How to Make Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits at Home

It is said that southern-style biscuit-making is an art form, an act of love that requires a delicate balance of the right ingredients and technique. If you’re looking to try your hand at creating some delicious Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, then you’ve come to the right place. As someone who has spent many years perfecting these fluffy, golden biscuits of joy, I can confidently say that this recipe will leave you wanting more.

These flaky buttermilk biscuits have become a staple in Southern cuisine and are the perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch. Whether it’s paired with crispy bacon, buttery scrambled eggs, or some creamy sausage gravy, one bite of these biscuits will transport you to a world of comfort and satisfaction.

As someone who has eaten many biscuits in my lifetime, I believe that there are few things more comforting than a batch of homemade Southern Buttermilk Biscuits fresh out of the oven. So don your apron, preheat your oven, and let’s get started on making these tender and delicious Southern-style delicacies together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Buttermilk Biscuits - Southern
Buttermilk Biscuits – Southern

Believe me, when I say that this buttermilk biscuit recipe is going to change your life! Not only are these biscuits soft and fluffy with a perfectly flaky texture, but they also have a deliciously rich flavor. When you take the first bite, you’ll instantly be transported to the southern countryside where the smell of these freshly-baked biscuits can bring everyone running to the kitchen.

These buttermilk biscuits are incredibly easy to make, and the ingredients you need are probably already in your pantry or fridge. You don’t need any fancy equipment or skills to get perfect results every time. All you need is a large mixing bowl, a flour sifter, and measuring cups.

There’s nothing better than the aroma of homemade biscuits baking in the oven. The smell of buttery goodness wafts through the house, and it’s impossible not to get excited for what’s coming out of the oven. These delicious and fluffy biscuits can be eaten with anything – butter, jam, honey or gravy – anything that tickles your fancy! Trust me; once you’ve tried these Southern-style buttermilk biscuits, there’s no turning back.

So whether you’re making a meal for your family or hosting weekend brunch for friends, these buttermilk biscuits are sure to impress. They’re versatile, easy to customize with substitutions like adding cheese or herbs, and pairs perfectly with just about any Southern dish.

Once you have this recipe on hand, it will become one of your go-to recipes that you’ll make again and again because once you master making them, everyone who tastes it will ask for more.

Ingredient List

 Flaky layers of southern goodness
Flaky layers of southern goodness

Gather the Ingredients for the Best Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

Mastering the southern-style buttermilk biscuits recipe is not an easy feat, and choosing the right ingredients is essential. Be ready to dust off those measuring cups, grab some cake flour, all-purpose flour, and a couple of other baking essentials to make the perfect buttermilk biscuits. Here’s what you will need:

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

The Recipe How-To

 No one can resist the aroma of fresh baked biscuits!
No one can resist the aroma of fresh baked biscuits!

Now that you have your ingredients assembled, it’s time to start making the biscuits.

Here’s how to make Southern-style buttermilk biscuits:

1. Preheat oven and prepare baking sheet

Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).

Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

2. Mix dry ingredients

Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

3. Cut in butter

Grate frozen unsalted butter on a box grater or cut it into small cubes of around 1/2 inch using a knife. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse sand with some larger pea-sized pieces remaining.

If your kitchen is very warm, chill the bowl in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before adding the liquid ingredients. This will make sure that the butter stays cold and doesn’t melt too quickly.

4. Add buttermilk

Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk all at once. Fold with a rubber spatula until a dough comes together.

Do not overmix – mix just enough that you don’t see loose bits of flour or liquid in the dough.

5. Knead and fold

Transfer your dough onto a floured surface or pastry board. Dust your hands with some additional flour and knead it gently for five to ten seconds until it forms a smooth ball.

Pat out the dough to create a rectangle, dusting with flour if needed so that the dough doesn’t stick; fold it into thirds like an envelope. Press down gently again until it’s roughly about an inch thick.

Repeat this process two more times. This makes the biscuits flaky by adding layers of butter between layers of dry ingredients.

6. Cut out biscuits

Use a floured biscuit cutter or a round cookie cutter to cut out dough rounds to your desired size. Place each biscuit on the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart from each other.

Gather the remaining scraps of dough and gently re-form them into a cohesive shape, then cut out more biscuits.

7. Bake until golden brown

Bake in a preheated oven at 450°F (230°C) until golden brown for around 12 to 15 minutes.

Brushing the tops of biscuits with melted butter before and after baking can give them a glossy finish.

Now you have a perfect batch of fluffy Southern-style buttermilk biscuits ready to be eaten. Enjoy these homemade biscuits hot out of the oven or served up with your favorite Southern dishes!

Substitutions and Variations

 Southern tradition made fresh in our kitchen
Southern tradition made fresh in our kitchen

A recipe has to be adaptable, and as a chef, I always like to provide alternatives for the ingredients. Besides, it is good to have some variation in my cooking, which can make a recipe stand out. That is why I have listed some substitutions and variations for this Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe:

– Flour: If you don’t have access to cake flour or all-purpose flour, you can substitute it with self-rising flour. Self-rising flour has a lower protein content, and it already contains salt and baking powder. Therefore, when using self-rising flour, reduce the amount of salt and leavening agents in the recipe accordingly.

– Butter: I typically use unsalted butter in my recipes as it gives me better control over the saltiness. However, if you are using salted butter, reduce the amount of added salt accordingly. You can even try using other types of fat such as lard or shortening.

– Sugar: This recipe doesn’t use much sugar, but if you desire sweeter biscuits, then you can increase the amount of sugar based on your preference.

– Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk at hand or cannot source it easily, you can make your own buttermilk replacement by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Allow it to sit for around 10 minutes before using it in the recipe.

– Flavorings: You can add more flavors to your biscuits by incorporating herbs such as rosemary or thyme or adding spices such as black pepper or cumin seeds. For a cheesy touch, add grated cheddar or parmesan cheese.

These are some substitutions and variations that can help you experiment with different flavors and textures while making this Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe. So feel free to try them out according to your tastes!

Serving and Pairing

 Savor the fluffiness of every bite
Savor the fluffiness of every bite

Now that you’ve got your freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, it’s time to decide how you’re going to serve them. There are so many ways to enjoy these Southern delicacies! You can serve them hot out of the oven with a pat of melted butter and a drizzle of honey, jam, or jelly for a sweet treat. Or go salty and smother them in gravy or sausage for a hearty meal.

Buttermilk biscuits also pair well with fried chicken or bacon and eggs for a classic Southern-style breakfast. For a more modern twist, try using them as the base for a sandwich or burger, or topping them with ham, cheese, and mustard for a tasty snack.

These biscuits are perfect for any occasion because they are both versatile and delicious. Whether you’re serving them up as part of a formal dinner party or just whipping up a quick snack on the go, they’re sure to please your guests–and your taste buds!

So get creative and experiment with different serving styles until you find the perfect way to showcase your homemade Southern buttermilk biscuits. They’ll be sure to steal the show no matter how you choose to serve them!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Layer upon layer of buttery perfection
Layer upon layer of buttery perfection

After you have baked the flaky buttermilk biscuits to perfection, you may find yourself with leftovers that you would like to keep for later. With this recipe, there are a few different ways that you can store and reheat your biscuits.

If you plan to serve the biscuits later in the day or the next day, simply let them cool completely, then place them in an airtight container or zip-top bag. They can be stored at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For longer-term storage, you can freeze your buttermilk biscuits. First, let them cool completely. Then, wrap each biscuit individually in plastic wrap and place them inside a zip-top freezer bag. You can keep them frozen for up to three months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your biscuits again, there are a few different ways to reheat them depending on your preference. For a crispy exterior and warm interior, preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350°F and bake the biscuits for 5-8 minutes until heated through. You can also wrap the biscuits in foil and heat them on a low grill or in a skillet over low heat.

If you prefer softer biscuits, microwave them for about 10-15 seconds or until they are warmed through. Be careful not to overheat or they may become too dry.

One last tip: try brushing a bit of melted butter or honey over the top of your reheated biscuits for an added burst of flavor. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect pairing for fried chicken or honey butter
The perfect pairing for fried chicken or honey butter

To ensure your Southern-style buttermilk biscuits come out perfect, there are a few tips I recommend following.

First, be sure to work with cold ingredients. This means using cold unsalted butter straight from the fridge and refrigerated buttermilk. Keeping your ingredients cold helps create those irresistibly flaky layers in your biscuits.

Next, when mixing your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, make sure to use a fork or whisk to evenly distribute the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Sift together if you have any lumps in your cake flour or all-purpose flour. Remember that measurement accuracy is key for consistent results.

When it comes time to mix in the cold butter with the flour mixture, use a cheese grater to grate the butter directly on top of the dry ingredients. This is a trick I learned from watching Alton Brown’s recipe video and it makes it much easier to incorporate butter throughout the dough evenly.

Another important tip is to handle your dough as little as possible. Once all ingredients are combined your dough will be sticky and soft, but resist the urge to work it too much as this will result in tough and chewy biscuits.

Finally, cutting biscuits isn’t only about having sharp biscuit cutters. If you don’t have biscuit cutters there are different ways to cut them with what you already have in your kitchen like a cup or small bowls. However, it’s recommended not to twist either during the cut as metal overworking on dough causes an unpleasant texture change in biscuits.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to making perfectly delicious Southern-style buttermilk biscuits every time!


Before we conclude this southern buttermilk biscuit recipe, let’s go through some commonly asked questions. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner in the kitchen, these issues might come up while making these biscuits. So, let’s shed some light on them and ensure that you have no doubts or confusion left regarding this recipe.

What makes Southern biscuits different?

Southern-style biscuits have a unique ingredient that sets them apart from the rest: soft wheat flour. This type of flour grows well in areas with a moist, temperate climate like the mid-Atlantic region. This explains why chefs in these regions have been using this flour for many years.

What’s the difference between Southern biscuits and regular biscuits?

When it comes to creating perfect Southern biscuits, adding a generous amount of butter and buttermilk is essential. This results in a fluffy and flaky texture that simply cannot be beat.

What is the secret to fluffy biscuits?

When making biscuits, it’s crucial to use chilled butter instead of warm butter. Warm butter mixes too easily with the flour and interferes with the dough’s ability to rise and become fluffy. This is similar to the process of making a pie crust, where using cold butter results in small visible chunks in the dough, rather than it being fully absorbed. So if you want your biscuits to have that coveted fluffiness, make sure your butter is chilly before adding it to the mix.

What’s the difference between biscuits and buttermilk biscuits?

When it comes to biscuits, there are two main types: regular biscuits and buttermilk biscuits. The distinction between the two lies in the absence or presence of buttermilk. While regular biscuits are generally made with either water or milk, buttermilk biscuits use, you guessed it, buttermilk! Using buttermilk gives the biscuits a tangy taste and enhances their rising ability.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this recipe for southern-style buttermilk biscuits is the perfect addition to your breakfast or brunch spread. With its flaky and fluffy texture, it will definitely leave your guests wanting more. Moreover, the recipe is easy to follow and requires only a handful of ingredients that can be found in most kitchens. Don’t be intimidated by the process, but rather embrace it as an opportunity to master the art of biscuit making.

By using high-quality ingredients such as self-rising flour and buttermilk, you’re guaranteed an authentic taste of the South. Whether you decide to use cold unsalted butter or grate your frozen butter, each variation will yield a similar result – a tasty and buttery biscuit that will melt in your mouth.

Remember to have fun and experiment with different variations and substitutions until you find the recipe that best suits your taste buds. And don’t forget to share this recipe with others, so they too can enjoy the taste of homemade southern-style buttermilk biscuits served fresh from the oven.

Buttermilk Biscuits - Southern

Buttermilk Biscuits - Southern Recipe

This recipe comes from "Baking" by Dorie Greenspan, a fabulous book. I have been doing a lot of research on flour and for biscuits the consensus is use White Lily flour. Unfortunately, it's not easy to find in the PNW, so here is a great compromise, cake and unbleached flour. Dorie also suggests using you hands to quickly incorporate the butter into the flour, the butter should end up coated and NOT uniform in size. The dough can be made, wrapped air-tight and frozen for up to 2 months. If you like a crisper edge, do not let the baking biscuits touch. If you like a softer edge on the biscuit, place the biscuits on the baking tray touching each other.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 280.9 kcal


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3/4 stick, cold and cut into 12 pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Drop in butter and using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces with flour and cut and rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is pebbly with different sized pieces from very small to pea-size.
  • Pour the buttermilk over the dry ingredients and toss gently with a fork and turn the ingredients until you have a nice soft dough.
  • In the bowl, give the dough 3- 4 kneads to bring the dough together.
  • Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough.
  • Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and quickly pat the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2-inch high.
  • Use a biscuit cutter to cut as many biscuits as you can.
  • Re-roll remaining dough and cut more biscuits until dough is used up.
  • Place biscuits on baking sheet.
  • Bake the biscuits for 14- 18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 56gCalories: 280.9kcalCarbohydrates: 37.2gProtein: 5.5gFat: 12.2gSaturated Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 31.8mgSodium: 462.4mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 3g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Breads, Brunch, Easy, High In...
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