Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

Learn how to make these easy homemade buttermilk biscuits. Biscuits are baked in a cast-iron skillet with this old-fashioned recipe, resulting in large, flaky, fluffy layers. Serve the perfect biscuits with some jam, sausage gravy, or a drizzle of honey and melted butter for an easy and delicious breakfast!

Easy Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
flaky biscuits

What is a Biscuit

In the US, homemade biscuits are considered quick bread. Somewhat similar to a scone and is usually unsweet made without yeast. Since there is no yeast, baking soda and baking powder are used as the rising agent. Buttermilk biscuits are made with buttermilk rather than whole milk as the liquid.

Tender Southern Biscuit

Homemade Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen trying different recipes and finding the perfect recipe for buttermilk biscuits. I love biscuits that are barely golden brown on the top, soft on the bottom, yet flaky and fluffy.

After many failed tries, I finally found success, resulting in the best homemade buttermilk biscuits.

I have found that using all cold ingredients, including flour, gives the best results. I have also found that baking the biscuits on a preheated cast iron griddle skillet gives the perfect soft bottom crust that I love.

Whether you serve these with homemade country sausage gravy, slathered with honey butter, or your favorite jam, this is sure to be the easy buttermilk biscuits recipe that becomes a family favorite.

Follow my simple tips and step-by-step instructions for the perfect, old-fashioned homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Kitchen Essentials You May Need

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You can find my favorite kitchen essentials can be located in my Amazon storefront. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and link replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Large Bowl: The perfect old fashioned stoneware “biscuit dough” bowl like grandmother had.
  • Pastry Blender: A pastry cutter or two forks can be used to cut the the butter chunks into the cold dry ingredients. If you have a food processor, you can also use that to pulse the butter and dry ingredients just until you have coarse crumbs.
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cup
  • Cast Iron Griddle Skillet: Unparalleled in heat retention and even heating, with lower side walls, this is the perfect skillet for baking flaky buttermilk biscuits. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, a cookie sheet can be used instead.
  • Rolling Pin: Using a rolling pin helps to keep the dough chilled versus patting the biscuit dough with warm hands.
  • Biscuit Cutter or Canning Lid Ring: I recommend a 2 or 3-inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter for this recipe. If you do not have a biscuit cutter, you can just roll the dough and use a canning ring lid to cut biscuits.
How to Make Buttermilk Biscuits

Simple Ingredients to Make Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

To make buttermilk biscuits, you will need just a few essential pantry ingredients. With so few ingredients, be sure to use high-quality ingredients, especially real butter.

  • 3 1/2 cups cold all purpose organic flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small slices
  • 1 3/4 cup of buttermilk, cold
  • Cold All Purpose Flour: When making classic buttermilk biscuits, I opt for organic all-purpose flour.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: To help give these biscuits their tall rise and the best flaky biscuits.
  • Cold Butter: For the best biscuits, this recipe calls for using very cold butter. Be sure that the butter has been completely chilled in the refrigerator before slicing and adding to the flour mixture, which will help them to rise in the oven to produce the flakiest biscuits.
  • Cold Buttermilk: Buttermilk has an acidity that reacts with the baking powder and baking soda to create the delicious light texture, resulting in great biscuits. It is definitely an ingredient you do not want to omit. If you do not have buttermilk, don’t worry. Before heading to the grocery store, scroll down to the frequently asked question section for tips on how to make buttermilk.
  • Salt: In all of my cooking and baking, I recommend using Celtic Sea Salt.
homemade biscuits

Tips for the Best Homemade Old Fashioned Biscuits

Cold Ingredients

For the best old-fashioned buttermilk biscuits, you need cold ingredients. When I say cold, I am talking about straight from the refrigerator cold. I even store extra flour in the freezer just for making these buttermilk biscuits. Keeping the flour, butter, and buttermilk nice and cold will make a difference in this recipe!

Do Not Over Mix

Over mixing the dough results in tough, hard biscuits that are flat. The time for stirring the dough should be around 30 seconds, “just” until the ingredients come together. Kneading the dough should be done quickly, less than 1 minute, until it is not sticky.

The dough will be crumbly when you put it on a floured work surface to knead; it forms together as the dough is quickly kneaded.

Preheat Cast Iron Skillet

This is one of my favorite tips for making biscuits. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place a cast-iron skillet in the hot oven.

Do Not Twist the Biscuit Cutter

When cutting the dough, do not twist the biscuit cutter. Press the biscuit cutter straight down firmly into the dough, and lift straight back up. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals the edges, preventing the biscuits from rising and creating flaky layers.

Correctly Space Biscuits

If you prefer a tender biscuit with crusty sides, place biscuits evenly apart on the prepared baking sheet or skillet. For biscuits with softer sides, position the biscuits with the edges touching.

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

How to Make Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits Scratch Recipe

Step 1: Preheat Cast Iron Skillet

Place a large round cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon combine, 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Step 3: Add Cold Wet Ingredients

Using a pastry cutter, cut in 10 tablespoons of cold butter, and the mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Then, make a well in the center of the ingredients and add 1 3/4 cup cold buttermilk.

Step 4: Mix

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky. Roll the dough with a lightly floured rolling pin or gently pat dough with the palm of your hand.

Roll dough 1/4 inch thickness for plain biscuit, 1/2 inch for tea biscuit size, or 1 inch thick for large fluffy biscuits. Cut the dough into rounds using a biscuit cutter that has been lightly dipped in flour. Do not twist the biscuit cutter.

The remaining dough scraps can be re-rolled and cut out to make 1 or 2 more biscuits.

Step 6: Bake Biscuits

With an oven mitt, carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Place each biscuit onto the skillet. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes.

The thickness of your biscuit and your desired golden brown top will make a difference in how long the biscuits need to be baked in the oven, and I suggest keeping a close watch to determine how long they need to bake in your oven.

Step 7: Serve

Remove biscuits from the oven and enjoy!

I have been using this recipe for a long time now, and it has always filled the craving for delicious biscuits. It is the perfect biscuit for pulling apart the tender, flaky layers and serving with a large scoop of the most excellent homemade sausage gravy!

southern buttermilk biscuits

How to Store Homemade Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits are best eaten right away. To store, place in a storage bag or another form of air-tight container to prevent them from drying out. Properly stored, homemade buttermilk biscuits will last for several days at room temperature.

Flaky and Fluffly Buttermilk Biscuits

How to Re-Heat Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

To re-heat biscuits in an oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the biscuits on the cast iron skillet, leaving a small amount of space between each one. Place skillet in the oven for around 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Buttermilk do for Biscuits: Buttermilk is the prized ingredient used in this recipe for its acidity, fat, and liquid content. Using buttermilk helps the dough rise to result in tall, delicious flaky, and fluffy layers for the best biscuit recipe.

What Happens if you use Milk Instead of Buttermilk: It is not recommended to replace buttermilk with regular milk for this recipe. The absence of acidity in the buttermilk will not produce the same end result.

How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute: To substitute for buttermilk in this biscuit recipe, all you need is milk and a tad bit of white vinegar. For this recipe, measure one tablespoon plus 2 1/4 teaspoons of white vinegar into a two-cup liquid measuring cup. Then, add in enough milk to fill to the 1 3/4 cup measurement line. Stir the mixture together and let sit for 10 minutes.

Easy Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

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Here’s the full printable recipe for you to make this at home!

Tender Southern Biscuit

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: 12-15
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Learn how to make these homemade old fashioned buttermilk biscuits.
With this easy recipe, biscuits are baked in a cast iron skillet
resulting in large, flaky, fluffy layers.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups cold all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small slices
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk

Instructions

    Step 1: Preheat Cast Iron Skillet

    Place a large round cast iron skillet in the oven and pre-heat to 450 degrees.

    Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

    In a large mixing bowl, combine together, 3 1/2 cups of cold all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda.

    Step 3: Add Cold Wet Ingredients

    Using a pastry cutter, cut in 10 tablespoons of cold butter. The mixture should resemble course crumbs. Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add 1 3/4 cup buttermilk.

    Step 4: Mix

    Stir until all the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The time for stirring should be less than 30 seconds.

    Step 5: Roll Out Biscuits

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead gently until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky. Roll the dough with a lightly floured rolling pin or gently pat with the palm of your hand.

    Roll dough 1/4 inch thick for plain biscuit, 1/2 inch for tea biscuit size or 1 inch thick for large fluffy biscuits. Cut the dough into rounds using a biscuit cutter that has been lightly dipped in flour. Do not twist the biscuit cutter.

    Step 6: Bake Biscuits

    With an oven mitt, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Place each biscuit onto the skillet. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes.

    The thickness of your biscuit and your desired golden brown top will make a difference in how long the biscuits need to be baked. I suggest keeping a close watch to determine how long they need to bake in your oven.

    Step 7: Serve

    Remove biscuits from the oven and enjoy!

    I have been using this recipe for a long time now, and it has always filled the craving for delicious biscuits. It is the perfect biscuit for pulling apart the tender, flaky layers and serving with a large scoop of the most excellent homemade sausage gravy!

Notes

TIPS FOR THE BEST HOMEMADE OLD FASHIONED BISCUITS

Cold Ingredients

For the best old-fashioned buttermilk biscuits, you need cold ingredients. When I say cold, I am talking about straight from the refrigerator cold. I even store extra flour in the freezer just for making these buttermilk biscuits. Keeping the flour, butter, and buttermilk nice and cold will make a difference in this recipe!

Do Not Over Mix

Over mixing the dough results in tough, hard biscuits that are flat. The time for stirring the dough should be around 30 seconds, “just” until the ingredients come together. Kneading the dough should be done quickly, less than 1 minute, until it is not sticky.

The dough will be crumbly when you put it on a floured work surface to knead; it forms together as the dough is quickly kneaded.

Preheat Cast Iron Skillet

This is one of my favorite tips for making biscuits. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place a cast-iron skillet in the hot oven.

Do Not Twist the Biscuit Cutter

When cutting the dough, do not twist the biscuit cutter. Press the biscuit cutter straight down firmly into the dough, and lift straight back up. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals the edges, preventing the biscuits from rising and creating flaky layers.

Correctly Space Biscuits

If you prefer a tender biscuit with crusty sides, place biscuits evenly apart on the prepared baking sheet or skillet. For biscuits with softer sides, position the biscuits with the edges touching.

How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute: To substitute for buttermilk in this biscuit recipe, all you need is milk and a tad bit of white vinegar. For this recipe, measure one tablespoon plus 2 1/4 teaspoons of white vinegar into a two-cup liquid measuring cup. Then, add in enough milk to fill to the 1 3/4 cup measurement line. Stir the mixture together and let sit for 10 minutes.

More Delicious Breakfast Recipes

Cooking Bacon in a Cast Iron Skillet: Simple steps for cooking bacon in a cast-iron skillet, perfectly. This recipe is for all of the bacon lovers! I’ve been cooking bacon for years in a heavy cast-iron skillet, resulting in perfectly cooked bacon every time.

Homemade Sausage Gravy: With simple step-by-step instructions, you can learn how to make this quick and easy creamy sausage gravy with heavy cream in a cast-iron skillet. Made with a few simple ingredients, you will have the best homemade creamy gravy!

Over Easy Eggs: Step by step, learn how to fry the perfect over-easy eggs in a cast-iron skillet. Fried in a hot skillet with a layer of butter is the best way to eat a fried egg.

Updated: October 23, 2021

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5 thoughts on “Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe”

  1. Since I’m on lockdown and can’t get buttermilk, is there something I can use to substitute? Thanks, they look delicious.

    Reply
    • Hi there! You can add a bit of ACV apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the milk to sour it. 1 Tablespoon vinegar/lemon juice and add milk to make one cup, stir it. This recipe would use 1 3/4 T ACV and 1 3/4 Cup milk.

      The acid in the buttermilk reacts to the alkaline baking soda/powder to give extra rise. It will work without, but it works better with…

      Reply
    • I’ve also read that adding a tbs of apple cider vinegar to milk as a buttermilk substitute works. I’m so excited to make these biscuits! Sarah, thank you so much for sharing all of your secret tips ?

      Reply
  2. We are a farm family of 7, including THREE starving teens; We eat a lot of biscuits! I’ve tried dozens of different different recipes and techniques with inconsistent, mediocre results.

    I’ve just made this for the first time. The dough was too wet, I did add extra flour when gently and briefly kneading it. The biscuits flattened out while waiting for the pan to pre-heat (thank you, 5 year old and new puppy for distracting me). I lightly oiled the cast iron, placed them in, and popped into oven in two 9″ pans.

    The biscuits came out with excellent leaven and color. The bottom was perfectly brown-crusted with a bit more flavor than the top. The flakes are wonderful, texture is perfect and reminiscent of KFC biscuits. I’ll certainly make these several more times to make sure I get it mastered; it will prob be my go-to-taped-inside-the-cupboard-door-recipe. That cut butter is the perfect touch.

    Thank you for sharing this! I love the results of the pre-heated cast iron. I make all of my cornbread that way, why did I not think of it?? YUM!!

    Reply
    • Thank you! Seriously! It makes me so happy when someone gets great results with one of the recipes that we use in our home!

      Reply

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