Easy 20-Minute Gluten Free Drop Biscuits

Easy 20-Minute Gluten Free Drop Biscuits

Tender and light gluten free drop biscuits are ready in 20 minutes, start to finish. You can’t beat the taste or the convenience!

Gluten free drop biscuits baked on tray closeup

The perfect dinner side, in minutes

I don’t know about you, but I hate making dinner for my family every night. I know it sounds kind of ridiculous, since I cook and bake like it’s my job (because it is). But dinner creeps up on me every day just like it probably does with you.

I don’t want to spend forever making dinner. They’re just going to eat it and forget it, no matter how good it is. And I don’t want to prepare the same meal every night any more than they want to eat the same meal every night.

So when I realized that I was making rice or gluten free pasta night after night, even if the rest of the meal wasn’t a repeat, I found it inexplicably sad. Hel-lo gluten free drop biscuits.

Easy 20-Minute Gluten Free Drop Biscuits

How these gluten free biscuits are different

For so long, I was so obsessed with light and flaky biscuits, with layers upon layers of buttery goodness. So when a super lovely, longtime reader named Jennifer starting asking about nonflaky biscuits, it took me a few moments to actually get it.

You know, like, “Oh right! You mean drop biscuits!” So now, after that gentle reminder, I now present to you these light and fluffy gluten free drop biscuits. They’re not flaky in the traditional sense, because they’re not laminated. But they’re still super tender and light. And there’s no folding or rolling necessary at all.

Before you know it, these gluten free biscuits are looking gorgeous and smelling fabulous. They take literally in 20 minutes flat from start to finish (really).

They’re so quick and easy that I nearly made a real-time how-to video, rather than the more produced kind at the top of this page. But honestly it was just too boring, even thought it was still super fast. :)

Easy 20-Minute Gluten Free Drop Biscuits, Step by Step

How to make drop biscuits that are still light

We still need lightness in our biscuits, but we’re not going to get it from layers of flour alternating with layers of cold butter that puff and expand in the heat of the oven. So we have to get it another way.

With drop biscuits, we go with smaller pieces of butter, just the right ingredients (of course!), a wetter dough, and a light, light touch. In fact, more often than not these days, I grate the butter on a standard cheese grater. So easy!

There’s very little actual hand-on-ingredients action going on here. Keep those ingredients cold!

How to make these biscuits even easier

These are your last-minute biscuits. You probably even have all the ingredients right there in your gluten free pantry right now. And you can make and shape the biscuits, then freeze them on a rimmed baking sheet.

Pile them into a zip-top bag and pop them out whenever you need a biscuit. Bake right from frozen by just adding a few minutes to the baking time.

Let’s be honest, though. You still may not love ❤ making an everyday weeknight dinner. I know I don’t! But a little variety in the menu goes a long way—both for the cook and the eaters!

Easy 20-Minute Gluten Free Drop Biscuits

Ingredients and substitutions


The dairy in these biscuits is in two forms: buttermilk and butter. The buttermilk can easily be replaced with 1/2 cup (129 g) plain dairy-free yogurt + 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) unsweetened nondairy milk.

I much prefer that combination to simply adding 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar to 1 full cup of unsweetened nondairy milk. The chopped and chilled butter is best replaced with 4 tablespoons (56 g) Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening + 4 tablespoons (56 g) Melt brand VeganButter, but you can use all shortening.

I discuss that combination of shortening in my recipe for vegan biscuits. The melted butter that’s brushed on the biscuits can be replaced with olive oil.


You can replace the 2 tablespoons (24 g) granulated sugar with an equal amount of monk fruit sweetener, or just eliminate it altogether. It doesn’t even need to be replaced, since it’s such a small amount of sugar.


The cornstarch can be replaced with arrowroot (my favorite sub for cornstarch), potato starch or even tapioca starch/flour.


Tender and light gluten free drop biscuits are ready in 20 minutes, start to finish. You can't beat the taste or the convenience!Tender and light gluten free drop biscuits are ready in 20 minutes, start to finish. They may not be flaky and layered, but you can't beat the taste or the convenience!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 10 to 12 biscuits, depending upon size


1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try potato starch or arrowroot)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons (8 g) granulated sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, cut into a 1/4-inch dice or grated and chilled

1 cup (8 fluid ounces) buttermilk, chilled

1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter, melted


  • Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the diced or grated and chilled butter, and mix to combine. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Working quickly so the dough doesn’t get warm, drop the batter by the quarter cup using two large spoons or a 2-inch ice cream scoop about 1 1/2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Do not pack the dough into the ice cream scoop. Press the mounds of dough down gently to flatten the tops, and brush lightly with the melted butter.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown all over (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to set briefly before serving.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2015. Video added, recipe tweaked only slightly. Adapted from the Drop Biscuits on page 52 of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love—Fast!


Comments are closed.

  • Adelaide
    March 7, 2017 at 3:37 PM

    I was somewhat confused with my outcome with this recipe. I followed the instructions meticulously, and I swapped out cornstarch with arrowroot starch, but that’s all I changed. I felt like my batter was slightly too wet as I was moving my batter onto the baking sheet, but I added the right amount of buttermilk. I set my timer for fifteen minutes, but when I took my biscuits out, they had melted and fused together as sort of one big biscuit uni-cookie. I know I added the right amount of butter , and I’m positive my oven heat was correct, so I have no idea what I did wrong.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 7, 2017 at 5:49 PM

      Hi, Adelaide,
      If you didn’t use one of my recommended flour blends, then that is likely the reason. Likewise if you measured your dry ingredients by volume rather than by weight, or didn’t work quickly, using cold ingredients. The video should show you exactly how everything looks, at every single stage—and that the recipe works when made precisely as written! I hope that helps.

  • Sarah Metzger
    March 5, 2017 at 6:43 PM

    Just tried your drop biscuit recipe! I no longer will have to miss out on biscuits when I make them for the family. These were AMAZING! I used King Arthur flour GF and they came out fluffy and delicious.

  • Stacy
    March 5, 2017 at 12:56 PM

    Do you think these would work in place of canned biscuits for chicken and dumplings?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 6, 2017 at 12:09 PM

      I have a number of recipes for chicken and dumplings right here on the blog, Stacy. Just use the search function!

  • Jill
    March 5, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Do you need the sugar? I grew up making biscuits, not GF, and they were exceptional. They had no sugar in them and I don’t like sweet biscuits.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 6, 2017 at 12:09 PM

      It’s a very small amount of sugar and just helps balance the flavors. It doesn’t make the biscuits sweet, Jill.

  • Kathy Kotzas
    February 28, 2017 at 11:33 PM

    Love your recipes! I just made these and as I am in Australia I weighed everything as our cup measures are different. I really appreciate you putting the conversions in for us. My mixture came out a lot wetter than yours looked and so I added more flour. In the recipe it says 1/4 cup (36g) cornstrach but I worked out it would be 60g. Is that right? Can you suggest where I may have gone wrong?
    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 1, 2017 at 11:18 AM

      Most likely it’s your flour blend, Kathy. And when baking by weight, you essentially ignore volume measurements.

    • Ann
      March 4, 2017 at 8:00 PM

      Hmmm . . . I just made these and the dough was too dry! The dough just wouldn’t come together, so I added a bunch more buttermilk. Since I was SUPER careful about the weight measurements, is it possible that our 1-cup measures for the buttermilk are all very different? That’s really the only major thing that isn’t measured by weight, right? What do you think, Nicole? Any suggestions? And, by the way, I ate THREE of these with dinner – they were that good!

      • Nicole Hunn
        March 6, 2017 at 12:08 PM

        I’m honestly not sure, Ann, except to say that perhaps the issue was your flour. If you used an unbalanced, high-starch blend, then it will absorb a ton more moisture. This dough is actually considerably more wet than most other biscuit doughs.

  • Cara
    February 27, 2017 at 1:36 PM

    These look really good and I’d love a departure from the ‘rice, pasta or potato’ choice I feel like I make every day when deciding dinner. But, I’m Canadian, and we dont’ really ‘do’ biscuits, at least not where I’m from. Can Nicole or someone tell me what you would typically serve these with for dinner?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 27, 2017 at 2:36 PM

      You’d serve them in place of rice, pasta or potato with whatever else you’re serving, Cara. I frequently serve them with soup, when I want something to round out the meal. Or even with just chicken and a vegetable. They’re relatively neutral tasting!

    • Emily
      March 2, 2017 at 12:01 AM

      You can also think of them as much-faster dinner rolls – so it also substitutes for where you might have a bread basket.

      • Nicole Hunn
        March 2, 2017 at 8:13 AM

        Well said, Emily!

  • Shawna
    September 27, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    Can i substitute granular stevia for sugar in your recipes or is sugar needed?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 27, 2017 at 9:04 AM

      I’m afraid I’m not really familiar with working with granulated Stevia, but unless it’s yeast bread, which needs the sugar, you should always be able to replace granulated sugar with granulated Swerve, which is a really good granulated sugar substitute.

  • Shawna
    September 27, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Is it possible to substitute almond milk (mixed w some apple cider vinegar?) for the buttermilk? Or any lower calorie milk and still have good biscuits? Thanks!

    • Ashley Lanson
      September 28, 2015 at 7:35 PM

      Did you try the almond milk?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 27, 2017 at 9:03 AM

      Lowfat buttermilk isn’t highly caloric, if that’s your concern. You can also replace the buttermilk with a mix of half nondairy plain milk + half unsweetened nondairy yogurt.

  • Carol 2
    September 27, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    I gosh, you have these recipes mastered, can’t wait to get your book,thought I could tell someone Its my birthday and then let them know I want any and all your books, but decided I’ll just treat myself. I love your method of simple and delicious, sure is good to know that is possible with all the rising costs of food these days. You have become my ‘hero’ thank you so much for sharing,you have been a blessing to my family..

  • CarolB
    September 24, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Do these or the ricotta biscuits freeze well?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 27, 2017 at 9:05 AM

      These freeze beautifully both before and after baking!

  • Kimmy Dawn Cox Wright
    September 22, 2015 at 11:48 AM

    I have leftover gravy that will be perfect with these! Thanks so much. Was going to do your other biscuit recipe but am excited for a quicker recipe. Not that the other isn’t good.

  • Michelle
    September 22, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Yay, biscuits for lunch on our second in a row wet, soggy, foggy day! Yesterday I was so craving something warm, baked in the oven. I’ve only been gf for a couple of years, and I was craving focaccia. Do you have a gf focaccia recipe?

    • Michelle
      September 22, 2015 at 10:48 AM

      Never mind, I just found it!

  • Kris Bell Slager
    September 22, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Anybody successfully try to make these dairy free? What did you substitute the butter with? Hubby has to avoid gluten & dairy; I don’t bake for him much anymore. :(

    • Cathy Soller
      September 22, 2015 at 3:24 PM

      Kris, I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread because I can’t have dairy or soy. It doesn’t come unsalted but just cut back a little and you should be good.

    • Leah
      September 28, 2015 at 6:37 PM

      Try Crisco and cut it in with a pastries blender.

    • Lauren
      February 27, 2017 at 6:43 PM

      Hi, I have successfully used chilled coconut oil as a dairy free option in other biscuit recipes…

      • Nicole Hunn
        February 28, 2017 at 10:18 AM

        I would not recommend using coconut oil in this recipe, Lauren. Instead, in all pastry if you need a dairy free butter replacement, I recommend using Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, butter flavor. It is solid at room temperature and has much less moisture than coconut oil.

  • Eddi
    September 21, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    They look easily converted to the red lobster garlic cheese biscuits any ideas?

    • September 21, 2015 at 6:55 PM

      I have a copycat recipe for those on the blog, Eddi. Please use the search function!

  • Allison
    September 21, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    Mmmm…I’ve been craving drop biscuits, and I can’t wait to bake these this weekend!

    By the way, I baked your Entenmann’s Carrot Cake dupe last weekend. FREAKING DELICIOUS! Even better than the ‘real’ thing. Your cream cheese icing is insanely good. We’re having a surprise wedding in December and I’m baking our cakes. Three 8″ layers of that carrot cake will be one of our cakes (the other cake will be a chocolate cake recipe from one of your books). Thanks, Nicole! You’re the BEST!

    • September 21, 2015 at 6:55 PM

      That’s absolutely awesome, Allison. I feel like I’m going to the wedding—and I don’t even have to get dressed up! ;)

  • Jennifer S.
    September 21, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    YEAH BABY!!! So going to make this for my lunch today and hoard them all so no one else can even have one!! Thanks so much Nicole!!!!

    • Anneke
      September 21, 2015 at 11:51 AM

      I knew “super lovley, longtime reader named Jennifer” had to be you!

      • Anneke
        September 21, 2015 at 11:52 AM

        Or, “super lovely!” Grrr.

    • September 21, 2015 at 6:56 PM

      You bet, Jennifer!! It took me a few minutes to get what you were after, but once I did I couldn’t stop thinking about light and fluffy drop biscuits! ;)

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