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

Notes on Ingredients

Ingredients for buttermilk drop biscuits -- buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, flour, sugar, butter, and cream of tartar.
  • All-purpose flour–We like White Lily best for making the flakiest biscuits.
  • Baking powder–This is the leavener for these biscuits, so you want to be sure that your baking powder is fresh. To check, pour some boiling water over 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. It should bubble and fizz. If it doesn’t, it’s no longer active, and you should replace it.
  • Cream of tartar–This also plays a role in helping the biscuits rise by reacting with the baking soda.
  • Buttermilk–The addition of buttermilk adds some fat, and a subtle tang to your biscuit dough, and the acidity acts as a leavener, helping the dough rise to create a tall, fluffy biscuit. Use full-fat buttermilk for the best results.

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

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

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 35 minutes
6 to 8 servings
341 kcal
5 / 4 votes
Print RecipeBuy the The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook cookbook

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening cold, cut into small pieces, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)


  • 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.
Print RecipeBuy the The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuitCalories: 341kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 37g (12%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 19g (29%)Saturated Fat: 5g (31%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mg (2%)Sodium: 198mg (9%)Potassium: 355mg (10%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 83IU (2%)Calcium: 151mg (15%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

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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.)

These biscuits couldn’t have been easier to make. The simple ingredients are quick to stir together and pop in the oven. I’ve had a Lodge biscuit pan for many years and I loved seeing another recipe to give me an excuse to use it. The biscuits had a nice tangy flavor from the buttermilk and were fluffy inside while having that lovely crunchy crust on top.

These would be perfect either for biscuits and gravy (along with some bacon) for breakfast, or with stew or chili at an evening meal.

These biscuits are light, moist, fluffy, and tender. It’s a good biscuit for butter and jam, shortcakes, or a good helping of sausage gravy. I found that to make 7 biscuits, each one used a little more than one quarter cup of dough.

The reason the recipe makes 7 biscuits is because the Lodge biscuit pan has 7 “rounds”, which is an odd number for a recipe. I actually own the biscuit pan, so I made the drop biscuits in the pan and on a baking sheet. If you use the Lodge pan, I would recommend preheating the pan in the oven, instead of dropping the dough into a cold pan. Otherwise, the bottoms of your biscuits won’t be golden brown. We preferred the biscuits baked on the baking sheet, as you end up with more crispy, craggly edges and the entire biscuit is golden brown.

These biscuits looked so simple I thought they couldn’t possibly taste that great. Wow, was I wrong. The biscuits are crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. They are lightly sweet but still have great flavor.

The recipe works exactly as written without rolling or kneading of any kind. They taste great without any accompaniment, but add some butter and honey and they become heavenly.

They are quite delicious and I am pretty sure I could make a meal of just these biscuits.

My husband loved these biscuits and he claims he will only eat the ones that come from a certain fast food fried chicken and biscuit joint. These are light and buttery and quite addictive.

I dropped these biscuits on a silicone-mat-lined baking sheet instead of using the biscuit pan. I found they spread quite a bit, so if you’re going to drop instead of plop in a pan, making more than 7 might be a better idea. These biscuits don’t have staying power, so eat them the day they are made. Not that they will last that long anyway.

This basic but tasty biscuit recipe was easy as could be. Quick mixing, no rolling. Very unfussy.

I didn’t have a special biscuit pan so I just dropped the biscuit dough onto a heavy parchment-lined sheet pan, my baking tray of choice for biscuits. This made larger biscuits (if you make only the seven indicated) than I like so when I did a second batch, adding cheese and chopped chives to some, grated orange, toasted pecans, and dried cherries to the rest, I made them smaller and got 10.

The smaller biscuits needed only 13 to 14 minutes to bake. All the biscuits were delicious, nicely browned, and light and tender.

I wasn’t sure this would be a hit here, since we don’t care for sugar in our biscuits, but these were great. I didn’t tell hubby and son about the small amount of sugar until they had taken a couple bites and proclaimed them a winner. They were really surprised, but said I could make these again.

I can see where the Lodge Drop Biscuit pan would come in handy to keep them from spreading together, but don’t let that stop you from making these lovely biscuits. I didn’t have one, so I used a large cast-iron skillet to drop the biscuits in instead. They did run together while baking, but that didn’t cause that much of a problem. All I had to do was run a knife through where I could see each biscuit was and they popped right out.

I like the ease of stirring the ingredients together and dropping them from a spoon into the pan. I mixed the butter in with my hands like I do with scones, to get the preferred crumbly results.

“Memories of Gramma” is what these biscuits brought back for me. Light, buttery and utterly delightful, these are easy to put together and are easy to bake. They taste like “more” as my dinner guests said.

I used my large cast-iron pan to make these and they came out great—light and fluffy with a crispy crust on the bottom. I can’t imagine how big the biscuits are that they made, but my batch made about 16 good-sized biscuits. Even the one or two left over were great the next morning for breakfast.

I will certainly make these again and again and again.

Wow, these are light, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth good. We had breakfast a few nights ago for dinner, and this was just the thing that was needed.

I love formed biscuits rather than drop, so I rolled the dough out, being careful not to overwork the dough, and floured it lightly. I put the biscuits in an iron skillet with the bottom and sides coated with the shortening. They turned out so crispy. They were requested the following morning from my youngest granddaughter, who wanted it sliced open and topped with scrambled eggs. I can hardly wait to make these again.

One tiny criticism from the hubby is that he felt they needed more salt. But by the time we put some butter on them, we were happy.

If you’re looking for a quick, amazingly simple, yet delicious biscuit, look no further. You can get these into the oven in record time, and in 20 minutes you’ll have fluffy, buttery biscuits. Just warn your family (read: husband) that they’re HOT (duh?!) before they burn their fingers eating them hot off the pan.

This recipe is it. The position has been filled. Thank you. No need to flour your countertop, get out your rolling pin, or buy a special biscuit pan; these delicious biscuits are a perfect spur-of-the-moment accompaniment to salads, soups, scrambled eggs, etc.

After mixing the dough with my pastry cutter (a breeze), I grabbed a handful of the dough and dropped it in the middle of my seasoned 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Six more handfuls followed surrounding the first dollop. Voilà—beautiful round biscuits in no time at all. It’s OK if the portions touch each other as the biscuits pull apart easily.

A joy to throw together, this drop biscuit recipe is an easy do. I didn’t have a Lodge cast iron drop biscuit pan, so I used a regular cookie sheet.

One thing I did wrong is that I made the biscuits and sat the cookie sheet on the stove while some oven fried chicken wings cooked and the biscuits sort of spread, so this may have been my fault. Actually the biscuits were soft and as my mate said, “fluffy.” They were delicious with the chicken wings and with liberal amounts of butter and honey.

While I usually steer clear of drop biscuits (since childhood days of Bisquick “drop” biscuits), this recipe has changed my mind. I made this recipe in my much-loved cast-iron skillet and it produced a tender biscuit that I popped in my mouth, steaming from the oven.

It came together quickly and took a bit longer than the 20 minutes in my oven, but well worth the wait. A nice tender crumb that would make any grandmother proud.

Pretty delicious. An easy biscuit recipe that doesn’t need a special pan. Just butter a sheet pan really well. Serve with jam or other preserves or honey. Fluffy and satisfying!

Originally published March 29, 2020


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  1. 5 stars
    A little late to the party, but I love this recipe and how quick and easy it is to make! I was worried it might not come out well because I have to use gluten-free flour (I used the Measure-for-Measure flour from the King Arthur brand) and haven’t really worked too much with GF flour blends yet, but it was wonderful and worked great with this recipe, I think especially because there’s no kneading involved. I also used a baking sheet with parchment paper, but next time would like to bake them in a buttered cast-iron skillet. Also, next time I’ll add a bit more salt, which might be because of the flour used. They were nice and crusty on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside. This will now be a go-to recipe!

    1. Rachael J, we’re so pleased you enjoyed these lovelies! Even better you had success with gluten-free flour. Ever since I tested the recipe I’ve made them countless times with reliably fabulous results every time. Balancing salt could be tricky, not just with this recipe but with baking in general. These biscuits don’t get brushed with butter, but I think could do so with melted salted butter. That’s what I would try in my kitchen, either just before baking or immediately after the biscuits come out of the oven. Give it a try let us know how it worked. And I highly recommend using a cast-iron skillet!

  2. 5 stars
    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!

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 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.

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