Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

These buttermilk drop biscuits are a simple, classic Southern staple, made with stuff you have on hand like flour, butter, baking soda, and buttermilk (you always have powdered buttermilk on hand, yes?). Here’s how to make them.

A chipped ceramic dish filled with buttermilk drop biscuits nestled in a striped tea towel.

This very simple, very old-fashioned recipe works only with cast iron and is for all Southerners who love their biscuits. [Editor’s Note: “The search stops here.” That’s what we’re hearing from folks who’ve spent the better portion of their lives seeking a tender, buttery, quick buttermilk drop biscuits recipe. We’re no strangers to the charms of those blackened and wizened skillets, thank you. But the part about how this recipe works only with one sort of precious metal seems a little presumptuous. We found that you can get by just dandy by dropping blobs of this batter on a baking sheet.]–The Lodge Company

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 15 M
  • 35 M
  • Makes 6 to 8
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and lightly butter 1 large or 2 smallish cast-iron skillets or a single baking sheet.

In a bowl, whisk or stir together the dry ingredients, smashing any lumps. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and gently toss the liquid and dry ingredients with the fork just until everything is blended and a soft, sticky, blobbish dough forms.

Drop blobs of the dough onto the prepared pan, spacing them about an inch or two apart. Bake until browned on top, about 20 minutes.

Let the biscuits cool slightly. Chances are you’ll need to swat hands away. Originally published March 27, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook cookbook

Want it? Click it.

David Says

David Leite caricature

These insanely good little beauties were so easy to make. I was able to whip them up while knocking back some Champagne, chatting with guests, and generally being a bon vivant at an early Easter lunch for friends.

I have a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, so I simply dropped 8 blobs of dough in concentric circles and slid the whole shebang in the oven. I’m not exaggerating (you know I’m prone to a little hyperbole every now and then) when I say that people thought these were the best part of the meal. Damn them! All that work on a ham and the biscuits were the stars.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

It’s no exaggeration when I say that these were the BEST biscuits I have ever eaten. My family has been trying to recreate my great-grandmother’s buttermilk biscuit recipe for years and these were just as good as I remember hers being. The biscuits had a nice buttery crust and the inside was super fluffy and moist.

They puffed up very high, which made you want to eat all seven biscuits yourself! We served them with a choice of jams and jellies, which made for a nice presentation as well. I ended up using buttered muffin cups instead of a drop biscuit pan, which was an ingenious suggestion. I used very cold butter as opposed to margarine or shortening. The cooking time was right on, and the recipe did make exactly seven dreamy biscuits!

I don’t save many recipes to make more than once, but this one will become a breakfast staple.

I have always loved biscuits, but never had great luck making them. They’re usually dense, flat hockey pucks. This biscuit recipe took away all of the previous apprehension I had in attempting to make biscuits. The tops and bottoms are buttery and crunchy, while the insides are soft and almost cloud-like. They are very fast to put together and will certainly be on my table again very soon.

These biscuits were so amazing that I’m wondering if maybe I have some Southern blood in me. (Not likely for someone of Fillipino-Irish descent.)


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  1. This recipe is as easy as everyone says. It’s a little confusing-one large or two small cast iron skillets—but David’s note was helpful. But I only have a 10-incher so I just went with it and they turned out fine. Seven is a funny number but if you use a skillet you’ll see…six around the outside and one in the middle. I like the flexibility that one of the testers mentioned too…we added cCeddar cheese and had them with our bbq pork tenderloin and grilled broccoli. Scrumptious. It was hard to stop at one!

  2. Mine were perfect both times I made them. What a wonderful recipe with 8 everyday ingredients, (okay maybe not the buttermilk) but they really do make up in 30 minutes start to finish. A classic, simple biscuit recipe.

    1. Wonderful, Tod! And how did you serve them? Slathered with butter? Drizzled with honey? Or maybe covered in gravy? Let us know.

  3. Mine were perfect the first time I made them, but subsequent batches have spread and been pretty flat. Should I blame my cream of tartar or my technique?

    1. Hi Julie, the culprits may be either your baking soda or powder powder. You can test their effectiveness as follows; For baking powder: mix 1 teaspoon baking powder with 1/2 cup hot water. For baking soda: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar. In both case, the mixture should begin to bubble and fizz.

  4. It amazes me continually that so many people think Southerners made the only light crusty biscuits. This recipe, with one minor exception, is the recipe with which I was taught to make biscuits. That recipe is an old old old New England recipe. My late grandmother taught it to me and she got it from her mother, all these women & their families native Mainers (and I am no young thing). Most people overhandle their biscuits so when they do drop biscuits they get the desired results. Just as an aside, these make fabulous short cakes. A warm biscuit, fresh or frozen fruit and real whipped cream is food fit for a king or queen. Oh yes, that minor exception is using Bakewell Cream in place of the cream of tarter. A product that was invented and is still made right here in Maine.

    1. You make a compelling argument for northern biscuit makers, Judy. Many thanks for drawing our attention to that–and for drawing our attention to that short cake tactic. Can’t wait to try it…and to try your Bakewell Cream in this recipe.

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