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You won’t believe how flaky, buttery, and easy Aunt Bee’s 3-Ingredient Biscuits are! The simple homemade buttermilk biscuits are golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside, with light, airy layers on the inside. Ready in about 10 minutes, they’re a perfect addition to your next weekend brunch, a great side dish with a warm bowl of soup, or a tasty companion for a tender roasted chicken. This versatile 3 ingredient biscuit recipe is one that you’ll turn to time and time again — and they’re even freezer-friendly!

The best 3 ingredient biscuit recipe served in a bread basket with a blue and white striped towel

How to Make 3-Ingredient Biscuits | 1-Minute Video

Quick and Easy Biscuit Recipe

My great Aunt Bee never steers me wrong — especially in the kitchen — and these easy homemade buttermilk biscuits are no exception! Aunt Bee has hosted many Southern ladies for lunches and brunches over the years, so when she says that an easy 3 ingredient biscuit recipe is flaky and delicious, I don’t question it.

These particular buttermilk biscuits are especially quick and easy, thanks to 3 simple ingredients: self-rising flour, buttermilk and butter. With a few simple tricks, you’ll achieve the perfect biscuit combination: crispy and golden brown on the outside, but tender and light on the inside. Aunt Bee’s biscuits are puffy and tall, not dense or flat, and exhibit that hard-to-achieve cross between a tender crumb and flaky layers.

Simple 3 ingredient biscuit recipe on a wooden table with honey and jam in the background

Ingredients for Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits with Self Rising Flour

  • Self-rising flour: a common pantry staple in most Southern households, self-rising flour is simply flour with the baking powder and a bit of salt already added. It’s traditionally made from a softer, lower protein version of all-purpose flour, which yields tender, flaky biscuits.
  • Butter: I prefer salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter if you have it on hand. You can also substitute with shortening or lard for half of the butter.
  • Buttermilk: for its acidity, as well as its fat and liquid content. In conjunction with the leavening agents, the acidity helps the biscuits rise. The buttermilk also gives the biscuits a nice, subtle tanginess and a tender crumb. Keep the buttermilk nice and cold before adding it to the dough!

3 ingredients for easy buttermilk biscuits

How to Make the Best 3 Ingredient Biscuit Recipe Step-by-Step

I love classic Southern biscuits, but when I want beautiful, thick, fluffy, and easy buttermilk biscuits that are ready to serve in about 30 minutes, this is the recipe that I turn to! If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, or if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, don’t worry — you can still make these biscuits. I’ll share some simple substitutes below, so don’t miss those tips!

  1. Cut the very cold butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or forks. Alternatively, you can freeze the butter in advance and then use a cheese grater to grate the butter into the flour. You want the little pieces of butter to look like large peas — that’s when you know it’s ready.
  2. Stir in your very cold buttermilk, adding small amounts at a time, until a soft dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead the dough for 1 minute (folding it over on itself). This process will help add those flaky layers to the biscuits. Feel free to flour your hands and the countertop, as necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking.
  4. Pat the dough to ¾-inch thickness and use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Here I used a 2 ½-inch cutter for larger biscuits, but you can choose a 1-½-inch or 2-inch round biscuit cutter to yield small biscuits. Whatever you prefer!
  5. Arrange the biscuits in a round dish that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure that the biscuits are touching in the pan (this helps them rise nice and tall, with soft sides and crispy tops)!
  6. Chill the biscuits in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5-10 minutes before baking (but not longer than that).
  7. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.
  8. Bake in a 425° F oven for about 14-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and golden brown. Brush with melted butter again and serve!

self rising flour and butter in a bowl

Butter cut into self rising flour in a bowl

3 ingredient biscuit dough with self rising flour

Process shot showing how to make an easy 3 ingredient biscuit recipe

Brushing butter on a pan of buttermilk biscuits

What to Serve with Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits are a staple in many homes because they’re so versatile! Serve them on their own for breakfast with butter and honey, honey butter, jam, or apple butter. Add eggs on the side, use them to make an egg sandwich with sausage, bacon or cheese, or stir up a skillet of sausage gravy. In Virginia, country ham biscuits are a classic snack or meal at any time of day!

On the dinner table, here are a few entrées that go well with buttermilk biscuits:

Drizzling honey on a 3 ingredient biscuit recipe

As I mentioned above, it’s okay if you don’t have buttermilk or self-rising flour on hand. Here are a few solutions when you need your biscuit-fix fast

How to Make this 3 Ingredient Biscuit Recipe without Buttermilk

You can make 1 cup of homemade buttermilk by using regular milk + either lemon juice or white vinegar. To do so, pour 1 cup of regular milk into a small bowl. Add either 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Give it a stir, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then use it in the recipe as directed!

A simple 3 ingredient biscuit recipe served in a bread basket with a blue and white towel

How to Make this 3 Ingredient Biscuit Recipe with All-Purpose Flour

If you don’t have a bag of self-rising flour in your pantry, that’s no problem. You can make 1 cup of self-rising flour by placing 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

This recipe calls for 2 cups of self-rising flour, so you would need to combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt.

Side shot of tall and flaky buttermilk biscuits on a blue and white plate

Make Ahead

While they’re best served warm, straight-from-the-oven, you can bake the biscuits up to 3 days in advance and store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat day-old biscuits by placing them on a baking sheet in a 300° F oven for about 10 minutes.

How to Freeze Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Allow the biscuits to cool to room temperature, then wrap tightly in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter overnight or in the microwave for a few seconds. Reheat in the oven as instructed above.

Can you freeze buttermilk biscuit dough?

Yes! You can even freeze the dough before baking the biscuits. After cutting out your biscuits, arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pop the tray in the freezer for an hour or so. Once the biscuits are frozen, transfer them to a gallon-sized freezer bag or airtight container. Store the frozen biscuit dough for up to 3 months.

Homemade buttermilk biscuits on a wooden table with honey

Recipe Variations

  • Lard or Shortening. You can replace 2 tablespoons of the butter with 2 tablespoons of either shortening or lard. While butter has more flavor, the shortening or lard will give the biscuits an even lighter, puffier texture.
  • Add Cheese. Grated cheddar cheese is a delicious addition to the biscuit dough.
  • Herbs. Mix in chopped fresh parsley, basil, or chives for a bright, savory addition.
  • Brush with garlic butter.

Overhead shot of 3 ingredient buttermilk biscuits in a basket

Tips for the Best 3 Ingredient Biscuit Recipe

  • Keep the ingredients COLD. It’s really important for the butter and buttermilk to stay as cold as possible. You want those little pieces of butter to melt in the oven, releasing steam and reacting with the leavening to form bubbles of carbon dioxide, which help the biscuits rise a mile high!
  • Grate Frozen Butter. My dad always freezes his butter and grates it into the dry ingredients, rather than cutting it in with a pastry cutter or forks. Feel free to use that trick to keep your butter really cold, too!
  • Knead the Dough. By folding the dough over itself (or “laminating”) for about a minute, you’ll add those nice flaky layers to the biscuits. No need for any fancy process or technique — just push out, fold back over on itself, and repeat. Don’t do this for too long, though, or you’ll get the dough too warm.
  • Don’t Twist the Biscuit Cutter. Firmly press the cutter down into the dough, but don’t actually twist. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals off the edges of the biscuits and they therefore will not rise as high.
  • Arrange the Biscuits with Sides Touching. Place the biscuits in the round pan so that they’re all touching their neighbors. This will help them “climb” in the oven so that you get that great, tall lift!
  • Keep the Dough Cold. I’ll say it again — the key to tall, fluffy and puffy biscuits is cold ingredients. That’s why I like to place the cut biscuit dough back in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5-10 minutes just before baking.

Easy 3 ingredient biscuit recipe served in a basket on a wooden table

More Biscuit Recipes You’ll Love

The best 3 ingredient biscuit recipe served in a bread basket with a blue and white striped towel

Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Biscuit Recipe

5 from 29 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chilling Time 10 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 7 - 8 biscuits (with a 2 ½-inch cutter)
Calories 176 kcal
Aunt Bee’s easy 3-Ingredient Biscuit recipe yields homemade buttermilk biscuits that are flaky, buttery and ready for the oven in 10 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • ¼ cup very cold butter, cut into pats, plus additional for brushing (I prefer salted butter)
  • ⅔ - ¾ cup very cold buttermilk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°. Spray an 8-inch or 9-inch round pan with a light coat of cooking spray and set aside.
  • Place flour in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or forks to work the butter into the flour until the lumps are about the size of large peas. Alternatively, you can freeze the butter and use a grater to grate the butter into the flour.
  • Add ⅔ cup of buttermilk, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until a soft dough forms. Add small amounts of additional buttermilk slowly, as needed, until the dough reaches this consistency.
  • Flour a work surface. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 1 minute (folding the dough back over on itself), adding flour to the counter and your hands, as necessary, to prevent sticking. Pat to ¾-inch thickness.
  • Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the individual biscuits. I used a 2 ½ -inch cutter here, which yielded 7-8 large biscuits. You can also use a 2-inch cutter to yield about 12 biscuits. Firmly press the cutter down into the dough, but do not twist. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals off the edges of the biscuits and they therefore will not rise as high.
  • Roll out the dough once or twice more to use up the remaining dough scraps.
  • Arrange the biscuits in the prepared pan so that their sides are touching.
  • At this point, the dough will be a bit warmer from working with it, so I like to place the pan of biscuits in the refrigerator or freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill again (but do not leave it in the fridge or freezer any longer than that).
  • Just before you put the biscuits in the oven, brush the tops with melted butter.
  • Bake for 14 -15 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. Brush the tops of the biscuits with additional melted butter when they come out of the oven and serve warm.

Video

Notes

  • Keep the ingredients COLD. It's really important for the butter and buttermilk to stay as cold as possible. You want those little pieces of butter to melt in the oven, releasing steam and reacting with the leavening to form bubbles of carbon dioxide, which help the biscuits rise a mile high!
  • Grate Frozen Butter. My dad always freezes his butter and grates it into the dry ingredients, rather than cutting it in with a pastry cutter or forks. Feel free to use that trick to keep your butter really cold, too!
  • Knead the Dough. By folding the dough over itself (or "laminating") for about a minute, you'll add those nice flaky layers to the biscuits. No need for any fancy process or technique -- just push out, fold back over on itself, and repeat. Don't do this for too long, though, or you'll get the dough too warm.
  • Don't Twist the Biscuit Cutter. Firmly press the cutter down into the dough, but don't actually twist. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals off the edges of the biscuits and they therefore will not rise as high.
  • Arrange the Biscuits with Sides Touching. Place the biscuits in the round pan so that they're all touching their neighbors. This will help them "climb" in the oven so that you get that great, tall lift!
  • Keep the Dough Cold. I'll say it again -- the key to tall, fluffy and puffy biscuits is cold ingredients. That's why I like to place the cut biscuit dough back in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5-10 minutes just before baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuitCalories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 72mgPotassium: 60mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 211IUCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: 3 ingredient biscuit recipe, 3 ingredient biscuits, buttermilk biscuits, homemade biscuits, homemade buttermilk biscuits
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

    1. Hi, John! I’ve never actually baked at high elevation, so I’m no expert when it comes to making modifications. I’ve never had the opportunity to test at the higher level. That said, this article is really helpful in that regard: https://www.allrecipes.com/article/high-altitude-cake-baking/

      You might start by trying a couple of those suggestions, for instance raise the oven temperature by 25 degrees and increase the buttermilk by 1-2 tablespoons. Hope that gets you started!

      1. Would love to have this this reciepe to try (seeing this on my phone). Never had a recipe that worked. Based on the reviews this the one I nreed

          1. 5 stars
            I have celiac but my daughter doesn’t. I made these using bobs redmill extra fine pastry flour and David’s baking powder bc I couldn’t find self rising. They came out amazing for my daughter and my guests. Currently trying them with bobs red mill gluten free one to one. Will let you know if it translates. Thanks for a super quick and easy glutenfilled recipe! My dinner guests thanked me graciously

          2. That’s so great to hear, Camille. Thank you! Definitely let us know how the gluten-free version works. I’ve never baked with that flour, and I know that it might be helpful to others. 🙂

          3. Your recipe turned out heavy and didn’t rise like other recipes I’ve tried. My ingredients were all fresh so I don’t know why and they were a little heavy and tough

        1. Patsy. The secret to making bisquits is to make them quite soft. You may have to add more milk.

    2. Very disappointed. Wish I could show picture. Biscuits look anemic. I make good homemade buttermilk biscuits but was looking for a quicker recipe. This did not work at all.

      1. Hi, Charlotte! I wonder if maybe the leavener in the self-rising flour was old and therefore didn’t activate the biscuits to rise? I’ve never had them come out flat or “anemic” looking. Sorry that they weren’t a hit.

        1. Needs at least 1 cup milk or 1.25 cups. I go by looks & feel but, .75 is not enough! And they didn’t rise very much even though I added baking powder. Going back to my tried & true recipe using AP flour. SR just doesn’t do it for me. They tasted good though!

  1. 5 stars
    My husband tried a long time to find a biscuit that would work without shortening and still be soft and flaky; he never found one till now. 🙂 I gave up making biscuits years ago because that was one thing I never got the hang of cooking. He did add an egg the second time he made them bc they were more crumbly than he wanted. I don’t know if he tried any of the other tips. He has mentioned that he wants to try them with cheese. This is how he makes biscuits now, and we’ve had them several times since I ran across your recipe. Thanks so much for sharing with us!!

    1. That’s so good to hear, Kathyren! Thanks for your note, and I’m glad to know that you’re enjoying the biscuits. 🙂

    1. Hi, Surpe! Yes, cheese is a great addition. You’ll need about 1/2 cup (more or less, to taste) of grated cheddar (or other similar cheese). Enjoy!

  2. Why is there no salt or even sugar in this recipe??? I can’t imagine biting into a biscuit and not being able to taste sweetness or saltiness. What kind of white people flavorlessness is this?

      1. I know this comment is old but I just can’t read this and not comment….
        Its ignorant people like this guy in the world that cause alllllllllll the problems!
        Get some intellect and make your own darn biscuits!
        Geesh! Lord give me strength!
        Bless us all……
        Blair….thank you for sharing your recipes with us all.

    1. I add a little salt, but no sugar. I have another recipe that calls for just a little sugar and I actually like this one better because you really get a good buttermilk flavor. Just put some butter and molasses or jelly if you want some sweet-you should just try it!

    2. “WHITE PEOPLE” flavorlessness. They are delicious and my doctor approved them for me considering that I cannot have very much salt. The PERFECT healthy biscuit.

    3. @Taylor if you knew half of what you thought you did, you’d know the butter is salted, as is self rising flour. Why make it about race?!

    4. 5 stars
      My husband and his family who are black love these biscuits. They say they have good flavor. I’m white and when I’m mad at my husband I don’t use salt or other seasonings in our food so he will know I’m mad lol. Seriously though, they do have flavor and if you choose, you can put a tablespoon of sugar or an extra 1/2 tsp of salt if it’s not to your liking as is. It’s called tweaking a recipe

  3. Just wondering: should these biscuits be baked in a glass pan, or will a square metal pan be OK to use? I don’t happen to have a round glass pan for this recipe, but do have a square 8″ glass pan.
    Really would like to try these.
    Thank you ahead of time for the answer
    Sandra W.

    1. Hi, Sandra! You can use a metal pan, a cast iron skillet, or even just a baking sheet. I like to pack them in a pan fairly tightly to help them rise high, but even the flat baking sheet is fine so long as the edges of your biscuits are touching. Hope you enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    This is truly a wonderful, easy biscuit recipe. As a young girl, I won a blue ribbon from my biscuits entered into our county fair. All that to say, I made biscuits many times in early adulthood and then just stopped.
    This recipe has changed all that. Thank you, and if you have not tried it, you should! Have a blessed day!

    1. Thank you SO much, Jennie! It makes me happy to know that this recipe has brought you back to your biscuit-baking roots! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    A great recipe. A keeper. I put my buttermilk (I like whole buttermilk, nothing low-fat) in the freezer for 10-15, then melted my butter and added it to the super cold, ice forming around edges of buttermilk. It clots into tiny pieces perfectly for stirring into flour! Yeah! Also, I froze some unbaked biscuits for later. They rose nicely as well. I live at 9300 ft, so rising can be a concern!
    Thanks Aunt Bee!

  6. I followed the recipe exactly, except I set the oven at 330 degrees. I used a cast iron skillet. The biscuits took a long time to cook, say 20-22mim. I finally took them out of the oven. The tops were as white as when I put them in and the bottoms were only slightly browned. The texture was very dense, sort of like hockey pucks. I threw them all out. The flour was fresh. Dunno what happened.

  7. After freezing them cut out, how long would you say that they need to bake at? Same temp & a longer time? Making these this week!

    1. Hi, Erin! Same temp, but you’ll likely need to add a few extra minutes (maybe 3-5 minutes more?). Just keep an eye on them as they get close! 🙂

      1. Thanks for the recipe! If going the froze dough route, could you bake these from frozen or do you need to thaw?

        1. Hi, Tina! Yes, you can definitely bake them from frozen. Just add a minute or two to the suggested cooking time, and they should be perfect. 🙂

          1. 5 stars
            I’m so excited to find the perfect buscuit! I have tested many recipes and this is my favorite. Writing it down to save! Thank you for sharing!

  8. 5 stars
    I just made these biscuits. Not only are they extremely easy to make, but they are the best I’ve ever made! They’re so light and fluffy, they’re like eating clouds. I’ll use this recipe forever!

    1. I don’t know what I did wrong. I followed the recipe exactly and my biscuits turned out very heavy, no flavor, and did not rise at all. I opened a brand new bag of Pilsbury self rising flour, used salted butter, and full fat buttermilk. I just don’t get it. I was so excited.

  9. 5 stars
    My husband said they were the best biscuits he has ever had! I did freeze the butter and grated it into the flour. Very easy and tasty biscuits!