Buttermilk Sugar Biscuits Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Briana Holt

Adapted by Eric Kim

Updated Oct. 12, 2023

Buttermilk Sugar Biscuits Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Read community notes

These wonderful hearty biscuits, from the brilliant baker Briana Holt of Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland, Maine, are crusty on the outside but tender on the inside, with distinct layers that are fun to peel apart while eating. Different from fluffy, airy Southern biscuits, Ms. Holt’s biscuits are like sturdy, salty-sweet Tempur-Pedic pillows that bounce back when you press into them. At Tandem, these beauties are split and served slathered with butter and fruit jam or, in an especially divine combination, cream cheese and hot pepper jelly. —Eric Kim

Featured in: The Best Biscuits Outside of the South

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Yield:9 biscuits

  • 1cup/227 grams cold unsalted butter
  • 3⅓cups/425 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • ½cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1tablespoon baking powder
  • teaspoons kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) or 1¾ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • cups/300 grams cold buttermilk
  • Melted butter and flaky sea salt (both optional), for finishing

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (9 servings)

422 calories; 23 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 49 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 13 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 279 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Buttermilk Sugar Biscuits Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.

  2. Coarsely grate the butter onto a plate, then freeze until cold and hard, at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter to the dry ingredients. Using a spoon, toss together until all of the butter is coated with flour.

  3. Step


    Add half the buttermilk and toss with the spoon. When incorporated, add the rest of the buttermilk and gently toss again, without mashing together or overmixing, until the dry ingredients are lightly hydrated throughout. The mixture will be crumbly.

  4. Step


    Flour a clean surface and dump the mixture directly onto it. Using your hands, gently press the crumbs together and then use a floured rolling pin or empty wine bottle to roll the mass gently but firmly into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough in half: Using a bench scraper, lift the top half off the surface and fold it over the bottom half. This step may be crumbly and messy at first, but just go for it and fold what you can down from the top. Repeat this roll-and-fold motion 5 times, flouring the surface and dough as needed and using the bench scraper to straighten the edges as needed. The dough will come together as you roll it. Rotate the mixture after each fold to create a square.

  5. Step


    Build the final layer: Fold the dough in half one last time, then roll to about 1½ inches thick to create a 6-inch square, using the bench scraper to straighten out the edges.

  6. Step


    Using the bench scraper or a sharp knife, cut straight down into the square to create a 3-by-3 grid of 9 squares, then place them on your sheet pan, upside down if you’d like taller biscuits. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until risen, golden brown on top, and slightly pale on the sides. Don’t worry if a couple of the biscuits tip over or if melted butter pools underneath. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if using.



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Cooking Notes


I've asked this question many times and have never received an answer from NYT Cooking or NYT Bakers. King Arthur Flour, easily called "The Gold Standard" for flour, lists the weight of AP flour at 120 grams/Cup. 3.33 Cups would equal 399.6 grams. Humidity, etc, etc can cause some variance, of course, but, to me, NYT baking recipes are all over the place on flour weights . . . except for Claire Saffitz' recipes!


For those of you confused by the folding process- there’s a lovely video on YouTube Briana made during COVID times when they sold this biscuit recipe to support the bakery. Just put her name in the search bar and it should come up. And for the record, these biscuits are absolute perfection.


Love the assumption that you may not have a rolling pin, so use a wine bottle. But when it comes to folding the dough, everyone has a bench scraper lol.


for Betsy OakPark - imagine a pancake on a griddle. use the spatula to lift half the pancake up, and fold it over on top of the other side of the pancake. Then turn the half-moon pancake a quarter turn and repeat. for the dough, the bench scraper is used like the spatula, to lift half of the dough up to flop over the other half, like closing a book. then you turn the folded dough and repeat until you've done your 5 turns, etc. hope it helps.


I asked a baking instructor at King Arthur about this--he acknowledged that their weight is lighter than the rest, and it has to do with how they measure. I think most recipes assume somewhere between 120g (low) and roughly 140g (high). If I'm using a KA recipe, I stick with their standard, but if I'm converting volume to weights, I usually go with 130g per cup of AP flour.

Ellen Oliver

The thing I like best about this biscuit recipe is that the biscuits are square! No cutting out round biscuits & then having to deal w/ the scraps.

Dave G

I've been making biscuits for 53 years now. Some are poor, some are good and some are great. I just read a lot of these notes that you folks wrote about making these biscuits and I'm flabbergasted! For heavens sake just make the biscuits! Don't worry if it's 2 grams off. If you don't like what you made do it again! And for heavens sake have fun and experiment! That's a big part of what this cooking thing is supposed to be.

Southern Chef

The cream cheese and pepper jelly combo mentioned here, and in the corresponding article, is no surprise to this home chef raised in S. Louisiana. An entire block of cream cheese drowning in a jello-y pool of pepper jelly, served with a side of Ritz crackers, is a standard holiday/celebration dish on many Southern tables.


HEAVENLY BISCUITS. I have made Briana's biscuits successfully and let me tell you, they are easy and good. As someone who ruins 7/10 things I bake I can say this recipe is pretty darn foolproof. Stop obsessing about ingredient weight/volume and buy yourself a kitchen scale - they are like $20 and take up no room. Or don't, and follow the recipe and you'll still have good biscuits.


A six inch square of dough cut into nine pieces means each biscuit is 1.5 inches square. Seems like an awfully small biscuit to me.

❤️PDX❤️ This was superb!

I made this today because (1) we got Covid (thriceNow) ans (2) my man loves biscuits. One word: WOW!!!!Do not let the steps here intimidate. Yes this is all about creating layers while keeping that butter chill. Just trust your hands, the spoon and the rolling pinHave fun and get ready to bow down to the amazing texture and flavor these bad boys have to offer!!


Grating butter seems to be the new thing. I'd use a food processor to grate the butter, remove it from the bowl for freezing and then use the processor to mix the dry ingredients and process the butter and buttermilk by pulsing the blade, and then proceed with booking the dough.


Could these be frozen then baked later?


This is another extreme hybrid product of biscuit / scone / rough puff recipes and technique. Having chased the perfect biscuit for many years I’ve learned that you can’t go wrong if you sift and weigh your flour (regardless of its brand and protein content), use high quality butter and real buttermilk — not the make at home substitutes, which create a similar reaction but do not taste the same. And FYI, ALL biscuits can be square if you roll or pat the dough into a square instead of a circle.

BetsyOak Park

I wish I could view a short video of the technique of lifting the top half off the bottom half and making its way around....I can't visualize this by the way it was written. Does anyone else have a different better way of describing this technique so I could it out?


As a Southerner, I find these a bit hard to call "biscuits" due to the heaviness provided by the butter. However, they are delicious! They are much more like a cross between a kind of light America-style scone and a biscuit. I would recommend cutting the overdose of butter here with Crisco. Unhealthy? Definitely. But that's what a real biscuit should be made with.


Upside down or right side up. Does it actually make a difference in height when baked?

Ellen Deffenbaugh

These are, without a doubt, the best biscuits I've ever made. I love them plain with a cappuccino. Each time I make them, they look better.


Eric, I just finished baking the buttermilk sugar biscuits again and love them so much I had to watch your video. I must share your baking tastebuds because I also love the gochujang swirl cookies! Your videos are such fun! Love, love, love!


Made this biscuits today!! @erickim recipes work fabulously for me!! This is the best biscuit recipe, so far!! Love it!!


Can make it savory by not adding the sugar


Froze, then baked. 35 minutes (and no butter-wash) later, deliciousness

Deb A

Rather disappointed in the results, for all the fuss and bother. Fun to try once, but too much work (and too high-fat) to make again.


Adore this recipe. I skip the sugar, and keep leftover biscuits in the fridge. Open it in half and pop it in the toaster to accompany morning coffee or evening soup!


Made this as directed but realized I rolled the final round a little flatter than it was supposed to be. So I just doubled the biscuits I cut, and they still rose quite a bit. Absolutely perfect!


Can you freeze the dough after it is made and cook them later?


I made these for New Year's brunch and they were a hit! I've got a little bit of buttermilk left, so I'm going to test out a half batch and make mini biscuits to have with Saturday tea. I'm excited to have started 2024 successfully executing this recipe. THE LAYERS ARE EVERYTHING!


these are off the charts rich and delicious. I bet my dr would say I should eat them once a year or less, but if you can get away with it, make em. the folding is easier than it sounds, but I took a french cooking class back before the dr cared. highly recommend


My go to from now on. Game changer. Your video was perfect. Don't get caught up in the 6 inch square. Make a square or rectangle see that it's 1.5 inches and then cut them. Easy. I am loving these love squares.


These were too cloyingly sweet for me. I ate one with bacon, which helped, but I was left with a strong burnt sugar aftertaste. The dough is so crumbly it made a huge mess and was annoying to deal with. I don’t feel like it’s worth the hassle for me. I’d rather make buttery biscuits that I can top with honey and butter.

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Buttermilk Sugar Biscuits Recipe (2024)
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