Homemade Bisquick is, hands down, one of the best things you can do for yourself.

By Darcy Lenz
Updated April 24, 2020
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There are certain things all us want in life: love, joy, security, and waffles on the weekend. I’d say having a stash of all-purpose baking mix on hand is a step in the right direction on all fronts, but especially that last one.

All-purpose baking mix, better known by the brand name that popularized it as a household staple, is simply a flour mixture that has the leavener, salt, sugar, and fat built in—so that you’re more than halfway there to any number of baking and cooking projects. All you typically need to stir into such a mix is milk (and in all honesty, if you add dry milk powder to the mix, you can lean on water as the added liquid), eggs, and perhaps oil. And while a prepared supermarket staple like Bisquick is highly convenient, a homemade version offers all of the same convenience factor, and a whole lot more.

WATCH: How to Make Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

The big selling point for me (besides the fact that there’s a slim chance of finding actual Bisquick at the first grocery store you go to right now) is the quality of the foods you make with your DIY Bisquick. The waffles, cakes, breads, and such that you make are going to taste authentically homemade because they are homemade. You’re just saving yourself time in the long run by doing some of your measuring and mixing in advance. I’d never turn my nose up at a box of Bisquick, but if I can whip up the same thing using my own ingredients and skipping out on the shelf-stabilizing preservatives… why the heck wouldn’t I?

It takes a matter of minutes to mix, but makes Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits and Nacho Sausage Balls that much more achievable. There’s no down side.

Credit: Darcy Lenz

Darcy Lenz

How to Make It 

Making your own all-purpose baking mix could not be easier. Seriously, it takes two steps: mix together a few dry ingredients and cut a little fat into them. As for the dry ingredients, you’ll need to measure 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cup cornstarch, 3 tablespoons of baking powder, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt into a large mixing bowl and give them a couple of really intentional minutes of whisking. You want to make sure everything is well aerated and evenly distributed.

GET THE RECIPE: Homemade Bisquick

OK, pause. I do want to make a note here about the corn starch, because if you’ve searched the internet for DIY Bisquick formulas (P.S. I’m so glad you’ve landed with ours!), you’ll notice the sweeping majority of recipes out there do not include it. However, if you take a peek at the ingredients label on a box of Bisquick, you’ll see it listed as the second entry—there’s a reason for this. Many claim by cornstarch as their “secret ingredient” for the fluffiest, crispy-edged biscuits and waffles, so including the silky powder in a baking mix intended for producing these items, along with similar foods that benefit from qualities of fluffiness and crispy edges, makes a great deal of sense. Point being: Corn starch is not an arbitrary inclusion intended to make our recipe look a little different; it serves a purpose. If you have some on hand, don’t skip out on using it. And on we go to step two.

Once your dry ingredients are well whisked, you’ll need to cut in 1 cup of chilled shortening and/or unsalted butter. You can go all shortening, all butter, or use a mix of half-shortening, half-butter. You can also opt for a product such as Earth Balance vegan baking sticks if that makes more sense for your diet. To “cut” the fat into the dry ingredients—i.e. disperse the fat throughout the dry mixture as evenly as you can manage as a mere human—you can use a food processor, a pastry blender, or your fingertips (my method of choice). You’ll want to work the cold fat into the mix, working fairly quickly, until the mixture resembles a bowl of really nice beach sand. Like the kind happy couples lounge in at a Sandals Resort.

And that’s that, your all-purpose baking mix is complete. Store it in lidded, airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to three months (adding a piece of masking tape marked with today’s date helps)—during which time you can move to the implied step three: Use it!

Credit: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Robin Bashinsky

How to Use It 

You can swap your homemade blend in for any recipe that calls for Bisquick or all-purpose baking mix. So if you have the pancake recipe on the back of the B-quick box committed to memory, keep on keeping on, sister. If you could use a little inspiration, take a look at our collection of recipes that call for AP baking mix. You’ll find everything from fluffy chocolate chip pancakes and cheesy biscuits, to upside-down cakes and Peanut Butter-Toffee Turtle Cookies, to savory dinner casseroles and scones.

The first move I made with my DIY baking mix was whipping up a version of the easy skillet cobbler pictured above, using fruit from my frozen stash intended for smoothies. I firmly believe that this was a healthy decision.

Now, for some of the more standard baking mix applications, here’s what you’ll need.

Pancakes

You'll Need: 2 cups baking mix, 1 cup milk or buttermilk, 2 large eggs.

Make them: Gently stir together all ingredients until combined ( a few lumps are fine), then cook ¼-cup portions on a greased griddle, heated to medium-high. Feel free to sprinkle in any mix-ins (such as berries or chocolate chips) as soon as you pour the pancakes onto the griddle, before flipping.

Waffles

You'll Need: 2 cups baking mix, 1 ⅓ cup milk or buttermilk, 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

Make them: Grease and heat your waffle iron; pour batter onto preheated iron and cook according to manufacturer's instructions.

Drop Biscuits

You'll Need: 2 ¼ cups baking mix, ⅔ cup milk or buttermilk.

Make them: Gently stir together the mix and milk. Drop the soft dough by heaping spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden-brown. Remember, drop biscuits are a great place for customization, so don’t hesitate to stir some cheddar and chives, or rosemary and garlic, or even lemon zest and blueberries into your dough. Don’t hold back. These basic drop biscuits are also what you would want to dollop atop an easy fruit cobbler like I mentioned above.

Rolled Biscuits

You'll Need: 2 ¼ cups baking mix, ⅔ cup milk or buttermilk.

Make them: Stir together the mix and milk. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface, then roll to ½-inch thickness. Cut dough into round or square biscuits and bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 450°F for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Muffins

You'll Need: ⅔ cup milk or buttermilk, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 large egg, 2 cups baking mix, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, desired mix-ins.

Make them: Whisk together the milk, oil, and egg until evenly combined. Stir in the baking mix and sugar. Fold in any mix-ins, such as blueberries, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. Divide the batter evenly among the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan, lined with paper wrappers. (You can also grease the bottom of each cup if you don’t have liners.) Bake muffins at 400°F for 15 to 18 minutes.

And remember, to maximize the shelf life of this homemade mix, the way to go is storing it in the refrigerator. Trust me, it's for the best—chilled fat makes for a better biscuit anyway.