3 Ingredient buttermilk drop biscuits are the perfect addition to any weeknight dinner. Made with self-rising flour, buttermilk, and butter - you only need one bowl and bake for 15 minutes to have tender homemade biscuits. Scooped out and baked in a cast iron skillet, these biscuits are a quick and easy version of a Southern staple recipe.
In true Southern cooking, biscuits are a big deal! There are so many ways to make them, along with many different varieties, but it doesn’t have to be hard. This recipe uses just three ingredients to make the perfect flaky southern-style biscuit that you can use for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack with a pimento cheese spread.
What sets these biscuits apart from the rest is not only the effortless prep but also the flavor and appearance. You know I am not going to make any sort of biscuit without a cast iron skillet! Like in all Southern kitchen cabinets, open mine up and you can find multiple sizes of skillets that have been passed down throughout generations in my family. Now those skillets have made thousands of biscuits!
I like to use bacon grease for greasing the skillet before baking - it brings a unique and flavorful element, giving it an extra dimension. Simply cut the butter into the flour, add the buttermilk, and bake until finished. Brush on some melted butter for extra flavor, and you’ve got a Southern classic in just 30 minutes!
Start your day with a warm biscuit paired with scrambled eggs or smothered in creamy sausage gravy for a hearty breakfast. Use it as a base for sandwiches or a sidekick to hearty soups. They also make the perfect companion to stews or roasted meats. And don't overlook them for dessert! Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits are the perfect sweet finish with a glass of wine at the end of the day. No matter how you enjoy them, these biscuits will earn a top spot on your recipe rotation!
And if you're craving even more biscuit inspiration, don't forget to check out these Cast Iron Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits, Jalapeno Cheddar Drop Biscuits, and Pimento Cheese Buttermilk Drop Biscuits, alongside tips for achieving that quintessential Southern-style Biscuit goodness.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- With just three essential ingredients, these biscuits give you a taste of homemade comfort with little effort.
- In just 30 minutes, from mixing bowl to table, you can savor the goodness of freshly baked biscuits, making this recipe perfect for busy weeknights or any occasion.
- The use of bacon grease and the cast iron skillet technique infuses each biscuit with a smoky essence, ensuring that every bite is packed with flavor.
- Drop biscuits can suit any meal—whether it's a hearty breakfast, a satisfying lunch, a comforting dinner side, or a surprising dessert twist, you can enjoy biscuits anytime.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Butter - Cold, cubed butter is the key to achieving the biscuit's signature flakiness and rich flavor when cut into the self-rising flour. Melted butter is also brushed on top after baking for even more flavor. I like to use a pastry cutter* to help cut the butter into small pea-sized pieces so that the biscuits are super flaky!
- Self-Rising Flour - self-rising flour has baking powder and salt already in it, which are essential for leavening and seasoning the biscuits AKA it helps the biscuits rise and taste good without having to add leavening and salt, keeping the ingredients minimal. I also use King Arthur flour for any baking in our home, but if you can't find King Arthur Self Rising flour, then I like to use White Lilly - use whatever brand you prefer.
- Buttermilk - Adds moisture, tanginess, and tenderness to the biscuits by reacting with the baking powder in the self-rising flour, resulting in a light and fluffy texture while enhancing the overall flavor profile. An essential in biscuit making!
- Bacon Grease - I use this to grease the cast iron skillet so the biscuits won't stick while baking. You can also use lard or Crisco to grease as well - the bacon grease just gives it another depth of flavor and I always have a huge Mason jar of it in my fridge like any good Southern cook .... IYKYK 😉
How To Make 3 Ingredient Biscuits
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a cast iron skillet inside to heat up the oven.
Cut butter into the flour: Remove a cold stick of butter straight out of the fridge and cut into small cubes. In a large bowl, add the cubed butter and self-rising flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until small pea-like butter crumbles are throughout the flour. It will resemble a crumbly texture with small pea-like butter clumps.
Form the biscuit batter: Pour in the buttermilk, and gently stir the dough all together, mixing well and until no dry flour remains. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
Grease the skillet: Remove the skillet from the oven, scoop about a tablespoon of bacon grease into the skillet, and move around all the bottom and sides, making sure it's evenly distributed.
Scoop and bake: Use a large cookie dough scoop and portion out the biscuit dough into the hot and greased skillet. The dough can touch. Bake for 15 minutes.
Melt the butter: While the biscuits are baking, add butter to a small pot on medium-low heat on the stove. Melt slowly while baking and then turn off once completely melted.
Top with butter and serve: Remove the buttermilk drop biscuits from the oven once the time is up. Use a pastry brush to brush the butter onto the hot biscuits immediately. Serve while hot, and enjoy!
- Using cold and cubed butter is crucial for achieving the desired flakiness. The butter chunks should remain firm while being cut into the flour, as this ensures the creation of buttery layers.
- If you can’t find buttermilk at the store, consider making your own buttermilk from scratch in just 5 minutes.
- When adding buttermilk to the flour mixture, be cautious not to overmix. Stir just until the dough comes together; this prevents overworking the dough, which could lead to tough biscuits.
- Preheating the cast iron skillet in the oven is crucial. Placing the skillet in the oven as it heats ensures the biscuits will start baking the moment they touch the hot surface, contributing to a beautifully golden exterior.
- When adding bacon grease to the hot skillet, ensure you spread it across the bottom and sides evenly. This prevents sticking and imparts a delectable smoky flavor to the biscuits. Be careful as it will be very hot!
- For uniform 3-ingredient biscuits, use a large cookie dough scoop to portion the dough onto the skillet. The dough can touch while baking, contributing to its cozy, pull-apart appeal.
- Stick to the recommended baking time of 15 minutes for best results. Overbaking can lead to dry biscuits, while underbaking may result in an undercooked center.
- Brush the melted butter onto the hot biscuits immediately after they're taken out of the oven. The residual heat will help the biscuits absorb the butter, ensuring a glossy finish.
- Drop biscuits with self-rising flour at their best when enjoyed right out of the oven. Serve them hot, and enjoy the crispy exterior and the tender, flaky interior.
- Add grated cheddar, pepper jack, or your favorite cheese to the biscuit dough for a savory twist. The melting cheese creates pockets of gooey goodness throughout the biscuits.
- Incorporate chopped fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or chives into the dough for a fragrant and flavorful upgrade.
- Introduce a bit of heat by mixing in finely diced jalapenos or red pepper flakes. This adds a zesty kick that complements dishes like chili or barbecue.
- Brush the biscuits with garlic-infused melted butter before baking for a garlicky aroma and flavor that pairs perfectly with Italian-inspired meals.
- Crumble cooked bacon, sausage, or even diced ham into the dough for pockets of savory and smoky flavor.
- Incorporate fresh or frozen berries like blueberries or raspberries into the dough for a burst of fruity sweetness in every bite. A sprinkle of powdered sugar after baking adds a finishing touch.
- Add chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts to the dough for an appealing crunch and nutty flavor.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: To keep your 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits at their best, store them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Consider placing a paper towel inside the container to absorb excess moisture.
Freezing: Allow the biscuits to cool completely, then individually wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped biscuits in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When you're ready to enjoy, thaw the biscuits at room temperature or reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
I always use salted butter in every baking recipe on this site - no matter what the recipe calls for. That is just what I always keep stocked in the fridge and use. You can use both kinds, but they will result in a slightly different taste - but not a huge difference! If using unsalted butter, you may want to add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the flour.
While it's possible to substitute regular flour for self-rising flour, you would need to adjust the recipe by adding baking powder and salt to the regular flour. For every cup of regular flour, add 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt to mimic the self-rising flour's leavening and seasoning properties.
While the cast iron skillet adds a rustic touch and helps with a golden crust, you can still make these biscuits on a regular baking sheet or baking dish. Just make sure it is greased and preheated before placing the biscuit dough on it.
Ways To Enjoy
- Spread on a layer of Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Dip.
- Enjoy with a hearty bowl of Instant Pot Taco Soup.
- Add a dollop of Lemon Fruit Dip on top for a sweet treat.
- Slather some Gingerbread Butter in the middle for a cozy snack.
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