Bisquick Vs. Self-Rising flour

Self-rising flour makes adorable fluffy pancakes, sky-high muffins, and biscuits to rival any bakery. But it’s not very common in recipes and has a short shelf life. You don’t want to stock up on self-rising flour as it’s not worth it. So, if you’re going to whip a fresh batch of biscuits every six months, you can use self-rising flour. But if you want to save yourself a trip to the grocery store, you can use substitutes such as Bisquik.

First things First:

What is self-rising flour?

Self-rising flour is exactly that: flour that can allow baked goods to rise without additional ingredients. The secret lies in a blend made from baking powder, white flour, and salt. Self-rising flour has widespread uses in Southern recipes like cobblers and biscuits. Invented by a British baker who decided sailors in the British Navy would benefit from eating freshly baked bread while at sea. (How considerate!)  

Most recipes suggest using all-purpose flour and list the leavening (baking soda or baking powder) as a separate ingredient. That’s because it’s easier to adjust and control the amount needed, plus all-purpose flour is versatile. So, if you stumble upon a biscuit recipe that requires the self-rising flour or Bisquick, you don’t have to rush to store! You can easily make a homemade substitution with ingredients available to you. But first, is Bisquik the same as self-rising flour?

Table of Contents

Bisquick VS Self-rising Flour – The Differences

Bisquick is a popular baking batter mix used for making biscuits and pancakes. It’s the same as self-rising flour but with added hydrogenated vegetable shortening. If you’re looking to lead a natural lifestyle, you could make Bisquick mix at home. All you require is some flour, baking powder, salt, and vegetable shortening. Best of all, you can choose the type of flour you use, so a gluten-free Bisquick batter mix is entirely possible for you!

DIY Rising-Flour Substitute

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Fine sea salt


1. In a big bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

2. Whisk the mixture thoroughly to combine.

Voilà, you have made self-rising flour! For one cup of self-rising flour used in your recipe, you can use this substitute. However, self-rising flour is milled from softer wheat than all-purpose flour is, so your final results will be slightly less tender.

Other Substitutes for Self-Rising Flour

  • Use cake flour + leavening agent

Cake flour is finely milled like self-rising flour, making a great substitute for softness and texture. Replace every cup of self-rising flour with 1 cup cake flour, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

  • Use pastry flour + leavening agent.

 Pastry flour falls right between all-purpose and cake flours, so it’s another good substitute for self-rising flour. To replace one cup of self-rising flour, use 1 cup pastry flour, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

How to Make Bisquick (or a Bisquick Substitute)

You can’t go wrong with a simple three-ingredient biscuit, but you can also make the easiest homemade substitutes! Whether you want dough for pizza night or the best-fried chicken BLT with jalapeño honey, you can use the copycat Bisquick for a crispier dredge.

Copycat Bisquick

6 cups (600 g) all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons (41 g) of baking powder

1 tablespoon (17 g) of salt

1 cup (225 g) of vegetable shortening

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Makes 7 cups (840 g) of Bisquick

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, here’s the ingredient list for:

Gluten-Free Bisquick

4 cups (455 g) of finely-ground rice flour

2 cups (226 g) of tapioca starch

3 tablespoons (41 g) baking powder

2 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of xanthan gum

1 cup (225 g) of vegetable shortening

*Can make about 7 cups (840 g) of gluten-free Bisquick

Step by Step Guide

Step 1

Sift the salt, flour, and baking powder into a bowl. Sift about 6 cups (600 g) of all-purpose flour into a big bowl. Follow up with three tablespoons of baking powder and one tablespoon of salt.

It would be convenient to use a sifter for this, but if you don’t have one at home, you can use a mesh sieve or strainer instead.

This copycat recipe will easily last for three months. If you don’t use it all, you can halve or quarter the recipe.

Protip: Examine the baking powder to ensure it is fresh. Make sure to check that the expiration date is at least four months from now.

Step 2

Repeat the entire sifting process two more times. Place your sifter on another second bowl, then dump the flour mixture into it. Tap the sifter vigorously to sift the mixture into the bowl. Repeat the process to transfer the flour back into the first bowl.

This step is crucial because you want to break up all the clumps of flour. It also helps blend the salt and baking powder into the flour.

Step 3

Add the vegetable shortening into the bowl. Cut 1 cup (225 g) of shortening into 1⁄2 cubes, and add it to your flour mixture.

You can also use coconut oil or cold butter instead of shortening.

Step 4

Cut the vegetable shortening into the mixture with a pastry blender. Set the blender into the bowl, move it side-to-side, and then lift it. Repeat this simple motion several times, as fast as you can, until the mixture resembles cornmeal or fine crumbs.

Alternatively, you can hold a knife in each hand and make an X. Bring them near the bowl, then slide them against each other, repeatedly while frequently changing directions.

Step 5

Store your mixture in an airtight container, in a dark and cool place. If you used vegetable shortening or coconut oil, you could store the homemade Bisquick in a cool, dark cabinet. If you made the Bisquick using butter, however, you’ll have to keep it in the refrigerator, or it will go rancid.

A glass jar would be ideal, but you can also use a plastic container.

Step 6

Use the homemade Bisquick within three months. You can use this substitute for just about any Bisquick recipes, such as biscuits or pancakes. You can also use it in other recipes that call for Bisquick.

Method 2 – Using a Food Processor

Step 1

Place the salt, flour, and baking powder into a food processor. Measure out 6 cups of all-purpose flour and place it into your food processor. Add three tablespoons of baking powder and one tablespoon of salt.

This Bisquick recipe has a shelf-life of 3 months. If you don’t think you can’t use it within that time, halve or quarter the recipe.

Use fresh baking powder, and the expiration date should be at least four months from now.

Step 2

Blend the ingredients for 10 seconds until they’re combined. Cover the lid on your food processor and pulse it for about 15 seconds or until the ingredients are mixed.

Make sure that your food processor comes with a blade attachment, and not a whisk or paddle.

Step 3

Add the vegetable shortening and cut 1 cup (225 g) of shortening into small cubes. After that, add these cubes into the food processor. Don’t forget to spread them evenly across the flour mixture.

Aim to make these cubes about 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm). If you don’t like vegetable shortening, try using cold butter or coconut oil instead.

Step 4

Blend until the flour mixture looks like cornmeal. Pulse the food processor 3 to 4 times first, and then let it run for about 15 seconds. The mixture is done when it resembles fine crumbs or cornmeal.

Step 5

Transfer the entire mixture into an airtight container. A glass jar would be ideal because it seals tightly. You can also use a food-grade plastic container that has a tight-fitting lid. Notice that plastic containers sometimes affect the flavor of the Bisquick.  

Step 6

Keep your glass jar in a cool place and use your homemade Bisquick within three months. You can store coconut oil or shortening-based Bisquick in a cool, dark cabinet. On the other hand, if you want to use butter, you should keep it in the fridge, or it will spoil. You can use this homemade mixture in different recipes that call for Bisquick.

Have you tried these recipes?

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The Invention of Bisquick

Carl Smith created the unique recipe for Bisquick in the late 1930s. As a sales executive at General Mills, he enjoyed delicious biscuits on a train ride back to San Francisco. He asked the cook at the mill how he made these biscuits and observed the pre-mixed blend of baking powder, flour, salt, and lard kept on ice. From there, the transformational and revolutionary baking product was born.

Smith quickly pitched his idea of the brilliant mix to General Mills executives and decided to create a version that didn’t have to be refrigerated. Charlie Kress, the head chemist, led the efforts of formulating Bisquick, which became available in stores in 1931. It became so popular that other companies started to create versions. Bisquick flour continued to be a best-seller, with higher market share and sales than the knock-off versions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cake flour be replaced for Bisquick in Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits?

Bisquick contains baking powder and baking soda. Also, the gluten level varies in cake flour compared to the flour used for making Bisquick.

What is self-rising flour?

It is flour with baking powder and salt.

Can you use Bisquick instead of self-rising flour?

No, Bisquick is a mixture of flour, vegetable shortening, and baking powder.

Is Bisquick the same as self-rising flour?

Bisquick is a mixture of leavening, flour, and vegetable shortening. It’s not a self-rising flour substitute.

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