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The Best Buttermilk Biscuits & Honey Butter

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits & Honey Butter. This recipe uses less fat than a lot of others found online, resulting in lighter, flakier buttermilk biscuits; fantastic served with melting honey butter.

Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter

Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter

Followers of Rock Recipes will know that I love a great weekend brunch and look forward to it all week long. Brunch ideas have often made appearances here over the years. This week was extra special with my sister visiting from Alberta along with her husband and a friend, Kaitlyn.

She’s a land locked Albertan who has come to love the natural beauty and warm spirit of Newfoundland, our incredible island home.

To watch Katie comb our rocky beaches for seashells and starfish with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, is to witness the spirit of so many who have discovered this place and now claim just a little piece of it as home.

Kaitlyn Mad Rock Three SistersBut more than the spirit gets fed here in Newfoundland, so back to that brunch. From the rocky shores of Newfoundland we travel to the sandy beaches of the US gulf coast for a southern breakfast specialty, the buttermilk biscuit.

Biscuits? Tea Buns?

In Newfoundland we are very fond of our raisin tea buns and the food culture equivalent in the southern states has to be warm, tender buttermilk biscuits.

I’ve sampled many in my travels in chain restaurants to roadside diners. Real buttermilk was not readily commercially available here until being recently introduced by Farmers brand. Before that, my attempts with buttermilk substitutes have always fallen just a little short of my expectations.

Not so now, as these beautiful little biscuits were a big hit with all 11 hungry appetites at yesterday’s brunch. About three dozen were conquered with various combinations of sweet honey butter, homemade cherry apple jam, fresh strawberries and cream.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits

Best Buttermilk Biscuits

So many ways to enjoy Buttermilk Biscuits.

One or two adventurous experimenters who shall remain unnamed, piled all of those on as an over the top finale to a great meal. The meal also included scrambled eggs, sausage and one of my favourites, Prime Rib Hash. It was topped with what has become a favourite breakfast condiment at our house, Spicy Quick Tomato Compote.

There are a few tips that make this recipe work particularly well  in my opinion. Although many traditional southern recipes call for all shortening in varying amounts, some of them leave the biscuits a little too oily for my taste. This one relies on a combination of a moderate amount of vegetable shortening and butter for a perfect combination of lightness and flavour.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits, fresh from the oven.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits, fresh from the oven.

The amount of baking powder required is about double what I would use for our traditional tea buns and is supplemented with just a little baking soda. Too much soda in other recipes I find I can taste quite strongly and really don’t enjoy. ( See an update on this in Notes)

Other than that, the trick to really flaky biscuits is handling the dough as little as possible. Overworking the dough will produce much denser biscuits, although a couple of folds of the biscuit dough never hurts. Higher than usual oven temperature also makes these rise, bake and brown quickly making them extra flaky too.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter

Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter

For even more delicious ideas for scones, we have put them together into one amazing collection of our 25 Best Scone Recipes.

25 Best Scone Recipes image with title text for Pinterest

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Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter
Yield: 18 2 inch biscuits

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits & Honey Butter

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Give these a try to add a touch of homemade baking love to your next weekend brunch. I guarantee they will be much appreciated and enjoyed.


For the buttermilk biscuits

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pulse in
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp very cold vegetable shortening, cut in small cubes (I store mine in the freezer)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp very cold salted butter, cut in small cubes
  • 2 cups buttermilk

For the honey butter

  • 1 cup butter, not margarine or other horrible butter substitutes
  • 1/2 cup honey


To prepare the buttermilk biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, blend together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Pulse in the cold butter and shortening. Do not over incorporate the shortening and butter into the flour. Similar to making a flaky pastry, small pieces of butter should be visible in the flour.
  4. Transfer this mixture from the food processor into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk.
  5. Working very quickly with a wooden spoon, fold the dry mixture through the buttermilk, only until the flour disappears, then stop immediately.
  6. Drop the sticky dough onto a well floured counter top or bread board. Sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour as well as flouring your hands to handle the dough. I don’t even use a rolling pin for these biscuits, the dough is soft enough to pat it out gently with floured hands to a thickness of about 1 & 1/2 inches.
  7. Using a sharp 2 inch biscuit cutter cut the biscuits out an place them, almost touching, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I recommend aluminum baking sheets because they tolerate the higher oven temperature without burning the bottom of the biscuits.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits are evenly golden brown. Delicious served warm with Honey Butter.

To make the Honey Butter

  1. Honey butter is simply honey beaten into plain butter in a 2 to 1 ratio of butter to honey.
  2. Beat together with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.


The original recipe was based upon a very old recipe that I was given many years ago. It's been a while since this recipe was first published on Rock Recipes and some people have written over the years that they use considerably less baking powder in the recipe. Some have found that it affects the taste.
From my own experiments, though, I have found that you will still get very good results using 4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 tsp soda.
You may want to consider those amounts first and increase it in later batches if you feel your biscuits need more lift.

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 grams

Amount Per Serving Calories 286Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 9gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 36mgSodium 178mgCarbohydrates 31gSugar 9gProtein 3g

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Friday 12th of April 2024

Just made a batch of the biscuits, also made the honey butter. Everything was and is delicious. I think my oven runs a little cooler, as I didn't get the rise I wanted. Maybe I try 450 degrees next time.I haven't used buttermilk before, I can see another batch in the near future.


Saturday 26th of March 2022

"not margarine or other horrible butter substitutes" This gave me a smile this morning, while reading your recipes email. :)


Sunday 9th of January 2022

This recipe makes 18 biscuits and there are only two in the house.. Do they freeze well?

Barry C. Parsons

Friday 12th of April 2024

Yes indeed.

Sharon Breen

Sunday 20th of June 2021

Good biscuits but I think they need salt. I thought I forgot to add salt until I rechecked the recipe. Maybe it’s just me. I used salted butter too. Thanks Sharon Breen

Cathy Olliffe-Webster

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

It's getting to the point that I use recipes almost exclusively from your awesome website. This morning, though, I made your Buttermilk Biscuits and OMG, they are the BEST biscuits I've ever made .. and trust me, I've made bazillions of biscuits in my time. It was snowing like crazy this morning and I just felt it was the kind of day to hang out under a blanket with fresh biscuits and coffee. I had bookmarked this recipe ages ago, and decided that today was the day. Absolutely fluffy, tall, crispy on the top, warm.... honestly, I feel like Sally in that old chestnut, Harry Met Sally. Terrific recipe, a real keeper. Thanks so much for a wonderful site!

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