- 7 Cups cake flour, plus more if needed
- 3 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cups lard
- 3 Cups cold buttermilk
- Melted butter, for pan
- Fleur de sel, for tops of biscuits
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together and cut into the lard. Add the cold buttermilk and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Turn the mixture out onto a table or board and gently bring together. Have additional cake flour nearby as the dough is very wet and you might need some additional flour. Roll out and tri-fold the dough three times and roll out. Cut the dough with a square cutter and bake on half sheet trays lined with aluminum foil (shiny side up) that has been brushed with butter.
Add more melted butter on top of the biscuits and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 425° and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. In a large shallow bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and fine salt. Add the chilled butter and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour until it is the size of peas. Stir in the buttermilk just until the dough is moistened. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick disk.
Using a floured 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out biscuit rounds as closely together as possible. Gather the scraps and knead them together 2 or 3 times, then flatten the dough and stamp out more biscuit rounds. Pat the remaining scraps together and gently press them into a biscuit.
Transfer the biscuits to a large baking sheet and brush the tops with the melted butter. Lightly sprinkle the biscuits with a few grains of flaky salt and chill until firm, about 10 minutes.
Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let the biscuits cool slightly on the baking sheet before serving.
Easy Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe
Biscuits and gravy are one of my daughter’s favorite brunch options, but despite living in a pretty large city, I have not found a single brunch spot that has it on the menu!
Even a good biscuit breakfast sandwich is hard to come by, so rather than go without, I had to take measures into my own hands and perfect my own fluffy, flaky buttermilk biscuit recipe. After several delicious attempts, I feel like this simple recipe achieves everything I want in a buttermilk biscuit while being super quick (10 minutes of prep) and only relying on pantry staples I already have on hand.
Most Southern buttermilk biscuit recipes rely on a low-protein flour (like Lily White flour) to help achieve tender, fluffy biscuits, but that’s not available where we live, so I instead use a combination of cream of tartar and baking powder than helps aerate and leaven this recipe to make up for using a standard all-purpose flour.
These buttery, flaky buttermilk biscuits have that perfect golden, crunchy outside while being soft and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. Those little flaky layers allow you to pull the biscuit apart without a knife and provide the perfect foundation for a generous slathering of butter, honey, jam or sausage gravy.
The flavor of these buttermilk biscuits is profoundly buttery with a very light tang and sweetness, which allows the biscuits to lend themselves well to a variety of different topping and serving options.
You can even top these biscuits with a sprinkle of cheese, salt or sugar before baking – or add in 1/2 cup of fruit to the dough for a fresh twist.
How do you make fluffy buttermilk biscuits from scratch?
There are a few simple aspects of this recipe that ensure fluffy buttermilk biscuits:
Cream of Tartar: The cream of tartar combines with the baking powder to create carbon dioxide gas that creates aerated pockets in the biscuits. Cream of tartar does more than leaven in this recipe, though, as it also prevents the white sugar from crystallizing, ensuring you have soft, tender biscuits.
Cold Butter and Buttermilk: Often in baking, these ingredients are called to be room temperature so that they can emulsify and aerate properly. But for biscuits, you want cold butter and buttermilk so that the butter doesn’t incorporate fully into the dough before baking. This way, the butter will melt and create little steam pockets in the biscuits that help give them that light, flaky yet fluffy and tender texture.
Not Over-mixing Dough: While most bread doughs require some generous kneading, biscuits (and other “quick doughs”) should be handled minimally. You want the dough to retain as much air as possible and you don’t want to heat up the dough with kneading, which will start to melt the butter. The dough will look a little scraggly, which is totally okay. Over-mixing will lead to tough, dense and flat biscuits.
High Baking Temperature: Baking buttermilk biscuits at a high temperature … Also, notice that my biscuits are all nestled pretty closely together in the baking pan. This encourages the biscuits to puff up vertically rather than spreading out.
Laminating the Dough: This step is optional, but I always do it with my buttermilk biscuits. Basically, you roll the dough out halfway, then fold in half before continuing to roll it out. This builds extra layers into the cut biscuits. You only want to do this once or twice, but it helps.
Don’t Twist the Cutter: A lot of us twist our wrist when we go to remove a cookie cutter from dough, but try to avoid doing that with these biscuits as it will “seal” the edges and reduce how much your biscuits rise.
What does buttermilk do for biscuits? Buttermilk adds a slight tangy flavor, and it’s acidity works with the baking powder and cream of tartar to leaven the biscuit dough (promoting those fluffy layers). A low-fat kefir can be used in it’s place.
Can you freeze buttermilk biscuits? You can freeze the baked biscuits or the biscuit dough, whichever you prefer. Baked biscuits can be placed in an airtight ziptop bag or your favorite freezer containers and frozen for up to three months.
If freezing the uncooked dough, you can either:
- prepare it up until the point that you would cut into circles (but don’t) and wrap tightly with plastic wrap before placing in an airtight bag or freezer container for up to three months. Thaw the dough completely in the fridge before proceeding with cutting and baking.
- or, cut the biscuits then freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place the frozen biscuits in an airtight bag or freezer container for up to three months. Bake from frozen, as directed.
What to Make With Buttermilk Biscuits
Personally, I can’t think of many things that I wouldn’t happily enjoy a side of buttermilk biscuits with! But here are some of our favorite ways to serve buttermilk biscuits:
- serve with sausage gravy for a Southern-style breakfast
- use to make a breakfast sandwich with bacon, cheese and egg (or whichever breakfast sandwich fillings you prefer)
- top with butter and jam or honey and butter
- serve with our cinnamon honey butter
- use to top chicken pot pie or other stews for a unique twist to dumplings
- serve alongside soups or salads to make a light meal
- serve with saucy dishes like beef tips and gravy to sop up all the extra gravy
- the dough can also be used to make monkey bread desserts
Buttermilk Biscuit Ingredients
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: you can sprinkle the biscuits with sugar, salt or cheese halfway through baking, or even mix 1/2 cup of fruit into the dough before cutting.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring Cups and Spoons <– I find using a pastry cutter easiest, but you can use a large fork, if necessary
- Pastry Brush <– I like these because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- Mixing Bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Cast Iron Skillet or Cake Pan <– I love the versatility of a good cast-iron pan – you can make everything from eggs to dessert in them and they transition easily from the stove to the oven. This one is pre-seasoned and great for even heating
How to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
Grease a round 9” cake pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Cut the butter into 1/2” cubes and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.
Stir in your buttermilk until everything is well-combined and no dry spots exist, avoiding the urge to overmix.
Flour a clean working surface and turn your dough out onto it.
Roll the dough out to a 1 1/2” thickness and cut with a round cookie cutter. I like to roll the dough halfway, then fold in half and continue rolling to ensure I build as many “layers” as possible.
Place the cut biscuits in the prepared cake pan. You want them close or touching.
Place in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top and raised.
If you are brushing with butter, remove them at 10 minutes to brush and then return for the remainder of the baking time. (You can also sprinkle with salt, sugar or cheese at this point.)
Pin this Easy Flaky Buttermilk Biscuit recipe for a quick yet indulgent side:
Grab your free printable recipe card for our best buttermilk biscuits recipe:
30 Recipes That Use Tangy Buttermilk in Genius Ways
Rich, creamy, and tangy, buttermilk is a prized ingredient in so many sweet and savory recipes. Not only do the tangy cultures in buttermilk offset super sweet flavors in dessert recipes, but they also help to create incredibly moist baked goods. You're most likely familiar with using buttermilk for fried chicken or biscuits, but those recipes often only call for one to two cups. When you're wondering what to do with the remaining buttermilk, we have 30 delicious recipes that'll help you deliciously use up what's left, and we're starting with the Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie that's pictured here. The filling is made with dark brown sugar, buttermilk, ground nutmeg and cinnamon, and unsalted butter. It's just the dessert to make for fall when you want a break from the usual apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies.
If you're looking for a classic way to use buttermilk, we have old-fashioned recipes for brunch-worthy buttermilk pancakes and chicken and waffles. The subtle tang of buttermilk shines in these all-star recipes. Should you be interested in preparing something a bit more unexpected, challenge yourself to making vanilla cake doughnuts, which calls for buttermilk in the batter.
Buttermilk also shines in several of our favorite recipes for dips and salad dressings. When paired with silky sour cream and mayonnaise, buttermilk helps to create an ultra-creamy recipe that you can serve alongside chips and crudités or tossed with greens and sliced raw vegetables for a seasonal salad. We even have a genius recipe for homemade ranch dressing, so you can skip the bottled stuff from here on out.
Next time you're wondering how to use up buttermilk, turn to these 30 recipes that will carry you from breakfast all the way through dessert.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle position.
Measure the flour into a large bowl. Incorporate the cubed butter, then the cream cheese into the flour, using your fingers to “cut in” the butter and cheese until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. It will be chunky with some loose flour.
Make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk and, using your hands or a small rubber spatula, mix the flour into the buttermilk. The dough will be wet and messy.
Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the bowl, creating a separation between the dough and the bowl. Sprinkle a bit more flour in this crease.
Flour a work surface or flexible baking mat very well. With force, dump the dough from the bowl onto the surface. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to 1-inch thickness into an oval shape. (No kneading is necessary — the less you mess with the dough, the better.)
Flour a 2-inch round metal biscuit cutter or biscuit glass. Start from the edge of the rolled-out dough and cut straight through the dough with the cutter, trying to maximize the number of biscuits cut from this first roll out. Roll out the excess dough after the biscuits are cut and cut more biscuits. As long as the dough stays wet inside, you can use as much flour on the outside as you need to handle the dough.
Place the biscuits on a baking sheet with sides lined with parchment paper, or in a cast-iron skillet, or a baking pan with the biscuit sides touching. (It does not matter what size pan or skillet you use as long as the pan has a lip or sides and the biscuits are touching. If you are using a cast iron skillet, no parchment paper is necessary.) Brush the tops with the melted butter.
Place the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake 16 to 18 minutes until light brown on top (or as dark as you prefer) and rotate the pan once while baking.
Tips for Making Perfect Biscuits
Here are a few tips for making tall, fluffy biscuits perfectly every time:
- Cold butter: Your butter should be straight from the fridge cold and blend it in as fast as you can so it doesn’t get too soft.
- Fresh rising agents: Make sure your baking soda and powder are fresh or you won’t get the fluffy rise you want.
- Don’t over mix: The dough should be lumpy and just barely combined when you mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
- Push cutter straight down: When you cut out the biscuit, push the biscuit cutter straight down. Don’t twist the cutter. That seals off the edges and doesn’t let the steam escape to create the rise and fluffiness.
Tips For Making The Best Buttermilk Biscuits
- Always use cold ingredients. This is the key to a flaky biscuits with separate layers. I usually don’t take anything out of the fridge until I’m ready to use that ingredient in the recipe.
- Do not over knead and be gentle. The more you work your dough, the more gluten you develop, and the more gluten you develop the tougher your biscuit will be and more prone to shrinking. Remember, treat it with love and be gentle.
- Use fresh ingredients, specifically your baking powder. The baking powder is what helps the biscuit layers puff up. To test the freshness of your baking powder, mix a spoonful of baking powder with 1/4 cup of hot water. If the baking powder is fresh, it will bubble vigorously.
What you’ll need
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons butter (unsalted, cut into thin slices, chilled in freezer)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (very cold)
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients to thoroughly combine.
Cut in the ice cold butter slices using a wire pastry blender, until the mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the center and pour in the cold buttermilk. Stir the dry ingredients into the buttermilk with a fork until a loose, sticky dough is formed. Stop as soon as the mixture comes together.
Form into a ball and turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
With floured hands, pat the dough into a rectangle (about 8 x 4 in inch-thick). Fold dough in thirds (like folding a letter-sized piece of paper). Repeat this process twice more.
On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat the dough out about 1/2-inch thick. Cut with a round biscuit cutter, and place on a parchment or silicon mat-lined baking sheet, a few inches apart. You can gather up any extra dough after cutting, and repeat to get a few more biscuits, although the texture may suffer from the extra working.
Make a slight depression in the center of each biscuit with your thumb (to help them rise evenly). Brush the tops lightly with buttermilk.
Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
Preheat oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly and about the size of peas. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead 3 to 4 times. Pat dough to 1-inch thickness using a light touch the more you work the dough, the tougher your biscuits will be. Using a 2½-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut dough without twisting cutter, flouring cutter between each cut. Make cuts close together to minimize scraps. Gently re-pat scraps and cut to use all dough. Place biscuits on prepared pan, sides touching so they rise high. Gently press down top of biscuits with your knuckles brush with melted butter.
Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes serve immediately with butter.
Baking Tips: After you cube the butter, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to get it really cold. Resist the temptation to cut the butter into pieces that are smaller than peas bigger butter pieces mean taller, flakier biscuits. Use full-fat buttermilk, and give the container a good shake before measuring. If the sides of your biscuits are touching, they will rise higher. Biscuits can be prepared through step 3 and frozen in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag for up to 2 months. Bake frozen biscuits as directed for 30 to 35 minutes.