Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Melt-in-your-mouth delicious, my Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits are buttery, flakey, and perfect with any dish. Made with only a handful of ingredients; there’s a secret tool that makes them come out perfect every time.

Slathered with butter and with the most perfect flakey texture, these buttermilk biscuits are perfect for moping up your plate.

Mama's Best Ever Buttermilk Biscuits (pictured in the cast iron skillet)

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Buttermilk biscuits are as prevelent in the South as our accents.  They are a ‘must’ at most Sunday dinners, and really at any other meal during the week. It’s like milk goes with cookies – but biscuits go with practically everything & all by themselves too.

My Mama’s biscuits taste like none other.  They literally melt in your mouth.  I can finish off a whole pan of her biscuits.  Actually, I have.  And, when I say melt in your mouth – that is no joke.  My grandfather had his back teeth removed in the army.  He had to split every biscuit he ever ate in half to remove all the ‘dough’ with the one exception of Mama’s biscuits.

Mama’s buttermilk biscuits are a little slice of comfort food on any table. Though biscuits are easy enough to make, these buttermilk ones come out perfect every time thanks to a specific tool you probably already have. If you’re serious about making the best possible buttermilk biscuits, you’re in the right spot.

Baked in butter and brushed with more, these biscuits come together quickly and will soon become a staple on your dinner table.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Self-rising flour: in order for the biscuits to gain some height, you need self-rising flour in place of all-purpose. Make sure to sift it first so that it blends evenly with the other ingredients. White Lily is the best choice when it comes to these biscuits.
  • Vegetable shortening: has a high heat point and it also helps to minimize the gluten from the flour from binding fully. This creates the flakey texture you associate with biscuits. Frozen butter or lard can also be used, but Mama always used Crisco.
  • Full-fat buttermilk: this will help the flour rise by creating the best possible acidity ratios. That said, make sure to use full-fat buttermilk to gain the richest taste.
  • Butter: opt for unsalted butter if possible and let it come to room temperature before you need it.
Mama's Best Ever Buttermilk Biscuits (pictured in the cast iron skillet)

The Secret Tool

When it comes to making Mama’s buttermilk biscuits, the tool you need is a pizza cutter. Not only does this allow you to cut the dough evenly and with precision, but it doesn’t require any tearing of the biscuit dough. Using a pizza cutter you’ll have the flakiest biscuits you’ve ever made.

Plus, the square shape of buttermilk biscuits helps them cook perfectly and the result is a mouthwatering texture – however you can easily use your hands to quickly shape them into a circle with a quick spin between your hands. That is what I did in the photos of the buttermilk biscuits on this page.

Tips For Success

The Buttermilk

Don’t use low fat or fat free buttermilk in this recipe. These biscuits turn out the best when you use full fat buttermilk.

Use Cast-iron

A cast-iron skillet will create a deliciously brown exterior on the buttermilk biscuits. Lightly greased, nothing beats the crust when cooked this way. My personal favorite size skillet to cook a batch of biscuits in is a 7 inch cast iron skillet. It is the perfect size as it fits one batch of these biscuits perfectly, with the edges touching, allowing for a great rise. A round cake pan or casserole dish will work but the outer texture will be slightly different.

The Flour

I swear by White Lily Flour in my biscuits. I understand that it can be difficult to find in some areas of the country, but if at all possible – use White Lily flour in these biscuits. White Lily is a very light and fine flour and it makes the biscuits super light, airy, and fluffy.

The Dough

When you’re adding the shortening into the flour, you want to mix it until it looks like there are little crumbs in the bowl, almost the size of peas. This is what will create a buttery texture throughout the biscuits and make them melt in your mouth.

6 biscuits in a 7 inch cast iron skillet

Storing & Freezing Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Make sure to let them cool first before storing the biscuits in a covered dish. You can enjoy them right off the counter or heat them slightly in the microwave when you need them.

You can also freeze buttermilk biscuits in a plastic freezer bag for 2-3 months. Make sure you don’t place anything on top of them though so that they retain their texture.Let the biscuits thaw in the fridge overnight when you need them and then reheat them in the oven.

When I freeze these biscuits, I prefer to freeze the dough instead of the cooked biscuit. I slice them into individual biscuits & flash freeze them on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen, I store them in a gallon sized freezer bag for up to 6 months. To bake, I bake them from frozen at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

What To Serve With Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits are a staple in Southern houses and are served with pretty much everything. They’re perfect along with a Holiday meal for mopping gravy off the plate or making them into something as simple as a breakfast sandwich.

Some of our favorite dishes to serve biscuits with are:

Other Variations Of Mama’s Biscuits

I have been making Mama’s buttermilk biscuits for a very, very long time and over that time – I have come up with all different flavors with Mama’s biscuits as the base recipe. You can view those recipes by clicking on the links below.

Why are buttermilk biscuits better?

Buttermilk biscuits have a high fat ratio and coupled with the acidity in the buttermilk they rise more. This helps create a much fluffier texture than normal biscuits.

What flour is best for buttermilk biscuits?

If you want the flakiest, melt-in-your-mouth, buttery biscuits you’ve ever tasted, make sure to use White Lily self-rising flour. Not only does self-rising flour eliminate the need for baking soda but this specific brand of flour makes the best possible biscuits.

Should shortening be cold when making biscuits?

Either cold or stored somewhere cool, you don’t want it to be melted. You want to add your chilled shortening to the flour. This way when you mix it, it will create little crumbles the size of peas. These crumbles are what create a delicious, buttery taste and flakey texture.

Mama's Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits in a cast iron skillet
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5 from 6 votes

Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits

The ultimate biscuit recipe, my Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. With a flaky texture and warm buttery taste, they’re a tasty addition to any meal.
Cook Time 12 minutes


  • 2 cups self rising flour Mama swears by White Lily
  • a heaping 1/4 cup vegetable shortening like Crisco
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup full fat buttermilk
  • a little less than a half stick of butter optional
  • a pizza cutter yes, that’s right. That’s Mama’s unique technique!


  • Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  • Using your fingers, work the shortening in with the flour in a large bowl until the flour appears crumbly, about the size of little peas. Stir in the buttermilk with a wooden spoon. Start with 3/4 cup & add a little more if need be.
  • Lightly dust your countertop with a little flour.
  • Now, here is when the pizza cutter comes in! Pat the dough down into a neat rectangle – no reason to do any kneading really. Using a pizza cutter, slice the biscuits into 6-8 squares. Place the biscuits into a greased cast iron pan or if you don’t have one, a round cake pan or casserole dish will do, with the sides of the biscuits just touching.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of butter & pour that on top of the biscuits (optional). Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Melt a couple more tablespoons of butter & brush that on top of the freshly baked biscuits, if desired.
  • Eat them all at one sitting. Bake another batch. Repeat.