These yummy flaky praline pecan cathead biscuits are cooked in a cast iron skillet. Invert them onto a plate for a sweet surprise!
I like a warm, fresh, baked good just pulled out of the oven for breakfast just as much as the next person. The problem is I’m usually tired, groggy, and it’s been at least eight hours since I’ve had anything to eat. I don’t want to pull out the mixing bowls and measuring cups, preheat the oven, wait for dough to rise, or follow directions. I just want to wake up to the smell of warm cinnamon and find a sweet little old grandma standing in my kitchen in an apron with a pan full of homemade sweet rolls in one hand and a mug of hot coffee in the other.
What’s that saying? The best part of waking up?
The good news is, you can do much of your prep work for this recipe the night before. The biscuits are flaky and the praline topping is sugary and sweet. It really was the best part of waking up.
What are Cathead Biscuits?
Don’t worry, no cats were harmed in the baking of these biscuits. Cathead biscuits typically refer to biscuits cooked in a cast iron skillet rather than on a baking sheet. I’ve heard two theories as to why they are called “cathead biscuits.” First theory is that once the biscuits are baked they are as big as a cat’s head.
I prefer the second story, which refers to the shape the biscuits take on as they are baked in the skillet. Since the biscuits don’t have room to spread out like if they were baked on a baking sheet, they wedge together taking on a triangular shape like that of a cat’s head.
How to Make Praline Pecan Cathead Biscuits
The biscuit dough for this recipe is very similar to my dough for homemade buttermilk biscuits. If you’ve mastered making homemade biscuits, this is a piece of cake. But … if you’re looking for a little shortcut, canned biscuits could also be used.
Make the Biscuits
Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine two cups of all-purpose flour, one tablespoon of sugar, three teaspoons of baking powder, and one teaspoons of salt.
Next, you’ll need to cut in ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted. Anytime I have to cut in butter, such as if I’m making biscuits or a pie crust, I like to grate the butter on a box grater. It makes it SO MUCH easier to work with. Stir the grated butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Add ¾ cup of milk and stir until the dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the mixing bowl. If you have a stand mixer, this can easily be done using your dough hook attachment. If some of the dough is stubborn and stick to the bottom of the bowl, add just a little bit of additional milk until everything comes together. Add the milk sparingly so he dough doesn’t end up too sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead it 10 times. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll or pat the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into eight disks using a 2 to 2-1/4- inch round cutter.
Make the Praline Topping
These biscuits are baked much in the same way a pineapple upside down cake is make – the topping goes into the pan first.
In a small saucepan, melt 1/3 cup of unsalted butter and 13 cup of brown sugar over low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is melted. Take the mixture off the heat and add 1/3 cups of chopped pecans. Pour the praline topping into the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 9 x 1 ½ inch round cake pan.
Baking the Biscuits
Arrange the cut biscuits in the pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cover the top with a large plate. Very carefully turn the plate and the pan over, inverting the biscuits onto the plate. Leave the pan over the biscuits for a few minutes to allow praline mixture to drizzle down. Serve the biscuits warm.
Tips for Making this Ahead of Time
Save some time in the morning with a little prep the night before. Roll and cut the biscuits, then lay them on a cookie sheet. Spray the tops with cooking spray before covering them with plastic wrap and storing them in the fridge overnight. The next morning, follow steps
Storing The Biscuits
Baked biscuits should be covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. They can be left out on the counter for a couple of days. Any longer than that and they need to be stored in the refrigerator to prevent mold from forming.
To freeze unbaked biscuits, I suggest placing the biscuits in a round disposable cake pan rather than a cast iron skillet. Cover the top tightly with aluminum foil. Do not thaw to bake. Simply preheat the oven as the recipe instructs and move an oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven. You will need to make the biscuits twice as long as the recipe recommends if baking from frozen.
To prevent the bottom of the pan from becoming to hot and burning the bottom of the biscuits before the tops are browned. Place them on a baking rack fitted inside a cookie sheet.
You Might Also Like:
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
- Praline Pecan Southern Sweet Potato Pie
- Praline Pecan Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Praline Pecan Cathead Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
For the Biscuits:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add milk, and stir until dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the bowl, adding additional milk if necessary.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead 10 times.
- Roll or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into eight disks using a 2 to 2-1/4- inch round cutter.
For the Praline Topping:
- In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is melted.
- Remove pan from heat and add the pecans
- Pour mixture into a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 9 x 1 ½ inch round cake pan.
- Arrange biscuits in the pan.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
- Turn pan out onto a large plate. Leave pan over plate for a few minutes to allow praline mixture to drizzle over biscuits. Serve warm.