The Best GFCF (not-very-healthy) Biscuits Ever

With a new flour mix recipe I posted, Jamie asked what my biscuit recipe was.  I was afraid someone would ask!!  Why?  Because then you’d see what absolutely unhealthy biscuits we eat.  😀

The proportions of the recipe itself are pretty classic — I first got them from the 1986 The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook (which my mom gave me when I got married;  it remains a stand-by).  I found the same recipe in a 1950’s Betty Crocker cookbook I stole borrowed from my mom.

But they key ingredients I’ve found are the least-natural ones that I use regularly in my kitchen:  Butter-Flavored Crisco and Mocha Mix.  For those of you who don’t know what Mocha Mix is, it’s a non-dairy liquid akin to Coffeemate.  Unlike the name implies, there is NO chocolate in it;  it is plain “cream.”  It is found in the refrigerated dairy section, and is in a bright-yellow carton.  I bake with it all the time.  Where I live, it’s sold in the pint, quart, and half-gallon.  Guess which size I buy? [EDITED TO ADD:  I have discovered that some of the ingredients in Mocha Mix ARE dairy-derived.  My son, who has immediate asthma response to all dairy has no trouble with Mocha Mix.  However, depending on how serious your need is to be dairy-free, do use Mocha Mix with discretion.]

For those of you who need to be casein-free and are unaware, Butter-flavored Crisco is absolutely dairy-free, even in its natural flavorings.  I have called the company to confirm this.

Both Mocha Mix and Butter Crisco are chock-full of stuff you probably shouldn’t be eating, but they make the best gluten-free, dairy/casein-free biscuits ever.  Since I discovered the combination about five or six weeks ago, we’ve been eating biscuits at least twice a week.  :blush:

I have been baking g.f. biscuits for more than five years.  Additionally, we’ve been dairy-free for more than a year and a half.  All that time, I’ve regularly made disappointing biscuits.  The combination below is the only thing I’ve found that consistently churns out a lofty, moist, non-crumbly, tasty product.  So, no promises if you make any substitutions!!!!  However, though the original recipe called for 1 tsp salt, I usually use 1/2 tsp.  As well, it called for 1/4 cup shortening, but I usually use 1/3 cup (sometimes a wee bit more!).  Also, I regularly double this recipe, and there are no left-overs for my family of six.)

GFCF Biscuits
Makes six-eight large biscuits

Preheat oven to 450*.

Hand-held pastry blender

In a large bowl, mix flour blend, baking powder and salt with a whisk.  Combine thoroughly.  With a pastry blender, cut in Butter-flavored Crisco until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  With a wooden spoon, stir in Mocha Mix, mix well.

The dough should not be sticky at this point.  I simply roll it out on my countertop, unfloured.  But if your dough is a tad sticky, do flour your countertop and rolling pin with more of the flour mix.

Onto your countertop, turn out the dough, and “knead” lightly.  Kneading non-gluten dough isn’t like kneading regular wheat dough.  You simply gather it together, pat it out a bit, turn it over double on itself, then pat out again.  The more times you turn the dough over on itself, the more of a ‘layered/flaky’ result your biscuits will have.  Use a rolling pin to bring your dough to about 1/2″ thick.  With a 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter (or sharp-edged cup), cut biscuits.  Use a spatula to transfer biscuits to ungreased baking sheet (I use a pizza stone).  Let edges of unbaked biscuits barely touch.  Gather remaining dough scraps and repeat the “kneading” and rolling process until dough is used up.

Alternately, when I a hurry, I skip the countertop part, and just grab a handful of dough, patting it out in my hand to a slightly-lumpy circle shape.  These ill-formed biscuits taste just as great, but don’t cut as cleanly.  🙂

Bake about 15 minutes, or until golden.

Enjoy warm with honey or jam!


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 3, 2008, in Celiac Disease, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Dairy-free, GF Recipes, GFCF, GFCF Recipes, gluten-free. Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I made perfect biscuits as well! Found a clip on YouTube and improvised from there. Tracking with you, baby! It seems I make a flour mix, biscuits, perfect bread and by turns you are doing the same things. Crazy!! Off to analyze both our biscuits. …

  2. Breaking the Not on Sunday Code here…but do you really heat up your house in AZ to bake all the time mid-summer?! Or is it always hot and you’d never bake if you avoided heating the house?

  3. will try! i have made some awsome biscuits from the most recent Living without magazine. i’ve only made the plain- used spectrum and your combo of ‘big batch cookies” flour mix…which is in the freezer most of the time;)


  4. Oregon Dad is SOOOOOOOOOOO excited to be getting biscuits and gravy for dinner this week. Because of the unhealthiness of these foods, it will be a once a month treat. 🙂

    I am going to make them EXACTLY as you have, then make a couple substitutions with some natural alternatives to Mocha Mix and Crisco I have and see what the outcome is.

    Thanks for posting this!


  5. RCG ~ We do seem to be on the same wavelength for baking!!! I do bake year-round. Since it’s HOT for six months here, and warm for an additional three months, if I waited until it was cool/cold to bake, I’d have to have to have a GIGANTIC freezer to freeze all my baked goods for a year. 🙂 However, when it’s hot, I generally don’t use the oven to make dinner, b/c then the kitchen is hot right when we’re sitting down at the table. KWIM? So, I grill almost every day during the summer.

    Amy ~ I saw that issue of LW in the store last night… but I resisted. It’s so darn expensive!! Let me know how you like my unhealthy biscuits!

    Jamie ~ Woo hoo!! Now I’m nervous that he won’t like my biscuits… Biscuits and gravy used to be one of my fave meals, too, so I understand his obsession!! I’ve gotten out of the B&G habit, though, because my dh doesn’t like ’em, and of course, I can’t order them in restaurants any more.

  6. These will be fun to try, Karen — I bet they would be great for shortcake (we love the old-fashioned biscuit variety).

  7. I just wrote you the awful truth that I hate sorghum. And its rancid, metallic aftertaste. What is its benefit again? Do brands vary? Am I the only one? It’s working in limited quantities in my mock whole wheat bread since whole wheat is metallic as well, it’s really authentic, but in white, plainish stuff not so much!!

  8. Michelle ~ Let me know how you like them!

    RCG ~ And I just replied to you: Golly, I have never noticed a metallic taste in sorghum! Or rancid! I wouldn’t use it, of course, if I consistently noticed that. I use an Indian brand, too, but it’s made in the US (Laxmi/House of Spices). I use sorghum because it has a lot of body and protein w/o being gummy, and (unless you over-use it) w/o making the item too heavy. And it seems to me to have a neutral/nutty taste. (Unlike bean flours, which I simply won’t use — any of them!! I hate all bean flours’ taste & aftertaste… but I know some people swear by bean flours.)

    One Indian thing we couldn’t eat was some cream of rice cereal that was “supplemented” with iron, and eating it tasted like licking an iron bar. Yuck!! So, I know what you mean by metallic taste… but I have favored sorghum since I’ve been g.f. and have never noticed that.

    But… maybe I just favor a more “whole grain” taste in general, while you favor a white bread taste… maybe we’re just used to different stuff, truly a matter of taste/opinion.

  9. Mmmm…thanks for the recipe! I will be making these soon.

    You have me hooked on Mocha Mix. LOL! I am *so* happy to be able to keep my coffee.

  10. Ugh. Now I am unsure if it was the sorghum that was horrid or not. Did I add too much I wonder. Sometimes when I taste a bit it tastes very funky and sometimes not. Was it the potato flour which is pretty harsh tasting? (rhetorical) I am thinking part of it may be what you tasted last, like when you taste something sweet and then something sour and then the sour is over-powering. Or when you brush your teeth and the drink orange juice and something as refreshing as OJ is horrid. When I ate both my recipe of biscuits and yours, next to the strawberries and cream it was disgusting. Unless you drenched it utterly in the berries and cream. So maybe I just have to put waaaay more sugar (I added 3-4 T) in the biscuits to use it with shortcake. Sigh.

  11. glutenfree4goofs

    Karen, I bought all the ingredients for these over a week ago but have not been able to get to it. Yesterday I had unexpected visitors for dinner and in a panic I threw burgers on the grill not thinking about the bun thing (we are so used to naked burgers I didn’t think how foreign that would be to someone else). Soooo, I saw the soda and the butter flavor crisco sitting on the counter and I whipped these biscuits up before you could say hamburger bun and it worked. I’m sure there is something better for burgers but it worked none-the-less and that’s what I needed, quick and painless! 🙂 Thanks

  12. Since I don’t have to avoid dairy, what would I use instead of the Mocha Mix? Can’t wait to try this recipe! Most biscuit recipes I’ve tried have not been very popular with my non-GF family! Thanks!!

  13. I just found this blog this afternoon and it’s a blessing! Bring on the fat! My 19 month old has been VERY sick and putting weight on her is a full time job. She’s GF (at least for now), dairy free, egg free and peanut free. She’s been on an NG tube in months past and are still doing weight checks regularly. I never thought to look at Mocha Mix! I found some soy creamer for the first time the other day, which was very exciting. The more fat, the better. I have to run for now, but I’ll be tuning in soon…btw – I’m in AZ too! I am currently living in Avondale.

    • Mocha Mix DOES have an ingredient that is derived from casein, which is one of the proteins in milk. It is not pure, whole casein… and many people (including our family — especially my son who is near anaphylactic to dairy) have had no problems with Mocha Mix. In fact, no one that I’ve come in contact with, through the blog or IRL, who is allergic or intolerant of milk, have had a problem with Mocha Mix. However, I just wanted to alert you that, depending on the level of your daughter’s allergy or intolerance, she may not tolerate it well.

      Hope that helps!!

      Butter Crisco, btw, is totally GFCF, as is Earth Balance Soy Free, as is Spectrum Nonhydrogenated Organic Shortening… so there are definitely plenty of GFCF “butter-like” ingredients out there, but they do take some tracking down!!!!

  14. Is there any casein free substitution that you would recommend for the Mocha Mix?

  15. Joy, you could probably use water. Or unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened soy milk. Or some other not-sweet non-milk. Or Silk creamer (maybe 1/2 that and 1/2 water).

    On various sites, even well known GFCF websites, it does list Mocha Mix as a casein-free product. However, I recently checked out the ingredients AGAIN, and from what I can see, the VERY LAST ingredient is derived from casein. IOW, it’s not casein in itself, but whatever the ingredient is, was made from casein. (scroll down to Mocha Mix)

    Hope that helps.

  16. Thanks for all of the info Karen!! I am not a biscuit fan myself, but my son loves rolls and biscuits, and he is not a fan of the bread that I have tried, so I would love something simple and yummy for him once in a while. Have you ever tried making them with non butter flavor shortning?

  17. Can I freeze these biscuits?

    • Good question. I have never frozen them, but in my experience, the things that work best frozen are those that are high-fat, so it’s likely that it would work well, either freezing the (formed) dough, or freezing already-baked biscuits.

      If you try it, let me know!

  18. Karen have you tried Coconut oil? I am considering using coconut oil for all my shortening and butter baking needs since I read about it in babycakes. What’s your opinion?

    • I haven’t tried it! Until recently, I haven’t had a source of reasonably-priced coconut oil. But, the Asian market I’ve semi-recently been going to has some that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. That’s a great idea! Let me know if you try it. 🙂

  19. Karen, I used this recipe today to make “garlic biscuit sticks”. I was making spagetti and meatballs and didn’t have the time or the mix to make the bread sticks I usually make from Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust mix, so I tried this. I made the biscuit dough (I used the Silk Creamer instead of Mocha Mix), spread/rolled it out on a large pizza stone, and baked it for 5 minutes. I then put melted earth balance margarine and garlic powder on it and baked it for another 9 minutes. After I took it out of the oven, I cut it into 2″/1/2″ wide sticks. Mmmmm, they were so yummy. They tatsed almost as good as the cheesy garlic biscuits at Red Lobster.

  20. Thanks so much for this recipe–especially the information about the Butter Flavored Crisco and Mocha Mix. In my experience, the more processed and dried milk is, the less allergic we are to it. I am most sensitive to raw milk, sadly. But less reactive to dried milk when it is an ingredient in baked goods. I wonder if this is why Mocha Mix works even though it has some dairy. I can’t wait to make this recipe and will pass the link on to others who have asked about biscuits!

  21. sometimes proteins are so broken down in really processed foods that kids with allergies don’t react to them at all. It’s funny because in raw milk the completely intact proteins are a nightmare for me and my family. But powdered milk in a recipe is barely noticeable. It’s interesting that it is the opposite of what you think. You would think the raw milk would be healthier and better tolerated but it isn’t. Instead the super processed food is better tolerated. Anyway, a good excuse to make some biscuits out of processed products. I have never laid eyes on mocha mix. Is it a health food store item or a regular grocery item?

    • Regular grocery item, close to Coffeemate in the refrigerated section.

      I have had the same experience with some very processed foods. That, and artificial flavors. Generally, I stay away from artificial anything, but it’s so odd to check a food item and say, “Whew! No natural flavors. Only artificial!” since natural flavors can harbor any number of trace allergenic ingredients…

  22. Hey Karen, I told a friend about these and went to find it myself but the link on your 52 Recipes page sent me to the bread recipe. 🙂 Thought you’d like to know. Also…not sure if it’s intentional but I couldn’t permalink it. Whenever I tried to copy the address to share with her it just showed your home page. I figured it out and have now share it. This is a recipe that I really liked when we did it. Thanks!

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