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Food & Recipes

Baker’s Butter Trick Guarantees Deliciously Flaky Biscuits — Easy Recipe

We tried it — and we're never making biscuits another way again!

Homemade biscuits used to be my baking Achilles’ heel. The reason? I struggled with keeping the ingredients really cold (for optimal flakiness) while also rubbing together the flour and butter with my fingertips to combine them. As a result, the butter often warmed up during the mixing process, and I got very few buttery layers once the biscuits were baked. The turning point in my biscuit baking journey, however, was when I started using a box grater. While this tool is known for shredding cheese and vegetables, it also turns a stick of butter into easy flakes. This allows the butter to mix quicker into the biscuit dough without softening — ensuring you get those pillowy, soft layers at the end. Keep reading to learn how to make your flakiest biscuits yet by adding grated butter into the dough!

The basics of homemade biscuits

Most biscuit recipes involve combining a dry mixture (flour, salt and leavening agents) with cold butter. This step is done by rubbing the ingredients together or using a pastry cutter. Once the mixture is crumbly, liquid like buttermilk is added so it forms a dough. The dough is then rolled and cut into biscuits before they’re baked. This process requires a careful touch as overworking the dough causes the butter to warm up, preventing those flaky layers from forming. Luckily, grating the butter into the flour mixture ensures the dough stays cold.

Why you should grate butter when making biscuits

Butter is the last ingredient you might expect to use a box grater on, but it works wonders for homemade biscuits. Food writer and cookbook author Justin Chapple swears by grating frozen butter into his dough before mixing. This trick creates tiny bits of butter that remain chilled and can be easily incorporated with the other ingredients. The end result is flaky and multi-layered biscuits better than any you’ve baked before. Watch the video below to see Chapple explain and demonstrate how this hack works.

Bonus shortcut for easy-to-bake grated butter biscuits

Another way to prep the biscuit dough in less time is by using self-rising flour. “Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour combined with salt and baking powder,” TikTok user Baker Bettie explains in a video. “This can make really quick work of simple recipes because it combines three of the most common baking ingredients into one.” Using self-rising flour allows you to skip measuring out baking powder and salt, and still end up with fluffy biscuits. Since this flour is found in many recipes online, it shouldn’t be hard to find one that uses it — no substitution ratios for regular flour needed.

How to make flaky biscuits

If you have a prized homemade biscuit recipe already, use this hack to shred the butter rather than doing so with your fingertips. Alternatively, try this recipe coined “Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit” by Southern Living, as it utilizes the butter grating trick. (Also, click through for a Chicken Cobbler recipe that uses this handy hack.)

Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit

A homemade buttermilk grated butter biscuit with extra butter on top


  • 1 stick unsalted or salted butter, frozen 
  • 2 ½ cups self-rising flour 
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled  
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted


  • Active: 25 mins
  • Total time: 50 mins
  • Yield:  12 to 14 biscuits
  1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  2. Grate frozen butter using large holes of box grater. Toss together grated butter and flour in medium bowl. Chill 10 minutes.
  3. Make well in center of mixture. Add buttermilk, and stir 15 times until sticky dough forms.
  4. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a ¾-inch-thick rectangle (about 9-by-5 inches). Fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times.
  5. Roll dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut with 2 ½-inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps, and flouring as needed.
  6. Place dough rounds on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter and cool 4 to 5 minutes then serve warm.

My taste test

Before I even tasted them, the biscuits’ well-layered center was an immediate sign to me that the hack worked. In fact, this hack resulted in the best biscuits I’ve ever baked. They boasted an intense buttery flavor and crispy yet soft texture; spreading soft butter and strawberry jam inside added extra richness and a touch of sweetness. It goes without saying: I’ll be using my box grater far more often to make biscuits as part of a brunch spread or afternoon treat. Talk about getting the most out of everyday kitchen tools!

My test of biscuits with butter and berry butter_2
Alexandria Brooks

Keep reading for more simple baking tips!

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