Now that I have your attention (EVERYONE loves Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits—to the tune of 395 million every year, or 1.1 million every day), I confess that the biscuits here are not exact replicas of their famous cousins. In my admittedly biased taste tests comparing the original with the wannabe, these Cheddar Bay Biscuits win by a mile. For one thing, in my first test, I couldn’t get past the stale taste of garlic powder, which is in the original. So I swapped it for fresh garlic on test #2. And then in a quick dash to Red Lobster to refresh my memory, I was surprised by how minimal the cheese flavor actually is in the original.
I wanted full-on, premium aged cheddar cheesiness. Hello Special Reserve Extra Sharp Tillamook Cheddar Cheese! So I predict that after one bite of these biscuits, you are unlikely to pine after Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits any longer. Oh sure, they are addictively delicious and you should order them if you happen to be at Red Lobster.
But my cheddar bay biscuits are even more fabulous, and you can have them hot from the oven any time you like. NOTE Before you jump into the recipe, be sure and review these biscuit making basics: The Best Scones in the Entire Universe. Fabulous biscuits are hugely dependent on correct technique.
My Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
These light, FLUFFY, flavorful, cheesy, moist cheddar bay biscuits are in a class of their own. They are actually significantly cheesier than their Red Lobster namesake. You won’t be able to eat only one.
Equipment Note This recipe is scaled for a 10-inch cast iron skillet, but you can also bake them on an edged baking sheet.
Technique Note To make sure these biscuits are extra light and moist, I handle them hardly at all. The dough is wet and scooped (as for drop biscuits), rather than shaped with your hands.
Technique Note To dry fresh parsley, mince it finely, spread out on a flat plate, and microwave in 10-second bursts until shrunken but still bright green. In my microwave this process takes 40 seconds total.
6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3 cups loosely packed)
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (13½ ounces)
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or cayenne powder
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed (about 2 teaspoons)
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16-32 pieces
1 large egg, chilled
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, chilled
Baking (for skillet only)
¼ cup melted unsalted butter, if baking biscuits in a skillet
¼ cup melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, dried (1 teaspoon dried)
unsalted butter, optional
- In a processor fitted with the steel knife. Pulse the cheese and 1 cup of the flour to finely chop the cheese. Don’t over process.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cheese and flour mixture, remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, Old Bay Seasoning, and garlic.
- Using either a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is evenly textured and resembles coarse sand.
- Whisk the egg lightly and blend in the milk.
- Pour the egg-milk mixture over the dry ingredients. Fold quickly and lightly with a flexible silicon spatula. The dough will be quite wet.
- If making skillet biscuits, melt ¼ cup butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
- If making regular biscuits, line an edged baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop out twelve portions of dough using an oiled 1/3-cup measuring cup. Arrange biscuits side-by-side in prepared skillet or 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Flatten biscuits slightly with your hand if you like. (It’s fine to leave biscuits at room temperature for the few minutes it takes to heat the oven. They can be refrigerated for longer periods of time if needed.)
- Set a small ovenproof container filled with 1 cup of hot water into the oven. (The steam keeps the biscuit tops from setting too quickly and results in extra light biscuits.)
- Heat oven to 425° F. Bake biscuits for 12-14 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.
- While still warm, brush the cooked biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with parsley.
- If there are any leftovers, let them cool, seal tightly, and store at room temperature for up to three days. It’s highly unlikely that they will last beyond day one, but if they do, rewarm very briefly in a microwave.
Makes 12 biscuits.
More Fabulous Biscuit, Scone & Shortcake Recipes from LunaCafe
- The Best Scones in the Entire Universe
- Grandma Mary’s Heavenly Light Buttermilk Skillet Biscuits
- Chocolate Shortcake with White Chocolate Crema, Strawberry Lime Sauce & Strawberry Lime Salsa
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- A Bountiful Kitchen: Skillet Biscuits
- Brown Eyed Baker: Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice: Homemade Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Food Fanatic: Homemade Bisquick Mix
- Portuguese Girl Cooks: Scratch Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Rasa Malaysia: Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Seeded at the Table: Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Simply Plate: Grandma’s Skillet Biscuits
- TasteSpotting: Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- The Baker Mama: Cheddar-Bacon Skillet Biscuits
Copyright 2013 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.