This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

These homemade buttermilk biscuits are soft and buttery with hundreds of flaky layers! This biscuit recipe only requires 6 simple ingredients and they’re ready in about 35 minutes.

stack of homemade biscuits

Biscuits. Let’s do it BIG. Big as in mega flaky, mega fluffy, mega layers, mega golden brown, and mega buttery. 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.

What are Biscuits?

The term “biscuits” has different meanings depending where you live in the world. In the US, biscuits are similar to a dinner roll, but are denser and flakier because they aren’t (typically) made with yeast. Since there’s (usually) no yeast involved and the rising agent is either baking soda, baking powder, or both– biscuits are considered a quick bread, like banana bread and no yeast bread. In other parts of the world, “biscuits” are cookies or even scones.

stack of 3 homemade biscuits

Ingredients in Buttermilk Biscuits

You only need 6 basic ingredients for my homemade biscuits recipe:

  1. All-purpose Flour
  2. Baking Powder
  3. Salt
  4. Cold Butter
  5. Cold Buttermilk
  6. Honey

With so few ingredients, it’s important to reach for quality ingredients and avoid any substitutions. Notice the emphasis on cold? See tip #1 below.

2 images of butter and flour in food processor before mixing and mixture after using food processor
2 images of biscuit dough in glass bowls

Tips for the Best Homemade Biscuits

Let me share what I’ve learned in the world of homemade buttermilk biscuit recipes. I’ve made plenty of mistakes so you don’t have to. These tried-and-true tricks will turn your flat, dry biscuits into the best biscuits ever. And that’s a guarantee.

  1. Cold Fat: For flaky layers and pockets, use cold butter. When little pieces of butter melt as the biscuits bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air– this makes the biscuits airy and flaky on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside. It’s the same thing that happens when making these ham & cheese scones.
  2. Buttermilk & Honey for Flavor: Real buttermilk and teeny drizzle of honey balance out the salt. Buttermilk creates the most tender biscuit!
  3. Don’t Over Mix: Never overwork biscuit dough. Overworking and over-handling biscuit dough will result in tough, hard, and flat biscuits. Mix the ingredients together *just* until combined. Dough will be crumbly; that’s normal.
  4. Flatten & Fold Method: The most important step of all is folding the dough together. Turn the scrappy dough out onto a work surface and flatten it with your hands. Form into a rectangle. More below.
  5. Don’t Twist the Biscuit Cutter: When cutting the dough with a biscuit cutter, do not twist the cutter. Press the cutter down into the dough firmly. Twisting it will seal off the biscuit edges, preventing the biscuits from rising.
  6. Bake Close Together: Biscuits rise up nice and tall when they are touching, pressed snuggly against one another in the oven.

How to Fold Biscuit Dough

Flattening and folding biscuit dough creates multiple flaky layers, just as it does when we make homemade croissants or croissant bread. This step will take you no more than 2 minutes and you’ll be rewarded with the flakiest biscuits in the world. First, shape dough into a rectangle:

biscuit dough shaped into a rectangle

Then fold one side into the center:

biscuit dough rectangle with left side folded over

Then the other side:

biscuit dough rectangle with left and right sides folded over forming a skinny rectangle

Turn the folded dough horizontal, gently flatten, and begin that folding process 2 more times.

biscuit dough shaped into a rectangle

The dough should be about 3/4 inch thick and the biscuits will rise as they bake.

brushing honey butter onto homemade biscuits
flaky homemade biscuits with a bite out of one showing the layers

Honey Butter Topping

The honey butter topping is optional, but it will set your biscuits apart from the rest. When the biscuits come out of the oven, brush with a mix of melted butter + honey. You use both ingredients in the biscuit dough, keeping the count at 6 ingredients total.

Serve your homemade biscuits with jam or homemade raspberry sauce, or biscuits and gravy— I love this particular recipe!

If you enjoy biscuits, try homemade strawberry shortcake or this biscuit vegetable pot pie. And if you crave something sweet, try these no yeast cinnamon rolls next.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
stack of homemade biscuits

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 810 biscuits 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These homemade buttermilk biscuits are soft and buttery with hundreds of flaky layers! This biscuit recipe only requires 6 simple ingredients and they’re ready in about 35 minutes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (313g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for hands and work surface
  • 2 Tablespoons aluminum free baking powder (yes, Tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, cubed and very cold (see note)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (270ml) cold buttermilk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • optional honey butter topping: 2 Tablespoons melted butter mixed with 1 Tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  2. Make the biscuits: 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. Cut/pulse until coarse crumbs form. See photo above for a visual. If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk and drizzle honey on top. Fold everything together with a large spoon or rubber spatula until it begins to come together. Do not overwork the dough. The dough will be shaggy and crumbly with some wet spots. See photo above for a visual.
  4. Pour the dough and any dough crumbles onto a floured work surface and gently bring together with generously floured hands. The dough will become sticky as you bring it together. Have extra flour nearby and use it often to flour your hands and work surface in this step. Using floured hands or a floured rolling pin, flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle as best you can. Fold one side into the center, then the other side. Turn the dough horizontally. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle again. Repeat the folding again. Turn the dough horizontally one more time. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle. Repeat the folding one last time. Flatten into the final 3/4 inch thick rectangle.
  5. Cut into 2.5 or 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter. (Tip: Do not twist the biscuit cutter when pressing down into the dough– this seals off the edges of the biscuit which prevents them from fully rising.) Re-roll scraps until all the dough is used. You should have about 8-10 biscuits. Arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (see note) or close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure the biscuits are touching.
  6. Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, brush warm tops with optional honey butter, and enjoy warm.
  8. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked biscuits freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator, then warm up to your liking before serving. You can also freeze the biscuit dough. Prepare the dough in steps 2 through 4. Wrap up tightly in plastic wrap (plastic wrap is best for freshness) and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 5. Also, after step 4, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before continuing with step 5.
  2. Baking Powder: To avoid a chemical aftertaste, make sure your baking powder is labeled aluminum free. I usually use Clabber Girl brand and though the ingredients state aluminum, I’ve never noticed an aluminum aftertaste. Alternatively, you can reduce the baking powder down to 1 Tablespoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
  3. Butter: Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Keep butter as cold as possible until you need it. I recommend placing the cubed butter in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you begin.
  4. Buttermilk: You can substitute whole milk for buttermilk if desired. However if you’d like the tangy flavor, which I highly recommend, you can make your own sour milk substitute. Add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup. (You need 1 cup in the recipe, plus 2 Tbsp for brushing– you can use regular milk to brush on top.) Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. Whole milk is best for the DIY sour milk substitute, though lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. (In my testing, the biscuits don’t taste as rich or rise quite as tall using lower fat or nondairy milks.)
  5. Cast Iron Skillet: If your cast iron skillet isn’t well seasoned, I recommend greasing it with a little vegetable oil or melted butter. Brush a thin layer of either on the bottom and around the sides. No need to heat the cast iron skillet before using, though you certainly can. Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes before arranging the shaped biscuits in it.
  6. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry Cutter or Food Processor | 3-Inch Biscuit Cutter or 2.5-Inch Biscuit Cutter | 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet | Pastry Brush

Keywords: biscuits, buttermilk biscuits

Bonus: How to Get Crispy Biscuit Edges!

Want a crisp edge on your buttermilk biscuits? I have you covered with these 2 steps:

  1. Brush the tops with a little buttermilk, which helps achieve a slightly crispier top crust.
  2. Bake biscuits in a cast iron skillet, which helps promise a crispy exterior.
Biscuits and jam on a white plate

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I think I need much more flour or much less butter to make it work. the mix was too sticky to even work on. And when I finally did and baked them, the butter was even watering out. Something was not right.

    1. Hi Camille! Was it a particularly hot day? Sounds like your butter may have been too warm and melted into the dough. Make sure to keep your butter very cold – if the mixture seems to be getting warm while you’re working with it, we recommend popping everything in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before continuing.

  2. These tasted great, they’re good and fluffy. I’m in Colorado, a mile above sea level, and have found that the key to perfection leaveners-wise, is to use half as much. (If you’re in Denver, you’re welcome.) 1 TBSP was indeed perfect for me.

    Sadly the reason I can’t give it higher than 3 stars is because I didn’t get layers. Did exactly as the picture, nothing. Just fluff. I have made lots of biscuits in my life, but always drop biscuits, and these just don’t have any different a texture. I know how to make croissants, and wonder why half the butter doesn’t get cut into the dough, and then a nice layer across the square, which will then get folded, and make truly buttery layers, or something like that.

    I usually love recipes from this site- and while not a disaster, the whole reason I came to this one instead of my grandma’s drop biscuits, is because I wanted to make layered biscuits for my in-laws during the holidays. They always use those canned flaky biscuits, and I hate the fake butter taste and that greasy residue palm oil leaves in your mouth. I’m gonna try this again with a layer of spread butter, and come back. I think what these need during the process of folding is just a smidge of butter between each layering. See you in a couple days! I’ve got some fluffy biscuits to eat before I can do another batch. Haha.

  3. Love your recipes. Did this one and turned out fine, however I found I had to add more flour. Is the flour grams a typo? I could have sworn 2.5 cups was closer to 370G ( from a previous recipe using the same amount of flour:2.5)
    Anyway I certainly am not trying to tell you it’s wrong! Just wondering if it was a typo bc it took me a little bit more flour.
    Delicious though!

    1. Hi Roy, we use the measurement of 125g for 1 cup of all-purpose flour, so the grams in the recipe are correct. However, often the climate/humidity makes a difference in some flour-based recipes, and sometimes we need to add a little extra flour to make the dough less sticky and more workable. So you probably did the right thing to add some more, especially since they turned out well for you!

  4. I made these and added about a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese and some garlic powder when I mixed in the dry ingredients. They turned out great and this has now become my go to biscuit recipe!

  5. Great recipe. They were quick to make and turned out soft and flaky. Will definitely make them again!!

  6. OMG! This is the first time I have EVER been able to cook biscuits and have them come out like BISCUITS!!!! Thank you so much for working out the details and including all the notes. I think it was putting the butter in the freezer for a bit while I was putting the dry ingredients together. I didn’t get the exact crumbles, but I used the food processor so my hands didn’t warm up the butter. And the folding!!! I am in the process of converting our family to all homemade bread products and this really helps!

  7. Incredible! Have been looking for a recipe that approximated my grandmother’s – tender, flakey, light, and buttery. Also appreciated the simplicity of this recipe and how quickly it came together, and made it into the mouths of “family critics.” haha. Everyone raved about these. What a brilliant curtain call for the last bit of buttermilk. Thank you, Sally!

  8. Great recipe! Now I am wondering what modifications would need to be made for whole wheat biscuits? Thanks

    1. Hi Karen, we haven’t tested these biscuits with whole wheat flour so can’t offer much advice. The texture will change. Let us know if you give it a try!

  9. Delicious. More importantly your step by step and pictures gave me the confidence to try these.
    Thank you very much!

  10. Perfect biscuits! So delicious and easy to make. This will be my new go-to recipe. 🙂

  11. So far have used this recipe three times and it’s been heaven each time. The last time I used it was today when my hubs said “oh on my trip to Louisville, I had pimento cheese biscuits”. Used this for it, just spread some sharp cheese and very dry cut up pimentos in the folding process. SO GOOD! Thanks for this easy to follow and very good quality recipe! E. H.

  12. Can this recipe be made the night before baking them (and left in the fridge)?

    1. Hi Dan, yes, after step 4, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before continuing with step 5.

  13. I’m planning on making these. I have buttermilk left from making fresh butter. The honey is throwing me though, as I want to make make biscuits and gravy. Can I just leave the honey out or will the recipe work as is?

    1. Hi Erin, we recommend keeping the honey in the dough (you can use just plain melted butter instead of honey butter on top) but you can leave it out if desired. However we do often make these as-is for biscuits and gravy! They aren’t sweet biscuits.

  14. I love these biscuits I’ve taken the liberty to add herbs before cutting the butter and cheese after. They turned out delicious thank you

  15. I don’t have a cast iron skillet. What should I use instead? Would I have to change the temperature and/or the time to bake these?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Louise! If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a baking sheet. Arrange the biscuits close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (Make sure they’re touching.) The bottoms may not be quite as crispy.

  16. Hi!
    Can I make these ahead, cut into rounds and then wrap and keep in fridge until ready to bake? I love your recipes and look forward to trying these out. I have never made anything but drop biscuits befroe.
    thank you!

    1. Hi Kat, We recommend refrigerating the dough after step 4. You can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before continuing with step 5. We hope you love them!

  17. These are such perfect, flaky biscuits! I did not have buttermilk on hand, so used yogurt (3.5% MF), and it worked fine. Since there are just two of us, I cut the recipe in half, and added just about a tablespoon of ground flax. Wonderful and simple – Thank-you!

  18. These turned out so beautifully that I am abandoning my usual recipe. I especially appreciated the directions on folding and was happy to see that making the dough the day before and then cutting and baking the next day really worked. Can you freeze unbaked cut scones and then bake from frozen? I do this with my other recipe.

    1. Hi Tia, we’re so glad you enjoyed these and you sure can freeze the shaped biscuits! But we do recommend baking them thawed, not frozen. After shaping them in step 4, place them on a plate or in a freezer-friendly container, cover tightly, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

  19. I was wanting to use up some leftover buttermilk from making your delicious red velvet cake so gave this recipe a try! I cube the butter first & place in freezer & then assemble everything else. I don’t have a cast iron skillet so I used a 9 inch nonstick cake pan that I greased with butter. My biscuit cutter is 2 1/4 “& I keep that cold , then dip in flour before using. When the biscuits came out of the oven, I brushed the tops w/honey butter( 1 tablespoon of butter melted w/2tablespoons of honey) Using the food processor to combine the butter & flour mixture makes this recipe so easy! One 9inch round cake pan held 6 biscuits, & they puffed up nice &tall with great layers! Baked the other 2 biscuits in that same size pan touching each other. Remember not to twist your biscuit cutter to show off those pretty layers! Just perfect! Will be my go to biscuit recipe from now on! Thank you!!