20 Light and Flaky Homemade Biscuit Recipes

Nothing says Southern hospitality like a plate of hot buttered biscuits

sausage cheddar biscuits
Leah Maroney

The South is famous for many iconic foods and biscuits are surely near the top of the list. Southern cooks have been baking light, flaky biscuits for generations and serve them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can be buttered hot and served plain, or topped with sausage gravy, ham, or chicken. They're even used to make old-fashioned biscuit pudding dessert, breakfast casseroles, and stuffing or dressing.

The good news is, you don't have to be a Southerner to make delicious biscuits, but there are a few technique tips to know. Soft wheat flour produces a higher and lighter biscuit than harder wheat flour, and many cooks swear by buttermilk, self-rising flour, shortening, and other "secrets."

The real key, however, is in the handling of the dough. Once the dough is moist, work it just a few times, or only until it holds together. Pat the dough out or roll it lightly and cut it into rounds or squares. The biscuits you cut after you re-roll the scraps will be a bit denser, so keep them in a designated portion of the baking pan.

  • 01 of 20

    Quick Beer Biscuits

    Quick Beer Biscuits
    Photo: Diana Rattray

    These easy beer biscuits take no longer than 25 minutes from start to finish. The savory rounds are excellent with soups and stews or dipped into a hearty chili.

  • 02 of 20

    Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits

    cornmeal biscuits with pepper jelly
    Diana Rattray

    The combination of two different flours gives these cornmeal biscuits extra flavor and texture. Unsalted butter and buttermilk are among the ingredients and putting together the dough doesn't require a workout—the food processor handles most of the mixing.

  • 03 of 20

    Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

    apple cinnamon biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    Bake a batch of the sweet apple and cinnamon biscuits for an everyday breakfast treat or serve them as a sweet snack. Drizzle the vanilla glaze over the warm biscuits—already brimming with fall flavor—and enjoy!

  • 04 of 20

    Pepper Jack Cheese Biscuits

    Pepper Jack Cheese Biscuits

    Diana Rattray

    Pepper jack cheese biscuits are the perfect bread to serve with a big steaming bowl of taco or tortilla soups. Cayenne pepper adds a kick along with the cheese, but feel free to omit the pepper for less heat. Make a double batch and freeze some for another day.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Duck Fat Biscuits

    Duck Fat Biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    Duck fat has many uses since it has a fairly high smoke point. It's great for roasted and deep-fried vegetables, and it's even making a name for itself as a fat for baked goods. These duck fat biscuits are a prime example.

  • 06 of 20

    Sour Cream Biscuits

    sour cream biscuits with fig preserves
    Diana Rattray

    You can easily go sweet or savory with sour cream biscuits, which pair wonderfully with syrup and jam, or topped with slivers of country ham or sausage gravy.

  • 07 of 20

    Buttermilk Biscuits

    Leah Maroney

    Say hello to the classic Southern biscuit. These straightforward buttermilk biscuits contain a combination of butter, flour, and buttermilk to form a fluffy, light round.

  • 08 of 20

    Sausage Cheddar Biscuits

    sausage biscuits
    Leah Maroney

    Cooked sausage, cheddar cheese, and herbs add to the savory goodness of these sausage cheddar biscuits. The biscuits are a little out-of-the-ordinary—in a good way!—because they are baked in a casserole dish.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Make-Ahead Buttermilk Biscuits

    Make Ahead Biscuits

    Diana Rattray

    Prepare and freeze these easy make-ahead biscuits and bake one or a dozen whenever you like. The savory pucks are made with butter and buttermilk, but add a tablespoon or two of sugar if you like them slightly sweet.

  • 10 of 20

    Guinness and Cheddar Biscuits

    Guinness and cheddar biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    The deep malty edge of Guinness stout shines in these cheddar and stout biscuits. Serve the biscuits with a hearty beef or lamb stew. Feel free to substitute a lighter beer or ale in the recipe.

  • 11 of 20

    Caramelized Onion Biscuits

    Caramelized Onion Biscuits

    Diana Rattray

    We recommend serving these onion biscuits with a cream cheese spread, a fruit chutney or pepper jelly. On the savory side, they also make fabulous chicken or ham sandwiches. Cut them extra-small for bite-sized appetizer biscuits.

  • 12 of 20

    Angel Biscuits

    angel biscuits with ham
    Diana Rattray

    Some dry yeast makes this recipe extra light and airy, hence the name, "angel biscuits." Serve them with your favorite breakfast spread or make sandwiches with them. Slices of ham, bits of fried chicken, or pulled pork are all excellent filling options.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits

    cream cheese and chive biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    Two complementary flavors—cream cheese and chives—team up to form these savory biscuits. The biscuits are perfect for a special brunch or lunch. Split them and fill them with egg salad for a tasty bite.

  • 14 of 20

    Cranberry Walnut Biscuits

    cranberry walnut biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    Bake these scrumptious cranberry walnut biscuits to serve along with a holiday brunch, or use them to make leftover turkey or ham sandwiches. Fresh cranberries and walnuts (or pecans) add color, flavor, and texture.

  • 15 of 20

    Whole Wheat Biscuits With Green Onion

    whole wheat and scallion biscuit
    Diana Rattray

    These biscuits call for some whole wheat flour, making them more fiber-rich than the usual kind. Chopped green onions and fresh parsley add flavor and texture to the biscuits.

  • 16 of 20

    Savory Pumpkin Biscuits

    pumpkin biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    Here's yet another tasty way to use pumpkin pureé—in homemade biscuits! A small amount of brown sugar and a dash of cayenne help deepen the pumpkin flavor and add a zippy kick.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Brown Butter and Sage Biscuits

    brown butter and sage biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    Brown butter gives these sage and thyme biscuits an extra nutty flavor. The combination of herbs makes them an excellent choice for Thanksgiving dinner or the leftovers.

  • 18 of 20

    Easy Cream Biscuits

    Easy Cream Biscuits

    Diana Rattray

    The heavy cream provides the fat in these rich cream biscuits. All you need is five simple ingredients and a bit of melted butter for the golden-brown tops.

  • 19 of 20

    Honey Butter Biscuits

    honey butter biscuits
    Leah Maroney

    Butter and honey biscuits are what your breakfast sandwiches have been missing—just stuff them with some creamy gravy and sausage or bacon. 

  • 20 of 20

    Sweet Potato Biscuits

    sweet potato biscuits
    Diana Rattray

    Mashed sweet potatoes give these biscuits subtle sweetness, along with the brown sugar. A bit of cinnamon and allspice make them a delicious breakfast biscuit, but feel free to cut back on the sugar and spices for a more savory version.