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

266 Comments

  1. Another great recipe! Love all your tips and pictures along the way! I didn’t have a biscuit cutter so I used a glass, which worked but they didn’t rise as high as I would have liked. But, this recipe is a keeper!

  2. These are very good. I’ve tried many recipes for biscuits and this is the best. The folding technique and cold butter make a big difference in the texture.

      1. Thank you. I will try it. BTW, just made your Chocolate Zucchini Cake again, this time for my husband’s birthday. He is a happy guy!!

  3. I grew up in a Vietnamese household where rice and rice noodles reigned supreme. We rarely had bread other than white sandwich bread so I grew up never really getting why people liked bread so much. After moving out on my own and becoming a more adventurous eater, I’ve discovered what I’ve been missing all those years. As a result, I’m always trying new recipes because I don’t have any family recipes to go on besides the Vietnamese ones. This means I’ve made a lot of biscuit recipes over the years but never tried one that I wanted to repeat…until now. These are pretty much fool-proof and so freaking delicious. I made them a little on the smaller side and ended up eating four in one sitting. The interior is so soft, fluffy, and flaky; the outside is buttery and crisp. It’s biscuit perfection. Thank you for this recipe!

  4. These are show stopper biscuits! We have biscuits with a meal about once a week. I’ve made many batches of different recipes and though I had found my recipe about a year ago. After baking up these biscuits my family voted these the best ever. This from a biscuit-lover family. Thank you for working all the kinks out and sharing this yummy biscuit!

  5. Another make ahead idea – mix all in step 1 the night before, put flour / butter mixture in freezer overnight. Then in AM, just add buttermilk & honey, and complete. I make a lot of biscuits and scones (Sally’s amazing recipes, of cours!) and whenever I don’t have enough time to complete right away, I put my flour / butter mixture in the freezer so it’s nice and cold and keeps the butter in pieces that ensure that great rise. I LOVE all of your recipes and step by step instructions. I’ve been baking as long as I can remember, but have definitely tried new things due to your easy to follow instructions.

  6. Dear Sally,
    I’ve been searching for a buttermilk biscuit recipe similar to my grandmother’s for decades.
    I gave your recipe a shot and OMG!!!
    Yours hit the nail on the head!
    Sooo light, fluffy, delicate and soo delicious they’ll make your tongue want to slap your brain.
    THANK YOU

  7. Oh my, these are heavenly. Made them with sausage gravy this morning for my husband’s birthday and they were perfect. I’ve never made biscuits where you can actually see the individual layers! Love.

  8. Ever since my wife passed away, and took her biscuit baking skills with her, I’ve been searching for a recipe that works for an incompetent baker like me. Eureka – I found it !
    One of the best things is that you told me it’s okay for the dough to be crumbly, “shreddy” and pretty ugly looking. All this time, I’ve been trying to make it look perfect … and probably ruining it in the process.
    I now have the perfect biscuit to accompany just about anything – and I will think of my wife every time I enjoy one. Thank you.

  9. I read the make ahead tips but can I roll out and cut the dough and then refrigerate overnight? My hubby wants these for his 5 am bible study and I don’t trust him to roll them out and I’m definitely not waking up at 4 to do it 😉

    1. Hi Kelsey! The baking powder is initially activated once wet, so it’s best the biscuits are baked right away. That being said, you can FREEZE the unbaked biscuits. The very cold temperature will help “preserve” that activated baking powder.

  10. Wow. that was a tasty biscuit. Definitely keeping this one. Thank you for the helpful explanations!

  11. Biscuit HEAVEN! The layers… the crispy outside. Sheer perfection girl!! My husband was a fat happy man!

  12. Finally made these today…and couldn’t figure out what went wrong. They tasted great, but were incredibly flat and took longer to bake than recommended.

    Turns out a “roommate” bought self-rising flour and didn’t think it would be a big deal to mix it in with our all-purpose flour container.

    Deep calming breaths. Pour on some extra honey and walk away. Once I’ve replaced my flour, I’ll give these another attempt for sure.

  13. Happy St Patrick’s Sally. My family says that everything I’ve been baking from your site is so delicious! I’ve been baking cookies, batch after batch since I found you around Christmas. Made 4 dozen Chocolate Chip cookies with M&M’s and Butterscotch! WOW, AMAZING! So today I stepped up the game and made your recipe “Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits”. My first time making anything like this. I was so surprised that I could do it! But with your easy to follow instructions, I did it! They are so yummy and will go awesome with the Boiled Cabbage dinner I prepared. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!! My husband and family THANKS YOU ALSO! may you have many Blessings come your way!

  14. I made these today, the texture was absolute perfection, but I found that they needed more salt. Nevertheless, I will definitely make them again and just increase the salt or use salted butter. It’s a great recipe and easy to follow. Thanks!

    1. Shannon, I made these awesome biscuits yesterday as well. Everything was perfect, But, I found out you don’t use the listed salt amount and salted butter too! Tasted great anyway!!

  15. These are the most perfect biscuits ever! I finally found a foolproof recipe. Thank you so much Sally!! My husband said they’re fluffy in the middle like a cloud and I love the crust from the cast iron pan. I doubled the recipe for our family of seven and yielded 17 good sized biscuits.

  16. Follow up question, as I discovered I can make buttermilk at home with what I have. Would it be better to use half and half or heavy whipping cream for a recipe such as this?

    1. The biscuits are truly the best with REAL buttermilk! But you can try half-and-half with a splash of lemon juice for a bit of tang. Heavy cream is too thick.

  17. Do these reheat really well? I want to serve them at a party, ideally cooking the day before, but I want them to be at their best!

  18. I’ve always used the recipe on AllRecipes for Chef John’s Buttermilk Biscuits. I love the taste and texture of them; they’re incredibly flaky, tender, and delicious. But I’ve had problems with them rising and then falling over to create very lopsided biscuits. I always arranged them equal distances apart on the pan, as I got so used to doing that when making cookies, but I think that might be my mistake. This time, I’ll try arranging them all together. Hope it works! Thanks for the helpful tips in this post, Sally!

  19. So i found this recipe why looking up how to make Stawberry Shortcake and that recipe referred me to this one and just said to add a little sugar but never said how much. So how much sugar ro I add to make Strawberry Shortcake???

  20. I havent made yet, only saw one person say they may try salted butter. If I only have salted, use or dont bother? Go and buy unslatred?

  21. Sally, I made these for one of our friends who is a connoisseur of tea biscuits. He loved them and I wholeheartedly agree. They were light and fluffy and yet flaky.
    I think every time I made them before I rolled them too thin and didn’t use buttermilk which is the key. Also the folding over.
    This another of your recipes that is my go to from now on.
    Thank you

  22. I cannot believe I just made homemade biscuits from scratch!!! I’m shocked I was able to pull this off. The recipe is perfect. There’s room improvement, on my end of course, but overall they were good! Thank you, Sally!!

  23. Hi, Sally! First of all, want to say thanks for so many great recipes. You’re my go-to when I want to bake up something tasty, and my six-year-old is always telling people “that’s Sally’s recipe!” 🙂 I made these this morning and while they were DELICIOUS, mine barely rose and took longer than the 15 minutes to bake through. This is my first time making biscuits (and I’m Southern … gasp!), so I don’t know where I went wrong. Any tips?

    1. Hey Amanda! So glad you tried the biscuits, thank you! Is your baking powder fresh? That will make or break the recipe. I always recommend tossing it and buying a fresh container after 3-4 months. It begins to lose strength after that.

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