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 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 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 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

303 Comments

  1. Tried your recipe. Delicious, but they did not rise up as much as I would have liked.
    Baked them in an iron skillet, biscuits just touching. Any suggestions for higher biscuits?

  2. These taste amazing! Nice rich buttermilk flavor, flakey, and light. I made these through step 3 last night and finished this morning. I made a double batch for Father’s Day brunch. First batch I got a little crazy and rolled them to thin. Second batch followed the 1/2 inch direction and got quite a bit more rise, enough to split them. I baked these on a parchment lined baking sheet and had no issues. This is going to be my go to recipe for biscuits. If you want a thicker biscuit then don’t roll them as thin.

      1. Thanks for the quick response! The biscuits turned out perfect! Tomorrow for the 4th of July, I will be making your apple slab pie again…it was a big hit at Thanksgiving last year! Thanks for sharing 🙂

      2. when using a cast iron skillet, do I preheat it,and you mean to use it non-greased. Cast iron takes quite a while to heat up. is baking time 15 min.

  3. These are my go-to biscuit recipe, and thank you for the recipe, as well as your tips! Would I be able to double this recipe and have them turn out every bit as fabulous as your single recipe? Thank you!

    1. Hi Sandy! I’m so glad you enjoy these biscuits, thank you! For best results, I reocmmend just making a couple batches instead of working with more dough at once. Working with more dough, you could overmix it and the biscuits would taste dense and flat.

  4. I have baked great biscuits before – everyone has liked them – but THESE!!! Now I can bake AH-MAZ-ING biscuits and we fight over how many each person gets!!! Thank you for the folding trick – I use it for pie crusts and never thought to use for this application! What a difference the little things can make! Side note – I used 55 grams of coconut oil and the remainder with butter and froze the chunks before adding to the processor – worked out perfectly!!

  5. I was out of buttermilk – used half cream and half beer. Used half beef tallow and half butter – both very cold. Results amazing – husband is grabbing his third biscuit at this very moment. 🙂

  6. Amazing biscuits! The folding technique is what made a huge difference, my biscuits are finally flaky. Going to pass on one of my tips for a super easy way to cut in the butter. If you are using a food processor anyways, use the large grating disc (large grate) and grate frozen butter into the flour. The butter must be frozen to do this! If it warms up too much just pop back into the fridge/freezer.

  7. I’ve tried so many biscuit recipes – none compare! You can always trust Sally’s Baking Addiction! Thank you Sally – you are my go-to.

    1. I like to grate the cold butter on the large holes of a box grater, directly into the flour mixture. Stop periodically and toss the flour over the butter bits, to keep them from sticking together again. Works great!

    1. Real buttermilk is ideal for the best taste and texture, but you can get away with a DIY sour milk. To make it, add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup. Stir the two together and let sit for 5 minutes then use in the biscuit recipe.

      1. 1 teaspoon? I’ve always used 1 tablespoon! I don’t keep buttermilk on hand. It goes to waste, using such a small amount in a recipe 🙂

  8. I have baked this biscuit recipe three times now, and they haved turned out perfectly each time. After being married to a southern guy for 40 years, I finally can say I know how to make biscuits. Thanks for your detailed instructions…and many wonderful recipes. You are my go to site for excellent baking!

  9. These look amazing! Do you think could sub lard in instead of butter? Or maybe a mixture of both? Im not sure if they’d come out the same. Thank you! 🙂

  10. I made these tonight for our “breakfast for dinner” and after finishing my said “thank you Sally!!!”. These turned it great. We loved the soft and flaky interior and the buttery crust in these biscuits. We’ll definitely make again! They were a nice change up from the sweeter baking powder biscuits I’ve been making for years.

  11. I had my students make these yesterday in Home-ec. The recipe is simple to follow and still forgiving. No matter how many times I explain the recipe, there are always those few that don’t quite listen . Regardless, each group had a great turnout. It gave them confidence and they were so proud of themselves. Thank you Sally

  12. I have tried for so long to make a great biscuit. This recipe was the answer to my prayers. I made the Most Amazing biscuits for the first time in my life. Thank you so much. I did heat the cast iron skillet in the oven before coating it with butter and putting the biscuits in. I cooked them on the second shelf from the bottom. I omitted the honey when putting butter on top after they baked, didn’t want sticky biscuits. I did put 2 tsp of honey in dough. I think that was way better than sugar other recipes called for. The folding of the dough, I think was a key to the success. Thank you again for my success in biscuit making.

      1. I made these yesterday for Christmas morning and they tasted awful, so bitter! I re-read the recipe and couldn’t figure out where I went wrong. I just realized after reading this comment that I used baking soda. I will have to try these again!!

      2. I made the same mistake. The biscuits came out LOOKING great but tasted sour, NOW I KNOW WHY!!! lol Can’t wait to try the recipe with baking powder instead of baking soda. Also next time I won’t try a, make a head recipe at 11pm

  13. I made this recipe this past weekend for a casual dinner of Chicken, Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Peas for friends. I have been baking biscuits and bread products for 40 years with great success but these biscuits were the best I have ever baked! These biscuits will be my go to recipe from now on. I have made your cranberry glazed muffins and the cranberry bread along with the pumpkin crumb muffins; your recipes are wonderful. I have bookmarked your website to my browser and I only have 4 total.

  14. Just took these out of the oven. Omg! My new go to biscuit recipe! They are so flaky, light and fluffy. My hubby loves them as well. Thank you Sally!

  15. These were fantastic and my family really enjoyed them. But mine wasn’t as flaky as yours and is there any tips to make flakier biscuits?
    Thanks

    1. I’m glad your family enjoyed them, Julie! Be sure to read through the blog post – I listed my 6 best tips up in the text!

    1. Hi Annie, I wish I could help, but I have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  16. I used this recipe and the biscuits were amazing. I froze the butter and grated it into the flour and they basically needed no mixing, just turned a fork around the bowl a little. I couldn’t believe how many layers were in my biscuits. I’m so excited, and thank you very much for a perfect recipe and especially for the excellent directions.

  17. Sally! Do you have a Southern grandma we don’t know about?? These biscuits are worthy of the best of the best!! Y’all need to spend this to Reese Witherspoon! I know how busy you must be with the blog and the baby, but have you had a chance to read “Whiskey in a Teacup” yet? Your biscuits with jam would be the perfect accompanyment! Brava!!

    1. I haven’t read it, but thank you so much for the suggestion!! And the wonderful review on the biscuit recipe. They’re my favorite biscuits too.

  18. Read what you said about butter in the recipe (heat making it bubble).
    So being a stubborn Texas boy, I tried these biscuits as my wife fell in love with biscuits in Texas. All my previous biscuit attempts failed at this altitude (3,000 meters, Cajamarca, Peru, South America). So I mix everything, let the buttermilk work a bit longer with the baking powder, in the ‘frige. Made the rectangle and folds then cut biscuits into my baking pan, put in middle rack and baked a bit longer…Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…wife fell in love with me again:)

  19. I tried these using gluten free all purpose flour with a bit of psyllium husk mixed in. Everything else was as listed, except for using the buttermilk substitute. For being GF, they were pretty good, with the somewhat flaky layers and the crispy edges. I think if I try them again I will roll them out a little thicker or cut with a slightly smaller biscuit cutter to see if they will rise up a little more. Or maybe a tad more baking powder.

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