Drop Biscuits

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These are the easiest Drop Biscuits you’ll ever make! Thanks to a “secret” in the preparation, you won’t need any special baking tools or fancy equipment — just a bowl and a wooden spoon! These homemade biscuits are hot, buttery, flaky, and practically melt in your mouth right out of the oven!

These biscuits are begging for some delicious honey butter to get slathered all over them! Or use this recipe as a base for biscuits and gravy — breakfast doesn’t get much better than that!

Image of a plate full of drop biscuits

What Are Drop Biscuits?

A rolled or American-style biscuit recipe typically involves a biscuit that rises about twice the original hight with a crusty exterior and a flat top with straight sides. These types of biscuits usually involve a bit more work (although, you’ll have to try out how easy this biscuit recipe is to make!)

In contrast a drop biscuit typically has more liquid to create a wetter dough. The dough is so wet, that it is too hard to knead or roll so instead you “drop” it onto a baking sheet and bake!

A funny name, but the perfect description for how you make this ridiculously easy drop biscuits recipe!

Process shots- images of the melted butter and buttermilk being added together and mixed together

How To Make Drop Biscuits

So, you’re probably wondering what is this “secret” preparation method mentioned?! 

Most drop biscuits use cold cubed butter and a food processor or pastry blender to cut the butter into the biscuits. But instead of doing this, we actually melt the butter. This would typically be bad for the texture, but we form new butter clumps by mixing in cold buttermilk. When the cold buttermilk hits the melted butter, it forms small clumps (see the photo above). Those clumps will imbue the wonderful flaky biscuit texture that results from pockets of butter without the extra work. Homemade drop biscuits easy style — thanks to Cooks Illustrated for teaching me this cool trick!

QUICK TIP

Fat (butter) forms small pockets throughout the biscuit dough. As it melts in the oven, the CO2 from the baking powder takes the place of the fat so the biscuits will rise. Without butter clumps in the biscuit dough, the biscuits will end up hard and flat — there is no place for the CO2 to go except out!

Process shots of drop biscuits-- images of the dry ingredients being mixed together and added to the butter mixture

Drop Biscuit Recipe Tips

  • Watch the bake time. Keep an eye on these buttermilk drop biscuits while they’re in the oven so they don’t over bake. 
  • Let baked biscuits stand. Once you pull them from the oven, allow time for the biscuits to stand on the sheet pan for about 5-10 minutes without breaking into them. The residual heat and steam ensure the insides are fully baked through.
  • Use buttermilk straight from the fridge — the colder the better. 
  • Lightly spritz a measuring cup with nonstick spray for an easy biscuit release to the sheet pan. 

Process shots-- images of the dough being measured out and dropped on a sheet pan and baked

VARIATIONS

Drop Biscuit Recipe Variations

  • Bisquick Drop Biscuits: Follow directions on the back of a Bisquick box or try this recipe!
  • Parmesan and Bacon: add some diced cooked bacon (4-6 slices cooked and chopped) and Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup finely shredded) to the base recipe
  • Cheddar: try our Red Lobster Biscuits copycat recipe!
  • GarlicHerb: Add 1 tablespoons of Italian seasoning and garlic powder (or to taste) to the dry ingredients.

Overhead image of the drop biscuit with jam on top

Drop Biscuits FAQs

1What is a drop biscuit?

Drop biscuits are made by dropping biscuit dough (leavened with baking powder) from a spoon or measuring cup onto a pan to then bake.

They are called “drop” because there is no rolling out or cutting of the dough.

2Are drop biscuits the same as scones?

No, they are similar but different. Scones are typically rolled and cut in wedges. They’re a sweet, rich dessert made with a combination of cream and butter. Scones have a slightly heavier crumb, are tender, and have a crusty top. And finally, scones include an egg while drop biscuits generally do not.

Peruse some of our favorite scones recipes: Strawberry SconesChocolate Chip SconesPumpkin Scones, or Cherry Scones.

3What is the difference between rolled and dropped biscuits?

Rolled biscuits have less liquid so they can be kneaded, rolled, and cut out. Drop biscuits are wetter, so the dough needs to be dropped onto a sheet pan.

Drop biscuits don’t rise as much as other biscuits and are always more rustic or coarse in texture and appearance.

4Can I use water instead of milk in drop biscuits?

Unfortunately not. The milk activates and moistens the ingredients to form the proper dough. It’s an ingredient that gives creaminess and flavor to the biscuits.

5Can I make drop biscuits without baking powder?

Replace the flour, baking powder, and salt with self-rising flour! Self-rising flour has both those ingredients included in so you won’t need to add any additional baking powder to the recipe.

6How do I make drop biscuits with pancake mix?

If you’d like to use some leftover pancake mix to make drop biscuits, I’d recommend trying this recipe!

Image of the biscuits on a plate with filling

STORAGE

Homemade Drop Biscuits Storage

Biscuits are always best right out of the oven (the same day they are made), but they do store fine. Package the (completely cooled) biscuits in an airtight bag and place them in the fridge. Warm biscuits individually in the microwave for 5-10 seconds or in a toaster oven. Leftovers are best eaten within a few days.

Freezing: Wrap the completely cooled biscuits individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag or container, and then freeze. They should last for 2-3 months in the freezer. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight

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Drop Biscuits

5 from 2 votes
These are the easiest Drop Biscuits you'll ever make! Thanks to a "secret" in the preparation, you won't need any special baking tools or fancy equipment -- just a bowl and a wooden spoon! These biscuits are hot, buttery, flaky, and practically melt in your mouth right out of the oven!
Print Recipe

Drop Biscuits

5 from 2 votes
These are the easiest Drop Biscuits you'll ever make! Thanks to a "secret" in the preparation, you won't need any special baking tools or fancy equipment -- just a bowl and a wooden spoon! These biscuits are hot, buttery, flaky, and practically melt in your mouth right out of the oven!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword drop biscuit recipe, drop biscuits
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 12 biscuits
Calories 80kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $3.12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups (274g) white, all-purpose flour Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon (14.4g) baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) granulated sugar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (245g) COLD low-fat buttermilk
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Optional, for serving: butter, jam, honey

Instructions

  • PREP: Adjust the rack to the middle position in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat liner. OR generously butter a large cast iron (oven safe) skillet. Melt butter in microwave and set aside to cool for 3-4 minutes.
  • BUTTER & BUTTERMILK: Pour the cold, straight from the fridge buttermilk into the melted butter. Stir with a spoon until small clumps of butter forms. Set aside for now.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and use a spatula to scrape every bit of the butter-buttermilk mixture from the spoon and bowl into the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dough together just until ingredients are incorporated. Don't over mix.
  • DROP BISCUITS: Lightly spritz a 1/4 cup (66g) measuring cup and scoop up the batter into the measuring cup and then drop onto the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with all the batter, leaving 1-1/2 inches of space in between each biscuit. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • BAKE: Bake biscuits for 12-15 minutes or until tops and bottoms are a light golden brown and when tapped on the top it sounds hollow. Pull from the oven and immediately use a pastry brush to brush on melted butter if using. A sprinkle of salt is also nice! Let stand on sheet pan for 5 minutes (steam will finishing cooking the inside) and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Enjoy warm -- these are best the same day they're made! Spread on softened butter and jam or honey -- however you like your biscuits!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Measuring flour: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour, you will pack in way too much flour (denser/drier biscuits). To accurately measure the flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it's overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. You’ll have a perfect flour measurement now

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.8g | Fat: 7.9g | Cholesterol: 21.2mg | Sodium: 39.8mg | Sugar: 2g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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Recipe Method inspired by Cooks Illustrated

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