Skip to Content

The 8 Best Substitutes for Pastry Cutter

A pastry cutter is an essential tool for any baker who wants light, flaky pastries.

The tool can also be used for making biscuits, crushing crackers and cookies for crusts, and even cutting up butter into flour for pie crusts.

What if you don’t have a pastry cutter or it is dull?

What are the best substitutes for a pastry cutter? The best substitutes for a pastry cutter are two knives, two forks, or a food processor, depending on what you’re making. For example, if you need to cut butter into flour, two knives work best. If you need to make biscuit dough or crush crackers, use two forks instead.

For chopping nuts and other dry ingredients quickly, a food processor is the way to go.

Don’t let not having a pastry cutter stop you from baking!

Discover how to make your favorite recipes with these easy-to-find substitute tools that you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard.

Let’s take a look at the 8 best alternatives for a pastry cutter and how to use them!

What Is A Pastry Cutter?

Pastry Cutter

A pastry cutter is a kitchen tool used for cutting butter or shortening into flour when making pastry dough.

It is typically made of metal with several curved blades or wires attached to a handle.

The blades or wires are used to cut the fat into small pieces, which are then mixed with flour to create a crumbly texture.

This crumbly texture is important for creating flaky and tender pastry dough.

Pastry cutters come in various sizes and shapes, and some have additional features like measurement markings or detachable blades.

They are an essential tool for making pies, tarts, and other baked goods that require a flaky and tender crust.

Overall, a pastry cutter is a versatile and useful tool for any home baker looking to achieve perfect pastry dough.

Pastry CutterCutting butter/shortening into flourMetal with curved blades/wiresVarious sizes and shapes, measurement markings, detachable blades

The 8 Best Substitutes for Pastry Cutters

If you’re looking to create delicious pastries and pies without a pastry cutter, there are plenty of workarounds available.

Whether you don’t have the right equipment or don’t want to invest in specialized tools, these eight substitutes can help you achieve the same results:

1 – Forks


A tried-and-true kitchen favorite, forks can be used in place of a pastry cutter for certain recipes.

Forks offer a flaky texture and whimsical design that is perfect for sweet pie crusts or savory tart shells.

To use forks as a substitute for your pastry cutter, press the tines into the dough and twist them to create thin flakes of flour and fat.

This will add air pockets that enhance your baking while providing a unique visual appearance.

2 – Butter Knives

Butter Knives

Butter knives are an excellent alternative to your traditional pastry cutter.

The knife’s flat surface allows it to glide through butter and flour mixtures with ease, creating laminations that make light, flaky pastries.

Simply apply even pressure and scrape the butter knife across your dough until it has been thoroughly blended.

You can also use multiple butter knives side by side for larger pies or combine them with forks for extra texture variation.

3 – Bench Scraper

Bench Scraper

If you need to create large amounts of dough quickly, try using a bench scraper instead of a pastry cutter.

This tool features a flat blade attached to a handle which makes it easy to separate ingredients while adding air pockets which contribute to flakiness when cooked.

All you have to do is drag the bench scraper through your mixture on its edge.

This creates powerful cutting action that can blend ingredients easily while providing impressive results in no time at all!

4 – Cheese Grater

Cheese Grater

A cheese grater may not seem like an obvious choice as an alternative to a pastry cutter but it’s actually quite effective!

Using this tool allows you to grate butter into small pieces that are mixed into the flour quickly and evenly which helps keep pastries from becoming heavy or dense in texture due to overmixing.

Simply hold the grater over your bowl of ingredients and grate away! Make sure not to grate too hard as this could cause harm if done incorrectly.

5 – Your Hands

While it may not be as precise as other methods listed above, using your hands is still one of the best methods for achieving perfectly blended pastries without a pastry cutter!

Blending by hand gives you better control over how much fat is integrated throughout the dough which ensures an even distribution every time!

To do this simply rub cold butter between your fingertips before incorporating it into the dry ingredients until everything begins sticking together into crumbly clumps–that’s it!

6 – Pizza Cutter

A pizza cutter provides an easy and effective solution for cutting pastry dough.

Its sharp blades effortlessly slice through tough dough, allowing for precise and even cuts. Utilizing a rolling motion will enable you to achieve uniform cuts with minimal effort.

Plus, its small size is ideal for smaller portions such as pies and tarts.

As an added bonus, pizza cutters are versatile enough to be employed in various recipes beyond pastry-making, making them an indispensable tool in any kitchen.

7 – Cookie Cutters

Cookie cutters provide another convenient option for cutting pastry dough into specific shapes and sizes.

They come in a variety of designs—from intricate snowflakes to classic circles—ensuring there’s something for every taste.

By choosing cookie cutters over traditional pastry cutters, you’ll be able to add a unique touch to your creations while avoiding messy cleanup.

8 – Kitchen Shears

If you don’t have access to pizza or cookie cutters, kitchen shears make an excellent alternative.

Simply grab your desired amount of dough and press down firmly with the blade side of your shears before pressing together with the handle side until the dough breaks apart into two pieces.

This approach is perfect for large batches of dough since it takes only seconds to complete one cut; plus, it requires minimal effort on your part!

By utilizing kitchen shears instead of traditional pastry cutters, you’ll have more time to devote to creating delicious goodies!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a potato masher instead of a pastry cutter?

Yes, a potato masher can be used as a substitute for a pastry cutter. However, it may not be as effective at cutting the butter or shortening into small pieces as a pastry cutter.

How do you cut butter if you don’t have a pastry cutter?

If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use a fork, butter knives, a cheese grater, or your hands to cut the butter into small pieces. You can also freeze the butter and grate it into the flour using a cheese grater.

What can I use instead of a pastry cutter for scones?

For scones, you can use a fork or your hands to cut the butter or shortening into the flour. You can also use a cheese grater or a pastry blender if you have them.

Can I use a knife instead of dough cutter?

Yes, a knife can be used as a substitute for a dough cutter. However, a dough cutter is designed specifically for cutting dough and may be more effective and efficient than a knife.


In conclusion, while a pastry cutter is a useful tool for cutting butter or shortening into flour when making pastry dough, there are several alternatives that can be used if you don’t have one.

Forks, butter knives, cheese graters, bench scrapers, your hands, pizza cutters, cookie cutters, kitchen shears, and pastry blenders are all effective substitutes for a pastry cutter.

These alternatives are versatile and can help you achieve the desired texture for your pastry dough.

So, don’t let the absence of a pastry cutter hold you back from creating delicious baked goods!

The 8 Best Substitutes for Pastry Cutters

The 8 Best Substitutes for Pastry Cutter

Looking for alternatives to a pastry cutter? Check out our list of 9 substitutes that you can use to cut butter or shortening into flour when making pastry dough. From forks and butter knives to cheese graters and pastry blenders, these alternatives are versatile and effective for achieving the perfect texture for your baked goods. Don't let the absence of a pastry cutter hold you back from creating delicious pies, tarts, and scones!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Forks
  • Butter Knives
  • Bench Scraper
  • Cheese Grater
  • Your Hands
  • Pizza Cutter
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Kitchen Shears


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
jenny happy muncher
 | Website

Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.