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

408 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Katherine In Atlanta says:

    I just found your website and made your buttermilk biscuits this morning! Outstanding! I felt like I was a contestant on The Great British Baking Show and Paul Hollywood shook my hand for the “delicious buttery layers!”

  2. Hi, I’m new to your website. Can you please recommend a particular brand of all purpose flour for these biscuits? I’ve read that it may impact success in baking. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jo Ann! I usually use King Arthur Flour in all my baking.

  3. Hi Sally,

    Can this recipe be doubled? I want to make an extra batch of dough to freeze before my buttermilk goes bad.

    1. It can, yes, but for best taste and texture, I always recommend making separate batches.

  4. Yesterday (with the help of this recipe) I made the PERFECT BISCUITS.
    My partner and I enjoyed half the buttery batch for breakfast. My dog, Tucker, helped himself to the leftovers off our counter while we were out.

    This recipe is easy to follow with helpful tips and pictures. I cut the butter in with knives, which took some time but was worth it. Been expanding my baking skills during quarantine. Next time I will try a food processor and freezing the flour. I’ll also try storing any leftovers out of reach of hungry paws!

  5. These are amazing biscuits light & fluffy perfection! Sally you helped me realize what I’ve been doing wrong with other biscuits I’ve made in the past OVER PROCESSING them! This is my new go to biscuit recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Steffani Kent says:

    Just…wow. These biscuits are absolutely fabulous! For years, I’ve been told how hard good biscuits are to make, so I’ve never tried. I decided to risk these, and…wow! Utterly divine! Thank you, Sally! (I’m going to try your recipe for biscuits and gravy next!)

  7. I appreciate the simplicity of this recipe, but for those who are sensitive to Baking powder taste, it was way too much. They did have a nice rise, but my husband and I were both overwhelmed by the flavor. They were inedible. I have loved all the recipes I’ve used from this site and appreciate your work, but I want to warn those sensitive to the baking powder aftertaste that this recipe is not for you.

    1. Are you sure you used baking powder and not baking soda?

      1. I just made these and had no issues with a baking powder taste mentioned above. I used a food processor to mix the dry ingredients with butter – along with fresh baking powder just opened (no clumps). This is the best biscuit recipe I have found. Perfect proportions of each ingredient for a very tasty biscuit!

  8. A great substitute for the baking powder and flour is Self Rising Flour. No need for the salt either!

    1. Yeah, but self rising flour is just regular flour with salt and baking powder already added.

  9. Really easy recipe and they taste great. I will enjoy strawberry shortcake tonight for dessert!

  10. Just baked these this morning! Super simple to make and the absolute best homemade biscuits I’ve had. Far better than the “drop biscuits” I grew up. Highly recommend!

  11. Karen Whitney says:

    These are literally the best biscuits I have ever tasted and by far the best I have ever made. Only my 3rd time in 40 years making biscuits from scratch! Go for it. I shared the recipe to my daughters and best friends, and my extra biscuits to my mom who LOVED them as well. thank you!

  12. Very good. This is the second buttermilk biscuit recipe I’ve tried and I like it a ton better! We also brushed it with the honey butter at the end. Yum!

  13. Absolutely stellar tender biscuits. I brushed the top with a little butter right before they were done cooking to give them a crunchy golden top.

  14. I’m keeping a lb of quartered butter in my freezer now in order to make these in the spur of the moment. I don’t own a food processor so my old school box cheese grater is perfect for shredding the butter in the right size. My biscuits are beautifully layered & require no butter post-baking they’re so rich-excellent recipe!

  15. I don’t have a cast iron skillet, but I do have a dutch oven with an enamel coating inside. Can I bake the biscuits in that?

    1. That should be just fine.

  16. This looks great! Hoping to make this recipe but see a number of comments re the overwhelming flavor of baking powder. Similar comments in another recipe (NYTimes Sam Sifton) that uses 2 Tbs of baking powder. What do you think folks are using/doing that could result in this experience? Is there a brand of baking powder to avoid? Could it be too old?

    1. Hi Catherine! I’ve noticed that as well. I usually use Clabber Girl and never detect an aftertaste anytime I make them. Though I haven’t tested it, you can try reducing the baking powder to 1 Tablespoon and adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

    2. I wonder if some people are just more sensitive to the taste. EVERY time I bake something with baking powder I can taste it a little. My husband and kids never do.

      I’d also say to be sure that you’re scooping into your tbl spoon and leveling (like you’d do flour) vs scooping straight out of the can into the tablespoon.

  17. Just made these for dinner… delish!! The whole family like them… should have made a double batch. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Thank you for this! Did it twice already and i didn’t know it was this easy! Never gonna buy ready-made again.

  19. Really straight forward recipe. I got it right on the first try. Perfect biscuits!

  20. If you want to freeze for later is there any reason why you couldn’t freeze after step 4 instead of step 3? I was thinking of making a triple batch and thought it might work nicely to flash freeze the the extra biscuits so I can pull them out, thaw them, and then bake them – much like Rhodes rolls.

    1. Hi Teresa, you can definitely freeze the shaped biscuits. For best taste and texture, I recommend making separate batches instead of tripling.

      1. Thanks! I bought a quart of buttermilk, so I thought about freezing the buttermilk, but since I’m already cleaning up the food processor, it seemed easier just to make a bunch of batches of biscuits and freeze them.

  21. This is the first time I have been successful at making biscuits. Thanks for the tips and the recipe.

  22. I love how easy this was!! I do have a question though, I rolled the dough to 1 inch and after I cut the biscuits I only was able to make 5.. did I do anything wrong?

    1. Hi Susan! I usually roll the dough anywhere between 1/2 – 1 inch thick. The thicker the dough, the less biscuits. Did you re-roll the scraps? So glad you enjoyed them.

      1. Thank you! I actually made a second batch and rolled them about 1/2 inch. They are so yummy!

  23. My biscuits have NO color 🙁 Suggestions? It was my first time trying to make them from scratch

  24. I have struggled for years to make the perfect biscuits. This recipe was awesome. They turned out perfect! The flaky, buttery layers were delicious. The family loved them.

  25. Delicious!!! Absolutely love the honey. After 15 min mine were still not done and to my horror I found my oven was running 25 degrees cold!! (My oven always runs 25 degrees cold… ugh) Adjusted the temp, baked for 5 more minutes and they came out perfect anyway.

  26. Alexandra says:

    I’ve made these twice so far and the second time they were even more delicious than the first. Very simple and so good. Highly recommend!

  27. Amy Bowen says:

    I have struggled making biscuits until this recipe. The was easy and they turned out amazing!

  28. Made these this AM. Terrific!! Just like my Mother used to make. In my oven (on convection) they took about 10 minutes longer to brown. I used bread flour and had to add a couple of tablespoons more buttermilk. Thanks for sharing this recipe. will make it again and again.

  29. I have been visiting your website for many years now and every recipe has been amazing. I was afraid to make these biscuits because they seem deceivingly simple. I have to say these are the best biscuits I have ever tasted. They turned out perfectly. I don’t have a food processor but instead grated the butter. I used 3/4 cup of greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of skim milk because I didn’t have any butter milk. I used the recommended amount of baking powder (no baking powder taste). Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

  30. Clay Bowers says:

    First thing I ever baked from scratch. The biscuits turned out great and was a hit for our little Mother’s Day brunch. Thanks for the easy to follow recipe and tips. Sorry but I took all the credit too!

    Clay

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