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. 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 1/2 inch thick and will rise tall when they bake.

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!

Homemade biscuits

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Homemade biscuits

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9-12 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 about 1/2 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 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

268 Comments

  1. Ohmygoodness these biscuits look so flakey and delicious. I would never have thought of the fact that twisting as you cut out the biscuits would seal them down. I can’t remember the exact actions I usually use, but I’m pretty sure I twist so I’ll need to nix that habit.

    Thanks for another great recipe, Sally. I’ll be trying these biscuits out this week!

  2. Ditto with Kaela on twisting the cutter.  I think I’ve been twisting the biscuit cutter too–but never really paid attention…..  Which must explain why sometimes my biscuits are high and mighty and sometimes they are flat hockey pucks…..all the while, using the exact same recipe each time.  I couldn’t figure it out.
    Good to know on the cutter Sally!!
    I love using buttermilk any time I can and try to keep it in the fridge faithfully for baking on a whim. There are SO many brands of buttermilk out there, not to mention making your own with lemon juice in a pinch, which I’ve done many times w/good results.
    I think I’m about to sound like an advertisement but I came across this buttermilk about 5 years ago and never looked back.  It’s the real deal buttermilk.  The way buttermilk use to be made years ago.  No cultures, chemicals or process agents.  Just pure and simple buttermilk from Maine.  And anything from Maine is always a good thing!
    Thank you Sally !!  
    http://www.kateshomemadebutter.com/Kates-Butter_buttermilk.html

    1. Jus the simplest thing– twisting a cookie cutter. It’s so wild that one little motion of you hand can make such a bold difference. Thanks for the buttermilk link!

  3. So glad to have a great recipe for flaky biscuits and I will make a batch this weekend just for the fun of it! When I saw the title of your recipe this morning I thought to myself I will be disappointed if she doesn’t tackle the age old question if you should twist the biscuit cutter. And there is was!! Cheers to you and have a great weekend!!

  4. So excited to try these out!! They’re the perfect match for a Chicken Pie – one of my favorite dishes! Thank you, Sally! 

  5. Sally, I have thought many times about requesting that you post a biscuit recipe as all my attempts at homemade biscuits have been abysmal. I am so excited about this! I am most definitely trying them TONIGHT!

  6. I literally just bought a biscuit cutter yesterday from Williams Sonoma and began searching for biscuit recipes…this could not have come at a more perfect time!! And you secretly must be from the South, cause honey on top of biscuits is…well it’s the best thing in the world next to your lemon blueberry layer cake!

    Pretty please do tons of biscuit recipes!! DO you have ideas for savory ones? (Red Lobster-like?) OMG this recipe makes me so happy!

    1. I’m dreaming up savory versions and other flavors in my head right now! I’ll need to do a different post with flavors 🙂

  7. A year ago I purchased a heritage buttermilk culture starter so now I have my own unlimited supply of buttermilk. Since I make new buttermilk weekly I can make as little or as much as I want. So I’m always looking for new buttermilk recipes. One tip from my southern mother- keep your butter frozen in the freezer for making biscuits. She always grated her butter prior to incorporating it into the flour mixture but a food processor would make quick work on that frozen butter!

    Thanks for a great idea. Why did I not think of using a food processor instead of a pastry cutter? Saturday morning I’m on this recipe. Hubby will be thrilled to have homemade biscuits for breakfast.

    1. Grating is such a wonderful tip. I like to use frozen grated butter for scones and you’re right– same thing here would be a game changer. Let me know how you both like them!

  8. Love the addition of honey here. My biscuit recipes (hi, I raised in the south) all call for the smallest touch of sugar. Keeps the biscuits from tasting overly-salty and one dimensional. It’s never even occurred to me to try a different sweetener. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  9. Ooh, I was about to try a new biscuit recipe this weekend since my current recipe uses self-rising flour – something I almost never have! Scratch that, making this one instead. Might end up leaving out or reducing the honey since we prefer savory/salty to sweetened biscuits, but this looks perfect.

    1. Made them this morning and they’re excellent! Skipped the honey butter but left the honey in, perfect. Another recipe added to my binder…

  10. NUM these look amazing! Thanks for the tips…I hesitate to make biscuits because they seem to be so complex. Will definitely be trying this.

    1. I used to be the same way, but once you make them you realize how simple they are. Truly a quick recipe with only a few basic ingredients!

  11. Looks yummy, Sally!

    I’ve been making buttermilk recipes for a few months, but am going to try your recipe because the addition of honey inside sounds amazing! 

    *on a side note, I laughed when you called the honey butter “legit” because that is the EXACT word my brother used to describe the honey butter I made to accompany your Tried & True Honey Butter Rolls at Christmas. 

    Have a terrific weekend!

  12. These sound perfect, I am so excited to try to make these, I know I will never go back to the can biscuits again when I do. Oh and that honey butter! YUM! I loved the photo of all those layers too. I’ll be dreaming of those. Thanks for perfecting it for all of us.

  13. Love your recipes and blog. I do not own a cast iron skillet. I am a older senior and do not want to invest at this stage of my life in a pan. Do you have a suggestion for any other type>

  14. It just occurred to me I really don’t have a basic biscuit recipe. I have a cheese biscuit recipe, and a basic scone recipe, but no basic biscuit recipe! I’m definitely going to make these biscuits next time I make a soup or stew up for dinner. I also can’t help but think how good these biscuits would be if, instead of brushing with melted butter and honey, they were served with your homemade honey butter! Make a pretty nice breakfast too… Can’t wait to try them 🙂

  15. Sallyyyyyy these were my absolute faves back then in NYC ! I used to pick them up still warm at the food bar. Yummy. I m soooo gonna try them but I ve got a big favor to ask : could you please “translate” your recipe into grams? I find it to be so helpful! Thanks

  16. True to form, you make this look SO easy that I know I must up my biscuit game. All I need is that first photo to get to work. Yum! Hope you’re doing well and enjoying spring in the new house!

  17. Sally,
    These look beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I want to know, do you re-roll the scraps to get more biscuits? How do they turn out? I have a habit of just cutting them with a knife while they are still in that rectangle shape-square biscuits but no waste and no re-roll because I have always been concerned the re-roll biscuits would be tougher and not rise as high.

  18. So love this recipe! Buttermilk is always needed in biscuits. Since we don’t keep it around much, I swear by Sacco Buttermilk Powder. I use it for biscuits, waffles, pancakes & cakes. So wonderful!!
    My hubby makes honey butter in a container for those wonderful hot biscuits and I do strawberry butter with mine! So yummilicious!!! So adore all of your recipes and hints!!!

    When I was a small child, we would take the scraps, gently pat them together and make either a big monster biscuit for my Dad or brother or put butter, sugar & cinnamon on it & roll it up and slice it to make a mini cinnamon biscuits. I so loved adding raisins or pecans to them.

  19. Hi Sally what a wonderful recipe! I just made them for dinner time and they were a huge hit! Love the flakiness and the texture and flavor. All of your recipes are easy to follow and I’m so happy to have found your blog a couple years ago. I remember I started following you because of the healthy cupcakes and I have made sweet and savory recipes which are fool proof and all of them have came out perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing.
    I recently bought the other 8 new recipes from your first cookbook and the bite size chocolate chip cookies are to die for! the only problem I had is that the cookies had the tendency to spread, they are not like yours all puffy and cute, maybe is due to the fact that I used self rising flour that I keep in the freezer? Because I chilled them overnight in the freezer as well. Any suggestion is welcome.

    Regards!

  20. I am so happy that I recently found your blog! My list keeps getting longer of the recipes I want to try from your site. I love how, as you say, you get nerdy. Totally cracks me up! But, I so appreciate the why and how of baking. I am a fairly experienced baker but there are always new things to learn!

    Your biscuits look wonderful! So flaky. I have a recipe I like but I am always on the hunt for an even better one. Can’t wait to try this one. Mine has a bit of sugar and I never thought of replacing it with honey. Good idea! I do what another reader does and cut mine into squares so I don’t risk the dough getting tough on the re-roll. Thanks for sharing, Sally!

  21. I love anything carbs so I had to try these. Came out wonderful but I left them in a little too long and the bottom got burned a little. But because they were so flaky they came right off the bottom and now I know better when I make them again. Thank you for this recipe!

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