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Cat Head Biscuits

These Cat Head Biscuits may hands down be my favorite biscuits. Light, pillowy biscuits like fluffy clouds. NOT like the dark, heavy rain clouds we have today. Unfortunately it is those clouds that my biscuits sometimes resemble.

Two Cat Head Biscuits stacked on a plate.

But not these biscuits. No sir-ee. The exterior gets a wonderful brown and is a nice contrast to the tender and soft interiors.

Why Are They Called Cat Head Biscuits?

Cat Head Biscuits are so named because they are as big as a cat’s head. This is another one of my favorite recipes from America’s Test Kitchen. Normally southern biscuits are made with a low protein flour such as White Lily or Martha White. Because of the lower protein content than a regular all-purpose flour, these flours produce extra light and tender biscuits. Or so the theory goes. Doesn’t always work for me.

Cat Head Biscuits on a wooden board.

All-Purpose Flour Plus Cake Flour

But you don’t need that type of flour for this recipe. Instead you can use a combination of regular all-purpose flour such as Pillsbury with a cake flour to get the same effect.

Butter Plus Shortening

A combination of butter and shortening worked into the flour makes biscuits that are buttery in taste but with a tender texture. Because it is fluffiness you are after, not flakiness, there’s no need to chill the fat before hand.

Two biscuits on plate with honey.

Sticky Dough

The dough will be sticky and wet and that’s perfectly alright because there is no need to knead (no pun intended) this dough. All you have to do is stir the dough just until it comes together and then scoop it in mounds into a cake pan. Couldn’t be easier.

These biscuits taste just like heaven and are worthy of a special occasion or an everyday meal.

How To Store

These biscuits are best eaten while still warm from the oven but they can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Reheat for about 5 minutes in a 325 F degree oven.

Two Cat Head Biscuits stacked on top of each other.

More Biscuit Recipes

Cat Head Biscuits

Outrageously fluffy and tender biscuits that are super easy to make.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 35 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  • Place oven rack in upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Scatter pieces of butter and shortening across top of flour mixture and use your fingers to rub the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal.
  • Stir in buttermilk until combined.
  • Spray a 1/2-cup measuring cup with cooking spray and scoop and drop 6 heaping mounds of dough into prepared cake pan. Place one in the center and the remaining in a circle surrounding the center one.
  • Bake until golden brown on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before serving.


You can use 3 cups of White Lily or Martha White flour instead of a mixture of all-purpose and cake flour.
Biscuits are best eaten right away but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days and reheated in a 325 degree oven.
Recipe Source: Cook’s Country Magazine


Calories: 429kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: biscuits

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Originally posted April 18, 2014.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

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28 thoughts on “Cat Head Biscuits”

  1. We quite liked these, but despite following the recipe as closely as possible our biscuits were a little bit undercooked and pasty in the center. We baked them for 28 minutes in a Bosch convection oven in a 9 inch (3 in tall) round Fat Daddio can pan. The tops were browning so we covered them with heavy duty foil for the last 5-7 minutes of the bake. What do you think we should do differently next time? I suspect the issue is our convection oven which automatically drops the temp in convection mode.

  2. Made these this morning & they had a beautiful rise, turned out exactly like your photo. My older son thought they were perfect, especially loaded with sausage gravy 😉 They’re so big & very filling, next time half of one will be plenty for me. Looking forward to having it slathered with butter & homemade blackberry jam. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it’s definitely a keeper!

  3. Jennifer Szendi

    In my family ,(WV), we called them cat head biscuits because my Granny McCoy, born in 1895, made them in a cast iron skillet and they came out shaped like a cat’s head. She would melt lard in the skillet, flop each biscuit over in it, put it in the oven and take out the best buttermilk biscuits ever because of the crispy crust on the bottom. They really stand up to gravy! My mother, born in 1925, did the same thing but with melted Crisco. (a southern staple back then). Lordy, I’m hungry! 🌷

  4. These are fabulous. All I would do differently is up the salt to 1 1/2 teaspoons. I thought a bit more salt would up the flavor just a tad. The crust is superb and the inside amazingly tender.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      Glad you liked them Meg and thanks for the suggestion to increase the salt amount. 🙂

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      That’s the perfect way to describe them. Hope you are having a wonderful week Medeja! I can’t wait to try your Chocolate Avocado Pancakes 🙂

  5. I can never turn down a biscuit – especially one that looks this good! Wow, I love how light and fluffy these look – perfect texture!

  6. Deittra@Bon Appégeechee

    I’ve never heard of these, but gosh are they GORGEous!! Consider them added to my to do list! I officially now must start a MUST MAKE pinterest board! I believe that I can already foresee that it will include a great deal of YOUR recipes! xo, BEST!

  7. Cake flour in a biscuit? That’s really intriguing. I’ve never heard of these, but they look so fluffy that I know I need to try them! 🙂

  8. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    I need these right now! Or approximately an hour ago when I saw them on IG…and then 30 minutes after that when I saw them on FoodGawker. Geez, I sound like a stalker…

    Anyways! These look so beyond amazing! Perfect texture! And the bigger, the better is how I like my biscuits!!!

  9. Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron

    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! 😛

  10. Aimee / WallflowerGirl.co.uk

    I can’t believe I never heard of these! They sound heavenly and look so light and fluffy, mmm…

  11. Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    Oh my those biscuits are HUGE and FLUFFY and EASY. I love drop biscuits. I am so impressed!

  12. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    I’d never heard of these biscuits, but they sound heavenly to me. Ahhh the fluffiness of these, I’m so so so drooling right now! xx

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