center my friends and family can’t get enough.

Paired with a quick, calabrian chili-infused butter, they deliver a wonderful blend of flavors and a subtle heat, making these biscuits an irresistible addition to any meal. Good luck trying to have just one!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple Recipe – Make this with pantry staples and no eggs or shortening required. It’s quicker than most biscuit recipes, ready in just over an hour with chilling time included.
  • Rich Flavor – The combination of sharp cheddar cheese and fresh basil adds a depth of flavor that elevates this classic side.
  • Versatile Pairings – They pair well with various dishes, making them perfect for any meal from breakfast to dinner. I like to snack on them too!
overhead view of a plate of biscuits

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Cheddar Biscuits

Here is a breakdown of what you will need to make this cheddar biscuit recipe. For actual measurements, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • All-purpose (self-rising) flour – Self-rising flour is essential for this recipe because it already contains leavening agents and salt, ensuring the biscuits rise properly and have a consistent texture without needing additional ingredients. I use White Lily.
  • Baking powder & baking soda – Even though we’re using self-rising flour, add the leavening agents anyway for the perfect rise and texture.
  • Seasoning – For the best balance of flavors, use garlic powder, sugar, and kosher salt.
  • Unsalted butter – Very cold butter contributes to the flakiness and richness of the biscuits. It creates pockets of steam as it melts, resulting in a flaky texture.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – I use freshly grated very cold Cabot cheddar. Adds a rich, tangy flavor and a creamy texture.
  • Fresh basil – Chopped fresh herbs add aromatic flair.
  • Buttermilk – Cold buttermilk adds moisture and tanginess. It’s acidic so it reacts with the baking soda for extra lift and biscuits that feel like clouds.
sliced, prebaked biscuits

Calabrian Garlic Butter

  • Unsalted butter – Use room temperature for easier mixing. It provides a luscious creaminess and serves as the rich base for your spread.
  • Cloves garlic – Freshly grated garlic infuses the butter with garlicky flavor.
  • Calabrian chilis – This key ingredient adds color and a punch of flavor. Chopped with the oil drained, this has a medium heat, with fruity notes and smoky flavor.
  • Lemon zest – This adds a bright, citrusy note that enhances the overall flavor of the butter.
  • Seasoning – Season with Diamond Crystal kosher salt and smoked paprika to enhance the overall taste.
  • Italian parsley – Add finely chopped parsley for a fresh herbal note.
cheddar biscuits dough in a bowl

How To Make Biscuits

Below is a summary of how to make homemade biscuits. For a complete and detailed list of steps, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

Biscuits

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Whisk until ingredients are well-combined.
  2. Add the very cold and cubed butter and blend the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until you get pea-sized pieces of butter.
cubes of butter in a bowl of flour

Add the cheese and chopped basil and mix with a spatula until combined.

3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the buttermilk and stir with a spatula until ingredients form a dough.

flour mixture for biscuits

The mixture will look a bit dry and shaggy, that’s okay. Do not overmix the dough.

biscuit dough in a bowl

4. Flour a clean work surface and roll out the dough. Roll out and form into a rectangle that is 1-inch thick.

5. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into thirds, then stack them onto one another. Use a rolling pin to even out the dough into a 1-inch rectangle again and repeat for a total of three times. This is how you will get the beautiful flaky layers.

6. Cut out a total of 8 biscuits then transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will ensure a uniform rise. While biscuits are chilling, preheat oven to 425°F. While biscuits are in the oven, make the calabrian butter.

six biscuits on a baking sheet

7. Brush the tops with buttermilk and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy with desired amount of calabrian butter.

6 baked biscuits on a baking sheet

Calabrian Garlic Butter

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix and press with a fork until well-combined. Set aside until ready to use.
a bowl of cold butter with spices and herbs

Tips for Making Homemade Biscuits

  • Use cold ingredients and stack the dough for flaky biscuits. Keep both your butter and buttermilk very cold to ensure the fat remains solid until baking, which helps create steam and form flaky layers. Additionally, flatten and fold the dough over itself several times before cutting out the biscuits; this technique, similar to laminating pastry, builds multiple layers and enhances flakiness.
  • Mix gently to avoid overworking the dough. Overworking the dough can warm the butter and develop gluten, resulting in tough biscuits. Mix just until the ingredients are combined to keep the butter cold and the dough tender.
  • Grate the butter for easy incorporation. Freeze the butter and use a box grater to grate it into the flour mixture. This method ensures even distribution of butter without warming it up with your hands.
  • Chill the dough before baking. Once you’ve cut out your biscuits, chill them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before baking. This helps the butter firm up again and ensures a uniform rise in the oven.

What to Serve With Cheddar Biscuits

  • Chimichurri Shrimp The bright, herby chimichurri sauce adds a fresh and zesty contrast to the rich, cheesy flavor of your biscuits, creating a well-balanced meal​.
  • Easy Garlic Broccolini Pair this simple and nutritious side with biscuits to balance the richness of your main dish​.
  • Pan Seared Pork Chops For a true comfort meal, serve this recipe with juicy pork chops. The savory crust complements the cheesy, buttery flavor of the biscuits.
  • Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup This creamy, tangy soup is perfect for dipping and provides a comforting and flavorful combination.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret to a good biscuit?

The key to a great biscuit is using super cold ingredients. Cold butter and buttermilk prevent the fat from melting before baking, which helps create steam during the baking process. This steam forms pockets in the dough, resulting in a light, flaky texture that is the hallmark of a perfect biscuit.

Why is it called a biscuit?

The word “biscuit” originates from the Latin “biscotus,” meaning twice-baked, originally referring to a hard, dry bread. In America, Southern cooks adapted this concept, using ingredients like buttermilk and soft wheat flour, creating the soft, fluffy biscuits we enjoy today.

What are the four types of biscuits?

There are four main types of biscuits: rolled biscuits (like this recipe), drop biscuits, scones, and shortcakes. Rolled biscuits involve rolling out the dough and cutting it into shapes before baking. Drop biscuits have a wetter dough that’s spooned directly onto the baking sheet. Scones and shortcakes are similar to biscuits but typically have added sugar and other flavorings, making them slightly sweeter and denser.

Why are my biscuits not rising properly?

Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh, and check that your oven temperature is accurate. Cold ingredients and proper folding techniques also ensure good rise and flaky layers.

close up view of a cheddar biscuit

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plated cheddar biscuits

Basil Cheddar Biscuits with Calabrian Butter

Learn how to make cheddar biscuits from scratch with this easy recipe. Soft, flaky, and slathered in spicy Calabrian butter, this homemade biscuits recipe features fresh basil and sharp cheddar cheese in every savory bite.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 biscuits
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Bench Scraper
  • ½-baking sheet,
  • Rolling Pin
  • Mixing bowl
  • Pastry brush
  • Microplane zester

Ingredients

  • cups all-purpose (self-rising) flour, I use White Lily
  • tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • teaspoons kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed, very cold
  • 1⅓ cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly Grated I use Cabot, very cold
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup buttermilk, very cold, plus more for tops

Calabrian Garlic Butter

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • tablespoons calabrian chilis, chopped, oil drained
  • teaspoons lemon zest
  • ¼-½ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • ¼ teaspoons italian parsley, finely chopped
  • pinch smoked paprika

Instructions

Biscuits

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Whisk until ingredients are well-combined.
  • Add the very cold and cubed butter and blend the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until you get pea-sized pieces of butter. Add the cheese and chopped basil and mix with a spatula until combined.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and add the buttermilk and stir with a spatula until ingredients form a dough. The mixture will look a bit dry and shaggy, that's okay. Do not overmix the dough.
  • Flour a clean work surface and roll out the dough. Roll out and form into a rectangle that is 1-inch thick.
  • Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into thirds, then stack them onto one another. Use a rolling pin to even out the dough into a 1-inch rectangle again and repeat for a total of three times. This is how you will get the beautiful flaky layers.
  • Cut out a total of 8 biscuits then transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will ensure a uniform rise. While biscuits are chilling, preheat oven to 425°F. While biscuits are in the oven, make the calabrian butter.
  • Brush the tops with buttermilk and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy with desired amount of calabrian butter.

Calabrian Garlic Butter

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix and press with a fork until well-combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Keywords Basil cheddar biscuits, biscuit, biscuit recipe, Biscuit recipes, biscuits, Cheddar biscuit recipe, Cheddar biscuits, Homemade biscuit recipe, how to make biscuits and gravy, How to make homemade biscuits
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plated cheddar biscuits

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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