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Angel Biscuits

Light as air, these old fashioned angel biscuits taste like they're sent from heaven!
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword angel biscuit recipe, angel biscuits, easy angel biscuits, old fashioned angel biscuits
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 18 biscuits
Calories 132kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 (0.25 ounce) packet active dry yeast (about 2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup warm water (110°F – 115°F)
  • 2 ½ cups White Lily all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup shortening, diced into small pieces and chilled (or sub with lard)
  • ¼ cup salted butter, diced into small pieces and chilled
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter


  • In a small bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water. Set aside and let it proof until bubbly and foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
    Whisking yeast with warm water in a small green bowl.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the shortening and butter. Use a pastry cutter or two forks to cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture until incorporated. The mixture should resemble coarse meal. You will still see flakes of shortening and butter throughout, which is good!
    Process shot showing how to make angel biscuits.
  • Add the yeast mixture and the buttermilk, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft, sticky dough forms. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
    Pouring buttermilk into a bowl.
  • Once the dough is chilled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll out to about ½-inch thickness. The dough will be fairly sticky, so flour your hands, if necessary, to prevent it from sticking. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds (I use a 2 -inch cutter). 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 the scraps and continue to cut more biscuits.
  • Arrange the biscuits with sides touching in a 12-inch cast iron skillet, or on a baking sheet. Cover and place the pan in the fridge to chill for about 10-15 minutes while you preheat the oven.
    Covering angel biscuit dough with a cloth.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake the biscuits, uncovered, in the center of the oven until golden brown, about 15-17 minutes.
    Cast iron skillet of angel biscuits.
  • Brush the warm biscuits with melted butter. Serve!
    Basket of southern angel biscuits with milk and apple butter in the background


    • Use warm water when preparing the dough — not too hot and not too cold. You want the water to feel like warm bath water (about 110˚-115˚F). If it’s too hot you will kill the yeast; too cold and the yeast will not be activated.
    • Dip the biscuit cutter in flour before you cut out each biscuit. This will prevent the angel biscuit dough from sticking to the cutter.
    • Don’t twist the round cutter. Firmly press the cutter down into the dough, and then pull it straight back out. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals off the edges of the biscuits and they therefore will not rise as high.
    • Arrange the biscuits close together. Place the biscuits in the skillet or on the baking sheet so that their sides are touching. This will help them “climb,” rather than spread, in the oven.
    • Brush with melted butter. A quick swipe of melted butter adds a ton of rich flavor and buttery taste to the warm biscuits.
    • Recipe adapted from James Villas' book, The Glory of Southern Cooking.


Serving: 1biscuit | Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg