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. 🙂

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Homemade biscuits

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9-10 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 about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Re-roll any scraps until you have 9-10 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 (affiliate links): 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 have time, place the flour in the freezer 30 minutes before beginning. You won’t regret it!
  4. Butter: Cut into about 1/2 inch cubes. 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. Buttermilk: You can substitute whole milk for buttermilk if desired. Acidic buttermilk isn’t needed in order for the biscuits to rise since we’re using baking powder. 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.)
  6. 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

408 Comments

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  1. Deborah Ortiz says:

    By far the BEST homemade biscuit I have ever had. Just like I used to eat at my Grandmother’s house when I was a little kid…Delicious!

  2. I have been trying to make perfect biscuits for the past 3 months, these were ALMOST there, I just didn’t get the height I was hoping for. I did NOT get to chill my flour and my butter wasn’t frozen so “maybe” that will be the answer. As far as flavor these were best of all my test subjects lol! I think the honey butter on top was a phenomenal suggestion if you are eating these with butter and jam. The layers were there in the dough, these were extremely moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. I used whole fat buttermilk, and a cast iron skillet I coated with butter. I didn’t have really class A butter on hand so I just used land of lakes and it was good. I cubed it on the tinier side. Grating it doesn’t work out for me. I used 1/2 cup pastry flour and 2 cups all purpose. I’m gonna keep toying with this recipe though cuz it is GOOOOD!

    1. Michael A Barton says:

      Try doing the recipe the way its written. No substitutions or shortcuts

  3. Turned out amazing! I have 5 kids so we doubled it and it turned out amazing. 24 biscuits and there isn’t one left!

  4. Katie Shelton says:

    I got the flaky layers and incredible flavor and golden color but my biscuits are relatively flat. What could have happened there?

    1. Hi Katie, I’m so glad you enjoyed the flavor of these! My best tips for tall biscuits are in the blog post above in the section “Tips for the Best Biscuits”. Be sure you are using a sharp biscuit cutter and pressing straight down (no twisting!) and that they are pressed snuggly against each other on the pan to bake.

  5. Stephen Block says:

    I’ve made these biscuits many times now, just to use up any buttermilk before it spoils. Perfect every time. Tall, flaky, golden brown. Real whole fat buttermilk makes a difference, as does shredding frozen butter. (I’m addicted to Sally’s Baking Addiction, really. My bride of 43 years is amazed at “my” success with your recipes.)

  6. Can u make these as a drop biscuit instead?

  7. These are great. I don’t have a food processor so I cut the butter into the flour using a cheese grater, which still gave me a great rise. I also leave out the 2 tsp honey from the dough, and the melted butter/honey mixture because I like to lather honey on by itself later after baking – so if you don’t have any honey at home I think this recipe works great even leaving it out completely.

  8. Can I use coconut flour for this recipe ?

    1. Hi Chrissie, I haven’t tried this recipe using coconut flour. If you do, let me know how it goes!

      1. M&M’s Mom says:

        I have made these several times now and I must say, these are the tastiest biscuits I have ever made AMD they’re the EASIEST to make as well!! From.one baking addict to another, Thank You for this recipe!

  9. Camisha Borger says:

    Amazing!

  10. I am delighted to get your tips in making biscuits. I’m 78 and have made quite a few biscuits in my lifetime but have never seen the fold method in regards to biscuit dough Only in bread dough. I always end up with quite a bit of flour left in the bowl that won’t incorporate into the ball of dough I’m working with to roll out to make biscuits. Looking forward to making this change and getting on with beautifully flakes high biscuits. Thank you soo much!

  11. Amazing my family loves them!

    1. Hi Sally, if using food processor, is it only the cold butter that goes to it & not the whole flour mixture with butter? thanks

      1. Hi Kath, You’ll pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large food processor. Add the cubed butter and pulse several times in the processor, until coarse crumbs form. Then, pour the mixture into a large bowl.

      2. Thanks! I tried the recipe. It tastes yummy but i just have to work on its flakiness on my next batch

  12. Gail Gilbert says:

    I am making these now and I have questions: What size cubes are we going for when cubing the butter? Is the size of the skillet important? One of the photos shows 4 biscuits across and that wouldn’t be possible using 3″ biscuit cutter in a 10″ skillet. Another photo shows 8 biscuits in a skillet; how/when do you cook the remaining biscuits since the yield is 9-10 biscuits? (I am going with an 11 3/4″ skillet and putting all biscuits in at once.) The video shows a greased skillet but there is no instruction in the recipe to grease the skillet; with so much shortening in the recipe, I wouldn’t think greasing the skillet is necessary. You also suggest chilling the flour first; would you do this after adding the baking powder and salt? I am a pretty experienced baker but it has been years since I made biscuits. I can wing it with my own answers but a novice baker might need more specific instructions and photos that are consistent with the instructions. I have never used honey in the dough but there’s a first time for everything and I’ll go with your recommendation. Thanks.

    1. Hi Gail! I’m glad to help. The cubed butter can be anywhere around little 1/2 inch cubes (see note). I recommend a 9 or 10 inch skillet, which will hold the 10 biscuits nicely– any larger and the biscuits won’t be close and compact, which may prevent them from rising all the way up. If your cast iron skillet is seasoned, there’s no need to grease it. You can chill all of the dry ingredients together or just the flour itself. It doesn’t make a huge difference since the flour is the bulk of the dry ingredients anyway. Hope you enjoy these!

      1. I used a seasoned 9″ skillet and they did not stick at all! I also cut up the butter into small cubes and placed them in the freezer. Then mixed up the dry ingredients and placed those in the freezer. Once the oven was preheated, I grabbed my buttermilk and honey, pulled the ingredients out of the freezer and it all went together super easily! THEY ARE PERFECT!

  13. I’ve been trying to find the best biscuit recipes all quarantine. This is it!

  14. Hands down the best biscuit recipe ever! Mine even look like the picture! Thanks for all of the handy tips. Absolutely delicious

  15. Made these for the first time and used them to make breakfast sandwiches with organic sausage, eggs, and Wisconsin sharp cheddar. They came out amazing and my husband declared them as “the best breakfast sandwich ever!” Recipe is awesome and I watched Sally’s video first to make sure I was doing the dough folding technique properly. Great recipe and tips! Very easy to follow. These were so flaky and delicious. I will definitely make these again! Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

  16. I just made these biscuits and they came out absolutely amazing! I do not have a food processor so I made the dough in a bowl by simply mixing together the ingredients. It was actually super easy. The biscuits came out soft and buttery and my layers were perfect! I used a cutter that was 3 1/2 inches and got 6 normal sized biscuits plus one baby sized biscuit from the dough. The only question/issue I had was after cutting the biscuits from the dough and re-working the scraps for more biscuits – I wasn’t sure if I should re-do the folding process again as Sally had mentioned in the steps prior. I did it anyway (better safe than sorry) and they came out beautifully.

  17. Thanks for this recipe, excited to try it!

    I don’t have a biscuit cutter, can we just cut square ones after rolling out the dough in a rectangular shape?

    Also, I don’t have any plastic wrap, would it be okay to just put it into a glass pyrex and into the freezer if we plan to freeze the dough?

    1. Hi Jenna, yes, you can simply cut the biscuits with a very sharp knife instead. You can freeze the dough in any closed/covered container.

    2. I used a wide mouth mason jar 🙂

  18. Diana Martin says:

    How would these work with powdered buttermilk? It’s all I can find in my area these days :-/

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Diana, I haven’t but many readers report back saying that the powdered buttermilk works wonderfully. Let us know how it goes!

    2. I used powdered buttermilk! For the 1c plus 2T of buttermilk required in this recipe… I used 1c plus 2T of water mixed with 2T of powdered sweet cream buttermilk. Worked perfectly.

  19. Made this recipe with my 10-year-old son (so lots of spills and uneven measurements) and still turned out great! Thank you!

  20. Thanks for this great recipe!! I made it twice, once with All purpose and then with Whole Wheat and both came out great. Neither really rose as much as yours, but that might have been because of my cutting technique with a knife, who knows. Either way, tasted great, thanks!

  21. I’ve made these biscuits several times, and it’s amazing. I’ve gotten so many compliments from friends and family (that is, when I’ve felt generous enough to share!). Even my Southern grandma complimented the recipe!!!

    Sally–have you ever tried using this as a base recipe for sweet potato biscuits? Paula Deen’s sweet potato biscuit recipe is okay, but not as flaky as I’d like. I’d like to adapt this recipe, but I’m not sure how much flour (?) I should add to compensate for the wetness of the sweet potato.

    1. Hi Ansley! So glad that you enjoy these biscuits. I’ve never tried making sweet potato biscuits before, so I can’t give any confident advice. Let me know if you try adapting this recipe though!

      1. I ended up adapting your “Master Scone” recipe as well as drawing some inspiration from Stella Park’s sweet potato biscuit recipe! It worked great, though I’m still trying to make them as fluffy as this recipe. 🙂

  22. Karina Patino says:

    This recipe is amazing. I will definitely keep making these . Thank you !!

  23. WOW. The recipe is super easy to follow and seriously, the best biscuits we’ve had. No joke. I’ll be making these in big batches and freezing from now on. I see us making these at least 1-2x a week. SO GOOD!!

  24. I was worried these would have that salty metallic taste with so much baking soda but thankfully they didn’t. They are absolutely light and fluffy and layered!
    I like the turn and fold technique too!
    Yet another keeper from your recipes! Thank you!

  25. I made these and they turned out great! I forgot to put honey in and didn’t have a skillet so I used a cake pan with parchment. I also double stacked them since I think I rolled them out too thin. Still came out!

  26. When my kids who don’t even like KFC or Popeye’s biscuits ask for second and third helpings of this, I know this is a winning recipe! Yum, it was delicious. The only thing I would comment on is that it took another 10 minutes more cooking time when I baked in the iron skillet (I used my trusty Lodge). My extra biscuits that I had leftover I made in another oven on a baking sheet and that took the time you approximated (15m).

  27. I’m writing this review probably 10 minutes after these biscuits came out of the oven because they are just THAT GOOD. So delicious! I got a nice crispy bottom and a soft, tender inside. Love that it’s only 6 ingredients!

  28. I veganized this recipe and they were incredible. I was able to find unsalted vegan “butter” sticks so this was the perfect recipe to try them. My non-vegan southern partner said they were the best biscuits he’s had in forever and took him back to his youth. They were super flaky, fluffy, tender., a little crispy on top. Just perfect. I used almond milk/vinegar but I’d use maybe soy milk or oat milk next time. I also added a tbsp of sugar.

  29. Hello Sally,I was wondering how many calories are in each biscuit.Please let me know.By the I LOVE your recipes!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sanyana, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

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