This three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will absolutely change your biscuit-making life. It is one of those essential biscuit recipes that every cook should have available in their recipe box or, better yet, memorize if at all possible.

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe - This three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will absolutely change your biscuit-making life. It is one of those essential biscuit recipes that every cook should have available in their recipe box or, better yet, memorize if at all possible. //


This recipe yields perfect, flaky, and delicious buttermilk biscuits every single time you make them and no one will ever believe you if you tried to tell them how easy they are to make.

Now, while I’m going on and on about how easy they are to make, the ingredients are what really make the magic happen. You will not get the same results if you change the ingredients, in my opinion. So, let’s talk about them for just a sec.

It all begins with the flour.

For my biscuits, I use White Lily® flour. Made of soft winter wheat, White Lily® flour is a fine, silky flour that yields a very soft and tender biscuit. My grandmother swore by White Lily® for her biscuits, pies, cakes and well… everything. I’ll admit there was a time in my life that I thought I knew a whole lot more about things than my mother and grandmother. Let me just cut to the chase. Flour ended up not being one of those things.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

Then, cut in the shortening.

The second ingredient for this magical three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe is shortening.

Shortening lends moisture and flakiness to these buttermilk biscuits that other ingredients just doesn’t provide. While I love butter as much as the next girl, you just won’t get the same results in these biscuits by replacing the shortening with butter.

You’ll cut your shortening into your flour using a pastry blender, two forks or even two knives until the flour and shortening mixture looks like it is coarse meal.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

And finally, add the buttermilk.

This is the reason these biscuits are named buttermilk biscuits, after all. My Grandmother always taught me to take special care to stir the buttermilk into the flour mixture very gently when making biscuits. Otherwise, if you overmix your biscuit dough, the result will be tough, dry biscuits and not fluffy, light, and delicious biscuits that we all love.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

I then pop my biscuits into a super hot oven, which allows them to quickly rise and turn a beautiful golden brown in just a few minutes.  Just look at those flakey layers! 

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits | ©

Here’s the Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit recipe that is definitely one of those essential recipes I turn to time and again.

Three Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Buttermilk Biscuits are an heirloom recipe and this three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe is a must-have recipe for any cook.
4.66 from 26 votes

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Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 2 cups self-rising flour + more for flouring board and cutter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening + more for greasing pan
  • 3/4 cup buttermik


  • Preheat oven to 475º F. Lightly coat rimmed baking sheet or cast iron skillet with vegetable shortening. Set aside.
  • Add flour to a large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, two forks, or knives until well-combined. Slowly pour in buttermilk and stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour biscuit dough onto a floured pastry cloth, paper towels, or dough board. Gently pat or roll to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out biscuits using about a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits into skillet or on baking sheet pan, leaving about an inch between biscuits to allow them to rise and cook fully. Place in preheated oven and bake about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
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Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe - This three ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will absolutely change your biscuit-making life. It is one of those essential biscuit recipes that every cook should have available in their recipe box or, better yet, memorize if at all possible. //

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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139 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Those biscuits sure made me want some butter and syrup to go along with them! Thank you for sharing (I like White Lily also).

  2. …ahhh biscuits! have tried many a recipe too reach the “perfect in taste” “flaky” “melt in your mouth” “this is the one” —-wish me luck on using yours(Grandma’s) = ) Thanks for posting…

  3. I’m excited about making these biscuits. However, I live in the northeast and Lily White flour is not on the shelves here. Can I substitute Soft As Silk flour or some other self rising flour?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I can’t really recommend a substitution for White Lily® as I haven’t found anything that comes close to it! 🙂 It is available for sale online through stores such as Amazon. I’ve updated the post to include that information if you’d like it. Seriously, it makes all the difference in the world!

      1. Hi Lisa I also live in the north but I found White Lily in Krogers but when I go to Georgia I always bring lots of it back with me. However I love the White Lily buttermilk corn meal so when my stores don’t have what I want I look on the bag and get their phone No. And order a case. Hope this helps.

    2. Thanks, Robyn. So much for immediate gratification! I guess I’ll have to wait until I get the White Lily Flour delivered. Anticipation…

    1. I live in TX and my mom, who grew up in East Tennessee, loves White Lily! She has sometimes found it at Central Market.

  4. This Alabama girl loves making buttermilk biscuits and do so regularly. I like to use half shortening and half butter. I make really fluffy biscuits and guess what…I use my Kitchen Aid to cut in the shortening/butter. This method works wonderfully. Yes,White Lily really is the ONLY flour to use for the best biscuits EVER. Your grandmother is so right about the way to add the buttermilk to keep them tender and fluffy.

    1. Do you use the dough hook or regular beater? I use my Kitchen-Aid dough hook for my home made yeast rolls and White Lily Bread Flour!

  5. I hate to be the one to say this, but to make genuinely traditional biscuits grandma’s, or your great grandmothers you need to use lard not shortening… to get a genuinely like you biscuit then and also it will taste exactly like they did back in the day.

    1. You are absolutely right. My butcher saves pork fat for me and I render my own fresh lard. What a difference when you want something fried light and crispy and not greasy or baked light and fluffy.

    2. I agree lard makes them just like old time biscuits that I grew up on. It do t take alot but it makes all the difference Cisco just don’t m a ke them right my family knows if I change.

  6. Exactly what recipe I use…direct off White Lily flour bag. White Lily is only flour I buy…luckily I live in Georgia. I just pinch mine off and hand form. I use my Silpat so I don’t have to grease pan.

  7. Do you know if I could substitute powdered buttermilk for fresh is these? I would sift the powdered buttermilk into the flous, then add the water when the recipe calls for buttermilk.

  8. Great lookin biscuit Robyn and my Mom taught me to use nothing but White Lilly. Now my Mom was one of those ole kentucky moms and she made biscuits every morn of her life. They were always awesome and her recipe was a might bit different than yours or most others. Here is how she made them and I make them also. Regular ole 2% milk, put whatever amount of flour you want in a bowl, i use 10 heaping tblspns and i do mean heaping. Pour the milk in and stir with a spoon till just mixed, pour enough milk to make the dough,(wet), not as thin as pancake batter but still wet. Put some veg oil in a glass pyrex pan,just enough to cover the whole bottom. Dust some reynolds wrap with flour,por the dough onto it and flatten out by hand to about 1/2″ thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter aaandddd drop each biscuit one at a time in the oil in the pyrex pan and flip it one time until pan is full. The oil browns the biscuit top beautifully. Will be one of the best biscuits ya ever ate!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your Mom’s biscuit recipe, Mike. I’ll have to try them that way sometime. There’s just nothing like those heirloom family recipes, is there?

      1. You make your biscuits the same way I do, except I don’t use anything but my hand to mix the biscuit dough. Then I just pinch off a little of the dough, make a small ball and then flatten it out to about 1/2 to 1 inch thick on my cast iron griddle. I use Crisco shortening with the White Lily flour and old fashioned buttermilk.

  9. Thank you for this classic recipe that is so easy to make. At your suggestion, I ordered White Lily flour from Amazon, and I couldn’t be happier with it!

  10. I finally found White Lily flour at Meijer in Michigan. Had never used it before. It’s wonderful for baking, thank you so much for suggesting it!

  11. hi Robin, I was just curious about your buttermilk biscuit recipe can I use coconut oil in place of the shortening or not?
    Thank you,

  12. My family has always used Martha White flour to make biscuits . My aunt used lard instead of Crisco to make her biscuits and it does make
    a huge difference in the taste of the biscuit… can even eat the biscuits cold and they taste wonderful!

  13. I received my White Lily self rising flour in the mail the other day and I couldn’t wait for the weekend to come so I could try making biscuits and boy was I not disappointed. White Lily makes the difference for sure. Of course all Southerners have known about White Lily forever, but here in Hawaii I had never heard of it until I started researching how to make biscuits. I made two batches, one using butter and one using shortening and my preference was the butter because they actually came out lighter and fluffier than the ones made from shortening. I know true Southerners cringe when they hear butter in biscuits 🙂 Anyway, I will never use anything other than White Lily from now on, even though I have to pay the price for shipping to Hawaii. BTW, your biscuits look much better than mine 🙂

  14. So right after I leave a comment about how I preferred the ones made with butter, in walks my gf saying how she prefers the ones made with shortening haha. After a short discussion we came to the conclusion that if we’re going to eat them with butter and jam, I’ll make them with butter because they are softer. And if we’re going to eat them with something like sausage gravy or beef stew, then I’ll make them out of shortening because they seem to hold up better with the gravies.

  15. HI! I made these this morning. Unfortulanetly mine came out hard and very flat. Any ideas on what I could have done wrong?

    1. Hi Natalie,
      It sounds like there may have been an issue with your self-rising flour. If you’ve used all-purpose flour instead, your biscuits definitely would do that or if for some reason your self-rising flour has an issue.

  16. Just tried making these and they turned out pretty well!! I used the White Lily flour and made as instructed, except I brushed some honey butter on the tops and cooked for a bit longer. My dough was also really sticky so I just made drop biscuits instead of cutting them out.

  17. Wanting to try these beautiful biscuits!! Can you use cooking oil instead of shortening? My husband cringes at the site of shortening(thinking it’s lard) but will eat things with oil, go figure!?! Thanks for sharing! 😉

    1. No, it won’t work. Shortening is more of a solid and it’s what creates the flaky layers. if you use vegetable oil all that you’ll get is little hard muffins.

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