Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits | Red Lobster-style

Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits | Red Lobster-style

Tender Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Simple drop biscuits that are super easy to throw together, and taste just like the famous Red Lobster Biscuits. Perfect for any meal!

A platter of gluten free cheddar bay biscuits, image from the side.

These are no ordinary gluten free biscuits (not that I really consider any of my gluten free biscuit recipes to be “ordinary”). But these are cheddar bay biscuits.

You know, the kind that Red Lobster serves? They’re crazy cheddar-cheesy, with just the right amount of garlic, butter and a light sprinkling of fresh parsley. If you bake them a few minutes longer, you’ll get an extra crisp bottom that crackles when you break into it. That’s my favorite way!

Have you tried Red Lobster’s own mix?

I’ve read here and there online that Red Lobster has introduced a gluten free cheddar bay biscuit mix at Walmart! Since there is absolutely no Walmart anywhere near where I live ?and it doesn’t seem to be available online, it’s like a suburban legend to me so far. 

I’m usually more inclined to make my own gluten free baking mix at home than to buy a boxed gluten free mix since the flours are usually so grainy and disappointing. But I would really like to try the gluten free Red Lobster mix for myself. 

If you’ve tried it, or you’ve been able to find it online, please let me know in the comments. I’m really anxious to give it a try! I’m crossing my fingers that the mix isn’t grainy since that is just … wrong. We’re gluten free, but quite human and have tastebuds like everyone else!

Raw mounds of gluten free cheddar bay biscuits, overhead image

How to shape these biscuits

Unlike layered biscuits recipes, with these cheddar bay biscuits, there’s no folding and rolling to create light flaky layers. They’re drop biscuits, which means that you simply drop mounds of batter on a baking sheet.

When I first began making these biscuits, I made them with melted butter, and they still worked beautifully. But over time, I found that that made the recipe a bit more temperamental, and prone to leaking butter during baking. So now I just grate cold butter on a standard-size grater and mix it into the dry ingredients that way.

Flattened gluten free cheddar bay biscuits being brushed with cream

How these are a bit different than traditional drop biscuits

The method is slightly different than a regular gluten free drop biscuit. Instead of simply dropping a mound of dough on a baking sheet, the biscuit dough is very lightly shaped into a round and then pressed gently into a disk. All the while, handling the dough as little as possible.

If you prefer to drop the dough by the mound onto a baking sheet, just flatten down any especially sharp edges so nothing burns during baking. Shaping these biscuits into disks before baking makes them really well-suited to being sliced in half horizontally and used for sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches, Eggs Benedict, or even as a hamburger slider bun.

A closeup of one gluten free cheddar bay biscuit on a tray

What sort of cheddar cheese is best?

You can use pre-grated cheddar cheese, or grate your own from a block of cheese. If you use shredded cheddar, you may need to add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk to the mixture, since pre-shredded cheeses have anti-caking agents that make them a bit drier. 

Be very careful adding more moisture, though. The biscuit dough is meant to be just moistened. If you add more liquid than necessary, your biscuits will leak butter during baking. It’s not the end of the world, but it can be a bit unpleasant. 

Gluten free cheddar bay biscuits on a tray with a bite taken from one

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: There is quite a bit of dairy to replace in these biscuits, but I think it can be done with good results. Let’s take the dairy ingredients one by one.

In place of shredded, cold butter, I’d use Melt brand vegan butter or Spectrum brand butter-flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. Earth Balance buttery sticks aren’t a good choice, since they have way too much moisture.

In place of the shredded cheddar cheese, try using Daiya brand or Violife brand shredded cheddar alternative vegan cheese. Both tend to have good flavor. They will make a less crispy, more “spongy” biscuit, but it should still taste quite good.

In place of the buttermilk, I recommend using half unsweetened nondairy milk and half nondairy plain yogurt. I do not recommend using all unsweetened nondairy milk with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice, as that doesn’t begin to reproduce the taste or consistency of real buttermilk.

In place of the cream used to brush the top of the biscuits before baking, you can use an egg wash (beat an egg with a teaspoon of water or unsweetened nondairy milk). Or even some melted Earth Balance buttery sticks would brown nicely. 

Cornstarch: In place of cornstarch, try arrowroot or potato starch. If you have chosen to use a high-starch all purpose gluten free flour blend, like Cup4Cup, in place of cornstarch use 36 grams more of the flour blend.


Tender Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Simple drop biscuits that are super easy to throw together, and taste just like the famous Red Lobster Biscuits. Perfect for any meal! #redlobster #glutenfreerecipes #biscuits #pastryA pile of gluten free cheddar bay biscuits baked and raw on a tray

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 10 biscuits


2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

6 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, cold and shredded

1 cup (8 fluid ounces) buttermilk, chilled

3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, chilled


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and whisk to combine well. Add the grated cheese, shredded butter, and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, and toss to coat. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk. Mix gently, just until the dough begins to come together. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, roll each gently into a ball, flatten lightly into a dish about 3/4 of an inch thick and place about 2-inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Place the biscuits in the freezer to chill until firm (about 10 minutes).

  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and remaining 1 tablespoon chopped parsley to the heavy whipping cream, and mix to combine. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops and sides of the chilled biscuits with the cream mixture. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until firm to the touch, brown on the underside and lightly golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. For a more crisp bottom, allow the biscuits to bake for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • First published on the blog in 2013. The recipe ingredients, method and photographs were all updated in 2016; video, some new photos, and substitution information added 2019.


Comments are closed.

  • Chris
    September 3, 2019 at 1:57 PM

    I love your recipe! Yum? Have you tried adding a Tbsp of “Lobster Boil” to the recipe? Red Lobster uses that;)

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 4, 2019 at 12:29 PM

      I haven’t, Chris! And I had no idea they did that. If you happen to have some, go for it! ?

  • Marcia Sobel
    September 2, 2019 at 6:38 AM

    Could you use reconstituted buttermilk powder? And should ingredients all be at room temperature, except the butter? Love your stuff, Nicole. Always a treat!

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 2, 2019 at 12:53 PM

      Hi, Marcia, for biscuits, it’s best if the ingredients are chilled. And I don’t recommend using buttermilk powder, no. Follow the instructions for replacing buttermilk with a dairy-free substitute, but use dairy-containing ingredients if you can tolerate dairy.

  • Judy AB
    September 1, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    Nicole, I love your recipes and have your cookbooks. I use Better Batter often in addition to using your flour mix recipes. I ALWAYS weigh the flour instead of measuring by cup. I just noticed on the box of Better Batter that it states a 1/4 cup of Better Batter weighs 28 g. That would make a cup weigh 112 g. Yet, you advise us to weigh a cup of Gf flour, including Better Batter, at 140 g per cup. Am I missing something? Is this difference the reason some of my recipes don’t work as they should?

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 2, 2019 at 12:51 PM

      Hi, Judy, the purpose of measuring by weight is so that you are in perfect synch with the recipe developer. It doesn’t matter how Better Batter weighs their flour for my recipes. I’m afraid I can’t comment on others’ recipes. Please always follow the weight measurements in my recipes for reliable results.

  • Joanne
    September 1, 2019 at 3:27 PM

    I have a side by side fridge, my cookie sheets will not fit in it, do I have to chill these for 10 minutes or just brush the tops and bake?

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 2, 2019 at 12:52 PM

      Hi, Joanne, they still must be chilled. Please place them on another surface that will fit, chill, and then quickly transfer back.

  • Freda
    August 30, 2019 at 5:29 AM

    I have tried the boxed Red Lobster biscuits. They were good and easy to make. Kind of pricy at $4 a box plus the price of the cheese. Will be making these and having a “taste test”. I’m betting yours are just as good! Your recipes haven’t disappointed me yet and I’ve made LOTS of them??

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 30, 2019 at 6:47 PM

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Freda! I’m glad the boxed mix was good, but yeah when you have to add cheese, it kind of starts to lose its charm. I still want to try the mix when I can find it, mostly out of curiosity!

  • Sybil Nassau
    August 29, 2019 at 8:56 AM

    Nicole, I Have not tried these yet myself, however, I know those who have said the boxed version works well. I checked Walmart.com /food and it IS available on their website- so give it a shot if you are so tempted. I have been following you for years and have quite a collection of your never-fail recipes. THANKS!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 29, 2019 at 2:54 PM

      Thank you so much for the kind words and your tenure here at GFOAS, Sybil! Okay can you post a link to where to get the mix on the Walmart site? I’ve searched and searched and can’t find it!!

  • Mary
    August 28, 2019 at 12:17 PM

    Can you use almond flour?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 28, 2019 at 12:46 PM

      Definitely not, Mary! Almond flour is not an all purpose gluten free flour and cannot be substituted for one. If you’d like to make something with almond flour, please see my Paleo recipes category.

  • Anathema_Device
    October 25, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Made these tonight exactly as written, using King Arthur GF flour mix & xantham gum. They were delicious! Came out perfectly. I was very careful to not over mix and over handle.

  • Angela
    August 19, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Lovely recipe. Easy, quick and delicious. Even my daughter (she usually doesn’t like any of my gluten free stuff) asked for a second one!
    Thanks for sharing, I will definitely make them again

  • Will
    March 21, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    Can I also add in Jalapeno? I am looking to make Jalapeno cheddar biscuits to make sandwiches.

  • Stephanie
    November 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    These are seriously possibly the tastiest things I’ve ever had in my life. I tried to convince my husband that they had gluten in them so that I could eat them all myself. He didn’t believe me.

  • Jen from Revelstoke,BC, Canada
    November 25, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    I was inspired by your photos to make these to go with my prime rib soup tonight. I decided to make them last minute and they turned out AWESOME!!!!! The recipe was super simple and easy and the first bite stole my heart. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a really good biscuit. My husband couldn’t believe they were GF until he saw how many I ate. Thanks for the new staple!

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