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Frozen Butter Biscuits

These are my gold-standard biscuits. My secret? Frozen butter! It’s an old pastry chef’s trick that has served me well. Butter tastes great and when it’s frozen it becomes very easy to shred into the dough. After you try these a few times you’ll be able to bake them in under twenty minutes and clean up the mess too!

Serving: Makes 8-10 large biscuits


4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (2 sticks) frozen butter
1 1/2 cups milk
sprinkle or two Salt and Pepper


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together until they’re evenly mixed. Grate the frozen butter into the dry ingredients. Shred it through the large holes of a box grater or potato grater directly into the flour. Toss gently with your fingers until the butter shards are spread evenly throughout the flour.

Pour the milk into the flour mixture and stir with an upside down wooden spoon to form a dough mass. The handle of the spoon is gentler on the dough. Fold the dough over a few times with your hands until all the ingredients come together. If necessary add a few spoonfuls more milk to help gather up any stray flour. This kneading will strengthen the dough a bit but not enough to toughen the biscuits. It will also help them form a crisp crust when they bake.  

Pat the dough out on a lightly floured cutting board forming a loose round shape. Cut into wedges – like a pie - or any other shape you’re in the mood for. Position on a baking sheet; sprinkle on a bit of coarse salt and coarsely ground pepper. Bake for fifteen minutes or so. You’ll know they’re done when they turn golden brown. Enjoy at once with lots of brown butter!


  1. Anne said: On Mar 16, 2014

    I tried your method of making biscuits and they were the best I have ever made!! Light and fluffy Im converted to this recipe lol thanks!

  2. weaver said: On Feb 10, 2014

    We’re going to try these for lunch today – looks fantastic!

  3. Ruta said: On Jan 8, 2014

    Just wondering about the amount of flour to be used – 4 cups to produce 8-10 biscuits?

    That like 1/2 of flour for each biscuit. That’s almost 230 cal just for the flour. And 2 sticks of butter = 1600 cal.

    These biscuits are quite high in calorie count, aren’t they? Just flour and butter for 1 biscuit would total 430 cal.

    • Colleen said: On Mar 26, 2014

      The biscuits are quite large. If you’re concerned about fat and calories, make them smaller. Or, treat these as a once-in-a-while indulgence.

      I’ve made these biscuits before and they’re delicious. I also know going into it that anything with flour and butter will be relatively high in fat/calories. But that’s ok since I won’t be eating the whole batch in one sitting.

  4. Bonita said: On Dec 30, 2013

    I saw you make these on your show and bought the “Back to Basics” cookbook because of this recipe. Made them to go with turkey soup on Boxing day………..what a hit, our family has always like biscuits but these are just wonderful. Thanks for making me the “biscuit Queen”

  5. Jason said: On Dec 28, 2013

    Any suggestions on adding buttermilk?

  6. CHERYL said: On Nov 24, 2013

    Found these a little too salty, so next time I made them, I cut the salt to 1tsp and they were perfect. Wonderful texture, they are my go to recipe for biscuits-the grated butter is the trick!

  7. Laurie said: On Nov 14, 2013

    These biscuits are AMAZING!!! So easy to make. They are great for our family because they are egg free so they allow my husband (egg allergy) to enjoy them as well. I have some baking as I write this to go alongside our dinner. This is the fourth time I have made them in 2 weeks : ) SOO good with honey butter. Thanks for the tip of using the frozen butter. Big fan of Michael.

  8. Ailie said: On Nov 5, 2013

    just made these to go with a wicked chili and they turned out perfectly – old flour, old baking powder and even had to use skim milk

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  16. Katy said: On Jun 19, 2013

    We had corn chowder for dinner tonight, and my husband said he wanted biscuits to go with it. So I thought I’d try the frozen butter biscuits. I found them so easy to make, and my husband and I both think they taste amazing! I will definitely be making these again!

  17. Kyla said: On Jun 15, 2013

    Great recipe :-) I usually read recipes for inspiration and make it my own. Instead of milk I subbed in buttermilk (needed an extra half cup). Also I used cold butter and my pastry cutter.

  18. Caitlin said: On Apr 22, 2013

    I made these last night for dinner and they turned out delicious! However, I ended up having to run to the store last minute to buy butter, so the butter I used was not frozen (just refrigerated). To anyone else who may not have frozen butter on hand – these still turned out quite good (although I will have to make them with frozen butter to compare!). I was able to grate about half of the butter before it got too melt-y to go further. After that I just sliced it with a knife and tore it into small chunks – I found dipping my hands and the butter in the flour mixture helped it melt less. Obviously this was not an ideal way to make these and took more time, but it still worked out and they were really super tasty! :)

  19. Beth said: On Apr 10, 2013

    These are the easiest, best biscuits ever. They are absolutely no fail. I love Chef Michael’s no muss & fuss down home recipes!

    Chef Michael ROCKS!!

  20. ranmalie said: On Mar 11, 2013

    Thank you for this recipe,this came very well I add some cheddar cheese what a hit.I really enjoing your receipes.Thank you Michael!

  21. Linda said: On Feb 26, 2013

    Can anyone tell me approx how Many slices of bread make a pound

  22. Gordon said: On Feb 16, 2013

    Best biscuits ever!

  23. Andrea said: On Feb 14, 2013

    I made these for the second time and they are simple and yummy! I used the recipe from Food Network for Whole Wheat Biscuits with the oil/honey mixture on top. Absolutely fabulous. I always wanted to make biscuits but was scared. The frozen butter eased my fears.

  24. Madeleine said: On Feb 12, 2013

    I just tried these, and they came out AMAZING. The frozen butter trick is so smart, it just makes sense. Thanks for this recipe!

  25. Julie said: On Feb 9, 2013

    Best damn biscuits ever. Genius idea freezing and grating the butter. They’re a must have at my chili cook off. Nothing beats pulling them out of the oven and slathering butter on them.

  26. Michelle said: On Jan 21, 2013

    Hi there – I tried making these last night and they didn’t not turn out right at all – they were rock hard and crumbling. Anyone know what I did wrong? I followed the instructions and used the right amount of ingredients – even added a bit more milk to get the dough to come together but it was still really dry.

    • Suzanne said: On Mar 4, 2013

      3 things come to mind…1. your baking powder was too old, it won’t react with the salt to act as the secondary levening agent or 2. flour was too old … if you’ve had the flour for more than a few months it will have absorbed moisture and other environmental particulates or 3. you overworked the dough. You only need to stir long enough to combine the wet and dry ingredients and then kneed a few seconds to shape the dough. Your dough is supposed to be lumpy looking not smooth.

      Hopefully this was helpful…try again…nothing better than fresh hot biscuits and this recipe has never failed me before

  27. Lynda said: On Feb 24, 2012

    Just watch the program today: you had a sour cream biscuit. I did not bother writing the recipe thinking it wwould be on the site. Can I have the the recipe?
    I do remember 2cup of flour, 2tsp of baking powder,salt,1/2tsp of nutmeg; mix the dry ingredients…
    Add a heaping cup of sour cream with the “stick” of a wooden spoon then with your hands. Shape,cook at 425
    F(how many minutes?)
    Thank you so much

    • For the Shortcake Biscuits
      2 cups flour
      2 tablespoons sugar
      1 tablespoon baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
      1 cup sour cream
      1/4 cup milk
      White Sugar

  28. Sylvia said: On Dec 11, 2011

    For Brenda!

    Here is something you might want to watch :)

  29. Sylvia said: On Dec 11, 2011


    Great recipe!

    To make it even better, I took a page from your book as they say and I replaced half of the flour by corn flour. They taste amazing.

  30. Elsie said: On Dec 6, 2011

    Hi! Thanks for the recipe! I didn’t have puff pastry and decided to use a biscuit on top of my chicken pot pie! It was actually good – and I was worried that it would be too dry! :) Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Denise said: On Nov 13, 2011

    Hubby wanted me to make biscuits like the ones he had in a fast food chain Popeyes to go with beef stew. I remembered from one of your episodes that you made biscuits..searched for it and found the recipe. It was easy except for the grating bit..hehe. Hubby said it tasted better than Popeyes!

  32. Sue said: On Jun 19, 2011

    I have been using the frozen butter for my pastries since I saw you use it on your show. There is nothing easier and more uniform than using frozen butter. There is always a stick of frozen butter in my freezer.

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Chef Michael

I’m a FoodTV host, cookbook author and official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island, more importantly I’m a Dad and passionate home cook!


Biscuits are easily scented with herbs and spices. A spoonful or so adds lots of flavour. I tend to use aromatics that reflect the rest of the meal but, really, anything goes. Add caraway seeds to biscuits for beef stew or add a touch of nutmeg to breakfast biscuits. Rosemary, thyme and even curry powder all taste great too.