Not Your Average (Garlic Cheddar) Biscuit Recipe

If the grocery store isn't your favorite place, it should be. We're sleuthing for the best back-of-the-box recipes and each week we'll share our latest find. 

Today: Never say no to light, lofty, cheese-laced garlic biscuits

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Oh, what's that? You don't need another biscuit recipe? Stop that. Take it back. You won't protest the addition of this biscuit recipe to your already crowded collection—because your mouth will be full of a buttery, flaky, garlicky biscuit that's oozing with cheddar.

And even if you haven't baked many biscuits before, this is a very good place to start. It's far from ordinary, packed as it is with garlic powder and cheese, but it's also extremely simple to make and takes about 20 minutes once you get the recipe down.

I found it on the back of the Davis Baking Powder can, and I've adapted it only slightly. The original recipe calls for shortening, which I switched to butter. I prefer using only butter in biscuits: It gives them a richer flavor and a flakier texture.

Keep in mind that butter is more difficult to work with—if you don't start with very cold ingredients and take caution not to overwork the dough, it will warm up and make the biscuits leaden and dense. A light, gentle touch is key!

More: Get some tips on making flakier, airier biscuits.

You can use regular milk or buttermilk for the liquid. I used regular milk, because cheese and garlic are the predominant flavors. The light tang that comes from using buttermilk is more evident in plain biscuits. 

More: Or skip the butter and make yogurt biscuits.

These biscuits smell so incredibly good that you won't want to leave your kitchen while they're baking. The garlic powder isn't overpowering, but it does make these more interesting than any other cheese biscuit I've tasted (and I've tasted more than my fair share).

I can't imagine something more perfect to bring to a picnic, or dinner party, or really any gathering where you're trying to win friends and lovers and hearts and minds. 

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Adapted from Davis Baking Powder

Makes 12 medium biscuits

2 3/4 cups flour 
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Do you have a favorite back of the box recipe, or have you heard about a great one? Leave any suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out and share them here!

Photos by Posie Harwood 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Karen Daitch
    Karen Daitch
  • Melanie Dishron
    Melanie Dishron
  • Pamela Hutchins
    Pamela Hutchins
  • HalfPint
  • emcsull
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Karen D. November 22, 2017
My favorite is from the back of the label of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk for the easiest chocolate truffles ever! Many times I add different spices to mix it up (ex cinnamon and red pepper for a Mexican chocolate truffle) and people go gaga.
Melanie D. November 27, 2016
Do you think chilled coconut oil would work in place of the butter?
Pamela H. July 23, 2016
My favorite back of the box recipe is from Philadelphia Cream Cheese for New York style cheesecake! Delicious and always asked to bring this to family gatherings & the recipe. They used to think I bought it, but know I bake it.
HalfPint July 22, 2016
My favorite back of the box recipe is found on Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder. It's the recipe for their "Perfectly Chocolate" chocolate cake. It's my go-to chocolate cake. Even better made with their special dark cocoa. I literally have to force myself to use another chocolate cake recipe at times.
DoubleNegative January 15, 2017
I second that!! My Auntie who made that cake every Sunday growing up, concurs.
emcsull July 22, 2016
I have no garlic powder. Fresh garlic ? Cook it ?
Laura415 July 23, 2016
I think you could use fresh garlic. Saute it in butter until softened and then refrigerate it until cold. Add it after you incorporate the cold butter into the dry ingredients along with the cheese and buttermilk. Should come out fine.
Hermione May 24, 2015
In the UK we call these scones. This recipe looks delicious, I love making cheese scones, they are one of my favourites!
Lynne D. October 9, 2016
Hermione, I live in Canada. In North America scones are for sweet and biscuits are for savoury.
Eva October 9, 2016
Not necessarily true, Lynne. In the U.S. we regularly see both sweet and savory scones and biscuits.
Lynne D. October 9, 2016
Perhaps in Canada how we see it then. Though when I've been in the US, its one or the other
Eva October 9, 2016
I suspect it depends on who is selling them here. :)
Lynne D. October 9, 2016
I think you're probably right
Heidi September 17, 2017
While every rule in the US seems to have exceptions, most often I do see scones as sweet and biscuits as savory. Even then, I probably see more savory scones than sweet biscuits.
AntoniaJames May 4, 2015
The muffins on the bag of Bob's Red Mill's ground flaxseed are outstanding. Carrots, apple, oat bran, flax; photo + more info here Outstanding recipe. ;o)
culture_connoisseur September 29, 2016
But this is about this recipe, not someone else's flaxseed muffins.
wg January 11, 2017
With all due respect, the author explicitly asks for readers' favorite "back of the box" recipes at the end of the article...and requests that suggestions be left in the comments. Don't be rude.