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Shape It Right: 6 Biscuit Cutter Substitutes Unveiled!

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According to baking expert Mary Johnson, “In a pinch, the rim of a drinking glass makes an excellent biscuit cutter substitute.” 

As someone who has baked hundreds of batches of biscuits over the years, 

I can assure you that lack of a biscuit cutter doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying fluffy homemade biscuits anytime.

Simply press the rim of a sturdy glass into the dough to cut perfect rounds.

The beauty of this method lies in its simplicity – no special tools needed.

Curious what other common household items can substitute biscuit cutters? 

Keep reading for my top biscuit cutter hacks using things you already have at home.


Biscuit cutter substitutes, what to know?

In the world of baking, biscuit cutter substitutes offer not just alternatives but creative tools to elevate your baking experience.

From an upside-down glass to a kitchen knife, these substitutes provide simplicity and innovation for perfect biscuits.

What can I Use Instead of a Biscuit Cutter?

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As a longtime biscuit baker, I’ve discovered a wide range of handy household items that substitute traditional biscuit cutters beautifully.

When making fluffy homemade biscuits without a specialty biscuit cutter, simply flip a drinking glass upside-down to leverage its thin rim for uniform cuts. (1)

For fun shapes, grab cookie cutters to craft stars, trees, hearts, etc.

Allowing versatility standard round cutters lack.

A wheel pizza cutter also slices flawless rounds swiftly without reshaping dough.

Feeling creative? Use a kitchen knife to cut square biscuits with defined edges and corners.

For reliable sizing, a 1/3 cup measuring cup stamps rounds about 3 inches wide.

And two large spoons enable free-form shaping for organic appeal.

With everyday kitchen items already on hand, there’s no need to run out and buy biscuit cutters to start baking.

What is a Biscuit Cutter?

Biscuit cutter substitutes

A biscuit cutter (2) is a specialized baking tool designed specifically for cutting biscuit dough into shapes in preparation for baking.

Typically made of stainless steel, biscuit cutters feature a sharp circular cutting edge with tall, straight sides to cleanly stamp rounds from rolled out dough.

The cylindrical shape enables clean vertical cuts, while the height ensures the cutter presses fully through thicker doughs.

Biscuit cutter diameters usually range from 1.5 inches for petite biscuits up to 3 inches for standard sizes.

Some specialty biscuit cutter sets feature multiple sizes and shapes like stars, squares, etc.

While handy, a biscuit cutter is not essential as many common household items can substitute nicely when crafting homemade biscuits.

Shaping Perfection: Upside Down Glass – Your Easy Biscuit Cutter Substitute

My top recommendation for an improvised biscuit cutter is simply flipping a drinking glass upside down.

With a thin, sturdy rim and open middle, an inverted glass easily presses through biscuit dough to yield uniform rounds.

This commonsense kitchen item creates clean cuts without dough sticking inside like some improvised cutters.

Shaping biscuits is effortlessly achieved by evenly pressing the glass rim into dough, then lifting straight up.

For best results, choose a glass with a rim diameter similar to a commercial biscuit cutter, around 2 to 3 inches across.

Quickly working upside-down glasses around the dough prevents reshaping individual biscuits.

With simplicity and consistency rivaling specialized biscuit cutters, grabbing an upside-down glass lets you easily craft cafe-quality biscuits at home.

Cookie Cutter Magic: Crafting Biscuits with Sweet Precision

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Cookie cutters can pinch hit as handy biscuit cutters allowing you to transform dough into fun new shapes.

With their sharp edges for detail and variety of creative shapes from stars to trees, cookie cutters offer versatility standard round biscuit cutters lack.

Mini cookie cutters in particular, often with details biscuit cutters miss, yield adorable petite biscuits perfect for sandwiches or snacks.

Metal cookie cutters provide clean cuts without dough sticking like plastic.

Opt for cookie cutters with higher sides, at least 1 inch, pressing firmly.

Spacing images closely when cutting prevents reshaping.

As an avid baker, I often use holiday cookie cutters for themed biscuits like trees for Christmas or hearts for Valentine’s Day.

With their precision, cookie cutters enable perfecting your biscuit presentation.

Wheeled Wonders: Transforming Dough with a Pizza Cutter

An oft-overlooked biscuit cutting substitute is the humble pizza cutter.

With its sharp circular blade encased in a protective wheel, a pizza cutter easily glides through biscuit dough for clean, uniform cuts.

Grasping the handles as you press the wheel creates stability for straight lines without jagged edges.

Unlike some substitutes, dough won’t stick to the rolling blade either.

For efficiency, roll the cutter swiftly back-and-forth across your dough like a miniature rolling pin.

Position cuts as close as desired for pulling apart biscuits after baking instead of reshaping between cuts.

With practice, master rolling out dough then quickly slicing rounds in continuous motions.

For those seeking speed and consistency when crafting biscuits, a pizza cutter makes the process fast and frustration-free.

Square and Simple: Crafting Biscuits with a Kitchen Knife

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For those desiring a departure from round biscuits, a basic kitchen knife allows you to cut biscuits into uniform squares.

Use a large chef’s knife with at least an 8-inch blade for stability in cutting straight lines.

Lightly flour the knife first to prevent sticking.

Press the sharp knife edge vertically through rolled dough, starting at the top and slicing down in 4-inch sections.

Wipe and re-flour between cuts.

Align each new cut precisely to achieve consistent square sizes once baked.

Resist twisting or wiggling the knife through dough which can imprint flaws on biscuit edges.

Done properly, knife-cut squares stack and pull apart beautifully after baking with defined ridges and crisp corners.

For perfect right angles without specialized tools, a kitchen knife makes crafting square-shaped biscuits satisfyingly simple.

Measuring Cup Marvel: Crafting Biscuits with a 1/3 Cup

An unexpected yet handy biscuit cutting substitute is a 1/3 cup measuring cup.

With its sturdy construction and perfectly round shape, the 1/3 cup size in particular stamps uniform biscuits around 3 inches wide.

Simply press the rim straight down through rolled dough, wiggling slightly to release.

The cup’s vertical sides enable clean cuts all the way through thicker doughs.

Feel free to re-roll and cut scraps into additional biscuits.

For petite biscuits, try a 1/4 cup measuring cup instead, yielding rounds just under 2 inches across.

With standard sizes producing consistent biscuits, measuring cups take the guesswork out of sizes.

Their built-in round shapes skip improvising a circular form as well.

For no-fuss biscuits with reliable results, grab a measuring cup and start cutting uniform pieces in a snap.

Spooning Success: Shaping Biscuits with 2 Large Spoons

For a fun, freeform way to craft homemade biscuits, try using two spoons to shape the dough.

Simply scoop a mound of biscuit dough with one soup spoon, then use a second spoon to gently press and mold it off the first into the desired shape.

Think of playing with clay as a child.

Compared to cookie cutters producing uniform shapes, hand-sculpting with spoons feels more rustic and organic.

You can create round classic biscuits or play with oblong, oval varieties.

Spoon-shaped biscuits emerge charmingly imperfect with creases and peaks.

While less precise, the tactile process of handling dough to form biscuits makes for a satisfyingly hands-on baking experience that feels connected to traditions of biscuit-making past.

Biscuit Cutter Substitutes Cut Freehand Shapes

While circular biscuit cutters produce uniform rounds, you can also craft beautiful homemade biscuits without any cutter at all.

After rolling out chilled biscuit dough, simply use a sharp knife to cut freehand shapes directly from the dough.

Get creative slicing squares, triangles, crescent moons, stars and more.

The key is working swiftly once dough is rolled, before warmth softens it.

Lightly flouring your knife prevents sticking for clean cuts.

For symmetry, first cut guidelines in flour on the countertop beneath dough before slicing shapes.

Allow biscuits to slightly overlap as you cut for pulling apart after baking instead of reshaping dough between cuts.

While less uniform than cutter-stamped biscuits, cutting biscuits freehand yields rustic, handcrafted appeal perfect for dipping in stew or smothering in gravy.

Upcycling Tin Cans into Biscuit Cutters

As an avid upcycler and baker, I discovered an inventive way to craft biscuit cutters from items headed to the recycling bin.

The next time you finish a can of tuna, beans, soup, or veggies, thoroughly wash the can before tossing.

Then, using a manual can opener, remove both ends to leave a clean-edged metal cylinder.

Voila, you’ve created a makeshift biscuit cutter! The rim slices flawless rounds just like a store-bought cutter.

Nest multiple cans, like using tuna and soup cans, for varying biscuit sizes too.

Unlike some household substitutes, the metal cuts cleanly without sticking and won’t wear down from frequent biscuit-making either.

Give cans a quick wipe of flour between cuts.

With this zero-waste hack, cans are reusable over and over.

Simply label sizes on the bottom with a Sharpie.

Who knew the recycling bin held an easy tool for uniform biscuits? With an array of tin cans on hand, there’s no need to buy specialty biscuit cutters.

No-Cutter Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits needn’t require a traditional biscuit cutter.

The tangy taste of homemade buttermilk biscuits from scratch makes the extra effort worthwhile for biscuit lovers.

Simply mix 2 cups flour with 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup cold butter, and 3/4 cup chilled buttermilk.

Knead just until combined then pat out dough and fold several times to layer flakiness before a final 1/2-inch roll.

Use a knife to cut rustic wedge shapes without twisting the blade.

Bake at 425 degrees until lightly golden, about 15 minutes.

The cool buttermilk helps dough hold its shape during freehand cutting better than other biscuit recipes.

For tender, melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk flavor without a biscuit cutter, slice wedges directly from chilled dough for satisfying homemade biscuits anytime.

To Buy or DIY: The Bottom Line on Biscuit Cutters

When it comes to biscuit prep, using makeshift cutters from your kitchen often provides satisfying savings and results over purchasing specialty biscuit cutters.

For one-time or occasional biscuit making, repurposing a glass, cookie cutter or other household item eliminates an extra cost and clutter.

Even for regular bakers, these handy substitutes work reliably with some creativity.

However, devoted biscuit lovers may appreciate a commercial cutter’s durability and consistency long term.

Its sharp steel edges provide precision slicing year after year.

Specialty biscuit cutter sets also enable varying sizes and shapes.

Ultimately, your baking frequency and dedication to biscuit craft will determine if a specialty biscuit cutter is worth the $10-15 investment over DIY alternatives likely already in your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good household items to use as biscuit cutters?

Some great options that work well include the rim of an upside-down drinking glass, round cookie cutters, a wheel pizza cutter, the straight edge of a kitchen knife, or a measuring cup or bowl in the desired size.

Can I make square biscuits without a square cutter?

Yes, you can cut square or rectangular biscuits using the straight edge of a large kitchen knife.

Be sure the knife is sharp and cut in straight lines by first slicing vertical guidelines under the dough.

What if I don’t have any biscuit cutter substitutes on hand?

You can simply shape biscuits by hand using your fingers if no household items are available to cut shapes.

Quickly pinch off golf ball sized pieces of chilled dough and form rounds between your hands.

Is there anything I should avoid using as an improvised biscuit cutter?

Avoid makeshift cutters with dull edges or ones that might imprint patterns like juice glasses.

Items with crevices that dough can stick inside should be avoided too.

Smooth, straight edges work best.


As demonstrated, with a dose of creativity, you can craft beautiful homemade biscuits without a traditional biscuit cutter.

An upside-down drinking glass offers sturdy, circular cutting rivaling store-bought cutters.

For fun shapes, grab cookie cutters and craft stars or trees.

A pizza cutter swiftly slices rounds without reshaping.

Use a kitchen knife for square biscuits with defined edges.

Measuring cups stamp uniform sizes in a pinch.

And two spoons enable free-form shaping for organic appeal.

With an array of everyday items substituting specialty tools, you can enjoy warm, fresh biscuits anytime the craving strikes.

Have your own biscuit hacks using household objects? I’d love to hear your innovative ideas in the comments!


  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/cookie-cutter-substitute-1388011#:~:text=An%20ordinary%20drinking%20glass%20is,cut%20through%20the%20dough%20easier.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie_cutter

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