The Tricks for Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s time we try something new! We’ve never explored the biscuit world on my blog before, so let’s do it BIG. Big as in mega flaky, mega fluffy, mega layers, mega golden brown, mega buttery, and mega nerdy as we dive deep into this comfort food carb sensation.

As spring brunches and dinners are on the horizon, knowing how to craft the perfect sidekick to your meal is essential. And it’s quite serendipitous that this “side dish” may taste even more remarkable than the main event. No, no. It WILL taste more remarkable. Just look at these buttery layers! Nothing can compete.

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Biscuits are quite similar to any other pastry we’ve discussed before. Scones, pie crust, tart dough, etc. And the good news is that biscuits are worlds easier than each of them. There aren’t too many steps for making biscuits from scratch– and after one taste you’ll question why you ever bought “biscuits” in a can before. Trust me– store-bought does NOT compare to this flavor and texture!

I want you to feel informed and encouraged so I took plenty of step shots of my method and I’m going to teach you all the tricks for making flaky buttermilk biscuits at home. I tried this recipe from All Recipes last year and decided to make a few changes to both the recipe and technique over the past few months. Here’s what I did.

BISCUITS, STEP BY STEP + TIPS

You only need 6 ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cold butter, cold buttermilk, + honey. With so few ingredients, you truly taste each and every one, so it’s imperative to reach for quality ingredients and avoid any substitutions.

STEP 1:

You can use either a pastry cutter or food processor for this step. Combine all the dry ingredients, then add the cold butter and pulse/cut until crumbs form. I have no preference over either, but I will say that the food processor is much quicker.

TIP 1:

For flaky layers and pockets, use cold fat. Cold is an absolute must. We know this from pie crust and scones.  When little crumbs of butter melt as the biscuits bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air – this makes the biscuits a little airy and flaky on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 2:

Add the liquid ingredients. Real buttermilk and teeny drizzle of honey to balance out the salt. Buttermilk creates the most tender biscuit! Basically all you’ll do is make a well into the center of the dry ingredients, then fold it all together. The dough will look shredded and shard-y. I’ve been waiting all day to type “shard-y.”

TIP 2:

Don’t overwork the dough in this step. In fact, don’t overwork the dough at all. Overworking and over-handling the biscuit dough will result in tough, hard, and flat biscuits. Mix the ingredients together *just* until combined.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 3:

Fold and flatten! The most important step of all is folding the dough together. This is the part where you can really get into your food and have fun. (The best foods are the ones you play with in the process, right?) Turn the scrappy, shard-y looking dough out onto a work surface and mold it together with your hands. Form into a rectangle.

Remember, always be gentle with it!

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fold one side into the center.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Other side.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Turn the folded dough horizontal, press it down flat (gently!), and begin that folding process 2 more times.

TIP 3:

Why are we folding the dough?? You’ll be rewarded with the most flaky biscuits ever, that’s why! Folding and flattening creates layers. It will take you no more than 2 minutes to do that entire process, promise.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 4:

Roll out with a rolling pin and cut into circles. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick. And WHOA will that dough rise rise rise in the oven when they bake.

TIP 4:

When cutting the dough with a biscuit cutter, do not twist the cutter. Press the cutter down into the dough firmly. Again, do not twist it. Twisting it will seal off the biscuit edges, preventing the biscuits from rising. Been there, done that. OOOPS.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 5:

Brush the tops with a little buttermilk, which helps achieve a slightly crispier top crust. Then, BAKE!

TIP 5:

I like to bake biscuits in a cast iron skillet. Biscuits rise up nice and tall when they are touching, pressed snuggly against one another in the oven. What’s more snug than squeezing into a round skillet? Bonus: the cast iron skillet helps produce a super crisp bottom.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 6:

All about that honey butter! This is totally optional, but will set your biscuits apart from any you’ve had before. When the biscuits come out of the oven, give them a brush of melted butter + honey. Both ingredients you already used in the biscuit dough, keeping the count at 6 ingredients total.

TIP 6:

No tip here except… this honey butter addition is legit.

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And so is lots of jam!!! And homemade honey butter!

I hope you learned a few things today and are confident baking biscuits from scratch now! Let me know if you give them a try this spring. Happy weekend!

Mega Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (312g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled1
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder (yes, Tablespoons!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed2
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (270ml) cold buttermilk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • optional for spreading: 2 Tablespoons melted butter + 1 Tablespoon honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Place the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl or in a large food processor. Whisk or pulse until combined. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. See photo above for a visual. If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour 1 cup of buttermilk (240ml) on top, then the honey. Stir everything together until just about combined-- do not overwork the dough. The dough will look like shreds and be very crumbly. See photo above for a visual.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gently mold it into a rough looking rectangle using your hands. Use the photos above as a guide. Fold one side into the center, then the other side. Turn the dough so it's long horizontally. Gently flatten. Repeat the folding again. Turn the dough so it's long horizontally once more. Gently flatten. Repeat the folding one more time.
  4. Gently roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it's 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Re-roll any scraps until you have 12-14 biscuits. Arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (Make sure they're touching.)
  5. Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top.
  6. Remove from the oven and, if desired, brush with melted butter and honey mixture. Enjoy warm. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make-ahead tip: Baked biscuits freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm to your liking before enjoying. You can also freeze the biscuit dough. Prepare the dough through step 3. Wrap up tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4. Also, after step 3, you may wrap up the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before continuing with step 4.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Starting with cold flour is a handy tip! If you can remember, place the flour in the freezer 30 minutes before beginning.
  2. While you're placing the flour in the freezer (note above), place the cubed butter in there too! Partially frozen butter is the BEST for biscuits.

Adapted from All Recipes

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Food Processor | Glass Mixing BowlsPastry Blender | Wooden Rolling PinRound Biscuit Cutters | Pastry Brush | Cast Iron Skillet

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

92 comments

  1. Hi Sally!!

    These look amazing!! I’m going to make them for myself and my husband tomorrow morning!! I do not own a cast iron skillet and I know that you have mentioned that you can use a baking sheet with parchment paper – this is what I plan to do. My question is should I place the biscuits right next to each other so that they are touching still, the way they would in the skillet, or should I place them with space in between each?

    Thank you so much!! I absolutely LOVE your recipes!! 🙂

  2. Hi Sally. I had to try out this recipe today…it was lovely. The dough was so easy to handle. And flaky…Yes! Best recipe i have tried so far. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.

  3. I have failed SO MANY TIMES with biscuits. Even with a recipe almost identical to this. I have GOTTTTT to try again.

  4. I just made these and they were amazing! Super flaky and easy to work with. Thanks Sally!!!!

  5. Yummm! I love biscuits, but I’ve never tried to make them from scratch. These look awesome

  6. Hi Sally I just made this and they taste so good!  So much easier to handle than scones :p I added spring onions and cheese to make it savory.

    On a side note, will you consider making Asian pastries/ cakes using ingredients like matcha, red bean, chestnut? 🙂

  7. Hi, could these be made using a buttermilk substitute?

  8. I love flaky buttermilk biscuits! I will definitely be stocking the freezer with these. The freezing suggestions I’ve read before have said that I can freeze cut out unbaked biscuits and bake them directly from the freezer, kinda like cookie dough balls. Do you think that would work? It’d be so convenient!

  9. There is something special about buttermilk biscuits and jam! These look like a great weekend treat, thanks for the recipe!

  10. I made these last night, they turned out to be the best biscuits I have ever made. I will be trying again, thanks for helping me make the best biscuits yet!

  11. These are HANDS DOWN the BEST biscuits I have ever had!! My mom used to make biscuits all of the time and I’ve used her recipe with minor tweaks for years but I decided to give these a try….I won’t be going back to the old recipe!!! Thanks again for an AMAZING recipe!!!

  12. Perfectly timed! I am so in the mood for biscuits right now and I have all the ingredients. I think. 😉

  13. Dear Sally, made these yesterday – the recipe is wonderful, so easy and delicious. Thanks for all helpful advice that makes so much difference. I love the addition of honey, didn’t do that before.
    And to all: please don’t skip the melted butter and honey on top! 😉

  14. Is it possible to make a good tasting gluten free biscuit or should I just forget it?
    Help needed, please! These look so good! Sometimes, you just need a biscuit!

    • Hi Shelby! Unfortunately, I’m not the pro to ask. I have very little experience baking with gluten free flours. Sorry!

    • Hi Shelby,
      I will be trying a gluten-free version of these soon for a dear friend of mine and at first I’ll simply switch to a gluten-free flour mix and leave the recipe as is. But I assume they will not nearly rise as much.
      If you want a proved biscuit recipe you could turn to the blog of “glutenfree girl” aka Shauna Ahern – she has a post on buttermilk biscuits from 2015 which sounds promising to me. I’ll probably try that one next if this one doesn’t work as brilliant with gluten-free flour.

  15. Okay, so I made these yesterday to go with soup for a healthy Winter-Spring transition dinner, and we LOVED them almost more than the cheese biscuits recipe that runs in my family. Can’t wait to try the leftovers for breakfast!

  16. Sally!! I love how you give all these tips and tricks! I used to use your recipes all the time and switch the white flour with spelt and they were AMAZING! Now I cant eat that much spelt but I’ve learned so much from your recipes that I’m able now to try and and venture on my own and try to make my own healthier recipes! You are such an inspiration!
    https://avigailife.wordpress.com/category/recipes/

  17. Hi there, this is very similar to my old 4-H recipe and methodology. I was 10 years old and made many practice batches before the fair that year. We did not fold and roll so I am intrigued. It reminds me of your posts on Chicago pizza and Danish. Presumably we are going for a similar result? I have had great success mass producing and freezing the flour/butter mixture in a zip bag; very handy for a speedy, no-mess batch.

  18. Hi, Sally! Those are beautiful biscuits (and beautiful photos)! I’m looking forward to making them. 🙂 I enjoy your blog so much; I smile every time I read. Thank you for sharing your passion and good vibes with us!

  19. I was excited to make these but I struggled a bit! My dough came out real sticky after I mixed the buttermilk and honey. Maybe I overmixed? 

    • Yep, I would say it was over-mixed. It should be crumbly and scrappy– shreds of dry and wet dough. Maybe try one more time?

  20. Yay! I already do all these things, it’s always good to know I’m using the right techniques lol. Your biscuits are gorgeous

  21. Hi again. I love the impact of browning butter. My first experiment was with your choc chip cookies. I liked the flavor of the butter so much I offered it at my Christmas table. I’d browned it, cooled whipped it and served it with rolls and baked potatoes. It got lots of attention. I also love the sugar cookies, pound cake and pecan bars. Yep, I’m a fan. All this is to say there is absolutely no reason to not make brown butter biscuits. So I did; browned the butter, chilled the butter then proceeded. A little more buttermilk was required to compensate for the evaporation of the browning process. What an impact! If you try it, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  22. Sally, I finally got a chance to make these biscuits for my husband and they are fantastic! I got 15 biscuits with my 3 inch biscuit cutter so I may have rolled thinner than one-half inch thick but they rose beautifully and the color was amazing. First time I have ever baked biscuits in a cast iron skillet, but I can guarantee you it will now be my go to pan. I could not believe the amazing color and the crisp bottoms but tender, flaky interiors. My prior attempts at homemade biscuits came out pale looking and lacked the flavor of this delicious biscuit. I feared all that baking powder would be overpowering, but it wasn’t and this is one of the best biscuits I have ever eaten.
    Thanks for the detailed instructions and this wonderful recipe! I just love your website and so appreciate all the hard work you pour into it.

  23. Hi Sally could not have made a simpler biscuit ever. ….I bake all the time, but this one is my all time favorite. Simple, quick and easy….. Thanks for sharing…..Charmaine

  24. I would love to make this recipe! But I never have buttermilk on hand and would prefer not to buy it (it’s costly considering how soon the expiration date is), is there a buttermilk substitute I could use? Or is regular milk ok? 

  25. Hi Sally! Will these biscuits cook well in a cake pan?? For the same amount of time??
    Thanku so much! Im attempting to try this recipe for mothers day tomorrow! 

  26. Hi Sally…..I read some of the comments where some people have said it was expensive to buy buttermilk. For all the time I had been baking these biscuits I have been using a cup of milk with a teaspoon of white vinegar, let it stand a few minutes and then use it. It was perfect….Thers your substitute for buttermilk….I hope this helps…Charmaine

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