Easy Buttermilk Biscuits
Homemade buttermilk biscuits with flaky, buttery layers are so easy to make at home!
When I hear about people using store-bought biscuits from a cardboard tube, it makes me cringe. Don’t they know how easy it is to make soft, flaky and flavorful biscuits from scratch??
One bowl. Six ingredients. 30 minutes. That’s all that’s standing between you and these easy buttermilk biscuits!
I’ve been baking these biscuits for more than 10 years and I’m here to tell you that they are the VERY BEST. This is the only biscuit recipe you’ll ever need. And if you’re not sure homemade biscuits are something you can make yourself, I’m here to tell you that you can! And you should.
Like, right now.
Easy Buttermilk Biscuit Ingredients
You only need 6 ingredients to make these biscuits, and you probably have most of them already in your kitchen!
- All-purpose flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Cold butter
- Cold buttermilk
What if I don’t have buttermilk?
Buttermilk is one of my favorite ingredients for baking and it’s always in my fridge, but I get it, not everyone’s like me! Don’t worry, you can make your own buttermilk in a pinch.
Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (bottled or freshly squeezed) to a liquid measuring glass. Add enough regular milk (preferably 2% or whole) to measure 1 cup. Let it still for 5 minutes, then give it a quick stir before using.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Mixing bowl
- Sheet pan
- Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
- Pastry blender— this is the most crucial tool you’ll need to make the biscuits! If you don’t have one, you can use two knives.
- Round cutter— the rim of a glass will work too.
How to make tall flaky biscuits
The #1 complaint I get from readers when making biscuits is that they turn out flat. Which is no good! Biscuits should be tall with plenty of visible flaky layers. So how do I get perfect biscuits every time? Here’s my secret:
The Fold and Flatten Method
After the buttermilk has been added and the dough starts to come together, dump it all out on a clean work surface. The dough will still appear to be very dry and shaggy, and that’s completely normal. Don’t add more buttermilk! Use your hands to bring it all together, folding the pieces on top of each other and gently kneading it all together until dry bits have been mostly incorporated and dough is uniform.
Once the dough is mostly smooth, flatten it with the palms of your hands until it’s about 1-2 inches thick. Lift up one half of the dough and fold it over on top of the other half. Flatten it again to about 1-2 inches thick. Do this about 5 times. Then, use a rolling pin or your hands to press the dough to about 1 inch thick and cut into rounds.
More tips for making perfect homemade biscuits
- The butter and buttermilk should be cold and used straight from the fridge. The visible bits of cold butter throughout the dough is what creates the flaky layers and rise. If the butter is too warm, it will incorporate into the flour and you’ll end up with flat dense biscuits.
- Do not overwork the dough. Mix dough with a spatula and then work the dough with your hands just until it comes together (see above Fold and Flatten Method). Overworked dough produces tough biscuits.
- Do not twist the biscuit cutter when cutting out the biscuits. This will “seal” together all the layers within the dough and prevent them from rising. Press the cutter firmly down and then pull it straight back up. If the biscuits stick to the inside of the cutter, use a finger to pop it back out.
- For added color, brush tops of biscuits with more buttermilk before baking.
- Bake biscuits close together on the sheet pan for soft biscuits, or more spaced out for biscuits with a crispier exterior.
- Make sure your baking powder and baking soda haven’t expired. If your biscuits are still coming out flat after following all of these other tips, that might be why!
How to make biscuits in advance
Both baked and unbaked biscuits freeze really well! If I want to prep biscuits in advance, I’ll place unbaked biscuit rounds on a parchment lined sheet pan, cover with a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze until I’m ready to bake and serve.
To store in the freezer more long-term, place either baked or unbaked biscuits in a single layer on a lined sheet pan and freeze for 30-60 minutes. Then transfer to a freezer ziplock bag and store for up to 2 months. Bake straight from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time. To rewarm frozen baked biscuits, cover with foil and heat in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes.
Ways to serve these biscuits
These easy buttermilk biscuits are a lazy weekend morning necessity at our house. We serve them with butter and homemade jam or smother them with sausage gravy. And when I’m not baking up a batch of biscuits for breakfast, I’m serving them alongside a bowl of soup or another cozy meal. Really, they’re perfect any time of day.
More biscuit recipes
Now that you’ve mastered this easy buttermilk biscuits recipe, here are a few variations you should definitely try!
- Butternut Squash and Rosemary Biscuits
- Whole Wheat Cheddar Biscuits
- Cream Cheese Biscuits
- Cinnamon Roll Biscuits
Note: This post was originally published March 2011. Photos have been updated and slight improvements to the recipe instructions have been made.
Easy Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter , cubed (85 grams)
- ¾ - 1 cup cold buttermilk, plus additional for brushing (175-250 ml)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and stir until the dough starts to come together. Add more buttermilk a tablespoon at a time if needed to bring the dough together (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons is the perfect amount for me).
- Dump dough out onto a clean work surface and bring the dough together with your hands, kneading it gently until it comes together in a ball.
- Pat dough to about 1-2 inches thick. Fold one half of the dough over onto the other half. Flatten again to 1-2 inches thick. Repeat 5 times.
- Roll or pat dough to 1 inch thick. Cut dough into rounds with a lightly floured cutter. (I usually use a 3 or 3½-inch round cutter, which yields 8 biscuits) Gently bring scraps together, flatten and cut a few more rounds.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush with buttermilk.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Tools for this recipe