Ultimate Cheddar Bay Biscuits


Love Red Lobster’s famous Cheddar Bay drop biscuits? This is them. Maybe better than them. Would I lie? I’ve been studying up on these biscuits for awhile, ever since several months ago when I accidentally came across a recipe purporting to be Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay biscuits. I tried them and wasn’t completely impressed. Something was off. I researched some more and found numerous similar knock-off recipes. They’re all over the place–just put “cheddar bay biscuits” in your search engine. There’s even one posted here on the Chickens in the Road forum. Most of them use biscuit mix as a starter (usually specifying Bisquick). I’m not a Bisquick fan, I have to say. If I’m going to use a baking mix, I prefer a homemade mix, but even so, the recipe wasn’t quite right. The biscuits weren’t rich enough, cheesy enough, buttery enough, and something indefinable was missing.

Finally I happened on the tip to use cayenne pepper in the mixture. Aha. Now you’re talking. There was that indefinable zing to the biscuits that was missing! I added more cheese, more butter, and eventually experimented with using sour cream along with the milk, thereby infusing the richness that was lacking.

And now I hereby pronounce these the Ultimate Cheddar Bay Biscuits–and you’ll just have to try them for yourself to see if you agree! You can make these biscuits using my homemade baking mix, Quick Mix or your own favorite baking mix–or if you don’t like to keep baking mix onhand, you can make it by the batch, so I’ve included the recipe from scratch.

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How to make Ultimate Cheddar Bay Biscuits:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk

Note: If using a baking mix, replace first 5 ingredients with 2 1/2 cups baking mix.

Place first 5 ingredients (or 2 1/2 cups baking mix) in a large bowl. Add cayenne pepper and garlic powder.
Cayenne pepper! One of my two secret ingredients. (The other is the sour cream.)

Work in the butter with a pastry cutter. Stir in cheese then add sour cream and milk. Scoop biscuit dough out by big spoonfuls and place in a greased 9 x 13 casserole pan. (Or other type of pan with an edge to it–if you use a flat baking sheet, butter sauce will spill down into your oven. Ask me how I know that……)


6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley
dash of salt

Melt butter. Stir in garlic powder, parsley, and a dash of salt. Spoon half of topping over unbaked biscuits.
Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.* After removing biscuits from the oven, spoon the rest of the topping over them.

*Your baking time may vary! I make 20 biscuits from this recipe. If you make your biscuits smaller or larger, it will change your baking time.
My kids eat these like they’re candy. You’ll be lucky if the biscuits make it to the dinner table.

UPDATE: Having trouble with these biscuits? Read The Trouble with Biscuits.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. Wendy says:

    My son was just asking for these earlier this week.

    Now I can make them!

    Thanks a Bunch Suzanne! Enjoy your weekend! :sun:

  2. Heidi533 says:

    These sound delicious! I can’t wait to try them. My dad use to make something similar that had ‘Old Bay Seasoning’ in it. Unfortunately he died without ever writing down the recipe.

  3. CindyP says:

    You are just so wonderful — take a great copycat recipe and make it ultimate!! You just keep amazing me!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  4. wildcat says:

    Those Cheddar Bay Biscuits are just like crack! 😆

  5. Sheryl says:

    I have to try these after work today! They look marvelous!

  6. Lynda Dunham-Watkins says:

    The picture alone looks good enough to eat!!

  7. Angie says:

    I make these too and everyone just goes NUTS over them. Now you’re making me hungry for them. I just might have to make them for breakfast! LOL!

  8. Joanna Wilcox says:

    they look delicious, gotta try the recipe.

    Thank you very much for all the effort that you put into your blog, so appreciated.

  9. Vera says:

    “I want a Cheddar Bay Biscuit”

  10. KCRanch says:

    Wow – oh WOW – WOW!!

    I cannot wait to bake up a batch. Salivating now….

  11. Dawn says:

    OH MY GOSH! First Lemon Cake, then Cinnamon Biscuits and now these! I’m going to gain all the weight back I lost last year…….I must practice restraint. I need to do some physical labor to compensate for my eating…..

    YUM! They sound divine!

  12. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    Oh, now you’ve gone and done it! I’ve managed to stay out of the Dead Lobster for months. I’ve trained my mind to forget about those biscuits and now I’m shaking like a crack addict. They’re a heart attack waiting to happen, but I love ’em. Thanks for the recipe.

    – The Other Suzanne

  13. Jordan says:

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to know how to make those biscuits. Thank you for experimenting. 🙂

  14. SuzieQ says:

    Oh my word..can’t wait to try these. Biscuits are one of my favorite things and cheese is another. These may be my food for the weekend! :snoopy:

  15. Estella says:

    They look delicious!

  16. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I love Red Lobsters biscuits! Thank you so much!

  17. Amber says:

    My husband has been asking me to figure out how to make those ‘Red Lobster’ biscuits for years! Now I have a trick up my sleeve when I want to “encourage” him to do things for me, like working new soil into the garden this weekend…hmmmm…I think this just might work. Thanks again for being ingenious!

  18. monica says:

    No eggs?!!?? Are they on strike? I thought surely that there would be an egg in there somewhere! They are the best! Little N. likes them with butter for breakfast. Big J. likes them with scrambled egg and cheese. Your recipe looks much better than mine–and I confess to using Bisquick. :snoopy: I did it–I use Bisquick: HA :snoopy:

  19. Lilla says:

    Dang, Suzanne! Red Lobster biscuits are one of my favorites, so I had to give these a try. I had everything on hand and the recipe is so easy. I just got finished eating FOUR of these biscuits as my dinner, so that should tell you how good they were. Thanks for sharing your creativity and your secrets with us here in blogland.

  20. Cranberry says:

    Wow, I just made these too a couple of weeks ago, and was also very unimpressed with the Bisquick recipe! I cannot believe that Red Lobster makes them with Bisquick so someone’s lyin’! I’ll try this recipe, with “real” ingredients, thank you so much Suzanne for your
    digging for the truth and the yumminess!!!!

  21. Celia Yeary says:

    Suzanne–what a delightful blog.An author friend of mine suggested I look at this, because I’m trying to brand my new blog–it’s too plain and I have no image. The biscuits–we only go to Red Lobster once a year on a anniversary–I don’t know how that began–but we keep it to one time, because we sit there and eat and eat those biscuits. Note: Years ago, you could buy Gold Medal Biscuit Mix–that’s the one to use for these biscuits. They came out exactly like RL. But it disappeared from the shelves for some reason. I tried bisquick, but that does not work. I love your recipe!! Celia Yeary http://www.celiayeary.com

  22. Cyndi B says:

    Made these tonight and they were amazing!! Yum Yum!

  23. Kristi of Million Dream Mom says:

    oh my goodness!! These are my favorite biscuits ever and I’ve always meant to attempt a recreation. Thank you so much for doing the legwork! I’m salivating just from the pictures. YUM!

  24. Lisa L. says:

    I made these, except I didn’t pour extra butter over them when they came out – they were still awesome! We had them for dinner with a salad and my boys were impressed!

  25. Gweny says:

    Just thought I’d pass this along, the herb cheese bisquets that the Red Lobster in our town and here in Texas serves are purchased from the Schwann Food Company. LOL I love the “Schwann Man” I would assume All Red Lobsters use the same ones…

  26. yana says:

    hi. i live in israel we dont have cream of tartar here. can i put something else instead or give it up?

  27. Sue Mann says:

    These biscuits are soooo good. I made the the other day and froze the remainder for later. Thanks for the recipe.

  28. Kellee says:

    Hi Suzanne. I just made something similar using a regular southern style biscuit recipe. I added cheddar, chopped chives and 1 tsp garlic powder to the dry mixed ingredients before adding the buttermilk. They turned out great, but when they came out I simply brushed melted margarine on them and it wasn’t quite right. Next time I’ll use my same biscuit recipe (which, by the way, came from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook, published in 1956– something I inherited from my dear Granny P who passed away this year; a true treasure!), but I will take your advice and brush them with the butter mixture before and after baking them. Thanks for the tip!

  29. Kiki says:

    Tried making these last night… I halved the recipe and used Bisquick (was feelin’ lazy lol)… Something, however, went terribly wrong. I was dumb and didn’t watch my biscuits in the oven, they came out terribly crispy on the outside and the excess topping was burnt all over my pan :/ I made so few so there was a lot of space for the butter topping runoff. I had some leftover dough, which I refrigerated overnight, so I tried again today.

    This time, I let the biscuits bake without the buttery topping until the last 10 minutes of cook time… then I added all the topping and let them cook for the last 10 minutes and voila! Perfect. They were really delicious, tasted just like Red Lobster’s… possibly better. Definitely a new dinner party fave :]

  30. Lylas says:

    I’ve lost your recipe for thickening flour balls? Where do I look or can you send it to me?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Lylas, anytime you are on my Cooking section (which you are right now) look at the top of the sidebar. See the green button that says Cooking archives? Click on that. Once on the Cooking archives page, click on Homemade Mixes to find the White Sauce Butter Balls.

  31. Lylas says:

    Opps,I had fat fingers, I entered my email address incorrectly, when I requested your flour thickening balls. Please tell me where to find it, again. Or send it to me.

  32. Pam says:

    Do you think that these can be made with buttermilk? I’ve got some leftover and don’t want it to go to waste.

    Your recipe sounds the best. I HATE BISQUICK (ever get a gander of what’s IN it?). I’m wondering if I should sub the buttermilk for the milk.

  33. charmaine deadman says:

    I wonder how buttermilk would taste in place of the milk and sour creme? or maybe just in place of the regular milk…

  34. charmaine deadman says:

    OOOOPPPSSS!… so sorry.. after i posted this i saw the post above…lol..

  35. me says:

    hey- is whole wheat flour feasible or is it best to use white?

  36. Susan says:

    These are amazing – thank you!

    I made them with WF/GF all purpose flour and the family loved them. I did need to use more butter mix for the tops though.

  37. Lisa says:

    I made these last night exactly as you wrote it (I dislike bisquick) and they turned out wonderful!!!! Thank you for posting this!!! I am looking forward to reading more of your blog!!!

  38. Draya says:

    :hug: you deserve a HUGE HUG! lol, i made these last night……I have to say they are even more delicious than the ones u get at red lobsters! crispy and buttery on the outside, gooey and cheesy on the inside……my mouth is watering just thinking about them!

  39. Mountain Blessings says:

    I just tried the Ultimate Cheddar Bay Biscuits, using the Quick Mix, OMG They are AWESOME!!! I used the quick mix and made blueberry muffins yesterday and they were soooo good too! I will never use bisquick again!

  40. Shelley says:

    Used the Pioneer biscuit mix, and all I can say is WOW!!!
    These are amazing, you are so right, so much better than Red Lobsters!!!!
    I do believe I have found the next addition to all my family get togethers.
    Thanks you so very much.

  41. Grannie May says:

    Good start, but I had to make some changes. Cut the cayenne and garlic powder in half so it’s not too spicy for my kids. Brush the topping on the dough balls sparingly so it doesn’t drip under the biscuits and burn the bottoms. And bake at 425 for a lighter, moister biscuit.

  42. Joy says:

    I’ve made these twice now and both times the biscuits didn’t rise much and seemed too runny as I spooned them into the pan to bake. What could I be doing wrong? Could the stoneware pan be the problem? My baking powder isn’t expired. The taste is awesome and I really want them to turn out right! 🙂

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Joy, I don’t know, I make these often and haven’t had that problem. I’ve never tried making them in stoneware. I alway use a 9 x 13 aluminum cake pan.

      If they’re too runny, you may be adding too much milk. Slight variations in measurements can affect this, so watch how much milk you add next time. Add less if adding the full amount makes them runny. Why they aren’t rising…. I can’t imagine, though that may be related to the too wet issue.

  43. carlye says:

    This is the second time I have made these biscuits, following the recipe exactly. They have (again) turned out as a runny greasy batter, rather than a biscuit dough. I used bisquck baking mix this time and added 1 more additional cup of mix until it resembled tradional dough. I am not a beginning cook, I am a sixty plus granny who has been cooking since I was 12, I am considered a great cook.

    Your recipe needs tweaking especially since you are portraying yourself as some kind of a domestic goddess.

  44. stephanieoct says:

    Hi, I just wanna say that I’ve tried making this recipe THREE times and I can wholeheartedly say that this is a terrible recipe. I’m an experienced cook and baker, have been cooking and baking many years, won cooking competitions and all that jazz. I have never, EVER, dealt with a recipe just to be made very disappointed for three times. It’s so bloody runny! It couldn’t hold its own when I scooped it onto the casserole dish. And when it’s done baking, once I bite into it, the texture is horrible! Like an underdone spongy shortbread. So bad to the point of being disgusting. The flavor wasn’t disastrous, but the texture was just.. Tsk. I’m lost for words. I followed this recipe to the T. Yet even after experimenting on the 2nd and 3rd attempt where I tried using less milk, chilled the batter before baking it, etc etc. Nothing works. Thanks so much for wasting my time.

  45. brennnan says:

    The reason they are called cheddar bay biscuits is because…they use old bay seasoning in them! THAT is the secret ingredient. =) I think I’ll try your yummy looking recipe, but add some old bay along with the cayenne.

  46. vpaustralia says:

    I made half the recipe tonight – with crisp skin chicken and our usual cold weather steamed vegies. I wussed out and made mashed potato too – BUT – these were simply amazingly good. Like cheesy garlic bread – but, honestly, BETTER! We started thinking of Italian meatballs, cold meat and salad, all the yummy meals we would put garlic bread with. But these were…..aaaggghhhh – sort of tender crisp top and bottom. SO GOOD. Half the recipe made 12 for me – my son ate 8 of those!! (Warning…Australian vernacular coming up.) Best bloody savoury scones we’ve had for donkey’s years!!! Thank you so much. YUM

  47. vpaustralia says:

    PS. We don’t have Red Lobster in Australia, so I’ve nothing to compare these with except garlic bread. But – oh so good! Thanks for sharing your invention. Don’t know what the problem is with the lady who said – oh, oh, horrible – maybe she has old flour….or some other issue with age.

  48. Xeiran says:

    Looks like its been several years now since you posted this recipe, and Red Lobster now sells their biscuit mix. I’ve made yours and theirs several times now, and while theirs are easier to make (no milk, no sour cream, half the butter) and definitely less calories, yours are tastier overall.

    Their biggest secret? Their brush on topping uses Ranch Dressing powder mix as well as garlic and salt to provide the zing and taste instead of sour cream (or buttermilk as some have substituted) and possibly instead of the cayenne as well.

    And as some have already discovered, this recipe needs a butter topping, margarine just won’t do (although margarine has its uses, Rice Krispy treats are much better with margarine than with butter).

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