Prize Winning Tea Biscuits

These biscuits are great with breakfast, lunch or dinner or as a snack between meals! I have used numerous variations of this recipe and I have included some of them for you at the bottom of the instructions. But don’t let that limit you – you can add other items (like chopped ham or bacon for breakfast biscuits) to this recipe and create your very own and special treats!

Prize Winning Tea Biscuits:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of shortening
  • 1 cup of milk

Directions:

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening with 2 knives or a pastry blender, until  mixture is the consistency of course cornmeal.
  3. Make a well in the centre of these ingredients; add liquid slowly.
  4. When all the liquid has been added, stir dough rather vigorously until it comes freely from the side of the bowl.
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and kneed lightly for a few minutes.
  6. Roll or pat out to desired thickness – about 1/2 inch.
  7. Cut dough with a knife or biscuit cutter, place on greased baking sheet.
  8. Bake in a hot oven (450F) for 12 – 15 minutes.

Variations of Tea Biscuits:

Cheese – Decrease shortening to 3 tablespoons and salt to 3/4 teaspoon. Cut in 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese with shortening.

Buttermilk – Decrease baking powder to 2 teaspoons; add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Substitute 1 cup of buttermilk for milk

Fruit or Nuts – Add 1/4 cups of granulated sugar and decrease milk to 3/4 cup. Add 3/4 cup of raisins, currants or nuts with milk.

Whole Wheat – use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all purpose flour

Update: If you enjoyed this recipe, you may want to check out my Top Ten Biscuit Recipes by following this link:

Top Ten tea Biscuit Recipes

Enjoy!

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About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, step mother to Abbie Gateman and is also a brand new Grandmother. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

82 comments
Sara - August 10, 2009

I made these, once without the salt and once with huney added to the original recipe. People loved them. Thanks!

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    Hanna Trafford - August 27, 2009

    Hi Sara! Did you try any other recipes? If you make changes and additions like the awesome ones you noted, please let me know – I would love to have you to continue sending in comments, any recipes or stories you may want to share! That is what this site is all about!

    Reply
      Brandee - March 7, 2012

      I folled the above recipe and added italian sausage and provolone with roasted garlic and chives….Delicious!!!!!

      Reply
    gloria cheetham - October 14, 2013

    WOW hubby loves tea biscuits I have tired a lot of recipes and they always turned out like hockey pucks even recipes from friends that told me they were no fail. these were great hubby loves them I guess I just found another job for me!!!

    Reply
      Hanna Trafford - October 17, 2013

      That’s great Gloria! Hope you will try all the other variety of tea biscuit recipes I have posted! And – thank you so much for letting me know – it really makes what I do worthwhile!

      Reply
Natasha - October 8, 2009

Hello, the biscuits turned out great! Thanks for your recipe. I used whole wheat flour. I substituted some of the flour with a 1/3 cup of flax seeds and 1/3 cup of wheat germ and it still worked out well.

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    Hanna Trafford - October 13, 2009

    Thank so much Natasha! I will definitely try your variation with flax seeds and wheat germ!

    Reply
Fanny - October 14, 2009

Do you know how to calculate these for a diabetic?

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    Hanna Trafford - October 14, 2009

    In any recipe it’s OK to substitute something like Equal or other sugar substitute for any sugar amount the recipe calls for. Here is a biscuit recipe approved by the Diabetic Association for you:
    2 cups of flour
    3 teaspoons of baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon of salt
    1/4 cup Margarine
    1/2 cup Lowfat milk

    Directions: Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cut in the margarine
    with a fork or pastry blender. Add the milk. Stir to make a soft
    dough.
    Roll out on a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch thick. Cut into
    biscuit shapes. (Or divide dough in 12 balls, roll in your hands and
    pat lightly to flatten.)
    Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 F for 12 to 15
    minutes or until lightly browned.

    1 biscuit – 109 calories, 1 bread exchange, 1 fat exchange 15 grams
    carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, 4 grams fat 152 mg sodium, 37 mg
    potassium, 0 cholesterol

    Hope this was helpful to you!

    Reply
Fanny - October 14, 2009

If you use coconut what would you change?

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    Hanna Trafford - October 14, 2009

    Hello Fanny! I would reduce the flour by a little bit so the biscuits wouldn’t be too dry. Add your coconut first with only 1/2 the flour recipe calls for and then add more flour to get the desired consistency. That would be when the dough doesn;t stick to your hands. Hope this works well for you and let me know how it turned out!

    Reply
guest - October 29, 2009

I haven’t tried these yet but looking forward too! I read on another site that someone substituted the following:
-flour to spelt
-shortening to coconut oil
-use less baking powder and a tinch of lime or lemon juice – if necessary add more flour (spelt).
-milk to almond milk
Maybe worth a try!

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    Hanna Trafford - October 30, 2009

    That does sound interesting – I think the coconut oil and almond milk combination would give it a nice flavour! Probably the only thing to watch for is getting the texture right so the biscuits don’t end up a bit on the dry side. If you are going to try it, please let me know how it turned out! Thanks!

    Reply
Sally - November 24, 2009

I made this recipe, but then rolled it out flat, put on a little cooking oil and some cinnamon sugar, rolled it back up and then cut it into sections with floss and made great little cinnamon buns. They turned out wonderfully!

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paulette - November 30, 2009

Hello, this is the first time for me and don’t know how to ask these questions, but here goes, when I was in Honduras the best time of day was when these ladies with large baskets on their heads pasted by in the streets selling “pan de coco” it was sweet bread made with coconut milk and coconut oil, I would like to know if anyone knows how to make it?

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    Jim - June 15, 2011

    I made this recipe and it was great. hope you enjoy

    Ingredients:
    2 pkgs, active dry yeast
    2 tsp. sugar
    1/2 cup warm water
    5-5-1/2 cups flour
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 13 oz. can of warm or room temperature
    coconut milk (2 cups fresh coconut milk)
    1 tsp. salt
    2 Tbsp. pure coconut oil (available in, of all places, health food stores

    Directions:
    Mix together the first three ingredients and let sit in warm spot for 10-15 minutes until bubbly and almost doubled in size. In a large bowl mix five cups of flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in yeast mixture and shortening. Mix with hands. Add coconut milk and mix. Add more flour if too wet and sticking to your fingers. A dough that is moist and on the wet side is desired. Pour out onto cleared counter top and knead gently 3 or 4 minutes. Add coconut oil. Knead another 4-5 minutes until smooth. Let rest 45 minutes in a warm spot or until doubled in size (this will largely depend on the temperature of your room). Cut into about 24 small rounds 2″ in diameter. Shape and place onto a cookie sheet. Let rise another 45 minutes and then bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. They are ready when tops are browned. Best served fresh and warm!

    Reply
      Hanna Trafford - June 17, 2011

      Thank you so much Jim – that does look like a great recipe and I am going to use it first chance I get. Your time sending this in is very much appreciated!

      Reply
Babette - January 10, 2010

Everytime I try to make biscuits they come out like rocks….. Dry and hard.
I’ve just about given up.
Can anyone help me. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks,
B

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    Eva - March 27, 2011

    My guess is that you handle the dough too much. Once the dough is mixed in the bowl I just pat it out without kneeding and they turn out great. Also you might check that your baking powder is fresh.

    Good Luck

    Reply
Bronwyn - January 28, 2010

I made these using soy milk instead of cows milk and they still worked out well.
Thanks for the recipe

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christina - January 31, 2010

these are great and are soo easy to make. they also work really well with butter instead of shortening.
thanks for the recipe

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Sam - February 14, 2010

I made these tea bisuits but I used half sour cream & half milk (because I was short of milk). These bicuits are the best I’ve ever had. They really puffed up like puff pastry.

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    Hanna Trafford - February 17, 2010

    Thanks Sam! I love the recipe too – try adding things you like, like fruits, spices, etc. And they work really well with cheese – little cubes of cheddar are the best!

    Reply
Holly - March 10, 2010

I was wondering if anyone has ever made a tea biscuit recipe using custard?

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    Hanna Trafford - March 21, 2010

    Hello Holly! I have personally not tried using custard when making tea biscuits – but pouring hot custard over freshly made biscuits and adding some berries is a great dish for a snack or dessert!

    Reply
Lorie - March 29, 2010

To the girl who asked why the biscuits turn out hard, usually it means you’re working the dough too much, so the fat/butter is melting before you bake them. Try putting your fat/butter in the fridge, or freezer and grating it into the bowl.

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    Hanna Trafford - March 30, 2010

    I absolutely agree with you Lorie – I think it is when the dough is overworked. The only thing with putting the fat into a fridge or freezer is to be careful when working the dough even more – you might have a tendency to work it harder because the fat is hard to begin with. Also – possibly reducing the flour amount a bit may be work and so will brushing your biscuits with melted butter as soon as you take them out of the oven and covering them with clean dishcloth to cool.

    Reply
Geri - March 29, 2010

How would you do an onion flavoring?

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    Hanna Trafford - March 30, 2010

    Hello Gerri! I would try using about 1/2 package of onion soup mix – it will depend just how much onion flavour you would like to give to the biscuits. The way to do that is to usbstitute the amount of onion soup mix you will use for flour. I would love to know how these turned out for you – please let me know – you might have just asked a questions that will create tons of new biscuit recipes! 🙂 I am going to try it with vegetable soup mix – that could be good as well!

    Reply
Trina - June 2, 2010

When I was young my dad used to make delicious tea biscuits with stew instead of dumplings, and this recipee was exactly what I remember! Thank you so much for it!

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    Hanna Trafford - June 3, 2010

    Hi Trina! I am so glad – this is exactly why I love adding recipes and tips on the site – let em know how the biscuits turned out for you and also check the recipes for more types of biscuits!

    Reply
advertise game - June 6, 2010

Really helpful.

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mommyerin - September 2, 2010

I want to try my hand at baking buscuits, but have been afraid until now. My biggest worry was having them turn out hard. My fears are subdued now that I have read all the comments, and I am sure to have successful buscuits for when the nana & papa come to visit this weekend!
I have just one question – how long can you keep them for, and what is the best storage method for buscuits?

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    Hanna Trafford - September 3, 2010

    Thanks for your comment and your question – first thing that came to my mind is that I very seldom have any leftovers as I hope you will as well! The best way to store your biscuits is in a airtight container. You can use any container you have on hand but you can also put them into ziplock bag and push out as much air as you can without damaging the biscuits. As far as how long you can store them – unless you freeze them, I wouldn’t keep them for more than 3 days. To serve your leftover biscuits, you can heat them up in your oven or microwave. Let me know how they turned out for you!

    Reply
Grace - October 12, 2010

Wow! This is the first biscuit recipe that I’ve had real success with! And I even substituted the milk for almond milk, which I had on hand instead of soy milk. I also subbed 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Delectable!

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    Hanna Trafford - October 18, 2010

    Hello Grace! That is great – I am very happy when I hear from people like you and I hope you will keep visiting regularly!

    Reply
Erin - October 15, 2010

I spent a year in England, and every day we had biscuits with tea. I’m so happy that I finally found a recipe that was as good as the English tea houses. Thank you so much!

I use muffin tins to make these, so they’re round and fluffy. I find them a bit salty, so I reduce the salt by 25%, and I find cutting the milk down to 3/4 cup works well. (I’m in Toronto for altitude bakers.)

In England, we had ginger tea biscuits served with devonshire cream and honey on top! Delicious! I’m going to try the fruit/nut variation (minus the sugar) with finely chopped candied ginger.

Reply
    Hanna Trafford - October 18, 2010

    Thanks you so much Erin! I am very happy that my website was of help to you and hope that you will keep visiting regularly!

    Reply
Top Ten Tea Biscuit Recipes | Mama Knows - January 26, 2011

[…] Prize Winning Tea Biscuits – 22 emails […]

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Thiepa - March 24, 2011

Excited to try out this recipe! How many biscuits does it make?

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    Hanna Trafford - March 25, 2011

    Hi and thank so much for your comment! The number of biscuits you get out of this recipe will depend on the size you make. I personally like the biscuits larger and I get 10 -12 of them. let me know how the recipe worked out for you!

    Reply
Thiepa - March 25, 2011

I made them small, and halved all the measurements in the recipe (as I didn’t want to end up with dozens), and I got about 15. They were a great little snack, turned out wonderfully! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

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Alisa - April 13, 2011

Hi there. I love tea biscuits, and my grandmother made the most amazing ones. Unfortunately, she had her recipe in her head and it died with her. I was so excited to find this one to try and replicate hers (as your photos look exactly the same), but mine turned out horrible! There was no all-purpose flour at the store, so I bought cake/pastry flour. Does this make a difference? When I mixed the dough, it stuck to everything – all over my hands – when I tried to knead it. I added more flour until it didn’t stick. I made them in 1/2″ thick, 2″ rounds – but they never rose all fluffy like your photos. The were hard little pucks. Help! I want to make them better – what am I doing wrong!

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    Hanna Trafford - April 13, 2011

    Hi! First-thanks so much for your message! You have identified the problem: cake and pastry flour will make a huge difference-it is much finer than all-purpose . That is why your biscuits gave you such a hard time! Please try it again, using all-purpose flour and let me know how you made out. I have had quite a few messages regarding this recipe and all were very positive. I will be happy to hear back from you and please -dont give up!

    Reply
Alisa - April 13, 2011

Oh thank you!! I was wondering/hoping that was it. They didn’t have any all-purpose at the grocery store – and I didn’t think it would really make a difference. I have my hubby picking up the good stuff tonight – so I will try them again! fingers crossed!!

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Alisa - April 13, 2011

Thank you! Thank you! They turned out great! I could only cook them for 9 mins because they were quite brown on the top – but my Dad says they’re better than my Grandmas! Thanks for the help!

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mommyx4 - August 4, 2011

I am not an experienced cook/baker. My friend brought over tea biscuits yesterday and they were flat and tasteless so I decided I could do better lol…So I just tried making these biscuits they were so simple and taste WAY better than my friends. Although I did have some problems with the cooking time, the bottoms started burning after 7 mins so I took them out and they were done… did I do something wrong? Thanks for the great recipe!

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    Hanna Trafford - August 4, 2011

    Hi! I am glad the recipe worked for you! There could be number of reasons why your biscuits started baking too much on the bottom: maybe your oven rack was too low – try placing it higher than it was. Or the baking pan could be thin – maybe you want to try a heavier one (that’s what I use – teflon coated heavy pans for all my baking) If those are not the reasons, lower your oven temperature by maybe 10 degrees.Hope this works for you and I would love it if you let me know!Thanks!

    Reply
Danielle - November 5, 2011

Hello! I was reading all the comments and nobody asked if you can substitute margarine for shortening. Is it possible for this recipe? I am very eager to try this recipe!

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    Hanna Trafford - November 5, 2011

    Hello Danielle! I would not recommend the substitution – shortening acts differently than margarine in baking, but now I am curious as what would actually happen. I will give it a try and add a comment here. If you can, please do that as well and let me know how it turned out! Thanks so much for your comment!

    Reply
Kate - February 24, 2012

Thanks so much for sharing your recipe and tips. I made your biscuits but added cheese and green onion. I followed the directions given for adding cheese and also reduced the amount of milk due to the moisture from the onions. I used a scone cutter and the recipe yielded 17 biscuits for me. After baking for 9 minutes, I removed the biscuits and topped with a butter glaze before returning to the oven for an additional 3 minutes. The tea biscuits turned out perfectly and were a huge hit, tasting as good as they looked. Thank you so much!

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    Hanna Trafford - February 27, 2012

    Hello Kate! Thanks so much for your message and I am very happy that the biscuit recipe worked so well for you! Hope you will keep visiting my website and continue to send your feedback – thanks again!

    Reply
Jim - March 18, 2012

Awesome recipe. They turn out perfect every time. Thanks so much.

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    Hanna Trafford - March 18, 2012

    Thank you Jim for taking the time to let me know – I am so happy that the recipe is working well for you and hope that you will try many others from my website!

    Reply
lysakura - April 15, 2012

I’m making them today, wish me luck 🙂

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    Hanna Trafford - April 15, 2012

    I am wishing you good luck even though I am sure you will end up with great biscuits! Please make sure you let me know!

    Reply
      lysakura - April 15, 2012

      To the oven they go 🙂

      Reply
        lysakura - April 15, 2012

        I have to tell you tha I am a very lousy baker 🙂 I can cook anything but baking not really 🙁

        Reply
          lysakura - April 15, 2012

          they are ready and yuuuuumy!!!! I can bake!!!

          Reply
          Hanna Trafford - April 17, 2012

          Yes you can!!!!! So appreciate you keeping me updated – it puts a smile on my face and i do hope you will keep at it and try more recipes! Congrats!

          Reply
    Marwan - November 22, 2012

    with you. Hate how bacon and sausage smell up the house. @Brandi-You’re wcloeme. It really makes it so much simpler.@BethPie-Mmmm! I’m definitely going to have to try it with the brown sugar. Thanks for the tip.

    Reply
saussiche - April 20, 2012

bloody hell! those aren’t biscuits…

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    Hanna Trafford - April 23, 2012

    Hello Richard – thanks for taking the time to comment – I am however puzzled by what you wrote. If you are not considering these biscuits, let me know what it is you are looking for and I will be happy to give my est efforts to help you out!

    Reply
      saussiche - April 23, 2012

      I was puzzled as well, but after searching I realized that it’s a localized thing…

      I guess most people are more familiar with the term scone? That’s what I was thinking from the pictures/ingredients…

      Reply
site - June 2, 2012

Wanted to drop a comment and let you know your Rss feed is not working today. I tried including it to my Yahoo reader account and got absolutely nothing.

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K Nelson - July 10, 2012

I am trying to find a tea biscuit recipe like the one my mother used for strawberry shortcake. They were just slightly sweeter than a buttermilk biscuit, and also good with afternoon tea and butter.

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Veo - July 29, 2012

How would you modify your recipe for sour cream biscuits?

Thanks,

Veo

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Jan Haley - September 18, 2012

Why didn’t my tea biscuits raise up ?

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    Hanna Trafford - September 18, 2012

    Hi Jan! There could be a number of reasons – any chance you missed an ingredient? Another reason could be that the temperature may not be right. Try again – this is the first time I heard about this difficulty and I hope your next time will be a complete success! Let me know OK?

    Reply
Donna - February 4, 2013

Just tried your tea biscuits, OMG they turned out great, I was surprised when I opened the oven they were so high. I’m throwing out my recipe and putting yours in it’s place.
Tried your sour cream biscuits didn’t raise much,were a little on the dry side next time maybe i’ll use a bit more sour cream or water, but they were still good.

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Bridgett - February 25, 2013

“Prize Winning Tea Biscuits | Mama Knows” was a superb post,
can not help but wait to browse even more of ur blog posts.

Time to squander some time on the net haha. Regards -Gilberto

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Janice - April 11, 2013

I would like to know if I can triple this recipe and freeze it.

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    Hanna Trafford - April 11, 2013

    Hi Janice! I have never tried to triple it – did double it couple of times and it worked fine. I would suggest that you make 3 separate batches – and I would think it should be fine to freeze. Let me know how it worked out for you!

    Reply
      Donna - April 11, 2013

      I made a double batch before Easter and I wrapped them in plastic wrap twice than put them in a freezer bag froze the for two months. The day of Easter I unwrapped them and let them thaw on the counter top. They were great taste and texture.

      Reply
Barbara Samson - October 18, 2013

My mum made lovely tea biscuits, but she had to use water instead of milk, as she only had can milk, will this work in this recipe, love to have a reply.

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    Hanna Trafford - October 21, 2013

    Hello Barbara! I would rather use can milk than water – I am sure there are some recipes that use water, but I would think the biscuits would be tasting quite a bit different. If you give it a try, please let me know what you thought. Thanks so much for your message – looking forward to future update!

    Reply
Julia - January 18, 2015

Soo I just made the dough, it’s suuuuper sticky. I added a little flower so I was able to kneed it. Do you have any idea how this could happen? Is this normal? I’m gonna put them in the oven soon, I’ll keep you updated how they turn out

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    Julia - January 20, 2015

    Soo they turned out pretty good actually!

    Reply
      Hanna Trafford - March 19, 2015

      Thanks so much Julia! Keep cooking and baking using my recipes and let me know which ones you like! Much appreciate it!
      Mama Hanna

      Reply
Cristine - April 17, 2015

Came across this recipe last night. Needed something for breakfast because fridge is low until I shop later today. I baked these this morning and they turned out FANTASTIC! I’ve added this recipe to my favourites and will be later on printing and adding to my recipe box that is how good they were… Thanks for the great recipe!

Reply
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