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The Key to North Carolina's Buttery Biscuits? Loads of Cheese.

Turns out lots of cheese makes for even better fluffy biscuits. 
By Published Aug. 15, 2022

North Carolina is home to cathead biscuits—biscuits as big as a cat’s head. And one region takes these tender, fluffy, buttery biscuits a step further by stuffing them with loads of gooey, molten cheese. 

Our editorial director, Bryan Roof, traveled to North Carolina to try the cheese biscuits at Flo’s Kitchen in Wilson and Mom’s Grill in Washington. And there he picked up a few tricks that you can use to make your own cheese-stuffed biscuits at home.

The Biscuit

Use a food processor to pulse chilled butter into flour until the texture is like crumbly cornmeal. Mixing in the butter this much helps give the biscuits their signature tender texture. And stir in a good amount of buttermilk by hand. The high ratio of liquid allows the biscuits to puff in the oven since there is more liquid to create more tiny pockets of steam. This means extra-tall biscuits. And stirring it in gently avoids overmixing which can lead to tough biscuits. 

The Cheese

In North Carolina, the go-to cheese is a local yellow cheese called hoop cheese. If you can track it down, you should. But if not, just use plenty of shredded sharp cheddar cheese since it is nice and tangy and has good meltability. Press the cheese into firmly packed balls before stuffing it into the biscuits. (Experiments with just a wedge or slice of cheese led to unmelted middles.) Place a cheese ball in the center of a slightly flattened circle of biscuit dough and gently pull the edges up and around to seal the cheese inside. This makes for easier assembly without sacrificing meltability.

North Carolina Cheese Biscuits

Baking

Bake the biscuits in a round cake pan. This gives them structure and keeps the cheese from escaping and oozing out. Start them in a hot 500-degree oven to give them a jump start on a quick rise and then lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees so that the biscuits can cook through and the cheese can fully melt before the tops get too dark. 

Cooling

The hardest part of this whole recipe is letting the biscuits cool for about 5 minutes so that the centers aren’t total cheese magma when you go to take a bite. But I assure you, the wait is well worth it.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.