Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

These tall, flaky, Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits take less than 10 minutes to throw together. They’re also ridiculously delicious! 

“Brilliant, simply brilliant!” That’s what I said, right out loud, when I read the unbelievably easy directions for preparing these buttermilk biscuits…

 Side closeup of Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits with title graphics - thecafesucrefarine.com

The technique was created by the super smart folks over at Cook’s Illustrated. When I read their method for making drop biscuits I figured it was too good to be true. But being a curious-cat when it comes to all things culinary, I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

You would have probably laughed, if you saw me just after I read the article. I ran to the kitchen, turned on the oven and pulled out a bowl, along with measuring tools and the necessary ingredients. Super basic ingredients I had in my pantry and fridge (you probably do too!); flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, buttermilk and, of course, butter.

Classic Technique…

Why did this sound too good to be true? Well, buttermilk biscuits can be a bit tricky. The technique usually calls for combining the dry ingredients, then “cutting” in cold butter with a knife, a pastry cutter or between your fingers. The liquid is then added and everything is gently combined.

If done correctly, the tiny pieces of butter, evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture, are what give classic buttermilk biscuits their lightness, flakiness and layers of peelable, buttery deliciousness. It’s not a difficult technique, just a bit time consuming, and the results are not always consistent. The Cook’s Illustrated technique is totally different… and ridiculously easy!

Ridiculously Easy Way…

How does it work? Well, I’m glad you asked… start by placing a cup of buttermilk in the freezer for a few minutes while you melt the butter in the microwave. Let the melted butter cool for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients. Then, it’s just a matter of combining all the dry ingredients in a bowl and giving them a good stir. The melted butter is then combined with the super cold buttermilk. And this, my people, is when the magic begins!

A Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuit cut open with melted butter - thecafesucrefarine.com

When the warm butter hits the cold liquid, small, buttery globules form.

 Image of cold buttermilk with butter gobules for making Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits - thecafesucrefarine.com

Do you see where this is going? When this buttermilk mixture is added to the dry flour mixture and it’s all stirred together, you’ll notice tiny pieces of pale yellow butter dotting the simple dough. Yup, it will look just as if you spent the time to cut them in!

Would this technique work for traditional, rolled biscuits?

The Cook’s Illustrated recipe is for simple drop biscuits, meaning you just drop spoonfuls onto a sheet pan, then bake. Would this technique work for a more classic, cut-out style biscuit, I wondered? It was worth trying.

I turned out the dough onto a floured work surface, kneaded it a few times, then patted it into a small, square. Dipping a round biscuit cutter in flour, I cut four circles, then rerolled the scraps and cut two more for a total of six. (Since then, I’ve also used a smaller cutter, yielding 8 biscuits.)

Spooning Strawberry jam onto Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits - thecafesucrefarine.com

It was easy enough, actually ridiculously easy. The biscuits rolled out of the oven tall and golden brown with a heavenly aroma. But you’re probably wondering how this version tastes and how they stack up to traditional buttermilk biscuits, right?

Open Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuit spread with strawberry jam - thecafesucrefarine.com

The results?

When Scott and I took the first bite, we looked at each other incredulously. The biscuits were light, tender, buttery, flaky and crazy-delicious. “Wow, these are amazing!” Scott said. I agreed.

Overhead closeup of Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuit spread with strawberry jam - thecafesucrefarine.com

In fact, we ate far too many that day, smothered with melting butter and strawberry jam. You’d probably frown on us, if I told you these biscuits ended up being dinner that night, so I won’t share that bit of information. I guess I’ll just say, it wouldn’t have been a good day for counting calories!

I’ve had quite a few happy taste-testers since then and everyone is shocked when they hear how easy these wonderful buttermilk biscuits are to make. You will be too… you might even have the inclination to exclaim “Brilliant, simply brilliant!” Bon Appetit!

P.S. I’m actually writing this post on the plane as we wing our way home from England. We spent an incredible three weeks with our family in London and accompanied them on a trip to France. We’ll be sharing one more travel post later this week titled “Who wants to be in London in February?” February is traditionally cold, wet, dreary and impossibly dismal in England. We took it as a challenge to look beyond the surface and discover beauty in this beastly time of year.

Oh, and to see fun, behind-the-scenes shots from The Café as well as a peek into Café travel adventures, follow us on Instagram!

Café Tips for making Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

  • If you don’t have buttermilk, make your own. Place 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup. Fill to 1 cup level with milk and stir well. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Mixture may curdle a bit, that’s okay! Use in recipes in lieu of buttermilk.
  • Don’t skip chilling the buttermilk (step 2). It will definitely make a difference. If the buttermilk is not really cold, the little butter globule won’t form.
  • I made these biscuits when I was in London visiting my daughter. I learned the all purpose flour (Plain flour) is a bit different there and it seemed that I needed more, probably closer to 2 1/4 cups.
  • These biscuits freezer well. To freeze, place biscuits on a sheet pan or a plate spaced at least a half inch from each other. Freeze till frozen, then transfer biscuits to a ziplock bag or air-tight storage container.
  • If I’m feeling a bit pinched for time or lazy, I’ll just pat the dough into a 6-inch circle and use a bench scraper to cut the dough into wedges. I either put these wedges on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or in a 9-inch cake pan lined with parchment.
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Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

Spooning Strawberry jam onto Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits - thecafesucrefarine.com

4.9 from 18 reviews

These Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits are easy, as in less than 10 minutes to throw together. Before you know it, tall, flaky, incredibly delicious biscuits will be rolling out of your oven!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 9 tablespoons (113 G) butter, divided
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, more for counter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or spray a sheet pan with cooking spray.
  2. Measure 1 cup of buttermilk and place in the freezer for 10 minutes while prepping other ingredients.
  3. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl, cover and heat on high for 30 seconds. If not completely melted, return to microwave for 10 second intervals till melted. Set aside to cool a bit while prepping other ingredients.
  4. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar,and salt in large bowl.
  5. After buttermilk has been chilled in freezer for 10 minutes, combine it with 8 tablespoons of the melted butter. (Reserve the last tablespoon for brushing on the baked biscuits.) Stir with a fork until butter forms small clumps or globules. (See picture in post.)
  6. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula just until all flour is incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Dough should be stiff and not super wet. If dough is wet, add more flour 1 tablespoons at a time, stirring to combine, until fairly stiff.
  7. Generously flour a work surface. Dump biscuit dough from bowl onto prepared work surface and turn to coat all surfaces with flour. Knead on counter 5-6 times (about 30 seconds) . Flip over on work surface to coat with flour then pat into a 6-inch square. It should be 1 1/2-2-inches in height.
  8. Cut four biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits of prepared sheet pan. Knead scraps a few times till they hold together, then pat into a small rectangle and cut two more biscuits. Transfer last two biscuits to sheet pan, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. (See Café Tips in post for an even easier cutting technique).
  9. Place in oven and bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 8 to 18 minutes. (start checking them after 8 minutes as ovens vary. You want them to be a nice golden brown but not too brown – check the pictures above for correct color.)
  10. Re-melt remaining tablespoon of butter in microwave, if necessary and brush tops of hot biscuits with melted butter. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated via Serious Eats

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Easy as in, less than 10 minutes to throw together. Next thing you know, tall, flaky, incredibly delicious biscuits! will be rolling out of your oven!


128 thoughts on “Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits”

  • Chris, thank you for all your good recipes. These biscuits are delicious! Mine came out more browned on the bottom than I would like, though the tops were nice and golden. Any suggestions? Also, my biscuits were more dome shaped than cylindrical. What might have caused this shape?

    Blessings to you and yours!
    Betsy

    • So happy you enjoyed them Betsy! Regarding the browning on the bottom, did you bake them on the middle rack? That’s what I would suggest as the lower rack will make the bottom more brown. If you did use the middle rack, perhaps your lower oven is a little too hot. Try using another sheet pan underneath the one you’re baking the biscuits on. This will create a layer of insulation which will prevent them from getting too brown. If you don’t have a second sheet pan, just line the pan on the underside with a double layer of heavy duty foil. That should do the same thing.
      Regarding the dome shape, these biscuits aren’t perfectly shaped but if you’re careful not to twist the cutter too much when your cutting the dough it will help them to be more cylindrical.
      Hope that helps!

  • These were fantastic! I made them with a “breakfast for dinner” meal and loved the taste! I followed the recipe pretty exactly, except that I didn’t roll out the dough; I just made drop biscuits. I kneaded the dough until combined well, and then broke off round pieces and dropped onto my parchment paper. They turned out incredibly well! I will definitely make these again. Thank you for the recipe!

  • I keep thinking about this recipe if you wanted to convert it to shortcake biscuits what would you change? Increase just the sugar?

    Thanks

    Edee

    • Hi Edee, you could use cream but there’s something quite magical about buttermilk in baking. The lactic acid helps to make a light and tender texture. It also gives a slightly tangy flavor which is wonderful.

  • I feel so lucky to have found this astounding recipe! I’m from the south US so I know all about biscuits…alas living in NYC means restaurants rarely have them on the menu. But making them was so fussy, I got butter everywhere and they didn’t turn out.

    I’ve made these 4 times so far and they are always wonderful! A little less sugar a touch more salt and they’re perfect.

    FYI a half recipe makes 4 perfect biscuits, which is ideal for a couple of people.

    Thanks again, and love the blog!

  • I was having a small tea party today and I decided to make the buttermilk biscuits. I made them exactly as written and then I cut them into a scone shape. They were delicious served with clotted cream and red currant jelly. I will definitely be making them again and the bonus s they are simple to make. Thanks.

    • That’s so funny Elizabeth. I made them today too, but for a dinner party. I added sharp cheddar and jalapeño and cut them into little triangles, like scones. They were so good!
      So happy you enjoyed them, I love the idea of serving them with clotted cream and jam,YUM!!

  • Just made these and I will say that they are the easiest, best tasting biscuits I’ve ever made. I think they’re better than the restaurant biscuits I’ve tasted too. This will be my go to biscuit recipe from now on. Thank you for yet another amazing recipe!

    • Same Here!

      I have tried MANY different biscuit recipes, and this I think is my favorite! BOTH for taste and ease of making (SO EASY I almost feel guilty!)

      The only thing I did differently was make square biscuits (pat into a square and made 4 sandwich-style biscuits) …. Yum! I might have to make more right now! LOL

  • Just tried these buttermilk biscuits and they were easy to make and delicious. Next on my list to try is the artisan bread and microwave caramel

  • Hi Chris! I made these yesterday and they were so tasty! I was quite intrigued when I mixed the buttermilk with that melted butter and all those little butter globs formed. Biscuits were yummy and sure didn’t require any extra butter. I may cut back the next time in the amount of butter I put in. They seemed heavily, laden with it (good tho!) just seemed like almost too
    much butter to me. I will for sure make them again. Everyone loved them. Oh yes..I also grated some Gouda cheese and sprinkled it on top when I took them out of the oven and then put them back for a minute , just to allow it to melt. Mmm..😋

  • I’m not a Cooks Illustrated fan. But these biscuits are amazing. I make a double batch and freeze them unbaked so that I can have tasty biscuits on the weekend without the hassle of making them every weekend.

  • I never write recipe reviews–ever! But…this one is AMAZING!! I’ve made these delicious, fluffy biscuits 3 times in the past 5 days. It’s so easy. I can pull the dough together and have the biscuits cut and on the cookie sheet waiting before the oven is finished preheating. Thanks so much for sharing…these are my new guilty pleasure!!

  • Hello Chris,
    I did the same thing you did; I got up and ran to the kitchen after reading your recepy/method!
    With one difference: I’m Dutch, live in the Netherlands and it happened to be 4 a çlock in the night and I couldn’t sleep… So I had an early breakfast… Thank you thank you for sharing this recepy. Here in holland people are not familiar with biscuits and we don’t eat bread with our supper unless we eat chili or soup… but I after eating them ones in the States AND watching “the Waltons” a lot I always wanted to make them. They Always turn out tough or dry! I altered your recepy a little..I only put in one teaspoon of Sugar and perhaps a little extra buttermilk because it seemed to dry at first. And I was afraid of kneading it to much, so I just picked up the dough, put it on some flour and formed a disk and cut them out. They are fantastic! never ate anything like it! Such a crispy thin crust and almost cake-like on the inside… Now I know what was meant when someone said to Olivia Walton: these biscuits melt in the mouth!! Best wishes from Christine

    • Oh, I love your story Cristine! It sounds like we are very similar despite living in other countries. I’m always so determined to figure out how to re-create something delicious that I’ve tried. I too, tried lots of different biscuit recipes without much success till this one came along. Now I have to discipline myself to only make them for special occasions 🙂 So nice to hear from you, all the way from the Netherlands!

  • This recipe is pure genius! Made these last night and could not believe how easy it was — but better than that is how yummy they taste. This is definitely a “keeper” recipe. Thanks so much!

  • I pinned these a long time ago and finally tried them this morning to make breakfast sandwiches with. They turned out amazing and came together very quickly, thank you!

  • Hi,

    If I make these ahead of time and freeze them, what is the cooking time for the frozen biscuits? I wasn’t sure if there was much of a time difference from making them fresh. Thanks.

  • The recipe says “Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in microwave”. Does that mean I should combine the buttermilk with only 7 of the 8 tablespoons of butter that the recipe calls for?

  • Hello! These look divine! Grew up eating my grandmothers homemade biscuits, which I did not get the gene for making. LOL Can’t wait to try these. One question, I never saw her put sugar in her biscuits. Can I just leave that out of the recipe?

  • OMG!! Just finished trying this recipe and they turned out better than I could of ever expected them to. Super easy recipe. Thank you so much (:

  • Thanks for the amazingly simple recipe! I’m new to baking and am always looking for simple – I can’t wait to try it. One question though: I noticed your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of sugar, while the original Cook’s Illustrated recipe calls for 1 teaspoon. Is one better than the other??

    • Hi Noelle, hope you enjoy the biscuits! To answer your question, when I experimented with these muffins I found that we liked just a bit of sweetness. 1 tablespoon doesn’t add much but 1 teaspoon doesn’t really add any.

  • I made these over the weekend and they were the best!! Loved how easy they were. When you want to freeze them, do you freeze them before you bake them? I’m thinking yes, but want to be sure. Thanks again for the great recipe!!

  • These are the best, easiest, lightest, fluffiest, yummiest biscuits ever. I was in the mood for biscuits and gravy this morning, but I didn’t want to hassle with cutting in the fat. The fact that it uses butter instead of lard and comes out so well is remarkable.I’m keeping this recipe and using it forever. It’s genius!

  • Making them shortly and I know they’ll be great as I’ve never had a fail with your recipes. Thank you for putting the butter in grams as it makes it easier for those like me who live in other countries (Australia ). Cheers

  • Hi, I made your biscuits. they are great. Thanks for the recipe and for each step with pictures which made it easy and clear how to make them. Even the buttermilk substitute.Thank you so much.

  • I am always apprehensive about recipes from another continent. Measurements needs to be converted and not all ingredients are available and sometimes things get ‘lost in translation’.
    I still tried this recipe with great success. It is fantastic and delicious.
    I used Amazi instead of buttermilk it is very similar and a good substitute.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  • These are the ones to make! Thank you – I’ve been trying a few different recipes and they have all been just a little bit off. Couldn’t have been easier. 9 minutes in a 200 degree c oven did it.

  • I cooked in my oven at 475 degrees and the tops were golden brown at 10 minutes. The taste was fine, but the middle was undercooked. Perhaps cooking at 450 would have done the trick OR settling for a smaller biscuit that is not so high, I don’t know.

  • Love the recipe, can’t wait to try them. Any idea how long they can be frozen? I don’t know what the timeframe is for breads and such for freezing.

    • So glad you enjoyed them Jill! Ever since we moved to the South over 35 years ago, I’ve been looking for a really “perfect” biscuit recipe. This is as close as you can get!

  • I am so excited to try these biscuits. I am going to make them tonight. They are for tomorrow’s dinner for 15 people. Do you recommend I triple the recipe? If so, should I leave the buttermilk in the freezer longer? Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • Do these really bake at 475 degrees or was that a typo? Also, any guesses on cooking temperature/time for frozen, prebaked version?

      • We keep making them and they are delicious! I am wondering if this recipe could be adapted to make blueberry scones…do you have any thoughts on this? I love scones but making them can be a challenge…I am thinking the buttermilk and melted butter technique could be the way to go. It really does work for the biscuits.

  • Just made these tonight and oh my they are delicious. I had made biscuits once and you are right, a lot of work and they really didn’t turn out that good. These are soft and flaky and oh so delicious. And I can’t forget to mention that yes, they are very easy and quick to make. The freezer is a great option but I do not believe there will be any left overs to freeze….thank you for a great recipe!

  • The Mr is the resident biscuit maker but I can’t wait to make these. Maybe we’ll have a Mr and Mrs biscuit cook-off. At the very least we’ll probably have biscuits for dinner more often!

  • Chris thank you for sharing this easy recipe to try and I’m glad you had another fab visit with your family here in England xoxo

  • Chris, I was wondering why you took the extra step to flour a board, and cut out biscuits, when the CI recipe just drops them on the cooking sheet? Curious minds, you know!
    Thanks for this recipe, can’t wait to make it.

  • Having a bit of bake-o-phobia, I think this recipe was made for me, lol. I’m not very good with the patient precision required to develop good baking skills so I generally avoid it but I would love to make these on a Saturday morning! I can imagine the wonderful aromas through the house.
    Thanks for a great recipe, Chris! And welcome home. Looks like a fabulous time 🙂

  • Chris I love biscuits but never make them. I think it’s because we’ve tried to limit eating breads, muffins, biscuits, cookies, etc. now that we’re getting older and it hits the waistline quicker than we’d like. That said, there’s a time and place for biscuits and this recipe looks perfect and easy. So I’m going to print it and save it so the next time I want to make a batch I’ll have this one to refer to. Thanks for sharing it. My mouth is salivating just dreaming about eating one!

  • I love a recipe that begins with RIDICULOUSLY EASY. And, I can’t wait to make more of your freezer jam. It seems to disappear all to soon around here. 🙂

  • There is nothing more tasty than a biscuit fresh from the oven with a little dollop of jam! This recipe is a little different than my tried and true, but I am going to try it next time I have the urge for biscuits.

      • I tried this recipe today with Hoosier Hill Farms Powdered Buttermilk and it worked out fine.
        3 Tblsp. powder to 1 cup of water. Remove 1 Tblsp. of water from the cup and then mix.

        In case anybody wondered. Hubby said they were amazing and the tip about the butter was outstanding.
        Thanks for that.

  • This is the only blog post recipe I’ve ever read (6:30 am) and went straight to the kitchen and made! They were a big hit with everyone and just as described. Delish!!!

  • When you freeze the biscuits, are they baked or pre-baked? I would love to make biscuits and freeze them before I bake them so that I could just pull what I need out of the freezer and then bake them to have warm biscuits. I wondered which way you freeze them.

  • Genius! I made a recipe for something else a short while ago where I accidentally added melted butter to cold milk and ended up with unwanted butter globules. Great to know I can harness it for good.

  • How can I NOT want to make these?

    Wow Scott..your photos are fab..and Chris’ exepertise in la cuisine are a match made in heaven.

    Do you shoot w/ a full frame camera?Curious minds want to know..we have no power at the moment ..since last night..but the generator keeps the fridge..and internet etc working.

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