Soft and buttery, there’s nothing quite like homemade biscuits from scratch. This easy biscuit recipe is great for weekend mornings or brunches with friends.
Warm, flaky biscuits are a classic for a reason. Whether you spread them with butter, top them with strawberry jam, or indulge in biscuits and gravy, you can’t go wrong with this easy biscuit recipe!
Made using staple pantry ingredients, these biscuits are quick and easy to whip up. Enjoy them hot and fresh out of the oven, or use them instead of bread for a fun twist on a fried chicken sandwich!
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional*)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½ in. cubes
- ¾ cup milk, plus more for brushing
*If you’re planning to serve the biscuits as a dessert (or with jam or something sweet), use the sugar. It will add just a little hint of sweetness to your biscuit dough. If you’re serving the biscuits with something savory, such as gravy, omit it for that classic biscuit taste.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 450°F.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar (if using), baking powder and salt. Using a fork or whisk, mix dry ingredients until combined.
Step 3: Using a pastry cutter, or two forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
The coarser the size of the ‘crumbs’, the flakier your biscuits will be. If the butter pieces are small and fine, your biscuits might turn out chewy and have less flaky layers.
Step 4: Add milk to the flour.
Stir to form a shaggy dough. Be careful not to overmix, as you don’t want to develop too much gluten. Just a simple stir to make sure most of the flour is wet. Don’t worry, it will look worse before it looks better!
Step 5: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 3 to 4 times, or until the dough just comes together.
If you work the dough too much, you’ll overdevelop gluten and your biscuits will come out tough. Less is more when it comes to kneading biscuit dough. You just want it to hold together so you can roll it out with a rolling pin.
Step 6: Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about a ¾ in. thickness.
Make sure to lightly flour your rolling pin if your biscuit dough is sticky.
Step 7: Cut the dough using a 2 in. round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, then place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Dough scraps can be rerolled once, but rerolling any more than that might result in tough biscuits, so cut out your circles as close together as you can to get the best use of your dough.
Don’t have a cutter on hand? You can use the rim of a drinking glass or cut the dough into squares or rectangles with a knife.
Step 8: Once all your biscuits have been cut out, lightly brush the tops with milk.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly golden brown.
How to measure flour
While it may be tempting to just scoop and drop the flour into your bowl, this could result in you actually adding too much flour, causing your biscuits to be dry and crumbly.
The best way to measure flour is to use a spoon to sprinkle the flour into a measuring cup, then leveling off the excess with a flat spatula or knife.
Why are my biscuits hard?
If your biscuits come out hard and crumbly, it’s most likely because the dough was overworked during the kneading process. To prevent that, mix your dough just until it comes together. You should still see bits of butter in your dough.
How to make flaky biscuits
The key to a delicious, flaky biscuit is all in the kneading process. It’s important not to overwork the dough. Mix it just until it holds together.
Also make sure your butter is cold when you incorporate it into the flour. If you’re using melted butter or even room temperature butter, your biscuits will not bake correctly.
Why are my biscuits dry and crumbly?
Dry and crumbly biscuits are often caused by adding too much flour. Remember, don’t scoop and drop your flour – use a spoon to sprinkle the flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with a spatula.
You can always sprinkle your dough with additional flour if it’s too sticky, but you can’t take the flour away if you’ve added too much!
Can I make biscuits with baking soda?
Since baking soda needs both a liquid and an acidic ingredient in order to activate, it will not work as a replacement for baking powder in this recipe. Baking powder contains baking soda and an acid, so it only needs a liquid to work, making it perfect for these biscuits!
How to store biscuits
Biscuits are best served warm and fresh out of the oven, but you can certainly store leftovers covered, at room temperature, for 1 to 2 days. If covered and stored in the fridge, they’ll keep for about a week.
How do you like your biscuits? Do you turn it into a homemade breakfast sandwich or enjoy it with peanut butter and bananas? Or maybe you keep it simple with butter and raspberry jam.
Regardless, we’d love to see how you’ve put this recipe to use! Share a picture of your biscuit-baking adventures on Instagram and tag us @wiltoncakes.
Looking for more cooking and baking inspiration? Check out these blog posts!
Perfect Biscuits from Scratch
- Pastry blender
- Rolling Pin
- ~2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional) for an extra hint of sweetness if being served as a dessert
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold butter cut into ½ inch cubes
- ¾ cup milk plus more for brushing
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Combine flour, sugar (optional), baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix with a fork or whisk until combined.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
- Add milk to the flour mixture and stir to form a shaggy dough. Make sure not to overmix.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough 3-4 times or until it comes together. Avoid overworking.
- Lightly flour your rolling pin (if the dough is sticky) and roll out the dough to about ¾ inch thickness.
- Cut biscuits out of dough using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, then place on an ungreased baking sheet. Make sure to cut your circles as close together as possible.
- Lightly brush each biscuit top with milk.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the biscuit tops are lightly golden.
- No cookie cutter? You can also use the rim of a drinking glass or manually cut with a knife.
- Make sure to cut your biscuits as close together as possible because the dough can only be rolled once. Rerolled dough can result in tough biscuits.