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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Biscuits Without Baking Powder

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These biscuits without baking powder are the most fluffy biscuits you could ever imagine! Made with simple ingredients, this easy recipe calls for all-purpose flour, milk, salt, butter, and a secret ingredient that replaces the baking powder! You will love these flaky biscuits with jam, butter, or whatever you prefer!

Biscuits without baking powder stacked on a plate.

This easy homemade biscuit recipe without baking powder creates the perfect biscuits! Soft and not too sweet or salty, this recipe is the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of dishes!

Try it with wholesome soups like this 4 ingredient potato soup or vegan tomato soup, serve it instead of cornbread with this Instant Pot vegetarian chili, add it to a breakfast spread with this tofu scramble and vegan roasted potatoes, use it for the holidays alongside this vegan turkey, or you may just want to eat these no baking powder biscuits plain!

These easy homemade biscuits with baking soda remind me of the last time I had biscuits at my favorite restaurant because of how similar they are to café-style biscuits!

What’s not to love about this recipe? Quick and easy biscuits without baking powder are great for when you want to enjoy some fluffy homemade biscuits and you don’t have any baking powder. Win win!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • 7 ingredient biscuit recipe!
  • Fluffy & soft
  • Super easy biscuit recipe
  • Flaky layers
  • Great recipe for busy mornings
  • Perfect side dish or snack
  • Best biscuits without baking powder ever!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

This wonderful recipe calls for a few basic ingredients that you may already have in your pantry and refrigerator, but if not, you can easily find them at your local grocery store or online!

Ingredients for easy biscuits without baking powder recipe
  • Flour: We used all-purpose flour for this easy biscuit recipe without baking powder because it creates the perfect biscuit dough. My favorite brand is White Lily Flour. We have not tried self-rising flour for these easy drop biscuits.
  • Salt: Just a hint of salt is needed to create a nice balance that contains savory and sweet flavors.
  • Baking Soda: A leavening agent for this easy drop biscuits no baking powder recipe that will help the biscuits rise, you can find baking soda near the flour at the grocery store. Baking soda allows you to create this easy biscuit recipe without any baking powder – when combined with the cream of tartar it produces a chemical reaction that acts similarly to baking powder!
  • Cream of Tartar: This is the main ingredient for this recipe as it is replacing the baking powder. You can find cream of tartar at any local market.
  • Butter: You can use either unsalted butter or salted butter, but make sure it is cold! The colder the butter, the better.
  • Milk: We used full cream, or regular milk for this recipe for extra fluffy biscuit layers. You could also try low fat milk, skim milk or a plant based milk for this simple biscuit recipe with no baking powder.
  • Egg: Optional, but recommended if you’re trying to achieve a golden brown look with these no baking powder biscuits.

🔪 Instructions

Here’s how to make homemade biscuits without baking powder or self-rising flour – you’ll be surprised how easy it is! Read the recipe card below for the full steps and nutritional information.

Preheat Oven, Freeze Butter, Combine Ingredients: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butter in the freezer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, in a large bowl, stir together the flour with salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set aside.

dry ingredients combined in a bowl

Grate Butter: Next, use a cheese grater to grate the cold butter over the flour mixture. Use your hands to combine ingredients. You should end up with a coarse, crumbly dough.

butter cut into flour in a mixing bowl

Knead Dough: In the same large mixing bowl, add milk to the flour mixture and knead the dough until your biscuit dough forms.

wet and dry ingredients combined

Roll Dough, Make Biscuit Layers: Place the soft dough on a clean and lightly floured surface and extend the dough with your hands. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Fold the dough over, then roll it again. Repeat this process three times. This helps give these no baking powder biscuits all those layers and the best texture!

kneading dough with hands

Cut Good Biscuits: With a biscuit cutter or large cookie cutter, cut biscuits into 16 pieces.

biscuits being cut out of the dough

Place On Baking Sheet: Next, place biscuits with baking soda on the lined baking sheet.

biscuits cut out and on a baking sheet

Optional: Beat an egg and brush the biscuit dough with the egg mixture for a nice golden finish.

dough brushed with butter

Transfer To Oven, Bake: Finally, bake the biscuits in the hot oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Easy Biscuit Recipe without Baking Powder - biscuits stacked in a bowl and on top of each other

Serve these biscuits from scratch without baking powder warm!

Easy Biscuit Recipe without Baking Powder - biscuits stacked in a bowl and on top of each other

💭 Expert Tips

These are just some pro tips for these delicious baking soda biscuits!

  • Make sure your butter is cold: Avoid keeping the butter at room temperature for this easy biscuit recipe without baking powder. You’ll want to make sure it is super cold straight from the freezer!
  • If you don’t have a 2 ½-inch sized biscuit cutter, any other size will work. You can also use a sharp knife to cut the biscuits into squares.
  • Do not twist your biscuit cutter when cutting your biscuits – push straight down and pull up to ensure the tops of your biscuits are even and not sloped (so they bake evenly).
  • For best results, make sure your baking soda and cream of tartar is fresh.
  • Do not overwork your biscuit dough, otherwise you will end up with dense biscuits.
  • Spoon and level your flour for accurate measuring.

📖 Variations

  • Add Mix-Ins: Change up these homemade biscuits with baking soda by adding in different mix-ins! Try fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, sage, chives, dill, parsley, or thyme, chopped nuts, dried fruits, pitted olives, sliced green onions, shredded cheese (parmesan, cheddar, jack or havarti would all work well), or seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds!
  • Make Gluten Free Biscuits: Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour with xanthan gum for gluten-free biscuits without baking powder.
  • Make It Vegan: Use a vegan egg substitute, unsweetened oat or almond milk and vegan butter to make these baking soda biscuits vegan.

❓Recipe FAQs

What happens if you make biscuits without baking powder?

Baking powder is the key ingredient in traditional biscuit recipes to help them rise and turn them into nice flaky, fluffy biscuits. If you make all-purpose flour biscuits without baking powder and you don’t replace the baking powder with anything, you’ll end up with flat, dense pancakes instead of real biscuits.

But, if you replace the baking powder with cream of tartar and baking soda, or another baking powder substitute, then the biscuits will be fine!

What can I use instead of baking powder to make biscuits?

Most baking recipes call for baking powder to help the baked goods rise. We used cream of tartar and baking soda! But in any recipe, you can replace baking powder with a combination of baking soda and an acid or white vinegar.

The ratio is: 1 teaspoon of baking powder = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice.

Why are my biscuits not fluffy?

If you over mix the dough, the biscuits will not be as fluffy. Overmixing causes dense and tough dough, so try to mix the dough just until it forms.

Are biscuits better with butter or shortening?

Biscuits are better with butter – it’s healthier than shortening and works just as well. Shortening does create flaky biscuit layers, but it contains trans fats and is super processed. Organic unsalted butter will give you delicious biscuits without the unhealthy additives!

How do you store homemade drop biscuits?

To Store at Room Temperature: Let the baking soda biscuits cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Cover them with foil or plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. They will keep for 1-2 days.

To Store in the Fridge: Follow the instructions for storing at room temperature, but place in the fridge instead of on the countertop. They will keep for up to 1 week.

To Freeze: Let the biscuits cool, then wrap each biscuit in aluminum foil. Place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then heat in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

Biscuits without baking powder stacked on a plate.

🍲 More Delicious Side Dishes!

Love this Vegetarian Side dish? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help!

📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

Biscuits without baking powder stacked on a plate.
Print Recipe
4.73 from 11 votes

Biscuits Without Baking Powder

These biscuits without baking powder are the most fluffy biscuits you could ever imagine! Made with simple ingredients, this easy recipe calls for all-purpose flour, milk, salt, butter, and a secret ingredient that replaces the baking powder! You will love these flaky biscuits with jam, butter, or whatever you prefer!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish, Snack, snacks
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 18 biscuits
Calories: 177kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter chilled in the fridge or the freezer
  • cup milk full cream
  • 1 egg optional, beaten

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a box grater, grate the chilled butter. Add to the flour mixture.
  • Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.
  • Add the milk and stir to form a dough, being careful not to over mix the dough.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead to combine.
  • Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll the dough to approximately 2 inches thick.
  • Fold the dough over and roll it out again. Repeat this process 3 more times.
  • Using a 2½ inch round biscuit cutter, cut 18 biscuits from the dough, place them onto the prepared tray.
  • Optional: Whisk the egg and brush over the tops of each biscuit, this will give a lovely golden top to the biscuits.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are a lightly golden brown.
  • Remove and allow to cool completely.

Notes

  • Make sure the butter is very cold, it can used from either the fridge or freezer. If it’s a hot day it’s best to chill the butter in the freezer before using, this will provide a better end result.
  • Cooking times may vary based on the ovens being used. If you find the tops of the biscuits are starting to brown too quickly you can reduce the oven temp to 350F/180C.
  • Any sized biscuit cutter can be used or even a knife can be used to cut the dough into squares.
  • Do not twist your biscuit cutter when cutting your biscuits – push straight down and pull up to ensure the tops of your biscuits are even and not sloped (so they bake evenly).
  • Make sure your baking soda and cream of tartar is fresh for best results.
  • Do not overwork your biscuit dough.
  • Spoon and level your flour for accurate measuring.
  • The final taste of the biscuits is neither too sweet nor salty! The biscuits are very versatile and the perfect tea biscuit to eat with jam, butter, or whatever you love! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuit | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Posted In…

Vegetarian Side Dishes ·

These vegetarian side dishes are tasty enough to be the star of the show! Here you’ll find easy, healthy plant based side dishes that are packed with veggies, and are bursting with flavor. 

Some favorites include this vegetable au gratin, my roasted broccoli with potatoes, this jalapeno artichoke dip, and these healthy whole wheat vegan dinner rolls!

Try any of these veggie side dishes for the perfect accompaniment to your main entree, or pair them with a soup or salad to turn them into a light main meal.

20 responses to “Biscuits Without Baking Powder”

  1. These biscuits looks so perfect plus I love the ingredients here. I will have to try it this way soon. Yum!!5 stars

  2. These biscuits are the best! I made them this morning for our breakfast: my family is asking to repeat this delicious experiment. 🙂5 stars

  3. These biscuits look amazing and so delicious! These will go perfectly with the homemade jam I just made! Can’t wait to try these today!5 stars

  4. Served these with dinner last night and they turned out great! Perfectly light and fluffy; everyone loved them!5 stars

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