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

463 Comments

  1. I made these tonight and they turned out perfectly! They were really easy and I will certainly make them again. I didn’t have quite enough buttermilk, so I used a little bit of heavy cream and it worked fine.

  2. I made these biscuits and they were quite good. I used to make buttermilk drop biscuits from scratch 22 years since I’ve made them ( I made up by adding more buttermilk). I would have liked for them to have been more moist like when I added more buttermilk back in the day. I wanted to say that I wrapped a couple in foil and the next day when I was ready to heat them, I sprinkled water over them, wrapped and heated and they were perfectly moist! I was just happy that they weren’t a failure as this was part of our baking group for the boys group home that I work for. I’m making them again today and adding more buttermilk. I will let you know how they turn out.

  3. The highest, flakiest biscuits I’ve ever made. I don’t make them often but this will ALWAYS be my recipe from now on. Unbeatable, in my opinion.

  4. hi, sally can I make the buttermilk biscuits without the honey?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tiffany, These biscuits are not overly sweet. I 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. Enjoy!

  5. Michelle Brot says:

    I made this recipe for the first time today and the biscuits came out way better than any biscuits I’ve previously made. They were easy to make, had a lot of height, and were a bit crunchy on the outside. A real keeper recipe!! Thanks for all the tips about freezing the flour and butter too!

    1. Very good recipe but you cannot fit 9 or 10 of them cut at 3 inches in a 10 inch skillet, you need something bigger, better be aware of that before you are about to bake them…

  6. Best biscuits I ever madelove them so easy and fast will be making these more oftenThanks for the recipe. Wonderful

  7. I’m still searching for my grandmother’s biscuit recipe (which is in a box around here somewhere …), so I decided to find a recipe to try in the meantime. Came across this one and it seemed very similar, based on what I could remember. These biscuits turned out remarkably like my grandma’s! The flavor is excellent and preparation is easy.

    I made a few changes, however, based on how my grandma prepared hers:

    * 1-1/8 tsp salt
    * 4 tsp sugar instead of honey (mixed into the 1 cup cold buttermilk), since I didn’t have honey 🙁 .
    * Instead of separating into biscuits, I baked the dough as one piece in a greased 9″W x 2″D square metal baking pan, as if it was cornbread.
    * Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes on top or center rack. At this point, the buttermilk brushed on top should have baked in. Brush on some butter and place back in oven. Wait another 5 minutes and turn off the oven. Let the “biscuit loaf” remain in the oven for an additional 5-6 minutes, then remove. Total time in the oven is 30 minutes.
    * Let cool for 20ish minutes, slice up, and serve!

    Excellent recipe!

  8. Hello, can I cut out the biscuits and place on my baking sheet and bake later? Or can I freeze the cut out biscuits and then just bake them as I need?

    1. Hi Rodette! I recommend freezing the shaped biscuits. 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.

  9. Hi sally. Could I use baking soda instead of baking powder since the acid from the buttermilk is in the recipe?

    1. You could, yes, but it wouldn’t be a 1:1 substitution. Though I haven’t tested it, you can try reducing the baking powder to 1 Tablespoon and adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Let me know if you try anything!

  10. Stephanie Kelly says:

    Just made these biscuits for dinner tonight. So good! So flaky! My husband immediately had dreams of making biscuits and gravy with them. Definitely will be making these again!

  11. Idolka Salgueiro says:

    Hi Sally, you are officially at fault for my recent weight gain! LOL. I’ve tried several of your recipes already and they’re always great! Can’t wait for the holidays to bake more pies and goodies. Thank you!

  12. Finally, I am able to make great biscuits!!!

  13. BobbiJo Delany says:

    These are the best biscuits I’ve ever made. Thank you for the fantastic recipe and technique tips!

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