Buttermilk Biscuits

I went through many batches of test runs developing this buttermilk biscuit recipe. I seemed to constantly be feeding workmen who came to the house, the cable guy who fixed the internet connection, neighbors, friends, anyone who walked by really. There were no complaints from the peanut gallery, but I wasn't satisfied with the recipe until I was satisfied.

Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos...)
Advertisement - Continue Below

How to Make Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

I wanted a biscuit that crumbled as you bit into it and yet wasn’t dry inside. I wanted it to be easy to make and yet full of flavor. I borrowed some technique from Shirley Corriher (a cookbook author whom I greatly admire) and played with different soft self-rising flours (settling on this one here).

A stack of three buttermilk biscuits on dark marble.

I think the technique of grating the butter into the flour is a fantastic trick to have in your toolkit. It creates morsels of butter that are just the right size without having to cut the butter into the flour with a fork or two knives.

Advertisement - Continue Below
Buttermilk Biscuit batter on a tray with flour.

The resulting batter is quite wet and soft, but there’s no need to roll it out – just scoop it into your floured hands, tossing it back and forth to shape it ever to slightly and put it right next to its neighbor in the baking pan.

Advertisement - Continue Below
Buttermilk Biscuits raw in a cake pan lined with parchment paper.

These biscuits rise up nicely and with the tops brushes with a little butter, you’ll be in heaven in about half an hour.

Can I make these biscuits ahead?

I am going to be quite honest with you here. These biscuits are best served the day you make them. But the good news is, they are super easy so you can make them quickly, even on a busy day or holiday. To prep the day before, you can measure out all the ingredients and cut the butter into the flour. Add the buttermilk right before you are ready to bake them. Do not let the batter sit too long before baking because the baking powder will start to activate.  Of course if you really have to bake your biscuits the day before, you can reheat them by wrapping the biscuits in foil and baking at 350°F for about 15 minutes. This will also work for leftover biscuits (that is if you have any!).

Substitues for Self-Rising Flour and Buttermilk

You might not have either of these ingredients on hand and in a pinch, there are some substitutions you can make. If you are fresh out of buttermilk, for every cup, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup. Add enough milk to measure 1 cup. Let it stand for 5 minutes. For self-rising flour, for every cup use 1 cup of all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. For this recipe you will need:

1 1/3 cup of Buttermilk = 1 1/3 cup milk + 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice

2 1/3 cups Self-Rising Flour = 2 1/3 cups All-purpose flour + 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt

What to Serve with Buttermilk Biscuits?

Well for me, you can serve these biscuits with just about anything! I especially love them with foods I consider comfort food like my Beef Stew, Classic Pot Roast, Chicken Noodle Soup and Fried Chicken. For variations on these plain buttermilk biscuits try making Cranberry Orange Biscuits or Bacon Cheddar Biscuit Bread.

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
Baking Soda vs Baking Powder

Both baking soda and baking powder are chemical leaveners used in baking, but how do they differ? How do you...View Technique

Advertisement - Continue Below

Watch The Recipe Video

Advertisement - Continue Below

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 45 m
  • Servings:
    9

Ingredients

  • 2-1/3 cups self-rising flour
  • 8 teaspoons sugar (2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
  • ½ cup butter 1 stick
  • 1-1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour for shaping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange a shelf slightly below the center of the oven.
  2. Line a buttered 8” cake pan with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and sugar. Grate the butter into the flour and stir it in to coat evenly.
  4. Gently stir in the buttermilk. The dough should be quite wet.
  5. Spread the all-purpose (not self-rising) flour out on a small cookie sheet.
  6. With a spoon, scoop evenly sized balls of dough into the flour, making sure they don’t touch each other.
  7. With floured hands, coat each dough ball with flour and toss them gently from hand to hand to shake off any excess flour.
  8. Place each floured dough ball into the prepared pan, right up next to the other. This will help the biscuits rise up, rather than spreading out. You might need to do the above in batches.
  9. Place the cake pan on the arranged shelf in the oven. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  10. Brush the tops of the biscuits with some melted butter and pop back into the oven for another 5 minutes or so, until nicely browned.
  11. Turn the biscuits out onto a plate, and then invert them again so they are right side up. Pull or cut the biscuits apart and serve immediately with some butter and honey if you like.
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below

Comments (80)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    Best biscuits ever! I had struggled with trying to make biscuits for years and with Meredith’s recipe, I had success the first time. I was so proud, I took a picture of my pan of biscuits. Then every time I made them, I was so amazed I kept taking pictures of every batch. After 6 or so times, I finally stopped. I used White Lily flour and the idea to grate the butter is such a great tip.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the best biscuit recipe that I’ve ever found. All the others turn out like hockey pucks! Crisp outside / tender inside and very easy to do! Awesome!

  3. First time I made these has been a while back. As with any new recipe, it was a learning experience. My first batch wasn’t very pretty or evenly sized, but they were still yummy. The dough was very wet, as expected, and very sticky to handle to get coated with the plain flour. I should have used a larger pan to coat & roll in the flour. The next couple of times I made them, the process went much easier because I knew what to expect. It really is easy!

    Thanks for the recipe! The grated butter is genius 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    These Buttermilk Biscuits looks delicious & actually easy to make However I would like a recipe for feeding only 2 people instead of a full household if possible! Don’t care for buttermilk, Is it possible to use Milk instead? Thanks for All you do. Big Fan & Miss seeing you on the Q. Best regards.

    1. Hi Becky. In order to make biscuits for just two people, you’d need to have a very small pan and just cut the recipe in a quarter. The pan is necessary to hold the biscuits up and force them to rise up instead of just spread out. If you have a small pan for just 2 or 4 biscuits, you could reduce the recipe and give it a go. If you don’t want to use buttermilk, you could use milk along with some lemon juice. The recipe needs an acid of some kind to help activate the learners in the batter. Hope that helps answer your questions.

    1. Hi Kim. It’s not ideal to refrigerate them before baking because once you’ve mixed the wet and dry ingredients together, the leavener in the self-rising flour are activated. Waiting to bake will prevent the biscuits from rising as high as they could. If you want to make ahead a little, I would mix the dry ingredients with the butter and refrigerate that. Then, add the buttermilk and shape them right before baking. Alternately, if it’s that fresh baked aroma and warmth you’re looking for, you could make bake them and leave them in the pan. Warm them for 10 minutes in the oven before breaking them apart and serving.

  5. I saw this video about a year ago. I’ve NEVER been able to make biscuits, which is quite embarrassing when you come from s long line of biscuit makers. I tried the recipe, followed the instructions to the letter…and successfully made homemade biscuits for the first time. Yes I cried. My family ate them and raved at the flavor! Never too old to learn. Thank you Meredith.

  6. 5 stars
    Hands down, my family’s #1 favorite biscuit. This recipe works for sweet AND savory! I make enough so we can have with dinner and then too with whipped cream and strawberries for dessert!

    1. Hi Liza. I would bake them and freeze them once they have cooled completely. Then, just refresh them in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes and they’ll be delicious.

  7. I made these biscuits today today to go with instapot chiken pot pie instead of frozen or canned! They came out awesome. I’ve been trying to make my grandmother’s tea biscuits for years only rose big once, but I’m going to try this method with her recipe and see how it does!

    Thank you,

    John Nastu

  8. How would you go about freezing the dough and would it be able to be cooked from frozen if the biscuits were already formed before freezing? If so, what would be the recommended time to do so?

    1. Hi Katie. You can freeze the biscuits and cook from frozen, but let them sit on the counter for about 20 minutes first and then add about 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time. They might not have quite the same texture as if you bake them fresh, but it will work. You’ll have to freeze these biscuits in the baking pan because they are too soft to freeze free-form. Once frozen, you could remove them from the pan and put them in a zipper sealable bag until you’re ready to pop them back into the cake pan to bake.

  9. Thank you so much for the recipe and video. I only tried to make biscuits from scratch a coupe of times because they were like Hockey Pucks. These were scrumptious! Thank you again.

  10. 5 stars
    I must have nearly 100 different biscuit recipes. This one looked so different I decided I had to try it. I’ll be 86 years old in two days and have been making biscuits for a lot of those years. This has to be the WINNER over all others. Thank you Bluejeanchef for it. I appreciate all your recipes.
    Best of Gods blessings to you.

  11. 5 stars
    Thank you Meredith for this recipe! I’ve tried soooo many recipes and never have they turned out like these biscuits. Easy Recipe and a delightful outcome. So happy I finally have a biscuit recipe I know will turn out every time and so yummy to eat

  12. 5 stars
    These were easy to make and very delicious! I should have made a double batch ☺️. Will be my go to recipe for biscuits from now on

  13. 5 stars
    Very excited to try this for Christmas morning….does it matter if the butter you grate into the flour is salted or unsalted?

  14. I am from Tennessee and I have made biscuits from this recipe many times and the resulting biscuits are the absolute best! I am a fan of all things biscuit and I know a perfect one when I have it in hand. Try this recipe, you will not be disappointed!

    1. You’re right – most southerners wouldn’t use sugar in their biscuits. I put sugar in the biscuits because I like the gentle sweetness it adds. Sugar does more than that, however. It is hygroscopic, which means that it loves and holds onto water, making the biscuits a little more moist.

  15. I love the silicone baking sheet you’re using for this recipe (and, of course the recipe as well – genius!).
    Can you share the brand you’re using? I’ve never seen any that would fit in a pan like that.
    Thanks!

    1. That was a customizable sheet of silicone by Cook’s Essentials. It was originally from QVC, but I don’t know if they still have any in stock.

  16. 5 stars
    For the lady who complained about too many biscuits…we always have warmed up biscuits and creamed chicken for supper the day we have biscuits for breakfast….works great.

  17. 5 stars
    The biscuits are delicious. I’ve tried making biscuits before but they were never fluffy and delicious. I love the idea of grating the butter, sure makes it easier. Thanks for the recipe. Yum!

  18. 5 stars
    Hi Meredith, I made my first batch this morning. Outstanding biscuits! Couldn’t Becky C. In the above comments use just a larger muffin/cupcake pan for smaller quantity baking? I too miss you on Q (its not the same)!

  19. 5 stars
    Tried these biscuits at a family meal. Doubled the recipe. They were delicious and so easy to make. This recipe is a keeper and will be my go-to for biscuits. Thank you, Meredith!

  20. I made the buttermilk biscuits recently and thank you for the easy recipe. Didn’t realize you could grate very cold or frozen butter into the flour. We enjoyed them for breakfast and also made strawberry shortcake for dessert another day. I just heated them in the microwave for a few seconds and it was scrumptious. This recipe is a keeper.

  21. 5 stars
    The simplicity and deliciousness never ceases to amaze me with this recipe. I have Ziplock baggies with frozen grated butter in my freezer. As well as the pan of AP flour to dust them in!

  22. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh. These biscuits are fantastic. I will never make biscuits any other way now. Besides being easy they are light and fluffy and not dry. The tops are crunchy and buttery. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who loves homemade biscuits.

  23. 5 stars
    OMGee good! I even put a little sugar in the butter to brush on top and they come very close to the ones served at the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Atlanta, GA. Keeper recipe!

  24. The simplicity and deliciousness of this recipe continues to amaze me. I’ve made them so much I no longer need to follow the recipe. Found out this morning I can sub greek yogurt and milk for the buttermilk. Thinned out the yogurt to a buttermilk consistency. Thanks again bluejeanchef!

  25. I have tried for years to make a wonderful biscuit like my Mother’s and I couldn’t, but now I can and even better than my Mothers. Thank you so much, can’t wait to try the cheese biscuits next. Can the biscuit be frozen before baking?

    1. Hi Cinda, I’m afraid you can’t freeze the biscuit dough before baking. The leavener in this recipe is baking powder (in the self-rising flour) and it is activated when the dough is mixed together. As a result, you want to put the biscuits into the oven as soon as it’s mixed so that you get the rise you need.
      ML

  26. I made these tonight and they were awesome. A little crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect!! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hi Angie. This recipe calls for buttermilk, not yogurt or milk. In a pinch you can make your own “buttermilk” by using 1⅓ cups milk + 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice.

  27. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for dinner last night to go with sausage gravy. It is a very good recipe. It went together very quickly, and the results were delicious. Thank you for writing such detailed and easy to follow directions.

  28. I made these this morning for my family and everybody loved them! They are so delicious and make the house smell fantastic!

  29. 5 stars
    Best Biscuits Ever! I never realized how delicious biscuits could taste. Great tips and hints included to assist everyone. Light fluffy and comfort food till the last bite.

  30. I have always wanted to make biscuits, and it seems like we all have extra time now. Some Southerners make 7-Up biscuits, so those are slightly sweet.

    Should the butter be unsalted or salted?

  31. These were incredibly easy and delicious. They reminded my family of Cracker Barrel’s. I had to cover them for the last 5 minutes of cooking time, because they were getting to brown – may just be my oven. I’m excited to finally have a “biscuit recipe”.

  32. 5 stars
    SO good! Make great little ham & cheese sammies when they are warm. Thank you Meredith! Love your cooking so much!

  33. 5 stars
    I’ve tried a lot of biscuit recipes, but I hadn’t found one that is produced the consistently good results the way this one does. I’ve messed around with it a couple of different ways, including cutting the sugar and adding fresh minced garlic and cheddar, and other times using a honey butter glaze on top. Every time I’ve made them, they turn out light, fluffy and delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  34. 5 stars
    Easily made. I made mine a bit too large at first, so my last few are smaller. But no worries. Awesome flavor! Thanks, Meredith!

  35. Been looking for a good biscuit recipe and I think I found it. I ended up with 7 biscuits and my pan would only take 6, I put the extra in a small ramekin. My husband said he really like that one cause there was a nice crust. Next time I might try a muffin pan, that would be great for a 1/2 batch.

  36. I watched you make these biscuits from blue jean chef recipe on QVC and thought, this recipe is way too easy to taste good. Oh my, was I wrong. They are the best biscuits I have ever eaten. My husband likes biscuits and gravy. These are perfect for that and I like eggs, sausage, and cheese on a biscuit. Thank you so much for giving us this recipe!

  37. 5 stars
    I made these biscuits from your recipe while you were on QVC. I’ve been making them regularly ever since. They are the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten. My husband likes them with sausage gravy and I like egg, sausage and cheese or plain with lots of butter and jelly. Thank you Meredith, we appreciate you sharing this great biscuit recipe with us.

  38. These are awesome. My husband can’t stop raving about them. My mom wants to know if you can use whole wheat flour. Also can these be gluten free

    1. Hi Erika. So glad you liked them. I’m afraid you can’t replace the self-rising flour with whole wheat flour because the rising power in the biscuits is mostly in that self-rising flour (flour + baking powder + salt). You could try replacing just part of the self-rising flour with whole wheat, but you’d also have to adjust the rest of the recipe, adding baking powder and changing the buttermilk quantity too. So, while it might be possible, it would take a lot of work and calculating and the result wouldn’t be close to the same. As for gluten free, I haven’t tested it with gluten-free flour either. If you wanted to substitute gluten-free flour and give it a whirl, you will also have to add baking powder and salt – read my paragraph on substituting the self-rising flour near the end of the page.

  39. These biscuits are wonderful! I have been looking for a recipe that would look and taste like the ones that my mother-in-law used to make. I have found the right texture and taste and my family loves them.

    Ruby D.

  40. 5 stars
    I’ve been experimenting with biscuit recipes during quarantine and I made a double batch of these this morning. My whole family agreed this was the best I’ve made and my SIL said these rival Popeye’s. Will definitely make these again.

  41. 5 stars
    Best biscuits ever. When I think of moist on the inside, crisp on the outside and pretty much perfect country biscuits- these are all that. Thank you so much for the butter grating technique and recipe.

  42. Have made many biscuits, some very good, some not so good. These are EXCELLENT!! The difference, I think, is the self rising flour and your technique. Thank you so very much. All your recipes I’ve tried and are excellent . You are very talented.

  43. 5 stars
    Made these for the first time this evening to go with homemade sausage gravy. These are the best tasting biscuits I have EVER had!!! Bar None!!! Lots of delicious flavor & very easy to make!! We WILL be having these again. Thank You Meredith!!!

  44. Best biscuits I have ever made. Sent recipe to my daughter in Denver. Will she need to make any adjustments since she is at a higher altitude?

  45. 5 stars
    These were excellent! I didn’t have enough for a double recipe, so used substitutes for self-rising flour and buttermilk. They were a real hit!! I will buy the proper ingredients for next time because there will definitely be more times. Thank you!

  46. 5 stars
    This has been my go-to biscuit recipe for years, so thank you! I do omit the sugar – I’m a Southerner and we don’t put sugar in our biscuits. Other than that tweak, this recipe is perfect as-is.

    I could never make biscuits, but these changed that and they are heavenly every single time. Now I get requests for “my” biscuit recipe all the time.

  47. 5 stars
    This biscuit recipe was Fabulous!! I told my daughter about it now she wants to try it. My son said, Mom i don’t know what you did to these biscuits but they are Delicious!! 😛

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *