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

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: 9-12 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

336 Comments

  1. I just made these today for the first time, for a Christmas morning breakfast of biscuits and gravy for my husbands family.
    They turned out PERFECT. They rose to fluffy heights, like delicious clouds. Everyone is raving about these. I’ve made a few biscuits recipes before and this one is the best I’ve tried.
    My only changes were that I doubled the recipe, used a buttermilk substitute (milk+apple cider vinegar), and I only cooked them for 12 minutes as they were already a toasty light brown on the tops. We will absolutely make these again. I wish I could post a picture of these perfect cloud biscuits!

  2. Hi Sally, what a beautiful recipe. Cannot wait to try it. I’m going to bake these tomorrow and I am wondering can o remove some plain flour and put whey protein in its place? Say 60g would that mess up the recipe or? Thanks looking forward to hearing back.

    1. Hi Jennyel, I have never tried making this recipe with whey protein so I’m unsure what the final result would be. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Sally,

    I’m becoming addicted to your blog. Love your recipes, tips, notes. Your Christmas Sugar Cookies were the best I’ve ever made and the idea to roll out the dough on parchment and stack and chill, brilliant, cut down so much time and frustration rolling out cold cookie dough. I also made the peppermint bark cookies and with raves from friends. Thanks for your wonderful recipes.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have tried several biscuit recipes. I made yours tonight. They were delicious and perfect. Your instructions answered every question I had. My husband said they were the best biscuits he ever had!

  5. I am going to be making these for dinner this evening. Making biscuits has always been scary for me but family wants buttermilk biscuits so here we go. My question is, can I make these early in the day but bake them closer to dinner time?

    1. Hi Joy, the biscuits are best baked right away, however you can make the dough and shape ahead of time. Cover and keep in the refrigerator or freezer before baking.

  6. Protio: Using European butter (or any 82% butterfat butter) made these EVEN BETTER!

    Such a simple recipe, but such amazing results.

  7. Oh, my gosh!!!! I have searched literally for years to try to duplicate my Tennessee grandmother’s biscuits. At last, my quest is over! These are, in one word, “wonderful”! Many thanks!

  8. Loved this so much that it’s a permanent part of my homemade repertoire. I will NEVER buy the canned biscuits ever again. Tip I learned from King Arthur Flour’s website—use a parchment paper to fold the though. It minimizes the mess by wrangling the dough more efficiently and you don’t have to deal with the sticky dough on your fingers.

  9. I have found several recipes for fluffy biscuits and have failed me every time. I found yours and followed recipe and still not as fluffy as yours look in the picture. I am a cook and baker cooking is one of my loves.
    Not sure what I’m doing wrong UGH!!!!!

    1. Hi Sue, How was the taste and texture? Be sure you are using a sharp biscuit cutter and not twisting it at all, and be sure they are touching each other in the pan when baking!

  10. Really lovely biscuits, crispy and tender. They were quick and easy to make with lovely results. The biscuits were tall and flavorful. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe. Made for What’s on the tag game. (BK)

  11. Getting ready to make these! 2 questions… 1) how many will it make? 2) what is the best way to thaw/bake them if I’ve frozen them before baking?

  12. I’ve baked so many recipes off Sally’s baking addiction and all of them usually turn out great. I’ve never made buttermilk biscuits until today. These were actually very good but they did not rise as much as the picture showed. Not sure what went wrong. They did have a little layer of flaky , they were moist and not dried out. Just wish they would’ve risen like the picture on your website. Maybe my baking powder wasn’t as fresh? rolled dough to thin? Used a pastry cutter to cut flour and butter. I will these again though.

    1. Hi Kira! It’s likely that the biscuits were rolled too flat. That’s an easy fix for next time– keep the rolled out/shaped dough thicker and your biscuits will be much thicker. Also, replacing your baking powder should help too. I replace mine every 3 months. Though 6 months is recommended, I find it loses strength after 3.

  13. Hi Sally, I am looking forward to making your delicious looking buttermilk biscuits! I was just wondering if you have tried it with self rising flour? If so what changes were made to the recipe?

    1. Hi Lorna! I don’t recommend self rising flour for this particular biscuit recipe. Stick with all-purpose and the added baking powder.

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