Homemade or Canned Biscuit Dough

Homemade and store-bought biscuit dough both give almost equally tasty biscuits, but the question is which is better, or to be precise – which is healthier? 

Making biscuits at home requires time, some skills, patience, and of course, quality ingredients and a good recipe. Should you make an effort and make biscuits from scratch? 

What about canned biscuit dough? It looks like a great solution when you have a sweet tooth and want something delicious in no time. You don’t have to worry about how your biscuits will turn out – you just have to cut the dough and preheat the oven. 

Let’s see the pros and cons of homemade vs canned biscuit dough.

Which is better – homemade or canned biscuit dough?

As mentioned before, both alternatives can be tasty and beautifully soft and airy. Still, there is one huge difference. In our opinion, homemade biscuit dough is a better solution, and here is why:

When you’re making biscuit dough at home, you can use ingredients of the highest quality: good butter, milk with a fat percentage of your choice, flour from a good manufacturer, brown sugar, and real Belgian chocolate, for example. You can find a recipe that calls for less sugar if you’re trying to watch your weight. You are in control when making biscuits from scratch.

Canned biscuit dough, on the other hand, contains ingredients you wouldn’t put in your homemade dough. Canned biscuit dough is supposed to have a long shelf life. According to buyers, it can be used even two months after the expiration date. For long shelf life, manufacturers have to use many food additives which keep the dough fresh and soft.

Are homemade biscuits healthy?

We wouldn’t exactly call homemade biscuits a healthy snack, but depending on the ingredients you use, they can be healthier than store-bought ones.

If you’re on some special diet plan, you can completely avoid sugar in your biscuits. Here is a recipe for Healthy Butter Biscuits without sugar. Use quality ingredients: non-GMO flour and real butter instead of shortening. That way your biscuits will be as healthy as baked goods can be.

What ingredients do homemade biscuits contain?

The main ingredients of biscuit dough are wheat flour, sugar, and fats.

  • Wheat flour contains protein, which combined with liquid develops gluten. Gluten formation is responsible for the elasticity and strength of the dough.
  • Sugar gives a recognizable sweet taste, but it also adds to the texture of the dough.
  • Fats are equally important for perfect biscuits, as the previous two ingredients. Fats give texture, taste, and a certain mouthfeel to the biscuit.

Of course, there are more ingredients such as baking agents (baking soda or baking powder), liquids (water, milk, or buttermilk), salt. Depending on the recipe you use, you may add fruit, nuts, or chocolate to your biscuit dough.

Tip: When making biscuit dough from scratch you have the freedom to choose the best ingredients you can find on the market. Always buy non-GMO flour and healthy fats, such as real butter, coconut oil, or lard.

Are store-bought biscuits healthy?

Store-bought biscuits can be lower in calories and sugar than homemade biscuits. This could be a good solution if you’re counting calories, but keep in mind that most manufacturers use cheaper, lower-quality ingredients and aim for quantity over quality. Even if those biscuits are lower in calories and sugar, that doesn’t mean they are good for you.

Still, store-bought biscuit dough is a good alternative when you don’t have time to knead biscuit dough from scratch. You can buy a big can of biscuit dough for a low price, bake as many biscuits as you like, and save the rest in the fridge or freezer for later.

What ingredients does canned biscuit dough contain?

Canned biscuit dough can contain cheaper ingredients than the ones you would use at home like unhealthy cheap fats, bleached enriched flour, white sugar, as well as preservatives, natural and artificial flavors that enhance taste, and many other substances you wouldn’t use when you’re making biscuit dough at home.

For example, here are is the list of ingredients of Pillsbury Original Biscuits: Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Palm And Soybean Oil, Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of Dextrose, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Xanthan Gum.

For comparison, homemade biscuit dough usually contains only six ingredients: flour, butter, milk, baking agent, sugar, and salt.

Homemade biscuit dough vs canned biscuit dough: Pros and cons

Let’s see what are pros and cons are when comparing homemade and canned biscuit dough:

Homemade Biscuit DoughControlled IngredientsHigh-quality IngredientsSimple IngredientsBetter tasteVersatile recipes you can useHealthier alternativeKneading and baking dough requires more time
Quality Ingredients are more expensive
Store-bought Biscuit DoughInexpensiveLong-lastingEasy to portionAlways availableYou don’t need time for kneadingBiscuits are ready in 15 minutes or lessCan be lower in calories and sugarLow-quality Ingredients
No sugar usually means artificial sweeteners are used (which can be bad for your health)
Highly processed
Contain preservatives and artificial flavors and colors
Don’t have the taste of homemade biscuits

Nutrition Facts: Homemade vs Store-Bought Biscuits

Here is a comparison of nutrition facts for Pillsbury store-bought biscuit and one medium-sized homemade buttermilk biscuit. A store-bought biscuit has fewer calories and less fat, but you’ll have to look at a bigger picture here such as quality of ingredients, types of fat used, sugar, etc.

Homemade biscuit Store-Bought Biscuit
Size1 medium-sized biscuit (60g)1 biscuit (58g)
Calories212 kcal178 kcal
Fat9.8 grams6.1 grams
Total Sugar27 grams27 grams

Benefits to making biscuits from scratch at home

Making biscuit dough at home has its benefits and we’re going to name just a few of them:

  • You use only a few ingredients, so make sure they are the best quality ones. Buy non-GMO flour, real butter, coconut oil, or lard. 
  • You know what quantities of ingredients you’re using.
  • Your biscuit dough doesn’t contain additives, food colorings, or preservatives, therefore, it is healthier than the store-bought biscuits.
  • You’ll enjoy fresh biscuits made from scratch.

What ingredients to avoid in store-bought biscuits?

Reading the label with sorted ingredients on a product can be confusing. There are so many terms we don’t understand (the longer the terms, the less healthy products), but mainly, you should avoid these:

  • Trans fats
  • Biscuits containing many different types of sugars such as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, rice syrup, agave, brown sugar, cane sugar, palm sugar, etc.

Healthy homemade biscuit swaps

Biscuits are hard to resist, but if you really want to fit into your skinny jeans, you should keep an eye on your calories intake. Here is some advice:

  • Replace some or all flour in your biscuit recipe with whole-wheat flour.
  • Replace half of the butter with yogurt. 
  • To boost your metabolism add some raisins, nuts, or seeds in your biscuits, instead of chocolate and heavy cream.
  • You can replace sugar with honey, ripe banana, or maple syrup.
  • Bake small biscuits and trick your brain – instead of one biscuit, eat two – only smaller.