Super Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

The humble, yet mighty, buttermilk biscuit is an American quick bread that uses baking powder and steam to create layers that are moist, rich, and tender. This recipe creates perfectly light and unbelievably flaky buttermilk biscuits have been perfected through round after round of testing. They're delicious served alongside fried chicken, barbecue, or with whipped cream and strawberries.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using butter instead of shortening tenderizes the dough and adds great flavor.
  • Using a mixture of buttermilk and cream helps to maximize leavening while guaranteeing tenderness.

Super Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes about 15 biscuits
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
Special equipment:food processor (optional)
This recipe appears in: The Serious Eats Guide to Biscuits How to Make Super Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits


  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs, 1 whole, 1 beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups (13 ounces) all-purpose or low-protein biscuit flour, such as White Lily or Adluh
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and kept refrigerated


  1. 1

    Using a knife or bench knife, cut your butter into marble-sized pieces. Store the cut butter in the refrigerator until you’re ready to combine it with the other ingredients.

  2. 2

    In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, cream, and whole egg.

  3. 3

    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

  4. 4

    Add butter to flour mixture and toss until fully coated. Working quickly and using your fingers, rub butter into flour until butter forms marble-sized pieces. Alternatively, add flour mixture and butter to food processor and pulse 2 to 3 times to form marble-sized pieces; transfer to a large bowl.

  5. 5

    Add buttermilk mixture and gently mix with a fork until just combined; the dough should look somewhat dry and shaggy. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  6. 6

    Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Form dough into a rectangle, lightly pressing and folding to bring it together; avoid squeezing or kneading the dough.

  7. 7

    Fold dough into thirds like a letter. Using rolling pin, roll out dough and repeat folding once more. Roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Wrap in plastic and transfer to refrigerator for 10 minutes.

  8. 8

    Return dough to work surface, and, using a 3-inch round cookie-cutter and pressing down without a twisting motion, cut out biscuits as closely together as possible. Gather together scraps, pat down, and cut out more biscuits; discard any remaining scraps. Brush the top of each biscuit with egg-wash.

  9. 9

    Bake the biscuits in a 400°&F oven until risen and golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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