Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits: A Southern Classic Recipe

Are you craving a warm, fluffy and melt-in-the-mouth Southern-style buttermilk biscuit? Look no further as I present to you my very own tried and tested Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe. Prepared with simple yet distinctive ingredients such as real butter, vegetable shortening, salt, all-purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder, this buttermilk biscuit recipe is a staple of the Southern cuisine that has stood the test of time.

Growing up in the South, my grandma used to wake up before the sunrise to whip up a batch of these delicious biscuits for breakfast. Our kitchen would fill up with the smell of freshly-baked biscuits straight out of the oven. A hot fluffy biscuit slathered with butter and drizzled with honey is a quintessential taste of the southern charm.

But let’s face it, finding that perfect recipe for homemade buttermilk biscuits often seems like a daunting task. With countless recipes floating around on the internet, it’s hard to come across one that doesn’t overcomplicate things or lead you to disappointment.

This recipe will provide you with foolproof instructions to make that perfect southern buttermilk biscuit every single time- crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. So let’s get mixing, dusting and baking for that perfect bite!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

I could go on and on about why I think you’ll love this Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe, but let me just start with one word: buttermilk. Nothing quite beats the tangy, creamy flavor of buttermilk in a buttery, flaky biscuit that melts in your mouth.

But there’s more to it than just the buttermilk. This recipe is tried and true, using the perfect balance of all-purpose flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and of course, real butter and vegetable shortening. It’s foolproof yet flexible – you can even substitute some ingredients if you don’t have everything on hand.

Picture this: golden brown biscuits fresh out of the oven, still steaming as you break them open to reveal their flaky layers. Slather some melted butter or creamy homemade gravy on top and take a bite. Pure bliss.

Not only are these southern buttermilk biscuits perfect for breakfast or brunch, they make an incredible addition to any meal. Serve them alongside fried chicken, chili, or even barbecue – there’s nothing they can’t complement.

Trust me, you’ll love this recipe. Whip up a batch and see for yourself why it’s a classic in southern cooking.

Ingredient List

 Fluffy, buttery biscuits perfect for any meal!
Fluffy, buttery biscuits perfect for any meal!

Let’s talk about the ingredients that make these southern buttermilk biscuits so mouth-watering! To make 4 cups of biscuits, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 and ½ cups of cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 cups of cold whole buttermilk

Optional ingredients for taste or texture variation:
– ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (for extra lift)
– ¼ cup vegetable shortening (for a flakier texture)
– ½ cup real butter (for a richer flavor)

You can also try using self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour for a shortcut. Be sure to factor in the change when adding salt or other leavening agents.

The Recipe How-To

 Grandma's secret recipe for the best biscuits in the South
Grandma’s secret recipe for the best biscuits in the South

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of making Southern Buttermilk Biscuits. As any good chef knows, success always starts with good preparatory work. In this case, that means preheating your oven to 450°F and getting all of your ingredients together before you begin. It’s essential to allow your butter and vegetable shortening to chill in the fridge so that they remain cold up until the moment when they’re added to the flour mixture.

The Mix

Take a large mixing bowl and add 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Add 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter, cubed and chilled from the fridge, and 4 tablespoons of chilled vegetable shortening.

Chilling Time

Using your hands or a pastry cutter, quickly break down the fats into the dry ingredients until you have a sandy texture. Add buttermilk little by little until you have used up approximately ¾ cup in total. But be sure not to overdo it; the dough should only be moistened enough so that it comes together into a ball shape.

Shaping and Cutting

Turn your dough out onto a well-floured surface and give it a quick kneading motion five times or so, then flatten it out with your palms until it is about an inch thick. Cut it out into biscuits using a lightly floured biscuit cutter or a glass dipped in flour.

Baking Time

When your oven has heated up to temperature, place the cut biscuits at least an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.

The hardest part will be resisting the urge to dive right in when you take these fantastic biscuits out of the oven. But with a little bit of discipline, you’ll save your taste buds for the real melt-in-your-mouth experience that comes when you bite into a fluffy, hot Southern Buttermilk Biscuit.

Substitutions and Variations

 These biscuits are so good, you won't need any jelly or honey!
These biscuits are so good, you won’t need any jelly or honey!

When it comes to making Southern buttermilk biscuits, there are certain ingredients that are essential for producing a delicious, flaky result. However, if you find yourself in a bind and don’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand, there are some substitutions and variations you can try.

Firstly, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use regular milk mixed with either vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute. For every cup of milk needed, add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for five minutes before using.

If you don’t have vegetable shortening or unsalted butter, you can use all-purpose flour and real butter in place of both. Additionally, if you don’t have self-rising flour, simply add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to every cup of all-purpose flour.

For those who prefer to make their biscuits with a more health-conscious twist, try substituting half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. The biscuits may come out slightly denser but will still be light and flaky.

To switch things up and add your personal touch to your Southern buttermilk biscuits, consider adding shredded cheese or chopped herbs like rosemary or chives to your dough. You can even make savory biscuits by adding cooked and crumbled bacon or diced jalapenos. Or for a sweeter option, try adding cinnamon and sugar to the dough before baking.

When it comes to Southern buttermilk biscuits, there’s always room for experimentation while still maintaining that classic taste we all know and love.

Serving and Pairing

 Buttermilk biscuits that will melt in your mouth
Buttermilk biscuits that will melt in your mouth

Now that you have mastered the art of baking the perfect southern buttermilk biscuits recipe, it’s time to pair these flaky delights with some delicious accompaniments. These biscuits are incredibly versatile and can be served at any meal, from a hearty breakfast to a satisfying supper.

For breakfast, try serving the biscuits topped with country gravy, bacon, or sausage. Spread some sweet jam or honey on top for a delightful sweet and savory combination. For an extra indulgent morning treat, split the biscuit in half and sandwich a fried egg, cheese, and bacon inside.

If you’re hosting a brunch or tea party, serve the biscuits alongside fresh fruit salad or as a base for mini sandwiches with ham and cheese or cucumber and cream cheese.

For lunch or dinner, southern buttermilk biscuits are an excellent accompaniment to any soup or stew. You could also use them as a bread substitute in sandwiches with turkey, roast beef, or chicken salad.

Another great pairing is with traditional southern dishes like fried chicken or catfish. It’s no secret that southern-style cuisine often relies heavily on crispy and flavorful breading in fried dishes. Therefore, by combining fluffy buttermilk biscuits with such meals results in absolute perfection.

And lastly for dessert, top your warm buttermilk biscuit with fresh strawberries and whipped cream for a classic Southern twist on strawberry shortcake.

Overall, the possibilities of pairing your homemade southern buttermilk biscuits recipe with delicious flavors are endless. Let your creativity reign supreme and enjoy these melts-in-your-mouth flaky biscuits wherever they may find themselves placed alongside!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Simple ingredients, but full of flavor
Simple ingredients, but full of flavor

Let’s face it, sometimes we don’t have the luxury of making fresh biscuits right before serving. But fear not, my fellow biscuit lovers! Southern buttermilk biscuits can still be enjoyed days after they’re made.

To make-ahead, prepare the biscuit dough as directed in the recipe, and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, simply remove the dough from the refrigerator, cut into desired shapes and sizes, place on a baking sheet and bake as directed.

To store leftover biscuits, allow them to cool completely before wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can keep them at room temperature for up to two days or refrigerate for up to a week.

When reheating biscuits, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly brush each biscuit with melted butter. Place them on a baking sheet on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until heated through. You can also use a microwave to reheat biscuits, but they will not be as crispy as they would be from the oven.

If you have leftover biscuit dough that has already been cut into desired shapes but not yet baked, you can freeze it before baking for up to 3 months. Simply place them on a baking sheet in the freezer until firm and then transfer them to an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake them, remove from the freezer and let thaw in your fridge overnight before baking as directed.

With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy flaky and delicious southern-style buttermilk biscuits anytime you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect biscuit for a Sunday family brunch
The perfect biscuit for a Sunday family brunch

No southern kitchen is complete without the classic buttermilk biscuit recipe. While the ingredients of this recipe are simple, making perfect biscuits requires a bit of patience and finesse. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect batch every time.

1. Keep your ingredients cold: The secret to flaky biscuits is using cold ingredients. Make sure to chill your buttermilk, butter, and shortening in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

2. Don’t overwork the dough: Overworking the dough can cause gluten to develop, resulting in tough biscuits. Handle the dough as little as possible to avoid this problem.

3. Use a biscuit cutter: For evenly shaped biscuits, use a round biscuit cutter instead of cutting the dough with a knife.

4. Add sugar for sweetness: If you prefer your buttermilk biscuits on the sweeter side, you can add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the dough.

5. Brush with melted butter: After removing your biscuits from the oven, brush them with melted butter for an extra pop of flavor and shine.

6. Measure accurately: While it’s tempting to eyeball measurements, especially with recipes that have been passed down through generations, accuracy is key when making buttermilk biscuits. Use measuring cups and spoons to ensure that you have the right amount of each ingredient.

With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to create perfect Southern-style buttermilk biscuits that will melt in your mouth and earn rave reviews from everyone who tastes them.


I know you’re probably full of questions regarding the Southern buttermilk biscuits recipe. Fret not, for I’ve put together some frequently asked questions to address any concerns or uncertainties you might have. Here are some answers to guide you through this recipe smoothly:

What makes Southern biscuits different?

Southern-style biscuits are known for their exceptional flavor and texture, and the reason behind their success lies in the flour used. It’s no secret that a particular type of wheat flour is the preferred choice amongst southern chefs. This type of flour comes from a specific climate and has been readily available for quite some time to cooks in the mid-Atlantic region.

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

Southern-style biscuits are known for their distinct texture that is achieved by the use of more butter and buttermilk, lending an extra fluffiness and flakiness to the biscuits.

Should you use butter or Crisco in biscuits?

After conducting a thorough taste test, I have come to the conclusion that butter reigns supreme in this recipe. Not only did the butter biscuits have a beautifully moist texture, but they also had a delightful buttery flavor that simply cannot be beat. However, I am intrigued by the idea of experimenting with a combination of butter and shortening in future baking endeavors to see if it yields even better results.

How do you make Paula Deen’s biscuits?

For this recipe, we will need some key ingredients to make our southern-style biscuits. Firstly, we’ll be using 4 cups of self-rising flour, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. To top it off, we’ll add 1 cup of cold unsalted butter that’s been freshly cubed and 1 ½ cups of cold whole buttermilk. Additionally, we will be using 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, which will be melted and then brushed on top of the biscuits before serving. To complete the dish, we’ll need some more butter, which we’ll use for serving.

Bottom Line

As you can see, this Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe is one for the books! The combination of real butter, vegetable shortening and buttermilk creates the perfect flaky texture that will melt in your mouth with every bite. Plus, the recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing for a variety of substitutions and variations to suit your taste.

If you’re looking to impress guests at a Southern-style brunch or simply want to indulge in some old-fashioned comfort food, this recipe is an absolute must-try. With some practice and the tips I provided, you’ll soon become an expert at making these legendary biscuits.

So why not roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven, and get baking? I guarantee that once you take those golden brown biscuits out of the oven, you’ll feel proud and satisfied knowing that you’ve created something truly delicious. Trust me, one bite is all it takes to understand why Southern Buttermilk Biscuits are not only a regional staple but a beloved delicacy across the country. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I promise that once you do, it will become a go-to recipe in your collection!

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

This recipe has been passed down in my neighbors southern family for many generations. She shared it with me and I absolutely love it so I'm sharing the love with you
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Biscuits
Calories 480.9 kcal


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lard or 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons real butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  • Heat oven to 450 and adjust oven rack to center position.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  • Cut in chilled shortening and butter until you have pieces the size of small peas.
  • Make a well in center of dry ingredients; pour in buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, gently blend dry ingredients into the buttermilk, just until mixture is clumping together. If necessary, add a few more teaspoons of buttermilk.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured board.
  • Pat out in a circle about 8 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 to 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake on center oven rack for about 10 to 12 minutes, until tops are browned.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 88gCalories: 480.9kcalCarbohydrates: 33.7gProtein: 5.6gFat: 36.3gSaturated Fat: 20.7gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 816.3mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 1.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads
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