Learn the secrets of making southern-style buttermilk biscuits that bake up tall, fluffy, and light as a cloud. Homemade bread in 20 minutes or less!

Close up image of a batch of tall, fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuits on a wire cooling rack.

*This buttermilk biscuit recipe originally published on September 15, 2016. I thought it was about time it was updated. So, I’ve added a video and answers to some frequently asked questions. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these buttermilk biscuits as much as my family and I do!*

This is a sponsored post, written by me and created in partnership with White Lily Flour.  All opinions expressed herein are straight from my heart.

I may not have been born in the south, but you’d never know it by the way I bake biscuits.

Much of the credit goes to my husband.  He’s not a southerner either, but he is truly a connoisseur of buttermilk biscuits.  Actually, he’s a lover of all kinds of southern comfort food, but biscuits are a top favorite for him.  And one he craves on a weekly basis.

Almost every Saturday, from the time we were first married, he’s begged me to make biscuits for his breakfast.  And since I love to bake, I always do it.

Honestly, it’s not just because I love to bake.  It’s also because biscuits are so quick and easy. They’re a quick bread, so similar to waffles or scones or cornbread, they whip up in a snap.  

And the final product makes that little bit of time in the kitchen so incredibly worthwhile.

 He loves to make breakfast sandwiches with them, but he’s also been known to slap a piece of fried chicken in there with some cole slaw.  

For me, nothing beats a warm biscuit slathered with butter and strawberry jam.

I can remember years ago, back in my architecture days, I had a client who was from South Carolina.  Whenever we would have project meetings, she would always put out freshly made biscuits and jam for all the designers and contractors to nibble on while we talked business.  

I had already caught the baking bug way before then, so I loved that she had made it her tradition to bake like that every day.  It amazed me that she could put out bread, fresh from the oven, on such a frequent basis.  I told her so, and that’s when she shared the secret that so many southerners already know.  

As it turns out, biscuits are one of the simplest things you could ever make.

Two buttermilk biscuits on an antique china plate, with a basket of biscuits and a jar of honey in the background.

HOW TO MAKE SOUTHERN-STYLE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

To make these tall, fluffy biscuits, you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk

And that’s it! Just 5 simple ingredients.

In fact, if you use self-rising flour that brings the list down to just 3 ingredients.

Start by placing the flour, baking powder, and salt in a big bowl. Give these dry ingredients a quick whisk, just to make sure they’re combined.

Flour, baking powder, and salt being stirred together in a large glass mixing bowl.

Next, add the butter. I know a lot of bakers bake biscuits with shortening, but I like to use all butter because I prefer the flavor.  

Now the key to a tall biscuit is cold butter, so don’t take it out of the fridge until you are ready to use it.  And once you do, you want to work fast.  

When the cold butter hits the hot oven, it releases steam that makes the biscuits puff up.  

Cutting butter into dry ingredients with a pastry blender.

Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender– it works really fast and I like it better than using my fingers because the butter stays colder this way.

You don’t need to go too crazy with the cutting in, in fact, it’s better to under-work it than to over-work it.  I stop just as soon as the pieces are no bigger than pea-sized.  Here’s a pic, so you can see what I mean:

How to make buttermilk biscuits just like a Southern Grandma. #sponsored @whitelilyflour

See how there are some little nubs of butter still visible?  That’s what you want.

Pouring buttermilk into a mixing bowl to make biscuits.

The final ingredient is buttermilk.  Again, it’s best if it’s cold.  

I like to start by stirring it in with a spatula, but you will see that after a little while it looks like there’s not going to be enough liquid for all that flour.  Don’t worry though- just get in there with your hands and knead it a few times.  It will come together, and be pretty sticky at that!

Kneading homemade buttermilk biscuit dough. 

Dust the work surface with flour, so the dough doesn’t stick to your counter, and form the biscuits.  

Flatten the dough to a thickness of about 3/4-inch, and then use a 2-inch diameter cutter to make rounds.

Cutting homemade buttermilk biscuit dough with a 2-inch diameter cutter. 

I find it’s really helpful to dip the cutter in flour before every cut, just to keep things from sticking.  Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet, and into the hot oven they go.

How to make buttermilk biscuits like a Southern Grandma. #sponsored @whitelilyflour

Homemade biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

As you can see, I like to bake them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

You should get anywhere from 9 to 12 homemade biscuits to a batch.

And if you place them on the tray so that their sides are just barely touching, they’ll have room to spread while still supporting each other. This way they’ll bake up nice and tall!

CAN YOU MAKE HOMEMADE BISCUITS WITHOUT BUTTERMILK?

I always keep buttermilk on hand because I use it in so many things (from cakes to waffles to of course, biscuits).  

But if it’s not a go-to ingredient for you, you can make a reasonable facsimile.  Just stir 2 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar into 3/4 cup regular milk.  Let that sit for 10 minutes or so, until the liquid gets thick and looks curdled.

Another option is to make cream biscuits.  

You can find the best recipe for that here.

Just use half the amount of butter (so, 1/4 cup aka: 4 tablespoons), and swap the buttermilk for 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream.

TROUBLESHOOTING: WHY ARE MY BISCUITS FLAT?

Nothing is sadder than a flat biscuit! We like ’em sky high around here, so I pat the dough to a thickness of no less than 3/4-inch before cutting them out.

Also, it’s really important to work quickly so the dough remains cold. If at any point your flow gets interrupted (to answer a phone call, get the kids a juice box, whatever), pop your ingredients into the fridge to keep them nicely chilled while you do your thing.

And if you’re worried that you’ve taken too long to make your biscuits and things have gotten too warm, put them into the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes, or the freezer for 5 to 10.  The colder they are when they hit the hot oven, the higher that steam will make them rise!

If all else fails, the culprit could be your baking powder. Baking powder does expire after a while, so make sure it’s not past its date. This goes for self-rising flour too!

TENDER & FLUFFY BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Ideally, biscuits should be so tender they practically melt in your mouth. To achieve this, be sure you don’t overwork your dough.

The less you knead your dough, the better.  Overworked dough will produce a tough biscuit, so just give it a few quick turns to make sure all the flour is incorporated.

Here are a few more tips you may find useful:

  • Add a 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to every cup of all-purpose flour to make your own self-rising flour.  Or check out this recipe for All-Purpose Flour Biscuits.

Close-up image of homemade buttermilk biscuits on a checkered cloth, with a jar of honey in the background.

Every time I post with White Lily, I inevitably get comments from readers wanting to know where to buy it.  For years, it was only available in the south, but the good news is, they’re rolling it out nationwide.  If you don’t already know it, I live in southeastern Pennsylvania, and I don’t have any trouble getting it at my regular supermarket.  But if it still hasn’t made it to your favorite market, there’s an easy solution: visit this page, click on the product you want, and you’ll find an option to locate it at a store near you OR order it online and have it shipped to you.

Happy biscuit baking!

WHAT GOES WELL WITH BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

My family really loves to have homemade biscuits and a big pot of soup for dinner, especially during the cooler months. We especially love this biscuit recipe alongside a bowl of steamy corn chowder or broccoli cheese soup.

It also works well as a topping for our favorite chicken pot pie! Just swap out the puff pastry and use biscuits instead.

We often enjoy biscuits for breakfast too. They’re great sandwiched around a fried or scrambled egg. Even better if bacon is involved!

And sometimes we just keep it simple: buttered, with a dollop of homemade jam or apple butter, or a drizzle of sweet honey.

HOW TO STORE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Slip them into a zip-top bag once they’re completely cooled, and these buttermilk biscuits will keep at room temperature for about 2 days, or in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.

CAN YOU FREEZE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS?

I freeze homemade biscuits all the time! It’s great to have a stash in the freezer.

Just zip them into a freezer bag and they’ll keep in the freezer for a couple of months.

Thaw them in the fridge or at room temp.

HOW TO REHEAT BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Nothing’s nicer than a hot biscuit!

These reheat nicely in the microwave, for about 10 to 15 seconds on full power (per biscuit).

Or, wrap them loosely in foil and heat them in a 170 degree F oven until warmed through.

Homemade mile-high buttermilk biscuits in a copper vessel lined with a linen napkin.

4.8 from 5 votes
Buttermilk Biscuits
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Learn the secrets of making southern-style buttermilk biscuits that bake up tall, fluffy, and light as a cloud. Homemade bread in 20 minutes or less!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best buttermilk biscuits, biscuits, buttermilk biscuit recipe, buttermilk biscuits, homemade buttermilk biscuits
Servings: 9 two-inch diameter biscuits (approx.)
Calories: 157 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

  2. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  

  3. Whisk the dry ingredients together until combined, then cut the butter into half-inch cubes and add to the bowl.  

  4. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the pieces of butter are no bigger than the size of a pea.  

  5. Stir in the buttermilk until a shaggy dough forms.

  6. Knead the dough with your hands a few times, to gather the dough into a ball and incorporate any flour that may be left in the bottom of the bowl.  
  7. Dust the work surface with flour, and flatten the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inch.  
  8. Dip a 2-inch diameter cutter into flour and cut rounds.  

  9. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet (with their sides barely touching) and bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*If using self-rising flour, the baking powder and salt may be omitted.

**To make biscuits without buttermilk, find more info above, under the heading: Can you make Homemade Biscuits without Buttermilk.

Nutrition Facts
Buttermilk Biscuits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 157 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 54mg2%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 190IU4%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
I’m talking three ingredients simple.  So when I learned about my husband’s biscuit addiction, I didn’t think twice about diving in and giving it a go.  After a bit of practice, I can confidently boast that my biscuits are up there with the best of them.  And today I’m going to show you exactly how I make them!

How to make buttermilk biscuits like a Southern Grandma. #sponsored @whitelilyflour

When you’re talking about a recipe that only has three ingredients, it’s important that each of those is the best you can get your hands on.

Let’s start with ingredient number one: flour.  Self-rising flour is what every respectable southern baker keeps in her cupboard for biscuit baking, and White Lily Enriched Bleached Self-Rising Flour is the gold standard.  White Lily mills their flour from soft red winter wheat.  Soft winter wheat has a lower protein content, which makes it ideal for more delicate baked goods.  You can be sure that with White Lily, your biscuits will bake up light-textured, fluffy, and full of flavor.  This is the White Lily difference.  It’s like an insurance policy that your biscuits will be better than those made with any other kind of traditional flour.  Southern bakers have known this secret for generations.  That’s why White Lily flour has become known as “the light baking flour.”

Next comes butter.

Picture collage of homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Close-up image of 2 homemade buttermilk biscuits on a china plate, with a text overlay above that reads "Buttermilk Biscuits."

Close-up image of 2 homemade buttermilk biscuits on a china plate, with a text overlay above that reads "Buttermilk Biscuits."

Close-up image of 2 homemade buttermilk biscuits on a china plate, with a text overlay above that reads "Buttermilk Biscuits."