Cacio e Pepe Biscuits

April 17, 2021
11 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes 12 biscuits
Author Notes

If the flavors of salty, savory Pecorino cheese and spicy black pepper pair so well with pasta in the classic Italian cacio e pepe, imagine how they'll work on a different carb-y canvas: buttery, flaky biscuits. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for topping
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 425° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Cut in the cold butter using a fork or pastry cutter. The mixture should have pea-sized lumps.
  4. Stir in the grated cheese and black pepper with a fork and pour in the milk. Stir until the dough is a shaggy, wet mess. Once it mostly comes together, use your hands to fold in the dry bits that haven't been incorporated. You want to be very gentle and use your hands as little as possible. Focus on folding the dough over onto itself until it mostly comes together.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a 1 1/2-inch-thick disc. Using a sharp biscuit cutter (or a round cookie cutter), cut out circles. I used a 3-inch inch cutter. Place the dough circles onto your prepared baking sheets.
  6. Sprinkle a generous amount of black pepper and grated cheese over the top of each biscuit.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Lea
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
  • LDMcDowell

15 Reviews

LDMcDowell January 17, 2023
These are amazing!! I halved the recipe and it turned out perfectly! I used butter-flavored shortening instead of butter because that’s what I had. My biscuits “tricks” are to combine all dry ingredients (everything but the milk) and place mixture in the freezer for 10-20 min (or even overnight if you want to bake them first thing in the am), add the liquid and stir lightly, turn the “shaggy wet mess” onto a floured wax or parchment paper and use the paper to help form the dough (this avoids the warmth of your hands), fold the dough 3 or 4 times over onto itself before cutting (like laminating-this helps create flaky layers). I also have a crap oven, so I preheat to 25 degrees above recipe for at least 30 min, then reduce heat to what the recipe states after putting the biscuits in. I make a LOT of biscuits and this recipe is a keeper!!
Deedledum February 21, 2019
The photo of that biscuit is pure food porn! I can't wait to try them.
judy May 28, 2018
I like putting different ingredients into my biscuits. Never thought of this, though I have been eating a version of cache de Pepe most of my life. I am lately come to making light fluffy biscuits. Decades of hockey pucks, then all of a sudden--literally, biscuits worthy of a southern gal. One of my tricks for not handling much, though is to roll into a rough rectangle to thickness I desire and then just cut into squares or rectangles. NO biscuit cutters and no leftover or reworked dough. I always brush with milk or cream to lightly brown. Thanks for a new twist on what is fast becoming a kitchen basic in my kitchen.
Amanda F. January 16, 2023
Thanks so much for the tip, I will definitely try that! I’ll
Sherry January 16, 2023
A tip from a southern gal most don’t know. If you use a cutter to shape biscuits, do not twist the cutter at all. Just push straight down because twisting it seals the edges and the biscuits will not rise as well!
Argo March 14, 2018
Hey uh how can you use tapioca starch & arrowroot starch or flour to make all purpose for this recipe?
F00dl0ver! May 14, 2022
You can’t.
Rachel C. November 24, 2017
Can you make this dough a night in advance and refrigerate over night?
Posie (. November 24, 2017
Yep! You can also shape and freeze them unbaked for at least a month.
Paula August 25, 2017
Because grating cheese with different methods can really change the amount of cheese by volume, can you suggest a weight for the cheese, please?
Posie (. August 25, 2017
The more the merrier :) kidding. I'd say 2 to 4 ounces and adjust to how cheesy you want them to be.
Amy December 2, 2016
1cup of butter for 12 biscuits??
Posie (. December 5, 2016
Yes, they are WICKED buttery! If you want a slightly less decadent version, you can dial back the butter to 1/2 cup. The recipe will still work fine!
LeBec F. March 9, 2016
if this isn't the most appealing food photo I've ever seen, i don't know what is! GREAT job.
Lea March 7, 2016
To get a perfectly layered biscuit no matter the recipe, Google Andrew Carmellini's "World's best biscuits. End of story." The technique is fail proof and amazing. Rivals Pillsbury grands anyday, but all the lovely homemade flavor. I also alway grate frozen butter no matter what fat a recipe calls for, and it's to die for.