Flaky buttermilk biscuits are a breakfast tradition in the South, and they’re easy to make at home too! Here’s how to make perfect buttermilk biscuits every time.
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Buttermilk biscuits are a classic Southern breakfast food, along with other favorites like grits, chicken and waffles, and fried eggs. I’ve shared butterswim, homemade biscuits, and even sour cream biscuits, but I haven’t shared my buttermilk biscuit recipe yet. It’s definitely time!
Let me tell you, nothing compares to the taste and texture of homemade buttermilk biscuits. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also incredibly easy to make. You can customize them with herbs and cheese, and they freeze well too! So, you can always have some on hand when that biscuit craving strikes.
Whether you’re serving them for breakfast, as a snack, or as a dinner side dish for sopping up gravy and sauces, these buttermilk biscuits are sure to be a hit!
Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe
As you might have guessed from the name, buttermilk biscuits are made with buttermilk. The high fat content of buttermilk makes these biscuits extra rich, fluffy, and tender. The acidity in the buttermilk helps activate the baking powder in the recipe, which produces a more light and airy texture than traditional biscuit recipes.
With their light and fluffy insides and crispy golden crust on the outside, these biscuits can be enjoyed as a side, or a sandwich base, or just eat them on their own with a smear of butter, honey, jam, or jelly. The possibilities are endless!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Salted butter – This needs to be very cold; cold butter is key to flaky layers.
- Buttermilk – You can make your own by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup, then adding whole milk until it reaches the 1 cup mark. Whisk, and let sit for 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
- Heavy cream
You can fold shredded cheddar cheese or fresh minced herbs like thyme, chives, or rosemary into the dough if you’d like.
How to Make Buttermilk Biscuits
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 425ºF and grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
- Start the dough: Pulse the dry ingredients and cold butter in a food processor until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Transfer this mixture to a bowl.
- Finish the dough: Pour the buttermilk and honey into the bowl; stir, then knead the dough with your hands or a rubber spatula. Stop kneading once the dough just starts sticking together.
- Turn out the dough: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and pat it with your hands until it’s 3/4-inch thick.
- Cut the biscuits: Use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to cut 3-inch circles in the dough. Pat together the scraps, and repeat until there’s no more dough.
- Bake: Place the biscuits in the greased skillet. Then, brush them with the cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool and serve: Let the buttermilk biscuits cool in the skillet for about 10 minutes. Then, pull the biscuits apart, and serve them warm.
The dough will look a little shaggy after kneading, and that’s okay; over-mixing will make the biscuits tough.
How to Store Leftover Buttermilk Biscuits
If you have leftover biscuits, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
You can also freeze the extra biscuits for up to two months. Place them in a freezer bag or airtight container. To reheat, wrap each biscuit in a damp paper towel, and heat on high in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
Buttermilk biscuits are a great side for any meal! Serve them with eggs and bacon for a classic Southern breakfast plate, or use them as the base for sliders or old-fashioned biscuits and gravy.
They can be served alongside soups and salads as an alternative to bread, too. Biscuits are also amazing when split open and topped with melted butter and your favorite jam. Honey butter is great with buttermilk biscuits too!
Buttermilk gives biscuits a rich and tangy flavor, as well as a hint of sweetness. Buttermilk also helps tenderize the dough, giving it an irresistibly soft, fluffy texture.
The main difference between scones and biscuits is the texture. For instance, scones are usually a bit more dense and dry than biscuits. Meanwhile, biscuits tend to be fluffier and lighter. Scone recipes also often include extra ingredients like dried fruit and spices, while biscuit recipes typically use just a few simple ingredients. Buttermilk provides both of these baked goods with a delicious, rich flavor.
For a light and fluffy biscuit, we recommend using all-purpose flour. This type of flour is versatile and easy to find anywhere. You can also try white whole wheat or gluten-free flour, but the texture and taste will be slightly different.
No, eggs are not typically used in buttermilk biscuit recipes. The acidity of the buttermilk helps to activate the leavening agent (baking powder or baking soda) and gives the biscuits their signature rise.
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- ½ cup cold salted butter
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and grease a 10” cast iron skillet.
- Add the flour, baking powder and cold butter into a food processor and pulse until the mix looks like coarse crumbles. Pour the mix into a large bowl.2 ½ cups all purpose flour, 2 Tablespoons baking powder, ½ cup cold
- Pour the buttermilk and honey into the bowl and knead the dough together with a rubber spatula or by hand. The dough will look a little shaggy which is good. You do not want to overmix or the biscuits will be too tough. Stop mixing once the dough just starts sticking together.1 cup cold buttermilk, 1 Tablespoon honey
- Sprinkle a flat work surface with a little flour then pat the dough flat with your hands until it is about ¾ of an inch thick. You can use a rolling pin but roll gently, the dough is very soft!
- Cut the dough into 3 inch circles using a cookie cutter. Place the biscuits in the greased skillet. The biscuits should be touching inside the skillet but not completely crushed- you want that circular shape!
- Re-roll any scrap dough and cut out more biscuits.
- Brush the biscuits with the heavy cream and then place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes.2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Let the biscuits cool in the skillet for about 10 minutes. Pull apart the biscuits and serve while nice and warm.