The BEST Buttermilk Biscuits EVER

I've made all kinds of biscuits and my family has enjoyed them all.  But, there's one biscuit we love to eat ALL THE TIME and that's the old fashion buttermilk biscuit.  BIG, moist and tender buttermilk biscuits.

Now, there's a million biscuit recipes on the internet. But I haven't come across one yet that tells how to make them like a descent Southern buttermilk biscuit ought to be.  This buttermilk biscuit recipe makes a moist bread that you can enjoy for 2 to 3 days, depending on whether your family makes snacks out of them or not.  AND they won't fall apart like other dry recipes tend to do. I hate making up a batch of biscuits only to have them crumble when I'm trying to smear on my favorite jelly.  You won't get that mess with this recipe.

The first thing you will notice when reading this recipe is that it actually calls for plain yogurt instead of buttermilk.  That's because I always keep plain yogurt on hand, and rarely buttermilk.  So why did I call this recipe "Buttermilk Biscuits"?  Cuz I know how to add just enough milk to the plain yogurt to give it the same consistency of buttermilk, that's why.  If you keep buttermilk on hand, then go right ahead and use 2 cups buttermilk in this recipe.  You'll get the very same awesome results I get with the yogurt.  I promise.

The trick to making moist biscuits is to have a moist, sticky dough.  Oh yea, it's messy, but it's worth it.  And don't over knead the dough.  I only handle the dough enough to pat it out and get it ready for cutting up into biscuits.  I use plenty of flour to keep me separated from the dough, but I never try to add extra flour into the dough.  Keep that dough moist and sticky.

After I have all the biscuits cut and laying in the generously buttered pan, I brush the tops with buttermilk or yogurt.  This gives them a golden, moist top. Don't go too heavy with the moisture or it will not brown up like you want it to.


Makes about 15 to 17 biscuits

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  1/2 cups plain yogurt + 1/2 cup whole milk (stirred together) OR 2 cups buttermilk

HEAT OVEN to 450ºF.

Borrow a smidge of butter from the recipe to grease a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan, plus a 8-inch by 8-inch pan.

Stir all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add in the cubed butter.  Using your hands, yes your hands, squeeze or press the butter into the dry mix until it looks course and clumpy.  Try not to leave any big clumps of butter in the bowl.

Pour in the buttermilk or yogurt/milk mix (save back about 2 tablespoons for brushing the tops of the biscuits).  Using a wooden spoon, stir and fold the dough until it comes together and there's no more dry flour in the bowl.

Using a plastic cutting board or a clean counter top, generously flour a 13-inch by 9-inch work surface.  Transfer the dough to the work space.  Shape the dough into a 13-inch by 9-inch oval about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.  Dust with flour as you work to keep yourself from sticking to the dough, but try not to add flour to the dough.

Use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits.  Place biscuits close together in the baking pan so they will have soft sides after baking.  Brush the tops with buttermilk using a pastry brush or basting brush.

BAKE FOR 12 to 14 MINUTES, depending on the age of your oven.  Start watching at 12 minutes for the tops to become lightly golden.

As you see from the photo above, I have one really big biscuit in the loaf pan.  That's the one made from all the dough scraps.  You ought to see that bad boy cut in half and smothered in gravy.  Yea, it's good!

Need a good gravy recipe to go with these biscuits?

makes 2 cups

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups warmed milk

Melt butter over low heat; add flour, salt and pepper; stir until well blended.  Cook flour mixture for 2 minutes. Gradually stir or whisk in milk and return to heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth.  Takes almost a minute to thicken up.  Remove from heat and pour over biscuits.  Gravy will continue to thicken as it cools down

This gravy recipe is great on mashed potatoes, too.

If you have leftover over gravy, store with plastic wrap touching the top to prevent a skin from forming on top.  Reheat on low heat on the stove top or in the microwave, adding a tablespoon of  milk or two to thin out the gravy.

For more sauce recipes that really work for all occasions go to:



  • cindy

    yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. guess what’s for dinner tonight. Hot biscuits, fresh butter and honey with a tall glass of ice cold milk. Can I go home now?

  • Lisa

    Sweet Mama! Those biscuits look good! Gonna have to make a mess of beans and try these tomorrow (yes, I know cornbread with a mess of beans, but I’m a rebel, Dottie.)

  • Melissa

    Help please! I made these this morning and they didnt work for me at all. Every other one of your recipes I have made has been top notch, so I’m sure it was something I did. I followed the recipe precisely. I already had buttermilk on hand, so I used that instead of yogurt and I used a well greased half sheet pan instead of a casserole dish, as shown. What happened was they did brown nicely on top but they spread out, kind of like big dense pancakes and didnt rise. They weren’t dry, they just never seemed to get done. I am leaning toward throwing out by baking powder/ soda and getting fresh, although I dont really think they are all that old. Any ideas. I dont want to give up. Thanks, Jill!!!

    • I’m so sorry, Melissa! My first thought to the lack of rise would be that the baking powder was tired. I’ve never baked biscuits on a half sheet pan. It’s always been in a pan where the bread has a side to rise up against. Do you normally bake homemade biscuits on a half sheet pan?

    • Lydia

      I had the same problem when I made them. they spread out as soon as I put them on the pan and once cooked they were crunchy on the outside but on the inside were dense and “wet” looking. It was as if they weren’t done.
      After I adding the buttermilk I was thinking the dough looked really wet – like muffin batter.They looked nothing like the picture. 🙁 Maybe next time I will add buttermilk to the dry ingredients until desired wetness is achieved. I think it was just a liquid to dry ratio issue. I’m wondering if it actually does make a difference when you are using yogurt with a little water versus buttermilk.
      My baking powder was fresh – I just bought and opened the package.
      I’ll try again!

      • I’m sorry the biscuits didn’t turn out this first time, Lydia. It sounds like there was too much liquid in the recipe or not enough flour. Please try again, and go with your gut & experience to get that batter the way you know it’s suppose to be. Let me know what happens. ;D

  • Janice Long

    I wanted to be sure the butter is two cups and not two sticks (which is 1 cup). It just seemed like two cups of butter would be a lot.

    • Thank you for catching that, Janice!
      I’ve gone ahead and corrected the butter to show that we need 2 sticks (1 cup).

  • Leslie

    These look SO yummy. I have a question though. Can I make/cut out/put them in the pan and then keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to bake? Or better yet, could I freeze them unbaked? Does anyone know?

    • Hi Leslie! Great questions. I know you can refrigerate these biscuits until you’re ready to bake. As for freezing, well, maybe if you parbaked the biscuits. Get them about 90% baked in the oven, allow them to COMPLETELY COOL, freeze them separately on a cookie sheet.. Then when they’re frozen solid, transfer them to a bag for easy storage. When it comes time to bake or actually reheat the biscuits, heat the oven to the baking temperature, pop the biscuits into the oven and finish off baking. Start with 7 minutes and if they’re not hot, keep checking every few minutes until they’re golden.

      That’s what I’d do. ;D

  • Nancy in Winnipeg

    I always bake my biscuits on the half sheet. They come out great.
    I would like to offer a couple of suggestions.
    1- Try grating the ice-cold butter on the largest holes of your box greater. Blend it into the flour mixture with your hands until you can still see a few flakes. Like you, I try not to handle the dough too much after I add the liquid. This gives me a flaky biscuit.
    2- Have you tried substituting up to 1/4 of the flour with natural bran? You end up with lightly speckled bisuits, not bran muffins.

    • THANK YOU Nancy! I will definitely use your suggestions with the next batch of biscuits I make. I’ve not tried natural bran, but now I’m intrigued. ;D

  • Cassie

    I just made these and oh my GOSH these are delicious. I’m trying to wait until dinner to eat them all but it’s really hard.

    • I know just how you feel, Cassie. These biscuits are SO MOIST. I love to eat them piping hot with homemade red plum jam.

  • MONA

    followed the above recipe and they are the BEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thankyou, Mona!
      What’s your favorite way to eat buttermilk biscuits?

  • Sophia

    This will be my second time making these–the first, they expanded outward a ridiculous amount (I believe this is because I used a buttermilk substitute), becoming square in the pan and sticking together. Still, they were delicious, so I decided to try again using actual buttermilk. Amazing! Definitely kicks the butt of any Bisquick recipe I’ve found, tastes amazing, keeps their crumb moist even after a day in the fridge… altogether a great recipe. And, this time, I used aluminum foil coated in flour as my workspace and so had easy clean-up as well.

    • I’m so glad to know you enjoy them. I love how tender they turn out.

  • Anna Spiegel

    Fantastic! Loved, loved, loved the biscuits! My gravy was really runny and never really thickened up, but I’m going to assume I did something wrong and just call the whole thing a win. Thanks so much!

    • You’re welcome!

      • Anna Spiegel

        Made the gravy again today and it was awesome. I’ll be making both again very soon. 🙂

        • That gravy recipe comes from an OLD cookbook dated back in the 40s, Women’s Home Companion.

    • Tammie Mills

      Any time your gravy is too thin, start with more butter and flour to make the roux. (the cooked butter/flour) the next time. OR you can make a thick batch of gravy, leaving off half the milk, and quickly stir in your warmed, too-thin gravy. Whisk very hard while boiling. Add more milk if you end up with too-thick gravy. The recipe for thick white gravy is 1/2 cup each butter and flour and one cup milk. this makes a VERY thick gravy. Add more milk as you choose.

  • marie3503

    Very nice melt in your mouth moist some people often lie about their recipe but I can truly say this one was right on point thank you

  • LM

    I know you posted this recipe in 2011, but I just found it in 2016. 🙂 Thanks so much for it. Made the biscuits just now. Minor variation: only had bread flour and used home-made yogurt made from half-and-half which is super thick (to mix with the milk). RESULT: GREAT! Tasty, lovely, biscuits! Thank you.

    Another thank you for comment from Nancy in Winnipeg who suggested grating cold butter. That’s a superb trick! My pastry making will be so much easier with grating – instead of my old method of using two forks to cut cold butter into the flour. I grated – and loved that trick.

    Thank you both. 🙂

  • David Pennington

    Can self rising flour be substituted? And delete the baking powder salt and soda? Has anyone tried this?

  • Carole A. Henry

    I am an old cook, lol, and whenever we ate out I tried until I mastered that particular restaurant meal but I could never make pie crust or biscuits. I finally mastered pie crust and when I tried your recipe, I have now mastered biscuits. Thank you so much, these biscuits are wonderful. I never dreamed I would ever find the perfect recipe but thanks to you, Eureka, I found it.