Homemade Biscuits

Learn how to make fluffy, buttery homemade biscuits! Delicious with a bowl of soup or slathered with jam – you only need 30 minutes and a few simple ingredients to make the perfect biscuits from scratch.

If you have always wanted to make biscuits for breakfast, now it the time to learn! They go perfectly with some of our other breakfast favorites, like Sausage Gravy, Frittata and Baked Egg Muffins.

A bowl of flaky, buttery homemade biscuits with a tea towel to keep them warm.

Easy Homemade Biscuits

If you’ve never made homemade biscuits – then today’s the day. Because I’m going to show you how to make soft, buttery, flaky biscuits that rise beautifully. I feel like so many people opt for biscuits from the can or the freezer section of the grocery store – but they’re actually super easy to make.

Flaky, buttery, extra soft, and so easy to make – after trying this easy biscuit recipe, you’ll never buy the ones from the can again.

How do you make fluffy biscuits from scratch?

You only need  6 ingredients for this recipe – but each one is super important for getting the perfect biscuit dough to get those coveted flaky layers.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more. Flour provides structure. If you add too much flour the biscuits can get dry – so measure carefully here.
  • 2 tablespoons sugar. Sugar adds a little sweetness (although biscuits definitely aren’t meant to be sweet) and helps the biscuits become golden brown on top. If you’re making biscuits to go with soup – you could use 1 tablespoon instead.
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder. No – that’s not a typo, you’ll need 1 full tablespoon of baking powder for your biscuits to rise beautifully.
  • ½ teaspoon salt. It’s 100% necessary here – so please don’t leave it out.
  • ½ cup cold, unsalted butter. Some biscuit recipes use shortening, some use butter. In all my recipe testing – the recipes using butter always came out on top because they had so much more flavor.
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk. Buttermilk gives the biscuits that distinctive biscuit flavor that almost has a slight tanginess. In some recipes I’ll offer substitutions for buttermilk. But in this recipe, I do not recommend using any buttermilk substitution.

A soft homemade biscuit cut in half and spread with jam.

Top Tips and Tricks

  • The butter must be cold. When the cold butter goes into the oven, it will melt and release steam. This makes your homemade biscuits extra flaky.
  • Pop your butter into the fridge for about 20 minutes so that it’s nice and cold.
  • Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. You could use your fingers, but using your fingers runs the risk of warming up the butter too much. When you’re done, there should be no pieces of butter that are larger than the size of a pea.
  • Do not overwork the dough. It should look shaggy, and you should still be able to see little pieces of butter in it. Overworking or stirring the dough too much can make the biscuits tough.
  • Don’t use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Instead – use your hands to gently press the dough into a piece that’s about ¾ inches thick before cutting out your biscuits. I don’t recommend using a rolling pin because it can overwork the dough.

Baking Powder Substitute

If you are out of baking powder, or if it’s expired, don’t lose heart. You can still make biscuits using this simple baking powder substitute.

Baking powder is just baking soda mixed with cream of tartar. For 1 teaspoon of baking powder, mix together ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with a ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar and add that to your recipe.

How to Serve Homemade Biscuits

These are the perfect accompaniment to go with your favorite soups and chilis. They are also great to go serve for breakfast or with afternoon tea.

How to Store

Fresh, homemade biscuits should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and eaten within a couple of days. They can be refrigerated, but it’s not recommended as they do tend to get hard and dry out.

To freeze, place cooled biscuits in a freezer bag and pop them into the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven or microwave if desired.

A stack of 3 homemade biscuits shot from the side to show the height of each biscuit.

More Bread and Baked Goods


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A bowl of flaky, buttery homemade biscuits with a tea towel to keep them warm.

Homemade Biscuits

Fluffy, buttery, extra flaky homemade biscuits. You only need 30 minutes and a few simple ingredients to make the perfect biscuits from scratch.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 biscuits
Calories 173kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter must be cold
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for flouring your work surface
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk cold
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter for brushing on top of the baked biscuits

Instructions
 

  • Cut the butter (½ cup) into small pieces and pop in the freezer.
  • Preheat the oven to 450F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in small pieces with none that are larger than the size of a pea.
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl, then pour the cold buttermilk in.
  • Gently stir the mixture together using a rubber spatula until all the flour is incorporated. It will look shaggy.
  • Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and sprinkle the dough with flour.
  • Fold the dough in half, then turn it 90 degrees and fold it in half again. Repeat the process twice.
  • Re-flour your work surface as necessary, then use your hands to gently press the dough down so that it's about ¾ inch thick.
  • Use a well-floured biscuit cutter (mine was 2-inches in diameter), to cut out as many biscuits as you can from the dough.
  • Form the leftover dough into a ball and flatten out again, and cut the remaining dough into biscuits. I typically get 10-12 biscuits total.
  • Place the biscuits on the lined cookie sheets less than ½ inches apart.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
  • When you take the biscuits out of the oven, brush the tops with the melted butter.

Notes

Biscuits are best eaten fresh from the oven. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 129mgPotassium: 150mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 299IUCalcium: 72mgIron: 1mg
Keyword homemade biscuits

 

Updated April 2020

Fiona

Fiona blogs over at Just So Tasty where she shares easy, classic recipes for desserts & sweet treats. A peanut butter lover, chocolate connoisseur, and sprinkle addict - she hopes to make your life sweeter, one cookie at a time. She also teaches yoga, because life is all about balance.

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Comments

  1. I hear so much about all different types of flour. Better rise, better flaking. What is the best brand and type of flour to use for this recipe?

      1. I only use organic King Arthur all purpose (the red bag). I thought the protein in it was high. So I searched 5 stores in NYC for white lily. Apparently its only sold in the south and Midwest. So I went with the blue bag of Bob’s Red Mill.
        I’ve heard good things about the self rising King Arthur (the yellow bag) but I don’t like the pre mixed. I have plenty fresh baking powder and salt. Thanks for the quick reply

  2. These were the best biscuits I’ve ever made in my life. The recipe is super easy to follow, the biscuits were light & fluffy with an amazing buttery flavor. They were perfect for breakfast with sausage gravy. We ate the leftovers with butter & jam & they were equally wonderful.

  3. Frozen stick of butter and a cheese grater made this recipe super quick and easy! I did use milk instead of buttermilk because that was all I had, and I can tell the difference in the taste and fluffiness, however if you work fast enough so the butter stays cold, they still rise decently and taste delicious! The family was quite happy!

    1. You can make your own buttermilk by adding a few teaspoons of vinegar (white or apple cider) in your milk.
      Thanks for the tip with the cheese grater 🙂

  4. Very tasty biscuits, they did not rise very much, but I could see where the layers were trying to form. . I feel like it was my baking powder, as it was a few months expired.
    Hindsight, I should have made the baking powder recipe that you gave instructions for, or just purchased a fresh container.
    This was my first attempt at a homemade biscuit, so I will try another batch with the fresh baking powder.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Donna, Thanks for the 5 star review! Yes baking powder can definitely be a make it or break it ingredient. I hope you’ll try the recipe again once you get a new can!

  5. Ate one fresh out of the oven with honey. Delicious! Easy to make and better than frozen or canned biscuits.

  6. My first time making this recipe and I am happy to say they didn’t turn out like the normal hockey puck. It was easy to make and tasted great.