Southern Buttermilk Biscuits*

My life would end without biscuits. Ok, maybe that is a little dramatic.

My life would not be worth living without biscuits. Yes, I think that is more accurate.

There is something magical about biscuits, which is why I have decided to devote a week to biscuits. We had a whole week of cushaw, so why not a week of biscuits? I can’t think of any better way to start biscuit week, than with the classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuit. You can eat them plain, with butter, with butter and jam, or with butter and honey. You can smother them in white country gravy or sandwich them around a piece of fried chicken. But, in my opinion, they really go best alongside a mile high pile of bacon.

Growing up my Mom always made biscuits out of a can. And those were good (trust me, there isn’t a biscuit I don’t like), but these are better. Sorry Pillsbury, but the combination of shortening and butter can’t be beat by anything that plops out of your can. When I first made a batch of biscuits many years ago, they were a giant flop. The recipe I made was so difficult and confusing…and I knew there had to be a better way. So I tried again…and again…and again. I made them with all butter, with all shortening, with cold ingredients, with room temperature ingredients, with milk, and with buttermilk. I made and remade them, until I finally found my holy grail of biscuit.

My biscuits take me less than 20 minutes, start to finish…and that usually includes the 5 minutes of whining about how Jorge should learn to cook breakfast. But this last time I made a batch, I went over to the dark side. The side where no other biscuit loving, proud southern girl has gone before. I froze biscuit dough. I patted out the dough, punched out the biscuit rounds, and immediately froze them. I forgot about them for a week waited a a week and then popped a couple into the oven directly from the freezer. Then I waited.

Eureka! I’m a freaking genius! Sure, somebody else out there has probably done this before. But unlike me, they never shared that it works! IT WORKS! Some might come out a little lopsided or risen a little weird, but they still taste delicious. You can make a big batch of biscuits, freeze them…and have biscuits anytime! In just a few minutes of baking! Amazing. Seriously, a-freaking-mazing. This discovery is the exact reflection of the extra time I have had to put into the gym lately. You may now thank me for your future biscuit muffin top.

Save yourself a much needed headache and buy yourself a nice (but cheap – $8) set of biscuit cutters. You can use them for all kinds of things…like biscuits.  …Oh and probably sugar cookies if you are into that sorta thing.  😉

If you do not buy the biscuit cutters, like I have told you to do, and you try to use a glass instead….do not come crying to me.  My girlfriend, who shall remain nameless, **ahem** -Ashley- **ahem**, made this mistake already. You will not be able to pry your biscuits out in perfect little circles. However, she did tell me that funky oval biscuits still taste amazing.



Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: 22 biscuits

Total Time: 20 minutes

Don't let anyone else tell you different, the best Southern Buttermilk Biscuit is made with both butter and shortening! It provides the best of both worlds and leaves you with a delicious warm, flaky, buttery biscuit. Pure heaven.


  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crisco shortening
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled but soft*
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (buy the real buttermilk, no subs on this one!)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing on top


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream together shortening and 4 tablespoons butter. Add flour mixture, with mixer on low, until small peas of dough form. This will take a few minutes and you will need to scrap down the sides/bottom of the bowl.

With the stand mixer still on low, carefully pour in the buttermilk. Mix until the dough comes together, do not over mix, and then turn onto a floured surface. Using the palms of your hands, gently pat the dough into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Using a 1 1/2 inch biscuit round cutter, cut out biscuits and place them on the lined baking sheet.

Carefully rework the leftover dough back into a disk and cut out biscuits once more. Your second batch of biscuits will never be as fluffy as your first batch. Each time you work with the dough, you press out more air. They will still be tasty, just not as perfect as your first batch.

Generously brush the tops of each biscuit with melted butter. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve immediately, trying hard not to burn your tongue. Serve them with more butter and all the little fixin's your heart can dream of.


**Chilled but Soft: So WTF does that mean? What I am trying to to have your butter sitting on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour before you use it. You don't want the butter to be room temperature...but you also don't want it hard from the fridge. Somewhere in the middle...where it is kinda soft...but still cold. Somebody really needs to come up with a name for this middle ground stage of butter.

TNCB Original

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31 Responses to “Southern Buttermilk Biscuits”

  1. 1

    Kathryn — November 7, 2011 @ 5:59 am

    American biscuits always intrigue me so much because I have no real conception of what they’re like. They look super-delicious though so I will have to give them a try!

    PS I think you should come up with a name for cold but soft butter, patent it & make a fortune. Yes.

  2. 2

    Jessica Lynn — November 7, 2011 @ 6:34 am

    For the girl above me, an American biscuit is like a British scone…just not sweet and a little more doughy!

    I’m passing this along to my husband. We make biscuits pretty of often, but we use the yellow box. You know the one… But, we’re trying to use it all up so we can make things more from scratch. We love biscuits, too, so I’ll bookmark this and try it out!

  3. 3

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — November 7, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    I have never in my life purchased shortening. This recipe has me tempted! :)

  4. 4

    Blog is the New Black — November 7, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    Mmmmm… biscuits,

  5. 5

    Alison @ Ingredients, inc. — November 7, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    Those look perfect!!

  6. 6

    JulieD — November 7, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    They do look amazing! I need to try these!!!

  7. 7

    Jen @ — November 7, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    I honestly suck at making biscuits. They never poof up nicely. I’m going to have to try your recipe, especially since the freezing thing works!

  8. 8

    Bev Weidner — November 7, 2011 @ 10:11 am


    uh huh, baby.

  9. 9

    Katie from Katie's Cucina — November 7, 2011 @ 10:14 am

    Ok, I think I officially need to try this recipe. I’ve attempted to make biscuits from scratch a few times and each time they have failed. And yes, those previous times I’ve attempted I did not have a biscuit cutter. I finally invested the few dollars in a biscuit cutter! lol.

  10. 10

    Amy's Cooking Adventures — November 7, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    I will take your word for it on these biscuits – as soon as my bisquik is gone, I am so making these!

  11. 11

    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — November 7, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    Mmm…biscuits! I’m a homemade biscuit version and once I get tired of them after my Memphis trip, I’ll have to whip these bad boys up!

  12. 12

    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — November 7, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    We’ve always gone with the pillsbury ones too, but really want to make our own. Rachel has been on the hunt for an easy biscuit recipe for awhile, and now I’ve got your recipe, and I think I should make them and surprise her 😉

  13. 13

    Jessica @ the Learning Curve — November 7, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    I love biscuits too!!! I actually have my own biscuit recipe set to post on my blog soon too. :)

    The key I’ve always found to having biscuits that rise like a champ, is to fold the dough. Roll it out into a nice round, then fold it in half twice and roll it out again. If you do this a couple of times it creates air pockets in the dough that guarantee a nice rise!

    And I’ve ALWAYS used a glass – never owned a biscuit cutter – and I’ve never had any problems. Just make sure you lightly flour the rim of your glass first!

  14. 14

    Paula — November 7, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Oh my, pass the gravy please!

  15. 15

    cassie @ bake your day — November 7, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    Oh my, biscuits. I love these. Totally worth the work put in. They sound melt-in-your-mouth!

  16. 16

    Katrina — November 7, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

    Nothing like a classic biscuit. Also, I need to use up some buttermilk!

  17. 17

    Eatgood4life — November 7, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    These are the real deal….I need to make some 4 thanksgiving….maybe with whole wheat flour :-)

  18. 18

    Erin — November 7, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

    These look great! They even have the perfect crack in the middle :)

  19. 19

    Joanne — November 7, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

    Funny thing…my invitation to live with you during biscuit month and help you eat said breakfast treats seems to have gotten lost in the mail. No biggie. I’ll be over soon. 😛

  20. 20

    naomi — November 8, 2011 @ 1:04 am

    These look fantastic. I have to admit, I’ve only make biscuits for the holidays, but when I do I try a new one almost every year. YOurs is next up!

  21. 21

    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — November 8, 2011 @ 11:03 am

    These look awesome and I LOVE your photos!

  22. 22

    Susan — November 8, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

    So smart! They look delish.

  23. 23

    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — November 8, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

    I’ve always wondered if you could freeze the biscuits so they’d be ready to go. Thanks for sharing that it works!

  24. 24

    Chiara @ The Wandering Cook — November 9, 2011 @ 4:14 am

    I haven’t had a biscuit since I moved to Europe… you are making my mouth water!

  25. 25

    brandi — November 9, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    oh yeah, biscuits are the best :) we freeze them, too, when we think about it! but…i usually forget and bake them all so we can eat more :)

  26. 26

    Winnie — November 10, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    You crack me up. Love a good biscuit, and these look great :)

  27. 27

    Holly Simpson — November 10, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

    Did you use the paddle to mix the butter and shortening and then switch to the dough hook when you added the flour?

  28. 28

    Eliana — November 15, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    Heading to the sotre after work to buy myself some Crisco cuz these beauties look too good to miss out on.

  29. 29

    ErinsFoodFiles — November 15, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    I too love biscuits!!! Ever since a year or two ago when The Kitchn posted a recipe for cream biscuits, where you don’t have to cut in the butter, I’ve made that version over and over. And I too freeze them! Can’t believe I’ve never blogged the recipe.

  30. 30

    The Novice Chef » Cinnamon Sweet Potato Biscuits — November 17, 2011 @ 12:50 am

    […] am full of excuses. I swear, I really was going to post the other biscuits for biscuit week while I was in Puerto Rico. I really, really was. I had such high hopes. However when my baggage […]

  31. 31

    The Novice Chef » Sweet Hoecakes with Blackberry Rum Sauce — February 25, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    […] to use up leftover buttermilk I have a few ideas of how: Cinnamon Sweet Potato Biscuits — Southern Buttermilk Biscuits — Sweet Potato Buttermilk […]

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