From making pancakes on a Sunday morning to whipping up a batch of fluffy biscuits for dinner, there are two common kitchen staples that home cooks often turn to: Bisquick and self-rising flour. But while both of these ingredients might live in your pantry, you may have found yourself wondering about the differences between them, or when to use one instead of the other. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of Bisquick and self-rising flour, answering your most burning questions and offering handy tips along the way.

What is Bisquick?


Let’s start with Bisquick. Introduced by General Mills under the Betty Crocker brand in the early 20th century, Bisquick has become a beloved ingredient in countless kitchens.

Primarily made from all-purpose flour, a leavening agent, and hydrogenated oil, Bisquick is essentially a pre-made baking mix designed to save you time. Instead of mixing dry ingredients from scratch for each recipe, you can reach for a cup of Bisquick. With this versatile mix, making golden brown pancakes, delightful sausage balls, and a host of other Bisquick recipes becomes a breeze.

What is Self-Rising Flour?


On the other hand, self-rising flour is a type of flour that has a leavening agent—usually baking powder—already mixed in. It was invented by a British baker named Henry Jones and has been a staple for quick bread and yeast bread since the mid-19th century.

The main difference between self-rising flour and regular flour is the presence of this leavening agent. So, if you’re making a batch of Southern recipes or simple banana bread, a cup of self-rising flour can help you achieve that desired rise without the need for additional leavening agents.

Comparing Bisquick and Self-Rising Flour

At first glance, Bisquick and self-rising flour may seem similar, given that both contain leavening agents designed to make your baked goods rise. But a deeper look reveals some key differences that set them apart.


One main difference lies in the ingredient list. While both contain flour and a leavening agent, Bisquick incorporates additional fat in the form of shortening, giving it a richer flavor and moist texture ideal for biscuits and pancake mixes. On the other hand, self-rising flour typically only contains flour, baking powder, and salt.


From a nutritional standpoint, Bisquick and self-rising flour differ too. Because Bisquick contains hydrogenated vegetable shortening, it usually has a higher fat content. Therefore, if you’re mindful about fat intake, self-rising flour might be a healthier choice.

Regarding price and availability, both Bisquick and self-rising flour are commonly found in most grocery stores, both physical and online. The price may vary slightly, with Bisquick typically being a bit pricier due to the extra ingredients.

As for shelf life, both Bisquick and self-rising flour last quite a while if stored properly. Keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and pay attention to the expiration date on the package.

Table Of Comparison Between Bisquick and Self-Rising Flour

While it’s clear that both Bisquick and self-rising flour have their unique attributes and uses, the differences might still seem a bit blurry. So, to aid understanding, let’s visualize these distinctions in a comparative table below. This will provide a more direct and digestible perspective on the unique properties and uses of these two baking staples.

Bisquick Self-Rising Flour
Components All-purpose flour, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, leavening (baking powder), dextrose, salt All-purpose flour, baking powder, salt
Uses Pancakes, biscuits, dumplings, shortcakes, and various other baked goods Biscuits, pancakes, muffins, and other quick breads
Texture Tends to produce softer, fluffier, and slightly richer goods due to the added fat Produces light, fluffy baked goods but may be slightly less rich in flavor
Leavening Yes, contains baking powder Yes, contains baking powder
Added Fat Yes, contains hydrogenated oil No, fat must be added separately
Salinity Higher due to added salt Lower, but still contains some salt
Shelf Life Approximately 1 year if stored properly Approximately 6 months if stored properly
Ease of Use Slightly easier due to pre-added fat and leavening agents Requires addition of fat and sometimes extra leavening, depending on the recipe
Table Of Comparison Between Bisquick and Self-Rising Flour

The table above provides a clear snapshot of the distinct properties of Bisquick and self-rising flour. While Bisquick’s pre-added fat and leavening agents make it slightly easier to use, self-rising flour offers its own advantages—particularly if you prefer to control the amount of fat and salt in your recipes. Remember, the choice between these two depends on your specific baking needs and taste preferences.

Substituting Bisquick and Self-Rising Flour

Understanding how to substitute one for the other is key to becoming a versatile home cook. But remember, because of their unique ingredient compositions, substitutions can affect the texture and taste of your baked goods.


Substituting self-rising flour for Bisquick is possible, but remember that Bisquick contains fat and sometimes additional ingredients like sugar. Therefore, when using self-rising flour in place of Bisquick, you may need to add some fat—like butter or oil—to achieve a similar taste and texture.

Similarly, you could use Bisquick in place of self-rising flour. However, due to its higher fat content and the possible addition of other ingredients, you might find that your end product has a richer, more savory flavor.

When it comes to gluten-free alternatives, several options are available. A variety of gluten-free baking mixes can be used in place of Bisquick, and a simple recipe of gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt can mimic self-rising flour.

Making Your Own

Making your own Bisquick or self-rising flour at home can be a great way to control what goes into your food, and it’s easier than you might think.

To make your own substitute for Bisquick, combine 6 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons of baking powder, and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large bowl. Then, using a pastry blender or a food processor, cut in 1 cup of cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store this homemade Bisquick mix in an airtight container at room temperature, and you’re ready to whip up an array of Bisquick recipes whenever the mood strikes.

SELF-RISING FLOUR DO IT YOURSELF RECIPE: Adding 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to each cup of all-purpose flour.

As for self-rising flour, you can make your own by adding 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to each cup of all-purpose flour. Mix well, and voila, you’ve got your own self-rising flour. Store it in an airtight container, and it’s ready for your next baking adventure.

Potential Problems and Solutions

Despite our best efforts, baking doesn’t always go as planned. But understanding common pitfalls can help.

One issue you might encounter is Bisquick not rising. This could be due to an expired leavening agent. Always check the expiration date before use. If you’re making your own Bisquick, ensure your baking powder is fresh.

Another problem could arise when substituting Bisquick and self-rising flour. As mentioned earlier, they’re not direct substitutes due to different ingredients. If you use Bisquick instead of self-rising flour in a cobbler, for example, the result might be richer and denser because of the fat in Bisquick.

If you’re out of self-rising flour and need a substitute, you can make your own using all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. But remember to adjust the rest of your recipe accordingly to account for these extra ingredients.

A Closer Look at Recipes

Understanding Bisquick and self-rising flour is more than just understanding their components—it’s also about understanding their roles in recipes.

Both Bisquick and self-rising flour have been central to numerous traditional and modern recipes. For instance, Bisquick, introduced as a “miracle” product, found its place in everything from the classic pancake and biscuit recipes to inventive dishes like sausage balls and pizza dough.

Self-rising flour has been the heart and soul of many Southern recipes, particularly those that aim to achieve a soft, light texture. Buttermilk biscuits, fluffy pancakes, and yeast breads are just a few examples where self-rising flour works its magic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can self-rising flour be substituted for Bisquick?

Yes, you can substitute self-rising flour for Bisquick in a pinch, but remember that they are not direct equivalents. Bisquick contains fat, in the form of hydrogenated vegetable shortening, and additional leavening agents, which self-rising flour does not have. If you choose to use self-rising flour in place of Bisquick, you may need to add additional ingredients like vegetable oil, butter, or shortening to your recipe to account for the missing fat. This extra fat gives Bisquick recipes their distinct, slightly rich flavor and tender texture.

What can you use in place of the Bisquick mix?

You can create a homemade Bisquick substitute with a few simple ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and cold butter. Using a pastry blender or a food processor, combine 6 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of baking powder, a tablespoon of salt, and 1 cup of cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. This mix will work in most recipes that call for Bisquick. Alternatively, pre-made mixes such as Jiffy baking mix can also serve as effective replacements.

What is the best substitute for self-rising flour?

You can easily create a substitute for self-rising flour by adding leavening agents to all-purpose flour. For each cup of all-purpose flour, mix in 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 0.5 teaspoon of salt. This will mimic the leavening and flavor properties of self-rising flour. However, make sure to adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly to prevent it from becoming too salty or rising too much.

What happens if you use Bisquick instead of flour?

Using Bisquick instead of regular flour will introduce additional ingredients to your recipe—primarily fat and leavening agents—which could significantly alter the texture, flavor, and rise of your dish. Because of the fat in Bisquick, your dish might come out denser and richer than it would with plain flour. Additionally, Bisquick contains baking powder, which will cause your dish to rise. If the recipe already contains a leavening agent, this could lead to over-rising, creating a texture that is overly airy or crumbly.

Wrapping Up

 Bisquick vs Self-Rising Flour: Selecting the Right Ingredient

The choice between Bisquick and self-rising flour depends largely on the recipe you’re following and your personal taste preferences. Both are versatile ingredients that can be used in a variety of recipes from fluffy pancakes to buttermilk biscuits.

Bisquick, with its additional fat content, can give your baked goods a richer, more tender texture and is especially handy when you’re looking to save time. However, if you prefer to have more control over the ingredients and their quantities, or if you’re watching your fat and salt intake, self-rising flour might be a more suitable choice.

Ultimately, baking is as much an art as it is a science. It’s all about experimenting and finding what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to swap out ingredients and try new things—you might just stumble upon a new favorite recipe.

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