Cathead biscuits have been around for years and is an old-fashioned recipe.
My mother never made any kind of biscuits except what we called “cathead biscuits” and she made them almost every day. I have seen her make biscuits twice in one day because every kid in the neighborhood loved her biscuits. We never had chips, cokes or junk food in our house back then. We did have lots of sweet tea, fresh milk right from the cow and plenty of biscuits slathered with real butter and homemade blackberry jam. Honey from my Daddy’s bee hives was always on the breakfast table to go along with our biscuits. The neighborhood kids called my mother, “Parker”. We would hear a knock at the front door and one of our little friends would be there. The first thing they always asked was, “Does Parker have any cold biscuits and jam?” A cold cathead biscuit with blackberry jam was a real treat when I was growing up.
I am sure there are lots of different ways to make these biscuits but the recipe below is the way my Mama always made hers. I watched her many times when she got out the big, old crock and added flour, buttermilk, and lard. She always mixed them up with her hands and pinched off the biscuits. Mama never rolled them out and she put them in a round pan. Somehow, her biscuits always came out uniform without using a biscuit cutter. She greased the pan with bacon grease, too. The biscuits were always touching in the pan to make them rise up higher instead of spreading out and being thin. Memories of Mama in her “house dress” and apron always flood my mind whenever I make these biscuits. Oh, how I would love to have one of her cold biscuits with blackberry jam!
Cathead biscuits got their name because they were said to be big as a cat’s head. Ingredients needed for Cathead Biscuits:
Shortening at room temperature, (Mama used lard and about the size of a walnut)
Recipe Notes: This recipe only makes 8 biscuits if you make them as I do. These biscuits are wonderful with a big old piece of country ham on one. They got the name “cathead biscuits” because they are supposed to be as big as a cat’s head!
You can also make them using all-purpose flour but you will need to add 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. You can brush melted butter on the tops once cooked or even before cooking if you like.
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Sour Cream Biscuits.
TIP: For taller, lighter and flakier biscuits, cut straight down with the cutter. Twisting makes biscuits uneven. For crusty edges arrange 1 inch apart, for softer edges place close together.
This recipe has so many incredible comments. Here are a few of our favorites:
“My husband LOVES this recipe! I went searching for an easy recipe to use to make him some biscuits that reminded him of his childhood. 1 batch and he was hooked! He said it reminds him of his grandmama’s biscuits and even his mother likes them!!”-Bethenny
“I so enjoyed reading all of the comments and memories of those on the cathead biscuits. It took me right back to Maytown, KY to my Mamaw Jones home. I can see her now standing in front of her stove. I’m so glad I found your blog.”-Becky
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 to 2 tablespoons shortening at room temperature (Mama used lard and about the size of a walnut)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt Optional
- Work the shortening into the flour until it’s like coarse crumbs. (I use a spoon to do this). Add the buttermilk and stir until makes a ball in the bowl. You can either pinch off the dough or cut it with a biscuit cutter. I use a tin can because I like to make these biscuits good size like my mama’s biscuits.
- Grease or spray pan. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until brown on top.
- This recipe only makes 8 biscuits if you make them like I do.
“I don’t know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it’s something that anyone can make – pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad – but it carries a certain taste of memory.” ―Pin these cathead biscuits for later! Are you reading our digital magazine, Front Porch Life? It’s full of great new recipes, country living, fantastic people, southern charm, cooking tips and so much more. We send it directly to your email so you can start reading, cooking and relaxing immediately! This is our premium content. Join 1000’s of others today and start enjoying our magazine! Follow us on Instagram. © The Southern Lady Cooks photos and text – All rights reserved. No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.