Prize Winning Tea Biscuits 

 Originally Written: June 25, 2017

By  Hanna Trafford

These fluffy and filling tea biscuits are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack between meals. I have used numerous variations of this recipe to great success and have included some of them for you here.

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 special treats!


Prize Winning Tea Biscuits

prize winning tea biscuits


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


  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 corn meal.
  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 the lightly floured board and knead 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.


Tea biscuit variations:

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

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



Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. 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"

Your Signature

related posts:

All About New Year’s Resolutions and Why I Don’t Make Any

Auld Lang Syne Lyrics

Best New Year Quotes

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

      • 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.

  • β€œPrize 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

  • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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!

      • 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…

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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 πŸ™‚

    • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

    • 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! πŸ™‚ I am going to try it with vegetable soup mix – that could be good as well!

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

  • 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.

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

  • 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?

    • 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

  • 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?

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

      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

      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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

    • 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!

    • 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
      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!

  • 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.

    • 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!

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

    • 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!!!

      • 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!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Get in touch