How To Make Flaky, Awesome, Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits

in Biscuits, Breakfast

In the first season of Felicity (yes, I’m re-watching it right now AND loving it), Ben Covington (Scott Speedman) says that everyone is good at three things. Three things! So, I asked myself: What three things am I good at?! I thought long and hard about these answers; here they are:

1. I’m a good daughter. I call my parents, include them in my life (despite us living across the country from one another), I listen to them, and make time them. Because, as I’ve learned over the years, all parents really want is time.

2. I’m a really good girlfriend. And a really really bad ex-girlfriend. Like, I might throw out your clothes/DVDs/electronic equipment that you leave at my house. Might. Whatevs!

3. I’m a very good biscuit creator/dreamer/taster/eater. I wasn’t born this way. No. My talent for making biscuits comes from just straight obsession. No talent needed, just facts and a few tips and tricks.

My love for biscuits is well documented on this here corner of the internet that is A Cozy Kitchen, but I wasn’t always good at making them. I actually remember making my first batch of biscuits in college and remember them being flat, sort of bland and dry. Now, they’re tall, flaky, buttery and kind of amazing.

(Take the jump, let’s rock out with some biscuits.)

Step 1: Get your dry ingredients together. Get your butter together. Biggest thing with this step: make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh.

Look at the expiration date. If they’re old and expired, they won’t work, which will result in biscuits that are flat and not so cute.

Step 2: Grate the butter into the flour mixture and place it in the freezer to chill. The key to tender and delicious biscuits is to handle the dough as little as possible.

Grating the butter into the flour mixture helps with this. Think about it. There’s no need to break up large chunks of butter. The grater makes it so the butter is practically already at an ideal size: pea-sized.

Step 3: While the flour and butter are chilling out in the freezer, combine the wet ingredients. And make your egg wash.

Step 4: Take the flour and butter bowl out of the freezer. Break up the butter, gently, until it’s combined into the flour mixture.

All at once, pour in the cold buttermilk and egg mixture.

Grab a spoon and mix it all together. It should come together pretty quickly. Knead it in the bowl a few times and dump it out onto your kitchen counter…

Step 5: I don’t use a rolling pin for biscuits, usually. I find it something sort of unnecessary and just another thing I need to clean. Instead I just pat the dough into a sort-of circle and cut the biscuits out.

If you twist your cutter, the biscuits may have a tendency not to rise as much. So don’t do that. Just straight down and firm.

Step 6: Egg wash. And into a very well preheated oven is super important. These biscuits have a good amount of baking powder and a little bit of baking soda, which will make them rise. But height is also created from those bits of butter throughout the biscuit hitting the heat and creating steam. This steam pushes the biscuit upward, resulting in a tall, good-looking biscuit.

Also, since this blog here is a nice little community, and not a dictatorship, if you happen to know other tricks or tips I didn’t mention above, feel free to leave them in the comments. Most likely other people reading will benefit, and I will too.

All week I’ve been going around and asking all my friends what three things they’re good at.


How To Make Flaky, Awesome, Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits

Print this recipe!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 scant teaspoon fine grain sea salt (table salt works too!)
1 1/2 stick (6 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold and shaken
1 large egg, cold
Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk (or 1 tablespoon water)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. Transfer the bowl to the freezer while you gather the wet ingredients, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Measure out the buttermilk and add the egg; whisk until combined. In a small bowl, make the egg wash, whisking together the egg and milk. Transfer both to the refrigerator.

4. Grab the bowl out of the freezer, and gently break up the butter and combine with the flour, using your hands, until it resembles small peas. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Mix until barely combined; and lightly knead the dough. until it forms one solid mass. Sprinkle your kitchen counter with flour and dump the dough onto it. Press the dough into a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out the biscuits using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, ending up with about 6 biscuits. You can recombine the scraps and get 2 more biscuits. Transfer them to the baking sheet.

6. If you think you’ve been moving a little slow (like I was because I was..ahem..taking pictures), stick the baking sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will get the bits of butter nice and cold again. After the biscuits are cold, brush the tops of with egg wash and bake in oven or 10 to 15 minutes, until tall and medium golden brown. Serve biscuits warm with honey and jam. YUM.

Yields 8 biscuits

{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Margherita October 5, 2012 at 12:47 am

Mine never come out as flaky as yours, not even close…is it because I always skip the freezer part? Probably…


marissa @ the boot October 5, 2012 at 1:05 am

doing this! you make it look very easy, and though i’ve never attempted biscuits, i all of a sudden NEED to! (3 things i’m good at: dancing in my underwear, eating, side braiding.) ha!


Rachael October 5, 2012 at 3:09 am

Ugh…gosh, biscuits continue to elude me. Sometimes they are awesome, and Imma hero! When they aren’t(the other 95% of the time) Ithrowthemaway…or play air hockey. This is an excellent tutorial, now I need to make some gravy!
3 things: making yeast rolls, working out and falling asleep fast.
In that order.


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Falling asleep fast! Lucky.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 5, 2012 at 4:00 am

These most certainly DO look perfect! Yum!


Lindsay October 5, 2012 at 6:13 am

First time I stumbled across this blog and you pulled me in from the first sentence about Felicity. Best Show Ever. Also, i’m craving biscuits…..


Matias November 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Congrats no your SITS feature!!!!I am SOOOO mnikag those flower biscuits! They certainly don’t look as easy as they are. And I already have EVERYTHING on hand! You are definitely getting a big fat bookmark and a place on the blogroll! I love this site!!!!


cindy October 5, 2012 at 6:41 am

I never got the appeal of biscuits until I had a homemade one. Now, it’s true love. I love that theses are so tall!

I’m good at being a really loyal and defensive friend. Once my bff’s boyfriend broke up with her in a note. They were together for 5 1/2 years AND lived together AND a NOTE! I maybe, totally, chucked a shoe off his porch so he only had one left, when we moved her out. I also maybe knocked his full water glass off the bedside table and onto his pillow. I’m also really good at tormenting my loved ones with their least favorite words. Also, I’m super good at being hungry/eating. Haha!


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Only one shoe! You’re the BEST!


Lynda October 5, 2012 at 6:45 am

These look delicious! Also love that you make time for your parents, it’s really hard sometimes to fit it all in, but I do believe this is really important!



Allyson October 5, 2012 at 6:54 am

As much as I loooovve Felicity (her college years directly corresponded with mine so we had a bond, you see), the first season she is so awkward it almost makes me cringe. But oh how I adore season 3 – until Avery comes into the picture.

And thanks to you, now I want to make biscuits and watch tv all day. Rock on.


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I’m now on the third season and it’s amazing. How Felicity has grown!


Nicole October 5, 2012 at 7:07 am

I have been struggling to make perfect biscuits. Definitely going to use your recipe and pray they come out as pretty as yours


christin October 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

you are my hero.


Yelle October 5, 2012 at 9:08 am

I never thought to grate the butter! Great tip, no pun intended. :p
I bet it made for some super flaky biscuits!


Nicole October 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

What a genius idea to grate the butter! Can’t wait to try it out on my next batch of biscuits. Thanks!


Maggie October 5, 2012 at 9:51 am

I LOVE when you post on fridays, because Saturdays are my free day to spend lots of time cooking and creating new things. Biscuits could be a true winner for breakfast tomorrow and all I need from the store is buttermilk! Happy Friday :]

3 things I’m good at: planning celebrations, writing letters, giving lots of hugs!


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Love this!


Heather@SugarDish(Me) October 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

I think that grating butter might be the most genius thing ever.
My boyfriend’s grandma makes the most amazing tender wonderful biscuits. I thought mine would never measure up. But they just might.


Eileen October 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

Aren’t you glad it’s baking season again? Your biscuits look so perfect–all puffed up super high and full of flake! Yay!


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Yes! I hate the heat so much. I love that I can turn on my oven again.


L.Camille October 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

OMG!!! I love Felicity. I just rewatched the entire series a couple months ago, annnnddddd I think I’ll watch it again today. And YES for biscuits. Always.


Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs October 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

Well hello, Saturday morning!!


Hannah-lyz October 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

These look interesting! Over my side of the pond, “biscuits” are like cookies! Sweet crispy things you dip in tea and coffee 😛 I think my fiance would love these! It looks like a combination between pastry and a UK scone..hmm…=D
Also, 3 things I’m good at : Art, cooking from scratch (I never get take out or ready meals lol) and planning celebrations ^-^ My mum calls me the Birthday Fairy, because I always go all-out ^-^ It’s got to be special damnit!


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Ahh yes! These biscuits are like a more flaky, more buttery, less crumbly scone.


gigi October 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

ok yum! as usual you’ve got me drooling. gigi. food and beauty blogger @


Mary October 5, 2012 at 11:48 am

I’m gonna try these very soon, like maybe today:) 3 things I’m good at–talking, baking, eating:) BTW-I grate frozen butter for my scones too and they are yummy!!!


Jackie October 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

Wow! Talk about flaky and high biscuits!! You really nailed them! They look delicious!! I would have to say my 3 things I am good at are 1) good mom 2) good listener 3) I make really good chicken soup :)


Katie @ Blonde Ambition October 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

I’ve only attempted biscuits once, and they tasted great but the texture was awful! Thanks for the tips!

I’m good at remembering dates and details. I guess that makes me a pretty good girlfriend! (Boyfriend would have forgotten 5 birthdays/anniversaries if not for me!) I also make some kick ass salad dressings. :)


Sarah October 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I’ve had some awesome biscuits while I’ve been in Asheville and Savannah. But I never think to make them at home. I need to. These look amazing.


Constanza October 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I really really really LOVE your blog … everything in it … from the great pictures to the delicius recipes makes me feel GOOD!
Thank you for shareing it


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Thanks, Constanza. XO


Stacey October 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

These look mind-blowingly amazing. They’re so tall and flaky! What!

1) I’m really good at daydrinking. 2) I’m a super loyal friend. 3) I’m great at lovin’ on dogs.


Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes October 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I need a biscuit cutter! These look amazing!


Anton October 5, 2012 at 11:49 pm

One more tip: do not egg wash the sides; even make sure you avoid them as much as possible when doing the top. The egg will also limit the rising.


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm



Kate October 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

A trick I’ve had good luck with: preheat the oven to 500 degrees. When you put the biscuits (or scones – same idea) into the oven, put the temperature down to the recipe’s level. The extra blast of heat will have the chemical leaveners (and the butter’s steam producing potential) working to their full potential. I’ve found that the biscuits will be done 2-3 minutes earlier than they normally would.


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm



Heather W. October 6, 2012 at 9:02 am

I made these this morning and they were amazing! Taller and flakier than any other biscuit I’ve made (even Martha’s… so that’s saying something). Grating the butter is such a good idea. YUM!


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Like this so very much. YAY!


Mollie@Kitchen Accessories October 7, 2012 at 5:11 am

I inherited my granny’s baking tools. One of them is the biscuit cutter, I haven’t done yet this
recipe. Now i can use the tool to try this recipe.


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm

It would be an honor…


Lyssa October 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

Never tried grating the butter… Might have to give these ago.

How do you eat them? Over here in the uk we call them scones and usually serve them with jam and cream…. Hmmm!


Adrianna October 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I like them with jam and a cup of coffee. Or I’ll make some soft scrambled eggs and shove them in the center. Delicious.


Annalise October 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Love your tips! I think I’m definitely going to try grating my butter next time to see if that makes a difference. The only other tip I think of to add is that decreasing the spacing between the biscuits will make them softer, increasing it will make them crispier. I like them both ways!


Mia October 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Things I’m really NOT good at: biscuit making.

I’m excited to give this a try. I feel like I basically already do this, except the grating the butter part. I think I always over-mix, because I’m a bit type A and want my flour to look exactly the size of peas.

3 things I’m good at: being really ridiculous/blaming others when I don’t get my way, apologizing to others once I realize I’ve been ridiculous, and making chicken chili.


Gwen October 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Thanks for the tips, I have yet to achieve max fluffiness.
Things I’m good at:
1. Being alone. Seriously, I like chillin by myself
2. Listening.
3. Singing in the car.


Allison Day October 9, 2012 at 3:24 am

Man, these biscuits look amazing. I’ve always wanted to try making biscuits, so I may just have to take the leap with this recipe and all your helpful tips!

My three things? Hm… coming up with weird sushi combinations, doing logic puzzles, and injuring myself. Seriously. I’m crazy clumsy.


Kate October 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

I have a cutting board just like that one in your photo and I love it. And I love biscuits. I’m pretty good at those, too.

My three:

1. I’m a good listener. Mostly because I know the difference between when someone just needs to vent, when they need to vent and have feedback and when they need to vent and be told to just knock it off and get on with life.

2. I’m good at seeing the big picture. Both sides. Opposites. Positive. Negative. Black. White. All colors in between.

3. I’m good at laughing. At myself. At a joke. At life. At ridiculous circumstances. At life. At life. At life.


dervla @ The Curator October 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

ooooh i like this question. Let me think:

1) I’m good at being calm, at not getting worked up, at letting things wash over me and dealing with them as they come.

2) I’m good at flirting … hehe

3) I’m good at maintaining wonder for where i am at this part of my life. I remember to look up every now and then and say, holy shit, i live here, and i get to do this!


Nicole October 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Dang, girl! Pretty biscuits and Felicity? This is my kind of conversation!


Laura October 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Oh Speedy… Now I want a biscuit and to watch him again in Felicity. Although I will say Last Resort is getting it done too. My lord that man is beautiful.


Emily October 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Could you get to the dough part and cut them out and freeze them to pop in a well pre-heated oven when you feel like eating them? They look perfect!


Adrianna October 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Eh. In theory you could, but fresh dough makes the best biscuits! :)


Jack Tyler October 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I agree that your very good biscuit creator/dreamer/taster/eater :)


Virgie Cates November 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

Fantastic biscuits! Taste like my grandmom’s (and that ain’t easy! I’ll be back. Thanks for the tutorial.


Stephen B November 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Have made these now over 6 times. Comes out the same every time. Great recipe. Mine are SO FLUFFY!!!!!!


Stephen B November 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I use my food processor with the grater attachment. Works great!!


Adrianna November 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Aw yes! So smart. Love it.


Rachel November 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I just made these, and these are honestly the best biscuits i’ve ever tasted in my life. Will be using this recipe for thanksgiving (:


A New Fan December 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Ditto. The remarks here, though glowing, simply do not do these biscuits justice.


Kris November 30, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Made these for thanksgiving – blew everyone’s mind. But I think maybe you meant to ask for a 3/4 inch thickness? I made them 3 inches thick and they turned out like delicious biscuit slinkies :)


Adrianna November 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Oh my goodness! The 4 is missing. YES! It’s supposed to be there. I AM SO SORRY. It’s fixed now but am so glad they liked the slinky biscuits!


A New Fan December 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

You have got to be kidding me. I cannot believe the batch of biscuits I just made. Thank you for this recipe.


Adrianna December 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm



Meg January 21, 2013 at 11:53 am

I just made these and they were absolutely perfect. Used a pastry blender because my grater was in the dishwasher. Such great biscuits.


Cindy February 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Love this recipe!


trinibaker February 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

This is a great recipe, and I thank you for sharing it. What I did differently was this, I added two teaspoons granulated sugar to the first four dry ingredients. I grated the butter frozen using the shredding side of the grater and tossed it together with the dry ingredients. I avoided getting the butter in very small pieces before adding the wet ingredients.


NewYorkGirl March 2, 2013 at 7:03 am

Just made these this morning for a family of hungry teenage boys. Needless to say the were a huge hit!! Delicious!


Kinnie March 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I remember keeping my boyfriend up at night when I first found your blog, going through page after page of recipes!
We’re in Sydney, Australia but my (now) husband is American. I ALWAYS refer back to this recipe whenever making him breakfast, as the first time I made them he almost cried with nostalgia haha!

Thanks again for this and all your recipes, my husband especially is forever grateful!



Jen @ Fresh from the... April 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

Made these this past weekend and they are probably the flakiest biscuits I’ve ever had! Thanks for the biscuit tips!


Randy June 10, 2013 at 7:11 am

My wife says these are the best I’ve made. Thanks for the recipe. Am curious to see how cooling and grating the butter works with other biscuit recipes.

Two questions. Was the cooking time meant to be “for 10-15 minutes”? I used 12 but I may try baking them a little longer next time. Also, I got about twice as many biscuits as listed using a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Did you use a 2 1/2 or 3 inch cutter by any chance?

Thanks again.


Adrianna Adarme June 10, 2013 at 9:03 am

YES! Let me change the 10-15 minutes. Hmm…interesting. Let me check on my biscuit cutter again but am pretty sure I used a 2-inch. Thanks for the tips. Will make the changes now.


Randy June 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

Wow thanks for the quick reply. I’ll have to make them again and doublecheck the amounts and dough height. I’ll send a photo if I get another 14 biscuits. :)
I’m glad to see you are using weights more now.

PS – Did your cookbook get published yet? How can I get a copy?


Sarah July 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Made these for breakfast this morning. They were a major hit in my family table! Excellent! Thanks for sharing. I had featured u in the post of Top 7 Best Biscuits from Scratch on AllFreshRecipes, looking forward to ur more delish posts!


Liz July 28, 2013 at 10:31 am

These came out SO good! I’m so happy especially since Norway doesn’t actually sell buttermilk. I used ‘kulturmjølk’ and it worked great!! thank you thank you thank you :)


Adrianna Adarme July 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

Oh how wonderful! YAY!


LunaCafe August 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Beautiful, so high and flaky. …Susan


Sandie October 1, 2013 at 9:30 am

I’m careful about what I feed my family, so it doesn’t make sense to make store-bought biscuits that are ARTIFICIALLY flavored when it is so easy to make them fresh! Because it’s fall, I used a pumpkin cookie cutter and a heart cutter cuz I love them. The ones I cooked in the oven are wonderful. Now for the experiment of taking the uncooked ones out of the freezer and putting them on top of the creamy broccoli and chicken casserole…. Will have to let you know how it turns out. Thank you for the wisdom and recipe


Ly-ann January 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Most recipes don’t include an egg in the wet ingredients – why do you add egg?


Wendy January 31, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Your biscuits look so flaky!! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

If you’re ever in the Bay Area, may I suggest you head over to Brenda’s in San Francisco, she makes THE most amazing sweet cream biscuits. I’ve tried to reverse engineer them but no such luck. : (


tropical kitchen June 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

try a dash or three of cayenne in the dry ingredients for spunky biscuits. I’ll share my results from your recipe. many thanks.


Jeweliby Castle August 30, 2014 at 12:36 am

Hi there,

As a college kid, these would be marvellous if I could just pop them out of the freezer and toast them. Do you have any tips for making them and storing them for later use? Or would you say that this recipe isn’t really meant for freezing?

Many thanks!


Adrianna Adarme August 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

Hi! Yes, you absolutely can freeze these. I would recommend rolling out the dough, cutting it and then putting it on a baking sheet (separated) and sticking that in the freezer for about 1 hour. This should flash freeze them. Then I’d transfer the almost-frozen biscuits to a freezer-safe plastic bag and sticking them in the freezer until you’re ready to bake them off. You might need to bake them a few minutes longer but it should work out just great!


Lucy October 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Hi! This looks like SUCH a yummy recipe! I just had one question. Could I make these using regular milk? (such as 2%) Thank you!


Adrianna Adarme October 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Hi Lucy, Unfortunately it’s not an even swap out. You really need the acid that the buttermilk has to react with the baking soda. Sorry about that!


Doug January 26, 2015 at 8:47 am

After searching for years for a biscuit recipe that I can follow and not be ashamed to serve the results – I have found it at last! Made these this morning and …oh man! Not much to say other than these are the real deal!! From experience I have learned that biscuit making is somewhat of an art form (one I have never been able to master) but these weren’t that hard and aside from tasting delicious, they were tall and handsome and flaky but not crumbly… they will be a regular at my house from here on. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!


Adrianna Adarme January 26, 2015 at 9:11 am

OMG YES! I looove these biscuits. They’re one of my favorite things to make ever. I’m so glad you were successful with them. YAY!


Emily May 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

You can make buttermilk if you do not have any on hand, (or just don’t buy it, mine always goes to waste) 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup milk, let stand for 5-10 minutes.


Adrianna Adarme May 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm

You can do this but I don’t recommend it. It’s not the same thing. The texture is way off and the flavor is too.


Frank November 12, 2015 at 8:13 am

Could water be added to unsalted butter to create the moisture for flakiness?

How does it work (frozen butter for flakiness) if you are using yeast and have to allow it to rise two times? (example for croissants)


Adrianna Adarme November 13, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Butter already has water in it so you definitely shouldn’t add it.

Croissants get their flakiness from the butter. The water in the butter is what creates steam which then creates the layers. In croissants for instance, the yeast acts as a rising element as well as flavor.


Sun Valley Santa November 22, 2015 at 9:29 am

When I make biscuits, I use my thumb to put a little dimple in the top before I bake them. When they rise, the dimple disappears, and the biscuit is more flat than domed. But then, I have never tried an egg wash.


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