Angel Biscuits

These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you’ll swear they came from a can!

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These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you'll swear they came from a can!Looking back on my childhood summers, I was lucky enough to live within driving distance of one of my grandmothers.  I’ve mentioned her in the past, but I have some seriously fond memories of those road-trips from Charleston, SC up to upstate South Carolina.  (Ok, maybe the memories are more about spending time with grandma and grandpa than the actual roadtrip…but you get my point.)  They lived 4 hours away, and we would go up there at least several times a year to spend a long weekend.

When I was just 8 years old, Charleston took a direct hit from Hurricane Hugo.  We’d only lived in downtown Charleston for a couple of years, and this was our first experience with a hurricane.  I’ll tell the story some other time, but I’ll leave it at our house was flooded with 3 feet of water, mud and general swampy muck.  (We found a flounder in our bathroom.)  Two days later, my grandparents came down and picked up me, my sister and Dog Charlie.  I can only imagine how hard those times were for my parents, and they certainly didn’t need an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old getting in the way.  Instead, we piled into their old Buick, and rode back up to upstate South Carolina as “Hugo Refugees.”

These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you'll swear they came from a can!I nicknamed my grandmother “Sweet,” and the title was well-earned.  She was one heck of an accomplished baker.  Be it peach cobblers, cakes or cookies, she always had some sort of delicious treat waiting in the kitchen for us!  But one of my favorite memories was waking up early to get a headstart on all of the day’s fun activities.  I was a strange kid.  I woke up around 5am with a gusto to start playing, reading or generally causing some sort of ruckus.  (Thinking back, I have no idea how my poor parents dealt with me.  Wait.  Yes I do.  It was called Powdered Sugar Doughnuts.)

These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you'll swear they came from a can!When we were at Sweet’s house, she always woke up before us.  I’d roll out of bed at 5am, and she was already in the kitchen drinking coffee and making biscuits.  At the time, I just assumed she liked to get up early.  I now suspect that she was setting her alarm and getting up early to entertain my sister and me while my parents got some much needed sleep.  Either way, I got to get up early and eat biscuits with grandma every single morning, and that totally rocked!

As any Southern baker can attest, it’s important to have a couple good biscuit recipes in your repertoire of baking skills.  I was recently looking through some of my grandmother’s old recipes, and I came across her recipe for Angel Biscuits.  I was immediately whisked back to those childhood days when I woke up early and had grandma’s full attention all to myself.  (Another plus of waking up early was that I didn’t need to split grandma time with my bratty sister!)

These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you'll swear they came from a can!Truthfully, I don’t use vegetable shortening very often when I’m baking or cooking.  I prefer to go with butter instead.  But my grandmother always made Angel Biscuits with shortening.  (I’d like to play around with this recipe next time and try using butter or half-butter, half-shortening…but that’s for another time.)  This time, I wanted to recreate the biscuits that my grandma used to make many years ago.  I pulled out her recipe and hit the kitchen.  And I gotta say…the biscuits were just as I remembered!  I seriously think I could remember the smell of her house while I was making these biscuits…isn’t that odd?

Angel Biscuits take their name from the fact that they are light and fluffy.  They do involve yeast, but do not fear my yeast-adverse friends!  These biscuits require very little rising time.  The result is a light and fluffy biscuit that you will absolutely swear came from one of those refrigerated cans of biscuit dough.  This recipe makes ~18 biscuits, and if you aren’t careful, you could probably eat most of those while they are still warm from the oven.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you'll swear they came from a can!


These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you'll swear they came from a can!

Angel Biscuits

These Angel Biscuits are so light and fluffy that you’ll swear they came from a can!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rising Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 18 biscuits
Calories: 153kcal



  • In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water; set aside. (Note: It is important to use warm water here. Hot water will prevent the yeast from activating.)
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda; stir until well combined.
  • Using a pastry cutter or two table knives, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until it becomes the size of small peas.
  • Stir in yeast mixture and buttermilk; toss until just combined.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured countertop and fold several times.
  • Roll dough into a circle about ¾” thick.
  • Using a 2” biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place close together on a baking sheet. Cover biscuits lightly and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • While biscuits are resting, preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake at 400°F for 14-16 minutes, or until light golden in color.
  • Brush biscuits with melted butter before serving.

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  1. Traitor! Alpha is not happy with you joining this BroAppetite thing without asking prior permission to the wolfpack. Not happy at all… 😐

    PS Loving your childhood story as well as these biscuits 😀

    1. Haha! Well, I’m pretty sure (as in 100% certain) that I passed Alpha Wolf’s name along to the BroAppetite pack. I was expecting Alpha to lead this pack in a new howl…but alas, it was not to be. Don’t worry. I’ll be back in the Wolfpack fold come tomorrow! 🙂

  2. Oh my – so sorry to hear about y’alls run in with Hugo, David – your parents must have had their hands full and must have been so grateful to your grandparents for their help in watching y’all! Grandmothers can be such gems!
    You know what else sounds like gems – these biscuits! There’s this little hole in the wall place near me called The Red Barn that sells light and fluffy biscuits and I always wondered how they did it – looks like you cracked their code – without even knowing it! 🙂
    As for guys in the kitchen – seriously – you really gotta ask???? I see some bloggers I didn’t know of…gotta chk ’em out…

    1. Yeah, it’s kinda surreal thinking back to Hurricane Hugo. I mean, you don’t expect to see 3 feet of water in your house. I can’t imagine what my parents were going through back then. But we came out of it alive and stronger…so I guess there’s something to be said for that! I totally just googled The Red Barn. If I still lived in Atlanta, I’d be in the car on the way there right now! Several other people commented in some thread about The Red Barn’s biscuits…they must be legit. I’d love to recreate my grandma’s recipe to omit the shortening, but butter doesn’t quite behave exactly the same way. But I’m going to figure it out!

      1. Hi David, I was just wondering if I could use Tenderflake Lard in place of the vegetable shortening. I have used nothing but that for my pastries etc. over the years and have a recipe for it that is so tender and flakey. Hence the name Never Fail Pastry! They look soooo delish.

        1. Hey Jacqueline! I have never used lard to make these biscuits, but I think it would work great. Lard produces excellent baked goods (as you already know!), and you should absolutely give these biscuits a shot with lard! If you do make them with lard, come back and let me know how they turn out. Happy baking! 🙂

    1. Hahaha! And likewise, Dannii. I’m always confused by your biscuits over there. If I wanted a cookie, I would’ve asked for a cookie. 😉

  3. Hi David! There nothing better than fresh, hot biscuits with homemade jam! Sorghum (which I discovered when we moved to TN) is also pretty tasty on biscuits! I wish more guys would embrace the kitchen! My son cooks dinner nearly every night for his girlfriend and he entertains frequently. I gave him a KitchenAid stand mixer, Wusthof knives and a(nother) cookbook for Christmas and he couldn’t have been happier!

    1. Oh, I love sorghum! I haven’t seen it much since I left the South. I didn’t realize sorghum is really a Southern thing, but maybe it is. Or maybe I’ve just been unlucky. Here’s to your son being an awesome chef/baker! His girlfriend certainly is lucky. 🙂

      1. Hi David! I never saw sorghum before we moved here and the quart I have in the pantry is made here in TN. If you craving for it, let me know and I’ll send you some!

        1. Oh, you are way too kind, Dorothy! I don’t have any sorghum in the pantry right now, but we’re planning a trip down to your state soon, so I can grab some when I’m there. (My sister lives in Nashville…so opposite side of the state from you. I can’t wait to come back south again!)

          1. Hi David! If you have the time try Bro’s Cajun Cuisine in Nashville! We went there last summer when we visiting my husband’s brother who lives just North of Nashville. It is authentic Cajun! It’s not a fancy place – quite the opposite and the people there are so nice! If you’ve got a hankerin’ for crawfish etouffee or red beans and rice you won’t be disappointed! Check out their website!

        2. Ooo…thank you for that recommendation! We can’t really get Cajun food up here at all, so I’ll definitely look up Bro’s when we head down there. I’ve always got a hankerin’ for crawfish etouffee…so it sounds like my kind of place. Thank you!! 🙂

    1. You’ve got that right, Bianca! I swear I could smell my grandma’s kitchen when these biscuits were in the oven. It was the strangest feeling ever…but so awesome at the same time. 🙂

  4. They indeed look very light and fluffy david! It’s weird that I have never had an American biscuit before, in India biscuit=cookies so that doesn’t count..haha…I need to get on board with these biscuits because they look delicious!

    1. Yeah, the whole biscuit vs cookie thing always gets me confused, too! In the Southern part of the U.S., biscuits are a way of life. Any good Southern baker must know how to make the perfect batch of biscuits! We’d eat them in the morning with jelly, and then we’d toast the leftovers up at lunchtime with a bit of cheese on top. So good!!

  5. I’m loving being here because I can distinguish between a ‘biscuit’ and what we define a biscuit is! Although….you guys have ‘biscuits’ which come from a can?!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe- I can only imagine how tough that would have been then!

    1. Haha! You need to go explore some American grocery stores, Arman. We do indeed have cans of biscuits. You just pop open the can (it’ll scare you when you pop it open) and then separate the dough into individual biscuits. Bake ’em up and you’ve got insta-breakfast. I’m not gonna lie. They are delicious. But homemade is so much better! We’d split these open and top with butter and jam for breakfast and then we’d toast the leftovers with cheese for lunch. Good times!!

  6. I made these this past weekend. I live in Arizona and in a high altitude area so I was skeptical at first. They came out good but had a slight yeasty flavor. I will more than likely try them again with maybe less yeast.

    1. Hey Valerie! Thanks so much for stopping back and commenting. 🙂 I’m glad these biscuits turned out well for you. I don’t live in a high-altitude area, but I have heard that you should use about 1/3 less yeast for high-altitude baking. That could explain the slight yeasty flavor? Either way, I do hope you try these again…let me know how they turn out!

  7. I have never vegetable shortening. Use butter only. Now, to make these I have to go looking for something called shortening? 😞 Then what do I use the rest of this shortening for, moisturizer or suntan oil. I’m sure you can not
    buy 1/2 cup by itself. 😂

    1. I agree with you, Joli! I’m not a big fan of vegetable shortening either, and I use butter 99.9% of the time…but the conversion isn’t always perfect as butter contains more liquid. It’s been on my list for a while to come up with a version of this recipe that uses butter instead of shortening, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. (I’m guessing it will need more dry ingredients to balance out the extra liquid from butter, but I’m not sure how much. I’ll have to get in the kitchen and play a bit to figure that out!) As far as the shortening, you can get a small container. I always keep shortening around the pantry to grease pans when baking. (Shortening is perfect for pan grease, and then I dust the pan with flour afterwards.) Hope this helps, and happy baking!

  8. It’s not really rising after I cut them Can I leave them out for a few hours covered in room temp then bake them ?

    1. Hey Mere! I noticed you left this message a couple of hours ago, so I hope everything is working out well. If the dough isn’t rising, my first thought is either your kitchen (or wherever the dough is resting) is a little chilly. I like to let dough rise in my oven with the oven light on, but not the actual oven on. It is ~80 degrees in there, so that’s a great spot. Another thought that just bounced into my head is whether or not the yeast is old. Expired yeast might cause the dough to not rise. But to answer your original question, yes, you can absolutely let this dough sit at room temperature until they rise a bit more. I hope this helps!! 🙂

  9. Hey David –

    I recently found your biscuit recipe on Pinterest. I’m currently in process of making a batch right now – everything is crossed that they turn out like they’re supposed to.

    My dad didn’t bake, but he was am EXCELLENT cook, and he was the one who taught me how to maneuver my way around a kitchen. Mom baked some, but she never really taught me how to bake. I learned by watching her some, but mostly by trial an error. Lots, and lots of trials and errors. Ha.

    I have mid-western roots, but grew up in Georgia yet never learned how to make a proper buttermilk biscuit. I’ve tried several times to no avail, but your recipe jumped out and pulled me in, so here I sit, hoping for positive results. They’re in the resting stage at the moment, but I will let you know how they turn out.

    Oh! Your instructions were easy to follow, and the recipe came together fairly easily – even doing the work by hand! I usually default to my stand mixer, but opted to do these manually. Seriously – very easy to do, even for an old(er) lady.

    Apparently a very chatty old lady. Ha

    Thanks for the recipe! And I will report back on how they turn out.

    1. Hey there, Beverly! I totally know what you mean about learning with the trial by error method. I learned a lot from my grandma and mom, but I’ve learned a lot also just by trying something and seeing what happens. Sure, sometimes, it’s a total fail…that’s never fun. But even when something doesn’t work, you learn in the process, right?

      I’m really happy to hear that these instructions were easy to follow. I do try to write these recipes in a way that makes sense…but you just never know! Also, I’m impressed that you made these biscuits by hand! Truthfully, homemade biscuits just should be made by hand. That’s part of the mystique!

      I don’t mind a chatty comment, my baking friend! Connecting with readers like you is what makes this crazy thing called a blog fun for me. Cheers!

  10. Stick me with a fork. I’m done! Looking for a great biscuit recipe, that is … and easy to pull together, to boot! I don’t care if you’re a man, or a woman, if you want to cook, or bake – DO IT! My daddy taught me how to cook, but he didn’t bake anything except for cornbread, so I had to teach myself how to do all the breads, cakes, and cookies. I’very been looking for a good, easy biscuit recipe so I can proudly wear the title of southern cook, and after making your biscuits, I have officially EARNED that title!

    Let’s just say my husband had one biscuit, fresh out of the oven, slathered with butter and honey. And then he had FOUR MORE. That’s not an exaggeration.

    Thanks for sharing your precious memories with “Sweet”, and this awesome recipe. I hope my grands will share similar fond memories in the years to come, while they make these biscuits with their children, and grandchildren.

    Oh, and shortening is good in skillet cornbread, cookies, and of course as a release for baking pans. I even saw where you can stick a wick down into a can of Cisco to make an emergency candle. Just a few options there. Ha ha.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hey there again, Beverly! So glad these biscuits turned out well for you. I think your husband is proof that this recipe worked. Congrats, my friend! You have mastered homemade biscuits! Now you can get crazy and add in some shredded cheese or herbs…or bacon. Mmmm…bacon. 🙂

      I’m so happy that we connected out here in the blog world. Please do stay in touch if you have thoughts or comments. Also, a can of Crisco can be made into a candle!? Yikes. But it’s still a good tip to know in case of an emergency!

  11. Hey David –
    I’m baaaacccckkk! LOL

    Just a quick follow up. I made these again this morning, but this time I used BUTTER (One stick/ 1/2 cup / 8 Tblsp) softened, but still slightly firm, instead of shortening. Let’s just say, save that can of Crisco for an emergency candle! Ha ha

    At least to my husband, and I, it just gives a little richer flavor. I also brushed the tops of the biscuits with a little bit of buttermilk before I baked them (I had to bake them a few extra minutes) then brushed the tops with the melted butter, after they were done. I then, slathered on some more butter inside, and topped with some of my homemade apple butter. Let’s just say … YUMMY! YUMMY!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hey there, Beverly! Welcome back! 🙂

      I saw this comment over the weekend, and I got really excited about it! As you know from our previous chats, I love butter. I really appreciate that you came back by to share the butter proportions here. I’m totally going to make a batch of these soon! The buttermilk brushed on top is a handy little trick, too. I’m fairly certain a batch of these biscuits won’t last a day in our house!

      Thanks again, and I hope you had a great weekend, too!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, Dina! I truly do enjoy these biscuits, and I’m glad they’re a favorite for you now, too! 🙂

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