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Buttermilk Biscuits

These homemade buttermilk biscuits have fluffy, flaky layers and a sweet honey butter topping. They take just 35 minutes to make with just 6 ingredients!

 Be sure to serve these with my savory Sausage Gravy or my Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits.

A bowl of buttermilk biscuits with a cloth underneath.

Buttermilk Biscuits

I am not typically a successful baker, and I have yet to mess these biscuits up. It hasn’t ever happened once. So I promise you, you can do the same.

Be sure to check out my PRO TIPS and it will be a breeze, there are just a few simple rules to follow. (BONUS: You can even make these without buttermilk, check out my substitution options below!)

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add it to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter to work the butter in until coarse crumbs have formed.

Create a hole in the middle and add cold buttermilk and honey. Use a silicone spatula to stir until just combined, don’t overmix. 

A glass bowl with dough before and after being mixed to make Buttermilk Biscuits.

Use your hands to gently form a 10-inch rectangle. Fold one side into the center, then the other side. Rotate the dough horizontally and gently form it back into a 10-inch rectangle. 

REPEAT the same folding technique 2 more times. This is what creates the layers in the biscuits.

Form into a 10 x 7 inch rectangle about 1-inch thick. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter (product link in tools section below) to cut out 6 biscuits. Roll back into a rectangle that’s 1-inch thick and cut out 2 more biscuits. You’ll end up with about 8 in total. 

A wooden cutting board with Buttermilk Biscuit dough being rolled and folded.

A cutting board with buttermilk biscuit dough being rolled and cut into biscuits.

Place into a buttered cast iron skillet or on parchment paper. 

Place them close together- this is important as this helps them to rise. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Combine honey/melted butter and brush the tops when they come out of the oven. For more browning on top, bake for up to 5 more minutes at 450°. Serve and enjoy!

Buttermilk biscuits in a cast iron skillet before and after being baked.

Pro Tips

  • To properly measure the flour, take a spoon and scoop it into the measuring cup as opposed to dipping the measuring cup into the flour. Use the knife to level off the top. This is important to have an accurate measurement.
  • Alternatively, you can weigh the flour. 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour is equal to 300 grams. Be sure to subtract the measuring cup from the weight.
  • Don’t twist the biscuit cutter: it will seal the edges and prevent airflow which will hinder them from rising.
  • Butter: I use salted butter for this recipe but feel free to use unsalted. Land O’ Lakes or Cabot Butter are my preferred brands. If you have frozen butter, you can shred it and incorporate it into the dough instead of refrigerated butter.
  • If you don’t have honey, an equal amount of sugar can be used in the biscuits and you can brush the tops with just butter. (But honey really adds *great* flavor!)
  • Make sure the butter is very cold. When the butter melts in the oven, it creates steam which forms air pockets, which makes the layers light and fluffy.
  • Don’t overmix the dough or it will become too dense and won’t be as flaky and soft.
  • Fold the dough as instructed and pictured above- this is really important, that’s what creates the layers within the biscuit.
  • A large fork can be used if you don’t have a pastry cutter.

What Does Buttermilk Do For Biscuits?

  • Tang: Buttermilk adds a nice tangy component to baked goods.
  • Acidity: The acidity in the buttermilk works in conjunction with the baking powder to help the biscuits rise. 
  • Liquid: This is what forms the dough and creates steam in the oven which in turn, allows the layers in the biscuits to rise.
  • Low Fat Content: Buttermilk is usually low in fat content, which works as a nice offset since butter is dispersed throughout the dough and is high in fat.

Buttermilk Substitutes

To create a substitute for buttermilk, you’ll need milk and any one of the following: Sour Cream, Plain Yogurt, White Vinegar, or Lemon Juice. These instructions give you enough to make a cup, which is sufficient for this recipe.

  • 4 tablespoons milk + enough sour cream to make a cup.
  • 2 tablespoons milk + enough plain yogurt to make a cup.
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar + enough milk to make a cup. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice + enough milk to make a cup. Let sit for 10 minutes. It’ll look curdled. Stir to combine.

Make-Ahead Method

  • Method #1: Prepare the dough and cut the biscuits. Refrigerate for up to 2 days prior to baking. Alternatively, you can prepare the dough and complete the folding steps, cover the dough with plastic wrap and cut the biscuits prior to baking.
  • Method #2: Make dough and cut biscuits as outlined. Flash freeze on a baking sheet for 2 hours, then store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • Let them defrost in the fridge overnight, then bake as outlined.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • Refrigerated biscuits retain more moisture and therefore taste better when reheated (vs. storing at room temperature). 

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits stacked on top of each other in a bowl.

Tools for This Recipe

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Golden Buttermilk Biscuits in a bowl with a cloth.

Buttermilk Biscuits

4.98 from 80 ratings
These homemade buttermilk biscuits have fluffy, flaky layers and a sweet honey butter topping. They take just 35 minutes to make with just 6 ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons aluminum free Baking Powder, not teaspoons.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup very cold butter, equal to 1 stick.
  • 1 cup + 3 Tablespoons cold Buttermilk

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir until well-combined.
  • Cut the cold butter into cubes and add it to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter (or the back of a fork) to work it in until coarse crumbs form.
  • Create a hole in the middle of the dry mixture and add the cold buttermilk and honey. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir until just combined. Don’t overmix. It will be crumbly.
  • Add the dough to a floured surface and create a rectangle with your hands about 9 inches long.
  • Fold the left side into the middle, then the right side. (See process shots.)
  • Rotate the dough so that it’s horizontal. Gently flatten into a rectangle again, and repeat the same folding process 2 more times.
  • Form into a 10 x 7 inch rectangle about 1-inch thick.
  • Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut 6 circles. Do not twist the cutter, it will seal the edges and prevent airflow which will hinder them from rising. Lightly flour the inside of the cutter in between. I like to store them in the fridge as I cut them to prevent them from getting too warm.
  • Roll the dough back out until it’s 1 inch thick again and cut 2 more biscuits. You should end up with about 8 biscuits total.
  • Butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place the biscuits inside so that they are almost touching. The close proximity makes them rise better. You could also place them close together on parchment paper on top of a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Combine the honey and melted butter and brush the warm biscuits with it. For more browning on top, bake for up to 5 more minutes at 450°.
  • Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftover biscuits.

Notes

Ensure the baking powder is labeled "aluminum free", this is an extra precaution to avoid a chemical aftertaste, (although I don't taste one with regular baking soda, some are more sensitive to this aftertaste than others).
1 Tablespoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda may also be used.

To properly measure the flour, take a spoon and scoop it into the measuring cup as opposed to dipping the measuring cup into the flour. Use the knife to level off the top. This is important to have an accurate measurement.
Alternatively, you can weigh the flour. 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour is equal to 300 grams. Be sure to subtract the measuring cup from the weight.

Butter: I use salted butter for this recipe but feel free to use unsalted. Land O' Lakes or Cabot Butter are my preferred brands. If you have frozen butter, you can shred it and incorporate it into the dough instead of refrigerated butter.

If you don’t have honey, an equal amount of sugar can be used in the biscuits and you can brush the tops with just butter. (But honey really adds *great* flavor!)

Don’t overmix the dough or it will become too dense and won’t be as flakey and soft.

Buttermilk Substitutes:
  • 4 tablespoons milk + enough sour cream to make a cup.
  • 2 tablespoons milk + enough plain yogurt to make a cup.
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar + enough milk to make a cup. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice + enough milk to make a cup. Let sit for 10 minutes. It’ll look curdled. Stir to combine.

Make-Ahead Method
  • Method #1: Prepare the dough and cut the biscuits. Refrigerate for up to 2 days prior to baking. Alternatively, you can prepare the dough and complete the folding steps, cover the dough with plastic wrap and cut the biscuits prior to baking.
  • Method #2: Make dough and cut biscuits as outlined. Flash freeze on a baking sheet for 2 hours, then store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • Let them defrost in the fridge overnight, then bake as outlined.
Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • Refrigerated biscuits retain more moisture and therefore taste better when reheated (vs. storing at room temperature). 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 440mg, Potassium: 393mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 448IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 175mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!

Recipe Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

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187 comments on “Buttermilk Biscuits”

  1. These were so fast to bring together and they were amazing! So crispy and golden. I used powdered sugar instead of honey bc I read in a book somewhere that that’s the secret ingredient for amazing biscuits. I just made these to get rid of my leftover buttermilk from thanksgiving but I’ll definitely be making these again. 

    • I am so happy to hear that!!! I’ve never been let down by these biscuits, they’re just the best! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  2. Those are amazing biscuits and such an easy recipe. I must admit I didn’t do all the folding. I just flattened the dough in a big circle about 3/4 of an inch thick and cut out circles of dough with a glass. Baked them as specified and they were super flakey and tender. Thank you for this great recipe. 

  3. These were fantastic. At the end, I brushed with honey butter and stuck it under the broiler until they got to my preferred browning. Couldn’t be more perfect. 

  4. Sounds delicious! I’m going to have to make a double batch. Thanks for all the work you put into your recipes. I love all the extra tips and ideas you give. Is this recipe in your cookbook?

  5. Just took these out of the oven and slathered butter over them. They are terrific! I’ve never made biscuits this good! On this cold and rainy day, we are having chicken soup and these wonderful biscuits! Thank you for this recipe!

  6. Ya’ll! I’m sitting in a hurricane in Florida. Just drank a bottle of cab and decided I wanted biscuits! I made these and holy cow, they were delicious! So flakey and flavorful! I followed directions to a T and baked in my cast iron skillet. I highly recommend!

  7. This recipe will now be the only one I use. The biscuits turned out flaky and golden brown. I did make one change. I didn’t have buttermilk, so I made my own with whole milk and a little clear distilled vinegar. The dough was easy to handle and patted out easily for cutting using the top of a wine glass. Note: when cutting the biscuits, do not twist the cutter because it tends to seal the edges and can prevent the biscuits from rising. I only put the honey butter on a few, because we topped the others with hot sausage cream gravy. Rave reviews from everyone at the breakfast table.

  8. Does the honey in the dough make them sweet? And if it does, can it be left out? We only like sweet food when it’s dessert.

  9. Would I get good results if I used whole buttermilk instead of low-fat buttermilk?

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