Old-Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

This recipe for Old-Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Biscuits was passed down from my grandmother – it’s been a family favorite for years!

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuit from Spicedblog.com #biscuitAs many of you know, I live in upstate New York.  (And yes, the temperature here dropped to below freezing last night.  In May.)  Prior to moving here a couple years ago, I had lived my entire life in the South.  In fact, I lived all over the Southeast.  I was born in Texas, but I grew up in the Carolinas, and I also spent time in Louisiana and Georgia. 
People often ask me what I miss the most about the South, and I must admit that biscuits are at the top of the list.  No matter whether you’re in North Carolina, Georgia, or Louisiana, Southern chefs and bakers are rated on their biscuit-making ability. 
Every southern family has a secret biscuit recipe that is passed down through the generations.  While the north certainly has a number of redeeming culinary qualities (ahem, the farm-to-table way of life in Vermont), it’s still pretty darn hard to find a good biscuit up here!
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuit from Spicedblog.com #biscuitAs a young boy, I remember spending the summers with my grandparents in a small town in upstate South Carolina.  Every weekend, the entire family would gather for Sunday dinner, which typically consisted of fried fish (caught fresh the day before), fresh greens and beans from the garden, homemade ambrosia…and of course biscuits! 
This simple recipe produces biscuits that remind me of those Sunday family dinners in Belton, South Carolina.  I often make a batch of these on a weekend morning and serve them with jam or honey for breakfast.  Then I just lightly toast any leftover biscuits for lunch or dinner depending on the occasion. 
I hope these biscuits help create many wonderful memories for you just as they did for me when I was much younger!
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuit from Spicedblog.com #biscuit

Old-Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

This recipe for Old Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Biscuits was passed down from my grandmother - it's been a family favorite for years!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 biscuits
Calories: 166kcal



  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces (~1/2" cubes) and add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  • Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until butter pieces are pea-sized.
  • Add the buttermilk and stir until absorbed. (This dough will be somewhat sticky, but if it seems overly sticky, then just add more flour one tablespoon at a time until it becomes less sticky.)
  • Turn the dough out onto a generously floured countertop and shape into a rough square. (You will likely need additional flour here to keep your hands from becoming too sticky from the dough.)
  • Cut the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces.
  • Using your hands, shape each piece of dough into a rough circle about 1/2" thick. Place biscuits on a lined sheet-pan. (If you desire crispier edges to your biscuits, then space them further apart on the pan. If you desire softer edges, then place them closer together.)
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until tops are golden in color.

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  1. I’ve been making these biscuits for two months now and they are delicious and easy ! My husband loves em’.

  2. I am from Georgia and admittedly a biscuit snob. People in south Georgia know how to make a biscuit and being spoiled from the perfect biscuit, I have been searching for YEARS. I mean years and have tried and tested so many biscuit recipes it’s gotten annoying and I was convinced it was a losing battle. I gave your recipe a try tonight. I used 2 knives to cut in the butter (used salted and less salt (1/2 tsp plus a dash or two. I got the butter to just a tad larger than pea size. Made a well in the center and mixed the dough with my hand. It was a bit dry but I added a little more buttermilk and it was perfect. I kneaded it lightly about 4 times to pull it all together, pat out the square by hand and formed into the circles as you directed. I’m not kidding – I was so beside myself when these came out of the oven I couldn’t stop smiling and eating them. Seriously, you have it perfect. No recipe can come close to this – oh and thank you for recommending Gold Medal, I could never cook with anything else and people just don’t get it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can now stand in my own kitchen, eating a biscuit that takes me right back to my Grandmother’s kitchen when I was little. 🙂

    1. Wow! Julie, you just made my day. Actually, I think you just made my weekend. One of the greatest feelings about blogging is when a reader makes a recipe and it works perfectly. I absolutely understand the importance of biscuits in the south…and I miss living down there! That’s why I’ve turned to the kitchen up here to re-create some of my favorites. Thank you SO much for coming back and letting me know. I really appreciate you being a Spiced reader, and please do not hesitate to let me know if you ever have comments or suggestions in the future. Have a great day!!

  3. Hi, I came across your blog while searching pinterest for homemade pudding 😉 I am going to try your banana pudding recipe because banana pudding is one of my favorites! My kiddos wanted chocolate.. but chocolate and banana go so well together! I was wondering about this biscuit recipe. If one doesn’t have buttermilk on hand are there any suitable substitutions? Can I just use plain milk? I know the result wouldn’t be the same but would it be terrible? My family loves scones but we’ve only ever used a mix and I want to make something from scratch with our homemade jam and I thought I’d give your buscuits a try!

    1. Hey Erica! Thank you so much for visiting, and thank you for commenting! (That banana pudding recipe is one of my favorites!!) These biscuits are absolutely delicious with buttermilk. I recommend using buttermilk for the flavor, but you could certainly use “regular” milk instead. I often don’t keep buttermilk around the house, so I recommend picking up some powdered buttermilk. You can find it in the baking aisle, and then you can just mix up however much you need for the recipe. (Follow instructions on the package.) Either way, these biscuits will work with plain milk. And if you don’t happen to have a pastry cutter, you can use two knives to help cut the butter into the flour mixture. Good luck with the scratch biscuits…make sure to come back and let me know how they turned out!!

      1. I just pulled the biscuits out of the oven and all the kids(I have 5, plus a friend had a sleepover) love them! 🙂

        I did the fake buttermilk vinegar trick (4tsps of vinegar plus milk to equal one cup). I used half apple cider vinegar and half regular white vinegar. I also doubled the recipe so everybody could have a few biscuits. Some ate them with honey, others with jam and lots of butter!

        I will check out the powdered buttermilk you suggested next time I go into town. Thanks for the tip! I also just use my hands to mix up the butter and flour mixture.. Not too much to the butter doesn’t melt but I find it easier than the 2 knives when no pastry cutter is on hand.

        3 of my kids go back to school this coming week so I will make the banana pudding then for a special back to school dessert. I’ll let you know how that comes out! Thanks for posting yummy recipes! And the quick response! 🙂

        1. Good call about the “fake buttermilk” idea…I completely forgot about that one when I responded before! I’m so glad these biscuits turned out well…they are one of my all-time favorite breakfasts! (And I love that they really don’t take all that long to make.)

          Good luck with the banana pudding. That’s another one of my favorites! I think I foresee some biscuits and banana pudding in my future as well after talking about them again. Haha! I hope you are having a great holiday weekend. Oh, and you’re probably super happy to have the kids going back to school this week. 🙂

  4. Love this recipe. I made them but they were a little to floury for me so I added a TBSP of sugar–good to go!!! best biscuits ever.

    1. Great! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Pam. It’s my go-to biscuit recipe, and it’s one of my favorites! Good tip about the sugar, too. Thanks for coming back and commenting! 🙂

  5. Alright now. My Grannie from NC always made her Southern biscuits with shortening, SR flour-make a well add big diced shortening, big pinch of baking soda and buttermilk and mix with hands. Who knows how much of any ingredient! She made so many in her lifetime that truly were the best-light, fluffy and great with butter!

    I have tried and tried to replicate her recipe but can’t get the taste I remember or the lightness or the fluffiness! So should I use your recipe I know Grannie did not use 1/2 c of shortening! Any suggestions?

    1. Hey there, Shelley! Oh man, if only our grandmother’s had actually written down their recipes, right? Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten came out of my grandma’s kitchen in upstate SC…but she never wrote down anything!

      As to your question about shortening, I know some people swear by shortening in their biscuits. Others go with a shortening + butter combination. I personally try to avoid shortening when I can just because I prefer the taste of butter. These biscuits are butter-based, and quite frankly they are some of my favorite biscuits to make. For me, the key is the buttermilk. Give them a shot and see what you think! You can always tweak the recipe to your liking, but I think this is a good one to start with. Good luck, and keep me updated if you make this recipe! 🙂

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