Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

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.

Homemade biscuits

Biscuits. 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 side dish sensation. 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.

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.

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.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.
  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. Fold & Flatten Method: The most important step of all is folding the dough together. Turn the scrappy looking dough out onto a work surface and mold it together 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

Folding and flattening biscuit dough creates multiple flaky layers, as if we were making homemade croissants. 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:

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Then fold one side into the center:

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Then the other side:

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The dough should be about 1 inch thick and will rise tall when they bake.

Homemade biscuits

Homemade biscuits

Homemade biscuits

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, give them a brush of melted butter + honey. Both ingredients you already used in the biscuit dough, keeping the count at 6 ingredients total.

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

I know you’ll enjoy my strawberry biscuit cookies, too. 🙂

Print
Homemade biscuits

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9-12 3-inch biscuits
  • 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

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

Instructions

  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 lightly floured 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 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Re-roll any scraps until you have 9-12 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Food Processor | Glass Mixing BowlsPastry Blender | Wooden Rolling PinRound Biscuit Cutters | Pastry Brush | Cast Iron Skillet
  3. Flour: Starting with cold flour helps guarantee taller biscuits. If you can remember, place the flour in the freezer 30 minutes before beginning. You won’t regret it!
  4. Butter: 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.
  5. Use either a pastry cutter or food processor for combining the ingredients. Both are great, but the food processor is quicker.

Adapted from All Recipes

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 promises a crispy biscuit bottom.

Biscuits and jam

386 Comments

  1. Hi Sally! I was wondering if it is possible/a good idea to add white chocolate chips or frozen fruit to this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Stephanie, You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk by measuring 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring glass. Add enough milk in the same measuring glass to reach 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The soured milk will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

  2. Thank you for letting me once again appear to be able to bake! I gravitate towards cooking and have always found baking impossible & intimidating due to the precision and many steps. Your recipes are consistently delicious, always impress and are seemingly manageable. Many many thanks for yet another homerun!

  3. These are spectacular!!! I didn’t put the dough in a bowl. Once the butter was pulsed in, I pulsed about 12 very quick pulses and then put on board to fold and cut. I baked in the cast iron pan on the lowest rack for 11 minutes. This is now my only biscuit recipe. My butter was frozen and I put the buttermilk in the freezer for a few minutes. I can only gush over these amazing biscuits. Thanks.

  4. This is a fantastic recipe. Quite possibly the best tasting biscuits ive had, and i live in Texas. They take their biscuits pretty seriously here. Super cold cubed butter and buttermilk are key, and the folding makes all the difference. So tender and flaky.

  5. Hi Sally
    Your’s is the only recipe I have come across that does not include Baking Soda… Is there a particular reason for this?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Robyn! I use all baking powder in this biscuit recipe instead of a mixture of baking powder and soda. Hope you enjoy it!

  6. Absolutely perfect recipe! I usually make drop biscuits because they are so much quicker and easier but I tried these because I had some buttermilk to use up. Amazing! Thank you for all the hints and tips too. The additional information was definitely an added bonus! Two thumbs up and 5 stars for sure!

  7. Sally,
    A near disaster: Not flakey, for sure and didn’t rise much. I used exactly what the recipe called for and measured exactly. I used a pastry cutter to blend the butter in–an old cutter with slightly warped tines, so the butter went in big hunks and it took me quite a while to get it to size. The first mistake? The dough seemed dry, but it could be gathered, so I put in on the floured granite countertop. It would barely come together and big hunks of butter were falling into the flour on the countertop, making a mess. I had to scrape it up with a scraper and try to pat the chunks back in. I even worked in a little more buttermilk. I tried the folding method, but it could’t be done, as the dough fell apart. I finally pounded it into shape with a heavy rolling pin. Probably all the handling ruined the texture, but what was the first mistake? The too large hunks of butter, not enough buttermilk, too much flour on the board.

    The taste was very good, so I might try one more time. Any advice welcome. I do enjoy your blog.

    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for trying these biscuits and I’m happy to help troubleshoot. It sounds like the butter wasn’t incorporated enough into the dry ingredients. Larger chunks of butter mean there’s more butter-less dough, which would be very hard to bring together and fold. And result in a dough that easily falls apart. Do you have a food processor or blender? That may help cut the butter up a bit nicer. Or just keep working that butter in until you have much smaller chunks and all the flour feels moistened by it. I hope this helps!

      1. Hello again, Thank you so much for responding! I think you’re right about the butter. It may have actually been TOO cold…took it out of the freezer, so it was hard to work into the flour, even cubed. I find food processors to be too much work to set up and clean, so I gave mine away. Never thought about using a blender…seems like it would be hard to get the dough out of the blades! I have also heard of grating the butter into the flour. Or maybe I should just use the newer pastry cutter instead of my sentimental favorite _the old one with the wooden handle and the bent prongs! I will keep trying since I love biscuits and also have had similar problems with pie crust. I am really enjoying your website…cheery and very explicit instructions..Sarah

        PS Sorry this was so long…coronavirus quarantine keeping me at home for long hours!

    2. Try grating frozen butter with a cheese grater and “tossing” it in the flour until it’s evenly distributed, and then add the buttermilk. That’s quite a bit faster than using a pastry cutter and it’s easier cleanup than a food processor or blender.

      1. Thanks so much Wendi. I will definitely try this method. The easier the better!
        It doesn’t belong here, but I tried the pizza dough recipe from this site and it was great. So there is hope.
        : )

  8. Southern girl on the West Coast with a bad yearning for buttermilk biscuits. They were fabulous. Directions were easy to follow and I appreciated the great photo’s The only bad thing is I could not eating ! lol Thank you.

    1. I froze the Leftover biscuit dough I ended up with on a baking sheet after cutting them into rounds. When I wanted some I pulled it out of the freezer, let it thaw for a while, then baked. Just as amazing and delightfully quick this time!! Can’t rave about this recipe enough.

  9. I just made these as part of my quarantine baking adventure and I can’t believe I had never made a homemade biscuit before! It was so easy! At least with YOUR recipe and guidance it was. It seems that the only recipes I have consistent success with are yours. Which brings me to a request, can you create a recipe for homemade pasta noodles? I have always wanted to try to make pasta, but have been too intimidated to attempt it. I feel if it were your recipe I could do it though! Just a suggestion since we are all having to get creative with our time and pantry staples like pasta are in short supply. Hope you and your family are safe and well!

  10. I’ve been looking for a biscuit recipe to make in bulk and freeze. How would you do that? Freeze raw and cook from frozen? Thaw and cook? Par cook and freeze? Curious if you have tested this recipe and had any luck with a bulk prep technique?

  11. Hi Sally…question about preparing the cast iron skillet. Should it preheated? I made these biscuits and the batter seemed great until I baked them! Then they all blended together into one big mush!! I think maybe the pan was cold and took too long to heat up in the oven while baking the biscuits?

  12. Finally, a buttermilk biscuit recipe I can actually make from scratch – thank you! These turned out great!!!

  13. We love buttermilk biscuits and these delightful beauties do not disappoint. The biscuits were tall, tender and light on the inside, with a crispy and crunchy outer crust. The crumb was perfect. Thank you for sharing this keeper. BK

  14. Love this recipe! These biscuits are great by themselves, with a little honey or with the strawberry shortcake topping

  15. Wow, were the biscuits ever good. We loved them. Crispy, crunchy and delicious. Quick and easy to make with great results. Thank you so much for sharing a recipe that we will enjoy often. BK

1 6 7 8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×