Easy, flaky and tender Buttermilk Biscuits that take less than 10 minutes to whip up using ingredients you already have in your kitchen. These Best Ever Buttermilk Biscuits are the perfect addition to any meal and there are so many ways to serve and enjoy them. This recipe is about to become a staple in your house!
Easy Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe
Biscuits and gravy are one of my daughter’s favorite brunch options, but despite living in a pretty large city, I have not found a single brunch spot that has it on the menu!
Even a good biscuit breakfast sandwich is hard to come by, so rather than go without, I had to take measures into my own hands and perfect my own fluffy, flaky buttermilk biscuit recipe. After several delicious attempts, I feel like this simple recipe achieves everything I want in a buttermilk biscuit while being super quick (10 minutes of prep) and only relying on pantry staples I already have on hand.
Most Southern buttermilk biscuit recipes rely on a low-protein flour (like Lily White flour) to help achieve tender, fluffy biscuits, but that’s not available where we live, so I instead use a combination of cream of tartar and baking powder than helps aerate and leaven this recipe to make up for using a standard all-purpose flour.
These buttery, flaky buttermilk biscuits have that perfect golden, crunchy outside while being soft and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. Those little flaky layers allow you to pull the biscuit apart without a knife and provide the perfect foundation for a generous slathering of butter, honey, jam or sausage gravy.
The flavor of these buttermilk biscuits is profoundly buttery with a very light tang and sweetness, which allows the biscuits to lend themselves well to a variety of different topping and serving options.
You can even top these biscuits with a sprinkle of cheese, salt or sugar before baking – or add in 1/2 cup of fruit to the dough for a fresh twist.
How do you make fluffy buttermilk biscuits from scratch?
There are a few simple aspects of this recipe that ensure fluffy buttermilk biscuits:
Cream of Tartar: The cream of tartar combines with the baking powder to create carbon dioxide gas that creates aerated pockets in the biscuits. Cream of tartar does more than leaven in this recipe, though, as it also prevents the white sugar from crystallizing, ensuring you have soft, tender biscuits.
Cold Butter and Buttermilk: Often in baking, these ingredients are called to be room temperature so that they can emulsify and aerate properly. But for biscuits, you want cold butter and buttermilk so that the butter doesn’t incorporate fully into the dough before baking. This way, the butter will melt and create little steam pockets in the biscuits that help give them that light, flaky yet fluffy and tender texture.
Not Over-mixing Dough: While most bread doughs require some generous kneading, biscuits (and other “quick doughs”) should be handled minimally. You want the dough to retain as much air as possible and you don’t want to heat up the dough with kneading, which will start to melt the butter. The dough will look a little scraggly, which is totally okay. Over-mixing will lead to tough, dense and flat biscuits.
High Baking Temperature: Baking buttermilk biscuits at a high temperature … Also, notice that my biscuits are all nestled pretty closely together in the baking pan. This encourages the biscuits to puff up vertically rather than spreading out.
Laminating the Dough: This step is optional, but I always do it with my buttermilk biscuits. Basically, you roll the dough out halfway, then fold in half before continuing to roll it out. This builds extra layers into the cut biscuits. You only want to do this once or twice, but it helps.
Don’t Twist the Cutter: A lot of us twist our wrist when we go to remove a cookie cutter from dough, but try to avoid doing that with these biscuits as it will “seal” the edges and reduce how much your biscuits rise.
What does buttermilk do for biscuits? Buttermilk adds a slight tangy flavor, and it’s acidity works with the baking powder and cream of tartar to leaven the biscuit dough (promoting those fluffy layers). A low-fat kefir can be used in it’s place.
Can you freeze buttermilk biscuits? You can freeze the baked biscuits or the biscuit dough, whichever you prefer. Baked biscuits can be placed in an airtight ziptop bag or your favorite freezer containers and frozen for up to three months.
If freezing the uncooked dough, you can either:
- prepare it up until the point that you would cut into circles (but don’t) and wrap tightly with plastic wrap before placing in an airtight bag or freezer container for up to three months. Thaw the dough completely in the fridge before proceeding with cutting and baking.
- or, cut the biscuits then freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place the frozen biscuits in an airtight bag or freezer container for up to three months. Bake from frozen, as directed.
What to Make With Buttermilk Biscuits
Personally, I can’t think of many things that I wouldn’t happily enjoy a side of buttermilk biscuits with! But here are some of our favorite ways to serve buttermilk biscuits:
- serve with sausage gravy for a Southern-style breakfast
- use to make a breakfast sandwich with bacon, cheese and egg (or whichever breakfast sandwich fillings you prefer)
- top with butter and jam or honey and butter
- serve with our cinnamon honey butter
- use to top chicken pot pie or other stews for a unique twist to dumplings
- serve alongside soups or salads to make a light meal
- serve with saucy dishes like beef tips and gravy to sop up all the extra gravy
- the dough can also be used to make monkey bread desserts
Buttermilk Biscuit Ingredients
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Cream of Tartar
- White Sugar
- Butter, cold and cut into cubes
- Buttermilk, cold <– I always have this powdered buttermilk in my fridge to make instant buttermilk whenever I need it.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: you can sprinkle the biscuits with sugar, salt or cheese halfway through baking, or even mix 1/2 cup of fruit into the dough before cutting.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Pastry Cutter <– I find using a pastry cutter easiest, but you can use a large fork, if necessary
- Pastry Brush <– I like these because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- Mixing Bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Cast Iron Skillet or Cake Pan <– I love the versatility of a good cast-iron pan – you can make everything from eggs to dessert in them and they transition easily from the stove to the oven. This one is pre-seasoned and great for even heating
How to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Grease a round 9” cake pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Cut the butter into 1/2” cubes and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.
Stir in your buttermilk until everything is well-combined and no dry spots exist, avoiding the urge to overmix.
Flour a clean working surface and turn your dough out onto it.
Roll the dough out to a 1 1/2” thickness and cut with a round cookie cutter. I like to roll the dough halfway, then fold in half and continue rolling to ensure I build as many “layers” as possible.
Place the cut biscuits in the prepared cake pan. You want them close or touching.
Place in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top and raised.
If you are brushing with butter, remove them at 10 minutes to brush and then return for the remainder of the baking time. (You can also sprinkle with salt, sugar or cheese at this point.)
Pin this Easy Flaky Buttermilk Biscuit recipe for a quick yet indulgent side:
Grab your free printable recipe card for our best buttermilk biscuits recipe:
- 2 2/1 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 cup buttermilk, cold
- Plus 2 Tablespoons butter for brushing, if desired
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Grease a round 9” cake pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Cut the butter into 1/2” cubes and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.
- Stir in your buttermilk until everything is well-combined and no dry spots exist, avoiding the urge to overmix.
- Flour a clean working surface and turn your dough out onto it.
- Roll the dough out to a 1 1/2” thickness and cut with a round cookie cutter. I like to roll the dough halfway, then fold in half and continue rolling to ensure I build as many "layers" as possible.
- Place the cut biscuits in the prepared cake pan. You want them close or touching.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top and raised.
- If you are brushing with butter, remove them at 10 minutes to brush and then return for the remainder of the baking time. (You can also sprinkle with salt, sugar or cheese at this point.)
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 459mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your family loves these buttermilk biscuits as much as mine does!
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