Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits

torn open buttermilk biscuit with a pad of butter and a napkin on the side

These small-batch biscuits are incredibly buttery and flaky with the perfect kiss of salt and are ready in 30 minutes. Makes 4 biscuits.


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (140 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar 
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4.5 tablespoons (63 grams) unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut into small chunks
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons (90g) buttermilk, fridge-cold, plus more for brushing*
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, optional*


  1. Preheat. Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Make the dough.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Lightly fluff the flour mixture with your hands until all of the ingredients are uniformly distributed, about 5 times. Add the cold, diced butter to the flour mixture. Pinch the butter into the flour mixture using a fork or a pastry blender until the butter is the size of peas, about 5 minutes. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, and use a wooden spoon to mix the dough until large clumps form, about 2 minutes. Using your hands, lightly knead the dough in the bowl to incorporate any dry bits leftover at the bottom of the bowl and form a uniform mass. If the dough looks too crumbly, add another drizzle of buttermilk and knead to combine.
  3. Form the biscuits. Dump the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Using your hands, pat the dough into a 4-inch x 2-inch x 1 1/4-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down (no twisting or going back and forth) through the middle of the rectangle, and again crosswise through the center. You should have 4 equal rectangles. Alternatively, use a 2-inch biscuit cutter and press straight down without twisting to form 2 biscuit rounds. Reshape the dough and use the biscuit cutter to form 2 more biscuit rounds.
  4. Top the biscuits. Place the biscuits 2-inches apart on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk and, for a sweet and salty kick, sprinkle with turbinado sugar. 
  5. Bake the biscuits. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 16 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the biscuits cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve. Serve warm with jam, butter, honey, or as an egg sandwich. 


Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits and Alexandra’s Kitchen Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

FLOUR. If you opt to measure by volume instead of weight, whisk the flour first to aerate it, then spoon into a measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a knife. 

BUTTERMILK SUBSTITUTE. Combine 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1/3 cup milk and let the mixture sit until the milk looks curdle-like, about 3 minutes.

TURBINADO SUGAR. If making an egg sandwich, I recommend skipping the turbinado sugar.

STORAGE. Biscuits are best the day they are baked, though they can be reheated in the oven the next day. See “DO AHEAD” to make this more doable. 

DO AHEAD. Spread the raw dough squares on a sheet pan, and put the sheet pan in the freezer until the dough is frozen (about 2 hours). Once the dough squares are frozen, store them in a bag in the freezer until ready to bake. Bake the biscuits straight from the freezer and add an additional 3-4 minutes to the total baking time. 


Keywords: small batch biscuits