Classic Butter Biscuits
These classic butter biscuits are so tender and flaky and filled with that irresistible butter flavor! The recipe only calls for 6 simple ingredients and comes together very quickly. You can have fresh hot butter biscuits on the table in just about 30 minutes!
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Techniques Used: Cutting Fat into Flour, Biscuit Mixing Method
Biscuits made with all butter are flaky, tender, and have the most addictive flavor! A hot buttery biscuit can be made into the best breakfast, dinner side dish, or perfect snack. Once you make homemade biscuits, you won’t be able to stop. These will soon turn into a family favorite.
Why make an all butter biscuit?
- Biscuits made with all butter (as opposed to lard, shortening, or a combination) will give you the highest rise! When the water in the butter evaporates in the oven, it creates steam and helps to boost the biscuits high.
- Flavor! Biscuits made with oils tend to have a more neutral flavor while, in my opinion, a biscuit made with all butter is the most flavorful.
- All butter biscuits tend to brown more easily than others. Because butter contains milk solids (including sugars), when it bakes in the oven the sugar caramelizes turning the biscuit a golden color.
Ingredient Functions & Substitutions
Butter: Technically you can make this recipe with any type of fat: butter, shortening, or lard. The reason I like to do an all butter biscuit is mostly for the delicious flavor! It also helps the biscuit to rise more than other fats because of the higher water content in the butter.
Flour: Flour is the main structure for these biscuits. All-purpose is recommended but you can also make biscuits using self-rising flour.
This recipe can be made gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour. I suggest using a 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend.
Baking Powder: Baking powder does most of the leavening in the biscuit. It gives the biscuit the rise and some fluffiness.
Baking Soda: You might be wondering why baking soda is needed if this recipe already contains baking powder. While baking powder does the heavy lifting, the baking soda balances out the acidic ingredients.
Salt: Salt is what gives these biscuits flavor. It’s not so much that it makes these biscuits too savory. In fact, these biscuits are perfect topped with a sweet jam or salty eggs.
Buttermilk: The buttermilk in this recipe is what gives moisture and holds everything together. Because buttermilk is cultured, it has an acidic quality to it. I personally love the tang that buttermilk brings to biscuits. If you do not have any on hand, you can easily make a buttermilk substitute!
Put 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and add enough milk to the measuring cup until it measures 1 cup. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes before adding it to your dough.
You can also use a non-dairy milk substitute but it may affect the flavor of the biscuits.
These biscuits can be flavored by adding new ingredients directly into the biscuit dough.
- Fresh Herb Biscuits: Add in 1 tablespoon each of fresh minced rosemary, thyme, and sage to the dry ingredients. These biscuits are phenomenal with sausage gravy.
- Garlic Cheddar Biscuits: Add ½ teaspoon garlic powder and 200 grams (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese to the dough. Melt 28 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter and combine with ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Brush over the biscuits when they come out of the oven.
- Blueberry Biscuits with Lemon Glaze: Add fresh blueberries, lemon zest, and cinnamon to the biscuit dough. Top with a lemon glaze.
HOW TO MAKE CLASSIC BUTTER BISCUITS
These biscuits utilize the Biscuit Mixing Method. The purpose of the method is to reduce gluten development which keeps the biscuits light and tender while also working to create layers in the dough to create flakiness.
STEP 1: COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
STEP 2: CUT IN THE BUTTER
Add the cold diced butter to the mixing bowl and cut it into the flour mixture.
I like to use a pastry cutter to cut the fat through. You could also use a fork or even your hands but you want to make sure the fat stays very cold. As soon as the mixture resembles coarse meal you are ready to add the liquid.
STEP 3: MIX IN THE BUTTERMILK
Pour all of the buttermilk into the bowl at once and gently stir together. I like to use a wooden spoon for this but you could use a rubber spatula if you like. Stir just until the mixture is all one mass but not until smooth. You want it to be lumpy and you don’t want to stir very much.
STEP 4: SHAPE THE DOUGH
Flour a clean work surface and your hands. Gently gather all of the dough and place it on the floured surface. Now, using your hands, pat the dough out to about a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick disc. You may need to dust a bit of flour on top of the dough. Fold the dough in half and then turn it 90 degrees. Pat out and fold again for a total of 6 times. This process is creating layers that will create flaky biscuits.
STEP 5: CUT OUT THE BISCUITS
Press the dough out to about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick and use a biscuit cutter to cut out your biscuits. When cutting out, dip your cutter in flour, press straight down, and pull it back up without twisting it. Gently pat the scraps together to cut out the rest of your biscuits.
STEP 6: BAKE
I like to place my biscuits in a buttered cast iron pan very close together to bake. I believe this helps the biscuits to climb onto each other and rise up taller.
Once baked, you can brush with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky salt.
Can I use a combination of different fats in biscuits?
Yes! You can use any combination you want. If you want the tenderness of a lard biscuit but the flavor of a butter biscuit, then use both. I suggest using half of each.
Why does the butter and milk have to be cold in biscuit recipes?
Using very cold butter and milk is key to a flaky, tall biscuit! If the butter is too warm then it will mix into the flour mixture too well and won’t create steam pockets. If it stays cold then the little pieces of butter will stay intact and release steam in the oven when the water in the butter evaporates off.
Cold buttermilk helps to keep the butter cold in the dough.
PREP & STORAGE
How to prep ahead: Make the biscuit dough the day (or 2-3 days) before serving. Prepare as directed, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or in a buttered cast iron pan) and wrap with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and bake directly from the refrigerator.
How to store in the refrigerator (or at room temperature): Biscuits are best eaten fresh, but they can also be stored after completely cooled at room temperature and wrapped in foil for 2 days.
How to store in the freezer: Freeze the biscuits raw and bake straight from frozen at 425°F/220°C for 18-21 minutes, until baked through.
MORE RECIPES FROM BAKER BETTIE!
If you loved this recipe, you might like to try these other biscuit recipes!
Classic Butter Biscuits
These all butter biscuits are so tender and flaky and are filled with that irresistible butter flavor! The recipe only calls for 6 simple ingredients and comes together very quickly. You can have fresh hot butter biscuits on the table in just about 30 minutes!
- 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 10 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 85 grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
- 240 grams (1 cup, 240 milliliters) buttermilk, cold, *see note for substitution
- Position an oven rack to the center position and preheat to 450°F/230°C.
- Spray a cast iron pan (or cake pan) with non-stick spray or line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Measure out all ingredients. Dice the butter into small cubes. Keep the butter and buttermilk in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To Make the Biscuits:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour (240 grams, 2 cups), baking powder (1 tablespoon), baking soda (¼ teaspoon), and salt (1 ¼ teaspoon).
- Add the cold diced butter (85 grams, 6 tablespoons) to the mixing bowl and cut it into the flour mixture. To do this, press down on the fat with the wires of the pastry blender or the tines of a fork as you move it around the bowl. Continue cutting the fat into the flour until most of the pieces of fat are about the size of peas with some pieces being about the size of a walnut half.
- Add the cold buttermilk (240 grams, 1 cup) into the bowl and stir with a spoon or a silicone spatula just until combined. This should only take a few turns. The dough will be pretty wet and sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Dust flour over the top of the dough. With floured hands bring the dough together into one mass.
- Pat the dough out (do not roll with a rolling pin) until it is about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick. Using a bench knife (or a metal spatula can be helpful if you do not have a bench knife), fold the dough in half and then turn it 90 degrees. Pat out and fold again for a total of 6 times. This process is creating layers that will create flaky biscuits.
- Press the dough out to about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick and use a round cutter that is about 2.5-inches (6 cm) in diameter to cut out your biscuits. When cutting out, dip your cutter in flour, press straight down, and pull it back up without twisting it. Twisting can seal the edge of your biscuit, not allowing it to rise fully. Gently pat the scraps together to cut out the rest of your biscuits. Alternatively, you can pat the dough into a rectangle and use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 8 rectangular-shaped biscuits.
- Place the biscuits in the prepared cast iron pan or baking sheet with the edges touching so they will rise up against each other.
- As an optional step, place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. This will ensure that your biscuits will not spread too much and will allow your oven to fully pre-heat.
- Bake at 450°F/230°C for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Do not open the oven door for at least the first half of baking time. You want the steam to stay trapped in the oven to help with the rise.
- Optional: Brush biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky salt.
*A note on buttermilk substitute: Buttermilk is acidic which adds a slightly tangy taste to these biscuits and also tenderizes and activates the baking soda, helping the biscuits to rise. If you do not have buttermilk on hand you can make a substitute using one of the options below.
- Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt: Combine ¾ cup sour cream or plain yogurt with ¼ cup water and use in place of the buttermilk. This is the best option for buttermilk substitute.
- Milk: Combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar with enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes before using. The higher the milk fat the better the substitute will be. 1% or skim milk is not ideal.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0
93 Comments on “Classic Butter Biscuits”
I tried some of your recipes and I really loved it.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing Marlene!
Could you substitute a gluten free flour blend in this recipe?
After seeing this recipe yesterday I made these biscuits and they turned out perfect. I even cut the recipe in half and it didn’t cause any problems. Thanks for sharing.
I’m so glad Mason! Thanks for sharing!
I’m the same way–ughhh fall NO! Comfort food is the only remedy for this sad season–and I lovelovelove butter biscuits!
I have tried many many biscuit recipes, only to be disappointed with the results. Not with this one!! These are so goooodddd.!! Thank you!
That makes me so happy to hear Peggy! Thanks for the feedback!
These were the best ever I am really glad I have you on Facebook and you make it so easy for me to learn how to bake. I am no baker as I have said to you many times but thank to you I am coming out of my comfort zone… thanks
That makes me so happy Deborah! Your picture of them looked amazing!
I don’t know what I do wrong, but my biscuits always taste so blah. So I gave up, but will try these since you are so sure they will be great. Thanx for helping me, I hope. Will let you know
How do you make lard biscuits? Same way,only omit the butter?
Here is my lard biscuit recipe: https://bakerbettie.com/old-fashioned-lard-biscuits/
Yes, it is pretty much the same recipe except with lard instead of butter. Hope you enjoy!
Biscuits are kind of a “thing” for southern cooks. I was trained by some of the best southern cooks over the years (grandmothers, aunts, scores of little old church ladies…) but my biscuits turned out to be either a pile of crumbs or your could roof a house with them. There was NO in between. I am a pretty good cook. I haven’t killed anyone with potato salad yet, at least. But biscuits have truly been my bane.
So, weekend before last, I attempted to make biscuits following your video instructions. The biscuits were perfect! Imagine if you will, a big, burly, Bama boy, boo-hooing over beautifully baked, Baker Bettie Biscuits. They turned out so well, I made another batch… bang — Even better. I got so brave as to try a pie crust this past weekend. Success there too!
Seriously, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. What a great blog.
I wish I could post a picture of my biscuits. This is the first time I’ve successfully made them. They look great and taste even better!
I must confess that I’ve never made this exact recipe but I have made an all-butter biscuit many times. Without even making these myself I can promise you they will be worth your time & effort. Your tastebuds will rejoice.
A note about the buttermilk, as Baker Bettie stated, you can sour your milk with vinegar or lemon juice but it’s not necessary to let it stand until thickened. You can of course but it’s not the viscosity that makes a difference, it’s the acid. You can also buy powdered buttermilk that you mix in with the flour & use icy water instead of milk. Works just as well as liquid buttermilk & it keeps in your refrigerator almost indefinitely.
I tried this- making scones for the first time- but I only had margarine so I used that instead of butter (and the milk and vinegar instead of buttermilk). And they came out okay… edible actually but lopsided. Could that be because of the different melting temperatures of butter and margarine. Also, they are more salty than I would like- instead of the kosher I used ordinary table salt (2 tspns)… we never ever buy kosher salt.
Unfortunately margarine isn’t an exact substitute for butter. Teaspoon to teaspoon table salt to kosher salt would be saltier. I recommend 25% less when using table salt in place of kosher salt. Hope that helps for next time!
We love biscuits at our house too! This recipe is the only one we use. I never seem to have buttermilk in the house so the tip on making my own was a life saver! I’ve used round cake pans to bake the biscuits but I think they’re much better in my old cast iron frying pan! Thanks Baker Bettie!
You’re so welcome, Dorothy! 🙂
Just recently bought a cast iron skillet that I’ve been dying to use. So glad I found this recipe! (especially as i never have buttermilk, having that lemon juice tip was a life-saver) These seriously came out AMAZING!! Leftovers were still pretty good the next day too. This will definitely be a reoccurring recipe in our house!
That’s so great to hear Sarah! Thanks for the feedback!
These are our FAVORITE biscuits! So easy, so delicious and they turn out perfectly every time. I’ve probably made them 10 times by now and realized I never commented to thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! Yum! 🙂
Oh that’s wonderful Kathrina! Thank you so much for letting me know!
This recipe is absolutely among my top favorites of all time. A warm thank you to the kind soul that posted this.
That is so great to hear Brent! I’m so glad you love it!
Made these the other night for my boyfriend, said they were better than his mom’s homemade biscuits. For that. I say thank you!
WOW! That’s a great compliment Aspin! Thank you!
Great recipe, it’s now the only one I use for buttermilk biscuits. I’ve also made your lard biscuits recipe with great success, but you’re right that butter biscuits are better for going with jam or honey. Also made your sausage gravy recipe for the first time today and it was amazing! I wowed a group of friends for brunch, used sage and lots of dried red pepper to replicate that “Tennessee Pride” flavour. Thanks so much for these recipes!
Hi Pam! So glad you enjoy these! YES, these are my favorite for jam and the lard ones are the best with gravy! I’m so glad your friends enjoyed them as well!
Impressive! Turned out fantastic!
So glad you enjoyed it Eileen!
An excellent recipe! This would make wonderful biscuits for strawberry shortcakes. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar before baking. Yum!
Yes! That’s a great idea Lucy!
These are the best biscuits I have ever tasted!My hard to please husband repeatedly asked if I got them from a bakery. Picky granddaughter loved them! I did use a castiron skillet and would recommend that one is used as it gives a wonderful browned soft crust to the bottom. Thanks for bringing biscuits to a whole new level!
That is so great to hear Janet! So happy you enjoyed them!
These are awesome! Even my picky 3yo loves them! So easy and quick!
That’s so great to hear Stephanie!
I’m tried this recipe last weekend. Delicious with cherry preserves I made last week. BTW, I went to Northwestern in Evanston and my favorite season there is definitely Fall/Autumn. It doesn’t last as long as summer to my yearly disappointment but I know what you mean about summer too.
omg. so i stumbled across this recipe because i saw some biscuits on top chef….
I’m so glad I found this. Holy moly. best.biscuits.ever. I’ve been eating biscuits all my life and I was raised in Georgia so…. I’ve had some good ones but I’ve never MADE incredible biscuits myself. until now. so easy. so easy. so easy. so yummy. I’m currently stuffed on some awesome pork chops and biscuits but I just crammed another biscuit down my throat because I can’t believe I made such omg yummy biscuits. I’m so making more for breakfast tomorrow! I have left over honey baked ham that will compliment these incredible biscuits so well. I sort of hate you because omg bread. so fattening. it’s going to be tough not to arrange dinners around these biscuits. ❤❤❤❤❤ i really always thought true home made had to be a pain to be really great but…. so easy.
Hi Rebecca! This comment makes me so happy! I love making baking feel easy while still being incredibly delicious! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these so much!
Hi! Which biscuits do you recommend if you are just going to butter them or eat them plain? The lard or the butter biscuits? Also, I don’t have kosher salt. I use Himalayan pink salt. Would the measurements be the same as the kosher salt? Thanks so much! Can’t waut to make these biscuits!
If I’m eating them warm, I think both are amazing with just butter. However, if you think they will be enjoyed at room temperature, the butter is a little better because it melts at body temperature and won’t leave a film in your mouth. You can do a 1:1 substitution with the himalayan salt! Let me know how they turn out!
Hi! Is it ok if the butter is salted? Thanks!
Hi Annmarie! Yes, but if you use salted butter make sure you reduce the amount of salt in the recipe down to 1 tsp.
Delicious and super easy recipe. I doubled it and made my own buttermilk by adding 2 tbl of vinegar. Excellent recipe!
That’s so great to hear Rebecca! So glad you enjoyed them!
Could you tell me what brand of flour you used. Different brands have different protein count and make a difference in texture. Thank you , Kathy
Hi Kathy, I make these biscuits all the time with whatever flour I have on hand. I always use unbleached white flour. I often use King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mills. Yes, they do have different protein contents but if you follow this mixing method the gluten development will be minimal so the difference is really not noticeable. Many people prefer White Lilly flour for biscuits if you have access to that.
Those look perfect! So glad you enjoyed them!
Can u use half lard and half butter for your fat
Hi Marilyn! You definitely can!
I just made my first biscuit following your recipe and instructions. I only want to say: Thank You Betty. How delicious are they even for a novice like me. My next step is Scones!
That is so great to hear Trudy! So glad you enjoyed them!
the best i’ve ever had
That makes me so happy Helen! <3
my first biscuits… wow, they turned out good!!! im sooo proud…
That is amazing Carmen! Good for you!
Oh my… these biscuits were AMAZING!!!
Hi Jackie! I’m so glad to hear that!
I rearly leave any comments, this recipe is wanderful. I just rated it 5stars on my recipes list. Perfect for the whole family. thank you
So it means that I am the only one who fail to make this biscuit 🙁 .
I hope my 5-star review went through. It looked like I may have accidentally left 2 reviews.
Can I use this recipe for strawberry shortcake
Yes you can, but I prefer to use my scone base recipe for that! https://bakerbettie.com/make-scones-basic-scone-recipe/
Thank you Betty for the videos, its been years since i had time to bake so i had forgotten my skills !! Enjoying my baking again during this lockdown , thank you
I’m making homemade biscuits for the first time ever in my 40 yrs of life. I chose this recipe because biscuits and gravy are my favorite and I wanted to make the whole meal from scratch and I found this recipe. I hope they turn out as good as the other people who have left comments say they are.
I made your biscuits today and for the first time I felt like I have finally found a recipe that works for me. The biscuits were fluffy , light and airy. I baked them in a cast iron pan with butter spray for 13-14 minutes. They were perfect.
Wonderful! So happy to hear that!
Can I make these biscuit ahead of time and keep in refrigerator until ready to bake later in the day? Thank you!
Just made these (in 2021!) and they came out perfectly! The video was super helpful too!
I have learned from Baker Bettie how to create my sourdough & bread. Can you help me how to convert this recipe using sourdough starter, without using baking power?
Would this be a good recipe to use for jalapeno and cheddar biscuit? Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.
Absolutely! You can throw in some shredded cheddar and diced jalapenos to the dry mixture before adding the liquid.
I should have used my cast iron. I burned the biscuits a little bit using a baking sheet instead, but this has been my favorite recipe so far. This will likely be my go to.
I have never had a lot of success making my own biscuits but these were SO GOOD! Light, flaky and simple to make. Definitely my go-to recipe from now on.
So glad you like them!
Betty, thank you for the biscuit lesson and recipe. I followed the recipe exactly, but my husband thought they were a tiny bit doughy. Is it possible to slightly lower the amount of buttermilk. Or, do you think I might have tried so hard to not over mix it that I didn’t mix it long enough? Please help, I really want to perfect them so I can enjoy them often.
Thank you, Tami
Hi! I would suggest baking the biscuits a bit longer. They probably needed more time in the oven.
I have been cooking gluten free for work, this recipe is great using gluten free flour. biscuits were delicious.thank you
Hi! i’m thinking of making your lard biscuits & i bought some pork fat. Is pork fat the same as lard? thx!
Yes it is!
I made the drop biscuits and they were wonderful. My grandchildren loved them.
I’m so glad!