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Cacio e Pepe Biscuits

Basic baking powder biscuits get a cacio e pepe makeover with the addition of spicy, buttery Pecorino-Romano cheese and floral freshly cracked black pepper. The biscuits are ideal for splitting and making breakfast sandwiches, as a side served next to roasted beef or chicken or even alongside a salad topped with bacon and a poached egg for lunch.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 biscuits
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2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon kosher salt

7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino-Romano (about 5 ounces) 

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons heavy cream


Special equipment:
a 3-inch round cutter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, black pepper and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips, until it is in even pieces about the size of a pea. Stir in 1 cup Pecorino-Romano, then gently stir the in the milk with a fork to make a loose dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface. Pat into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. Pat into an 8-by-5-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to make 6 biscuits. Press together the scraps of dough, cut 2 more biscuits, and put all of them on the prepared baking sheet. 
  4. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the cream, then sprinkle them equally with the remaining 2 tablespoons Pecorino-Romano and a pinch of black pepper. Bake until puffed and golden brown on top, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)