The Best Drop Biscuits

Drop biscuits have been appearing right and left in our house over the last few months, thanks to this recipe. I know it sounds so hoity-toity to call something the best, but let me tell you, these are simply the best drop biscuits I’ve ever had and if my insistence on making them at least weekly is any indication I’m telling the truth, then you should run to the kitchen and make them, too.

I love biscuits in any form, but drop biscuits are unparalleled in their simplicity. Here’s the brilliance of this recipe – chilled buttermilk is stirred together with melted butter which creates small clumps of butter. When those pearls of butter hidden inside the biscuit dough hit the piping hot oven, they melt, creating steam which results in a flaky, tender biscuit.

These biscuits couldn’t be simpler – no rolling out, no carefully folding the dough into envelope shapes, just whisk, scoop, and bake. And then try not to eat all 12. Because let’s be serious, biscuits aren’t exactly parading around claiming to be calorie free. I forgive them for that blatant error, especially since they are so quick and easy to throw together for nearly any meal imaginable. We buck tradition around here and eat them with everything from spaghetti to meatloaf. They are especially delicious with this crispy oven baked chicken and this chili rubbed pork loin. Just sayin’.

The Best Drop Biscuits

The Best Drop Biscuits

Yield: Makes about 12 biscuits

The Best Drop Biscuits


  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled (here is a guide for making your own buttermilk)
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled


  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat liner.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a 2-cup liquid measure, stir together the chilled buttermilk and melted butter until the butter forms small clumps. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula just until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture slightly pulls away from the edges of the bowl.
  3. Using a greased ¼-cup measure, scoop out mounds of the dough and drop them onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake the biscuits until the tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with additional melted butter. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: from America’s Test Kitchen

101 Responses to Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

  1. Sara says:

    These were wonderful, Mel! Instead of oiling a measuring cup, I used my OXO Scooper that I usually use to make regular sized muffins. Perfect tool for the job. With the scooper, I made 10 biscuits, so they were a little larger than if I had used a 1/4 cup. Never buying refrigerated biscuits again. These were super easy and more tasty! Thanks once again for helping me keep my family fed!!

  2. Carolyn says:

    I just made these today for dinner with the slow cooker wild rice and chicken soup (from the menu plan that so conveniently showed up in my email). My husband raved about both, but especially the biscuits, and he isn’t the easiest to please :). I told him once again to thank Mel for the dinner. You have become my go to recipe blog. So I just wanted to thank you for all of the great recipes that have become regular in my kitchen.

  3. Sandra says:

    Made these tonight, and they passed the Father & Son test.
    Some observations/questions from me: Are they supposed to be a bit dry? Mine crumbled even though they were baked exactly 12 minutes. Didn’t affect the taste at all, but were more like a baking powder biscuit to me.
    Will try a lower temperature next time, probably will try 450° instead.
    Oh, btw: you mentioned using parchment paper in the pan. I have different brands of parchment paper, & nearly all of them said the paper was good to use up to the temperature of 420°. Seeing that on the box, I used foil on the pan instead, & also brushed a bit of the olive oil that can be used for baking. That worked out well, & I didn’t have to worry about the paper catching on fire.
    Good base recipe to start with.

  4. Gina M. says:

    Ive been a long time reader, and I have celiac disease. I REALLY wanted to make these biscuits so, I attempted this recipe using a gluten free cup for cup baking flour (bobs red mill 1 to 1 to be specific), and they turned out amazing! I have since made them 4 times, and for people who don’t need to eat Gluten free and everyone loves them! I’ve also coverted many of your other recipes to GF as well, with much success. I Thought I’d share this for anyone else who might need it! Thanks for This simple and delicious recipe that is now a go-to!

  5. Jen says:

    I never told you but the biscuits for our youth activity were so delicious! Cooked over coals in a Dutch oven made them so tasty. I am making 150 more for a family reunion in a couple of weeks. I’ve got three triple batches in the freezer. One more triple batch to go. Thanks, Mel!

  6. Jen says:

    Mel – I have to make 150 biscuits for a youth activity and I was thinking of using this recipe. Do you still make these biscuits and would you recommend them for throwing in dutch ovens over coals? With 150 to make I am trying to avoid “cutting in butter” and “rolling out” if at all possible! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Yes, I still make these all the time and I think they’d be great in a dutch-oven – they are much softer than a traditional cut biscuit, though, so I guess I’d recommend they are spaced pretty close together so they don’t lose their shape.

  7. Roz Desmond says:

    These biscuits were easy and quick, and oh so delicious! Thank you!

  8. Lindy-Ann says:

    I made dees for breakfast there were perfect and delicious

  9. Grace says:

    Oh Mel, I can’t wait to make these! Do you think I could use this recipe to make cobbler? The cobbler I grew up with had biscuits baked on top of fruit and I haven’t been able to find a good recipe for it! Thanks!!

  10. Pamela Price says:

    These are the easiest and best biscuits I have ever made. I am usually intimidated by a rolled biscuit and have been looking for the perfect drop biscuit.

    I have found it! Just perfect, flaky and great flavor.

  11. Jen says:

    These are now my go-to biscuits. They’re delicious. The first time I made them, I only had 5 tablespoons butter, and they still were great, so that’s all I use now. Makes me feel a little better when I eat them 🙂

  12. meesh says:

    these are to die for!!!!

    i sub’d the buttermilk with the tried and true milk/vinegar solution.
    why fuss with rolling out dough? these are pillowy and buttery and Oh So Good!!
    mine doubled in size when baked. awesome!!!!

  13. Linda says:

    I made these tonight…they are good and easy to make…if you add cheddar cheese and garlic they would be a dead ringer for the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits…I didn’t brush the tops with butter because lets face, they have enough butter in them…that said, they were a hit with our fried chicken dinner! My husband ate his for dessert with a little honey on it!

  14. Jen says:

    I feel the need to leave a comment because I have searched long and hard for a biscuit recipe that did not taste like dust and did not contain the word “Bisquick”…ALAS! These were fantastic. I added grated extra old cheddar and they were superb! Thanks for posting, this is definitely a keeper!

  15. Deann Villarreal says:

    Just made these for biscuits and gravy, and they Are the best drop biscuits I have ever made!! Thank You!!

  16. Marcy says:

    I just found this recipe this morning, and I made these biscuits with whole wheat flour. They turned out perfectly! Thank you.

  17. Brenda says:

    I baked at 425′ for 10-12 minutes since I used the muffin tins. As I said in an earlier post, they reminded me of my grandma’s biscuits. She would have been so proud!

  18. J. says:

    475 degrees, really!? Made these tonight by the recipe. After setting off the smoke alarm several times (it’s sensitive), I pulled these from the oven after only 8 minutes, when the tops were browner than I’d really prefer. Still edible, but I’ve had better, and worse, biscuits.

    • Mel says:

      Yes, I use a 475 degree oven. Sorry they didn’t work out that great for you. Every oven heats a bit differently; if your oven cooks faster or hotter the baking time may be less.

  19. Brenda says:

    These were awesome. I made them in muffin tins for uniform shape without having to roll out and cut . Reminded me of my grandmas biscuits.

  20. Letha says:

    These are great…and fast.. I often mix the dry ingredients in advance and leave in a sealed container, especially when I am short on time and want to prepare them for supper, after getting home from work. Thanks for posting! 🙂

  21. Mrs. Waller says:

    These were AMAZING! This is definitely my new go to recipe when I need a quick batch of biscuits! Thank you!

  22. Talat Faheem says:

    Wha is the other option if we don’t have buttermilk … And what will be the quantity…

  23. Daniella says:

    I have made this biscuits a handful of times and they come out perfectly every time! Thanks!

  24. s says:

    My mom made them with wheat flour on Sunday. Yummm Thanks for the recipe

  25. nilsa says:

    Thanks. I never bake or do any type of dough – so it is a totally blind mission. Happy New Year

  26. Nilsa says:

    Happy New Year To You! Wondering if these drop biscuit dough can be made ahead. Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

    • Mel says:

      Nilsa – I haven’t tried making the dough ahead of time since it’s so fast to mix it together but it’s worth a try. Good luck!

  27. Emily says:

    Mmm! These biscuits are amazing! I was introduced to the recipe a couple of years ago and my life has never been the same! The melting/clumping butter is what makes them simply divine!

  28. Viki says:

    Another variation is before you bake them is melt some butter and spread on the biscuit and sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture. When you take them out of the oven, have a glaze ready to drizzle on them. And then you have a drop cinnamon biscuit for breakfast. They are yummy:)

  29. Donna says:

    Delicious! Flaky, moist, buttery! Went perfectly with the pot roast I made 🙂 Thank you for posting this delicious recipe, it’s a keeper!

  30. Natalia says:

    I made these this evening, and yes, they are very, very good. Also, as stated, a quick and easy recipe to follow! Thank you for sharing this recipe with me.

  31. […] inventing my own recipes is that I get to pick and choose what goes in! I made this dish and some buttermilk biscuits and dinner was served! The great thing about these biscuits is that they’re drop biscuits, […]

  32. Stacey says:

    I’ve turned up my nose at drop biscuits before, as they seem to be the ugly step-sister. (“Biscuits should be rolled out and be perfectly round!”) However, I decided these would be perfect to go along with a lesson on pioneers. And guess what, not only were they super quick (yay!), but they taste fabulous and they actually look pretty good when made with a quarter cup scoop! Not surprisingly, they were fantastic slathered with butter and cinnamon sugar. This one’s definitely a keeper!

  33. MaMaLaLa says:

    Made these tonight. They were super easy and very yummy. I bought a 1/4 cup scoop awhile ago and I am in love with it. 🙂

  34. Charleen H says:

    Well today I made broccoli cheese soup and decided that it needed biscuits. Pulled out several cookbooks but the recipes just did not sound like the delishous ones I made last time. I decided to check my recipes on my iPad notebook. There it was under breads, and guess whose name was on it? Yup, yours! Best drop biscuit there is, I add an extra spoon of sugar as we like them a little sweeter.

  35. Brianna says:

    I made these last night with some ham soup we had from Easter leftovers. They were great! And I couldn’t believe how easy they were. I made them slightly larger so I ended up with only 8 and due to half the butter exploding in the microwave, subbed in 1/4 cup of oil for the lost butter. Still delicious! Thanks!

  36. […] I won’t make you wait any longer, or read any more of my silly writing.  I’ll just tell you that I got this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and get to the recipe! […]

  37. Carrie says:

    Wow, this is one of those “don’t need to look anymore” recipes.

    Thank you so much. Think that honey butter recipe will go well with these!

  38. […] The Best Drop BiscuitsMay 19, 2011 … Drop biscuits have been appearing right and left in our house over the last few months, thanks to this recipe. I know it sounds so hoity-toity to … […]

  39. Shannon says:

    Made these tonight and they were super yummy! Thank you!

  40. Cassandra says:

    These are my new go-to biscuits!! Undercooked just a bit they Saar perfect for breakfast sandwiches, a little overdone and they’re sturdy enough for biscuits and gravy… Cook them just perfect and they’re dessert with honey and butter.

    Thank you!!

  41. Alison says:

    Thank you- I lost my standby recipe and this looks similar. I triple the recipe, mixing all dry ingredients in a food processor then adding in cold butter to texture of peas. Then I freeze this in three freezer bags, dividing in thirds by weight. When I want biscuits – simply grab a bag, dump in bowl, break up clumps with my hands and stir in buttermilk or yogurt. Bake as you instruct. It is a great treat to have fresh biscuits easily on hand!

  42. Elisha says:

    Just made these easy biscuits! I used half whole wheat. They turned out fantastic! How about my husband said they were the best homemade biscuits he’s ever had, I think it’s because I covered them with butter and honey 🙂 I’m going to cover the rest with strawberrys and whipped cream!!

  43. Mel says:

    DS – I give credit for all the recipes I use unless they are originals of mine. You’ll note under the recipe that I got this from America’s Test Kitchen (the parent company of Cook’s Illustrated).

  44. DS says:

    This recipe was *borrowed* from the November 2007 issue of Cook’s Illustrated.

  45. Mel says:

    Brittany – sorry, I just realized you said you already read through the comments!

  46. Mel says:

    Brittany – I’ve never frozen these so I can’t tell you exactly (did you read through the comments…someone may have tried it) but my recommendation would be to freeze them before baking. Good luck if you try it!

  47. Brittany says:

    Hi Mel! I tried to read through the other comments to see if you already answered this question, but didn’t see it anywhere…

    Are these freezable? If so, would you reccommend freezing them before or after baking?

    Thanks so much!!

  48. Carrie says:

    These biscuits are amaaaaazing! I have no need to try and make fussier biscuits after these easy and delicious ones! I am convinced that they are a piece of what heaven must be like when they are fresh from the oven! I don’t use buttermilk because I never have it on hand, but I don’t think it makes a difference because my boyfriend and myself enjoy them all the same. Thanks for this recipe!

  49. Tracey says:

    Made these for dinner tonight, with chili, and they are AWESOME! …we won’t say how many of these I ate for dinner (4), but between these biscuits and the S’more cookie bars I’ve eaten today…I think I’ve consumed an entire stick of butter. Oh boy.

  50. Alycia says:

    Made these tonight! They were super yummy and probably the easiest biscuits I’ve ever made. I love that I didn’t have to cut in the butter! Thanks for sharing.

  51. Katie says:

    This recipe calls for meaningfully more butter than any biscuit recipe I’ve ever seen (probably why they’re so good!). I reduced it to 4T butter and left everything else the same and they were still probably the best scratch biscuits I’ve ever had. I think buttermilk is such a treasure of an ingredient (which I improvised with skim milk and vinegar).

  52. Elita says:

    These are AWESOME! I did decrease the butter by half and increase the milk a splash with no noticeable difference. Followed another reviewer & froze the leftover that didn’t fit on the pan & cooked them up the next day. They seemed even more moist! Will definitely make more to have on hand in the freezer. Must make chicken soup to have with it now…

  53. These are truly wonderful biscuits. They are easily adapted to gluten-free/vegan. Just use a a true all-purpose GF flour (Pamela’s or Better Batter would work great here), or make your own and be sure to add some xanthan gum, probably 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. for a full recipe. (I cut the recipe down to 1/4 since it’s just me eating these, and I only used about 1/8 tsp. of xanthan which was perfect for me.). I made my ‘buttermilk’ by adding adding some cider vinegar to plain, unsweetened almond milk and let it chill out in the fridge for a little while. I replaced butter with soy-free Earth Balance. Everything came to together beautifully, and the result was fluffy, tender biscuits with great taste and not even the slightest hint that they were g-free.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m definitely using this one from now on.

  54. AnnetteBrunette says:

    Mel, I made these today and substituted in one cup of whole wheat flour and they turned out soooo good! Plus they took about 5 minutes to throw together, yay! Thanks again.

  55. Jeremy B. says:

    Loved these oozingly fantastic buttery biscuits!!! Used 1/2 C. whole wheat flour and home-made buttermilk (1 C. milk, 3 tsps vinegar) and cooked them on waxed paper on a cookie sheet – crust was equally delicious — especially hot out of the oven!!! A buttery explosion of — as Mel calls them — THE BEST — drop biscuits!!! TFS Mel! Delicious!!!

  56. Melanie R. says:

    Oh, wow … delicious. So perfectly fluffy and perfect for savory or sweet scone-like breakfast biscuits. Will definitely be using this basic recipe to experiment some more! Used a bit of shredded sharp cheddar and buttermilk substitution (white vinegar in milk). Amazed and so pleased at how easy and yummy these are! I’m going to be the biscuit rock star in my house.

  57. Shannon says:

    Just made these with homemade sausage gravy for our Sunday breakfast. Wow. I can’t believe how easy they are to put together…and how fluffy and buttery they were! No more buying packaged biscuits again! The only thing I did differently was by making a substitute buttermilk with 1c milk with 1 tbs white vinegar…thank you for this recipe- it’s a keeper.

  58. Diana says:

    These are fabulous! I surprised the husband with these, but next time I make them I will reduce the oven temperature. I ended up surprising the husband initially with the smoke alarm. LOL

  59. Jen says:

    It was too late to get bread made for dinner so I opted for these biscuits instead. Oh my goodness! These were so delicious!!!!! They were the perfect compliment to chicken noodle soup on a cold, wet and dreary night. Another winner Mel 🙂

  60. Eva says:

    Finally got around to making these today……they are amazing! So easy, tender and very tasty! Thanks for sharing!

  61. Brittany says:

    Mel you are a life saver! I cook just about the same things every week and I want something diffrent and not out of a box! Are these also called Cathead biscuits if so my grandmother used to make these when I was growing up! I would love to make these with some white gravy!!! Yummo

  62. Ruchita says:

    These are the best biscuits ever! Period. The end. These are so easy and taste delicious. I have no desire to try any other biscuit recipe. 🙂

    If I don’t have buttermilk, I add a tablespoon of vinegar to to a cup of milk and they turn out great. As much as I would love to eat a full batch for dinner, I usually freeze some for later. I’ll drop the dough onto a small cookie sheet and put them in freezer for several minutes. After that I wrap them in plastic wrap.

    I’ll cook the frozen ones at 475 and I think it usually takes around 20-25 minutes for them to cook.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  63. Allyson says:

    I’ve made these as written and they’re delicious … but last night I made them again with 100% whole wheat flour and they were fantastic! Delicious and a bit less guilt! The whole family loved them.

  64. Shandra says:


    I have loved this America’s Test Kitchen recipe for awhile now–it IS the BEST drip biscuit recipe around 😉 I use 1/2 wheat flour and 1/2 white flour and the texture and taste I actually like better than the all white flour. The wheat flour gives them a little more flavor, kind of a nutty taste. I also use the ‘homemade’ buttermilk trick with powdered milk (because I am so cheap and rarely have buttermilk in my fridge). Just use 1 c. water, 2 T. lemon juice and 3 T. dry powdered milk=1 c. buttermilk. It works perfectly and they are SO amazing! I will be blogging about a Biscuit & Gravy recipe with homemade turkey gravy with mushrooms, peas, carrots, etc. over these bicuits. We had it for dinner tonight and it was CRAZY good!!! Thanks for another great recipe–love them all!!

  65. Meaghan says:

    Just made these, I love the flavor…which I can thank the butter for 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!!

  66. Our Family's adventures! » Blog Archive » Meal plan says:

    […]  Best drop biscuits, sausage gravy, green beans by Martyomenko posted under Bargain Dinners, Recipes | No […]

  67. Marian says:

    These were awesome! Reminded me of the biscuits at a local chicken place in Marble Falls, Texas-so good with honey! We live in Australia-so a little “home” cooking always tastes great!

  68. Linda Johnson says:

    I made the biscuits using powdered buttermilk. They turned out light and fluffy. My husband said, “they are good enough to eat by themselves.” I could taste baking soda in the biscuits so if I make them again I will only use 1/4 teaspoon of soda. Thanks for the recipe. Maybe I will try the red velvet cake this week.

  69. […] – chicken noodle soup and the best drop biscuits ( I know it’s really hot. But half of us are sick, and the other half is on the way I […]

  70. grace says:

    this is EXACTLY the recipe my bakery uses for its brunch biscuits, and you’re right–having made them every sunday for the past few months, i can state with certainty that they couldn’t be simpler to make! bonus–they’re dead tasty too. 🙂

  71. Kylie says:

    I love love love real biscuits, but without the fuss and folding -these were buttery and delicious

  72. I will be trying this one for sure! I don’t like messing with the rolling and cutting too much either.

  73. Cammi says:

    Perfect timing – I made these last night and they were SO good. Much better than any drop biscuits I’ve made before and easy too! I couldn’t believe how light and moist they were. Thanks!

  74. Ivy says:

    Just made them! Added 1/2 c raisins and 3 more tsp sugar…with blueberry jam and a dab of whipped cream…oh dear… 🙂

  75. All day I’ve been thinking that I needed some sort of bread to go with our dinner, but I didn’t want to invest the time in rolls. Thanks for this, I’m excited to try it!

  76. Stacie D. says:

    I am not really a biscuit lover (although I do like your cheddar and herb variety), but if you say these are good, I believe you. I’ll try them soon!

  77. Michelle T. says:

    Hey Mel-
    We love cheddar biscuits at my house. How do you think these would work if I added a little cheddar cheese?

  78. Beth says:

    These look delicious, and easy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  79. Nikki says:

    I just made the cream biscuits from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook yesterday and they are really good too.

  80. Melanie C says:

    you SERIOUSLY must be reading my mind!! I’ve never made biscuits in my life, but I am getting ready to make some fresh strawberry preserves (lazy person preserves, as I call them), and I think these are going to be the perfect ‘vehicle’ for the delicious preserves!!!! can’t wait to try them!

  81. You are definitely allowed to call something ‘the best’ because everything I make from your website is ‘the best!’ I trust ya 🙂

    I’m excited to see a biscuit recipe with that much rise that doesn’t call for shortening 🙂

  82. Julie says:

    These look amazing and we love biscuits at our house. We have them often and I can’t wait to try this version!

  83. Dixie says:

    Okay….don’t knock this before you’ve tried it……We prepare fresh strawberries (sliced and slightly sweetened) and pour them over a warm (maybe buttered) biscuit for an instant shortcake and it’s delish!! These will probably work great for this.

    • Daria Wilber says:

      All my life I’ve eaten strawberries and drop biscuits, this is our family’s, (and extended family’s), idea of strawberry shortcake!

  84. Katherine D. says:

    I always have buttermilk in the fridge so guess what I’m making this weekend? I’m excited that they aren’t the complicated rolling and folding that I usually think of when I think of biscuits.

  85. Elisabeth says:

    Have you tried these with wheat flour? If so, how did they do? They look delicious!

  86. Jenn says:


    easy, buttery delicious biscuits!

    I bet they’d go awesome with ham and homemade mac and cheese.

  87. jackie says:

    Can’t wait to try these – I get tired of always buying canned biscuits or frozen rolls. I’m hoping these turn out better than past biscuits I’ve made LOL

  88. Larissa says:

    I am soo trying these this Sunday!! Thanks for all the amazing recipes!!! Have you thought about putting together a cook we can have all these amazing recipes in one place!! =)

  89. StephenC says:

    I’ve been thinking about biscuits like this for a couple of months now. I think it may be time.

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