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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 27 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!

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Comments

  1. Gorgeous biscuits, Blair! We love buttermilk biscuits, and yes, a store-bought kind doesn’t come close (I actually have an old post about buttermilk biscuits on my blog). Great tip to brush the tops with butter while they are baking, I’ll try that. I always keep buttermilk in the fridge, it lasts forever. If not used to bake biscuits or pancakes, it is a great marinade for chicken breast.

      1. Tip, the young things who nuke everything practically. WAXED PAPER, A juice glass, or size of choice, Keep it floured will serve as a cutter.. Grandma always, pinched off a biscuit size piece and stored covered in fridge with watery buttermilk covering. to start her next mornings batch.. She used Lard as shortening.. She made biscuits every morning, iron skillet Traditional Yellow Cornbread every dinner. She never used a cutter in her life, just got used to what the weight/size of a biscuit was. Depression Era. Nothing went to waste. 13 when she started cooking.

        1. No, grandma wasn’t 13 when she started cooking. She was 13 by the time she had all her basic cooking skills. She had been cooking with her Momma since she was old enough to stand on a chair and stir! She still had things she hadn’t mastered, but she could put a basic meal on the table during harvest time when Momma was harvesting and canning like crazy & didn’t have time to cook dinner. My 80 year old mother tells a story about her everyday cooking when she was about 15 years old. They were going to have a visiting missionary lady come for dinner one night, but her mother had to be away for the day. My mom was just expected to fix dinner – and she did. Roast chicken, homemade gravy a vegetable and a salad. My grandma (her mom) arrived home with just enough time to tidy up before the missionary arrived. When they sat down to the table, my mom brought the food to the table & my grandma asked her “Where are the potatoes”. My mom looked surprised & said, “Well, I figured we were having bread & gravy like we usually do.” Grandma was embarrassed, but the missionary was delighted. To her it was home-cooking like her own mother had made during the depression. To my mom it was just a fun story, but I was always impressed that Grandma just trusted a 15 year old to make a “company dinner”. Most 15 year old girls know a lot about math & science – which is good – but they aren’t prepared to feed their future families. Yes, men can cook too, but marriage isn’t a given these days & knowing how to feed yourself is a life skill everyone should have.

        2. Sounds so interesting ..
          No wastage is awesome . I teach my kids all the time to not waste in fact we try and do something new to anything that is potentially about to go in dustbin (of course I mean leftover that is edible not rotten )
          I am baking these biscuits because this time while making yogurt at home the milk didn’t set well, never mind I got perfect buttermilk to try these lovely buttery biscuits .
          We are loving it .

        1. 5 stars
          Add a little sugar to flour mix. Blueberry Cranraisins, chocolate chips,, etc and you have scones. I cut cold butter into small chunks and freeze in snack baggies. Always ready for biscuits or scones.

    1. 5 stars
      Just made these biscuits. They’re amazing and couldn’t be simpler to make. Using salted butter is a great idea.

      1. Wonderful! Thank you, Norman! It makes me happy to know that you’re enjoying Aunt Bee’s biscuits, too. 🙂

  2. I am so going to try this. Unfortunately we do not get buttermilk in stores here so will make my own using your tip in the blog post. Pinned this right away and definitely trying this over weekend! Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe.

  3. It’s funny, I remember my mom melting the Crisco in a saucepan, adding the milk, then the flour and pinching dough, rolling it into a ball and flattening them on the baking sheet. They were delicious and we kept a plate of them on the stove and just grabbed one whenever we wanted! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    1. Hi, SAJ! Since I wasn’t in your kitchen, it’s hard to know for sure. My two first guesses would be: (1) that you were using regular all-purpose flour rather than self-rising flour; OR (2) the self-rising flour that you used was old and therefore the leavener in the flour mix was no longer working. Hope that helps!

  4. 5 stars
    I made these biscuits once before and they are best I ever made or tasted and I come from a longline of biscuit makers. Just take the time to read the instructions and ingredients before proceeding and make sure any missteps are yours and not the author of the recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    These biscuits look absolutely WONDERFUL!
    But they look a LOT BIGGER than 1 1/2″!
    Might the biscuit cutter be 2 1/2″?
    I’ve never used anything smaller than 2″, and wonder how they would work with biscuits and gravy.
    Thank You for your wonderful website!

    1. Hi! These are truly the smaller size, but I think the close-up photos make them look larger. That said, I’ve made them with the 2 and 2.5-inch biscuit cutters as well, and they work beautifully no matter which size you choose. I would stick with the larger size that you prefer!

      1. 5 stars
        Hey there, I literally never comment on recipes but I just really wanted to let you know that these biscuits were phenomenal! There are thousands of buttermilk biscuit recipes on the internet and I feel like I’ve probably tried at least half of them but this recipe stands out. It was so easy and the directions were so clear and simple that my 3-year-old and I were able to get these prepared in less than half an hour. Thank you so much for sharing!

        1. That’s amazing, Courtney! I’m so happy to know that your family is enjoying these biscuits as much as we do. 🙂 I really appreciate your kind words and the fact that you took the time to come back here and leave a note. 🙂

  6. I am having trouble getting my biscuits done with the temp and baking time suggested. Maybe my oven runs a little cooler than yours. Other than that, this recipe is easy to follow and the finished product is oh so amazing and delicious!!! ????

      1. Dear Blair,

        Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. The biscuits came out good but I think I have done some mistake. So it was not as fluffy and flaky as yours. And just one query. When you say 1 cup it means 150gms or 235gms and 1/4 is equal to 60gms or more. Please reply. It will be good help for me…
        Regards

        1. Hi, Mamata! In general, 1 cup of self-rising flour is 4 ounces or 113.398 grams. So for this recipe you would need 226.796 grams. That said, I don’t ever weigh my flour for this particular recipe. Instead, I just adjust the amount of buttermilk that I use until the biscuits reach the right consistency — not too wet, but holding together and not too dry. Hope that helps!

  7. The amount of fat needed is the same regardless of the type of fat being used. Melted or not; butter, lard or Crisco, 1/4 cup is how much to use!

  8. 5 stars
    Made these using the smaller biscuit cutter and then deep fried! Talk about a wonderful creation. You have to try them fried with sausage gravy.

    1. Absolutely! Cheese is a delicious addition. I often add about 1/2 cup of grated cheddar to my biscuits. I prefer grating the cheddar by hand from a block, since it tends to melt and incorporate into the biscuits better than the pre-shredded packaged cheese. Enjoy!

  9. Hi! There’s a recipe card at the bottom of the post that lists the exact measurements for each ingredient. I’ll copy and paste them here, too:
    2 cups self-rising flour
    ¼ cup very cold butter, cut into pats, plus additional for brushing
    2/3 – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  10. 5 stars
    I jused this recipe to make buttermilk biscuits tonight. I’ve tried several times to make them, but something is usually lacking. These were perfect and my husband was so impressed!

  11. Hi, Sara! You can do it a couple of different ways. If you’re just defrosting one or two biscuits at a time, you can pop a frozen biscuit in the microwave for about 20 seconds to thaw, and then put it in the oven (or toaster oven) at 350 degrees to continue warming through and to get crisp on the outside again (about 5 minutes or so). If you have time to thaw the frozen biscuits on the countertop first, then just reheat with the same instructions that you would use for room temp biscuits (as described in the recipe card). Finally, if you want to reheat a whole batch of biscuits straight from the freezer, you can use the same reheating instructions in the 350 degree F oven, tenting loosely with foil, but you’ll just need to keep them in the oven much longer — probably closer to 20-30 minutes. Hope that helps!

  12. Hi, CIndy! I’ve never actually tried that (I always freeze after baking), but I imagine it would work fine. You’ll just need to increase the baking time when cooking directly from the freezer. Enjoy!

  13. Hi, Connie! Step 1 in the recipe box says to preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. You’ll bake the biscuits at 425 for about 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!

  14. Trying these for the first time. Making tonight, and putting in frig uncooked overnight. Will bake in the morning. Any idea if this will work?

    1. Hi, Dorothy! I would pop them in the freezer overnight — not the fridge. The refrigerator won’t stop the leavening from activating, but the freezer will. Then just bake from frozen in the morning and extend the baking time by a few minutes to make sure that they’re cooked through. Enjoy!

  15. 5 stars
    I am 72 years old and have, over the years, attempted biscuits many times. Usually the results were somewhere between hockey pucks and clay pigeons. I was almost in tears when my husband could eat these without cracking a tooth. WE LOVED THEM, especially the buttermilk tang.

  16. Any adjustments needed for high elevation? I live at about 7,000 feet.

    This recipe is identical to the one my grandmother gave me. I’ve yet to have biscuits that rise but the flavor makes up for it.

  17. 5 stars
    I have always wanted to learn to make biscuits! Thanks to you and Aunt Bee for super recipe! See old dogs can learn new tricks! 61 years young!

  18. 5 stars
    This is the best recipe! Tried numerous recipes and this is far the best! Mahalo (thank youJ for sharing!