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Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

Servings 9 large biscuits


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt see note
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening I use non-hydrogenated
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • extra buttermilk for brushing tops
  • extra shredded sharp cheddar cheese for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using a pastry blender or your finger tips, quickly cut shortening into flour mixture until combined.
  4. After you've cut in the shortening, cut cold butter into the flour mixture until you have various sizes no larger than peas.This should also take less than a minute. You want your butter to stay cold so work quickly. Add the shredded cheese and toss with the flour mixture until evenly distributed.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the buttermilk.
  6. Working from the outside in, bring the flour into the center with a large spoon, scooping and turning bowl until the buttermilk is incorporated into the flour. Use a light hand here. We're not vigorously stirring, but simply gently tossing the flour together with the buttermilk until it's combined.
  7. Turn the wet sticky dough out onto a well floured surface. Keep a small pile of extra flour on hand to add to your surface or your hands as needed. You'll see in the video that I'm pretty liberal about using the flour in this step.
  8. Flour your hands and bring dough together, then lightly fold it in half in a gentle kneading motion.
  9. Do this about 10-11 times until your dough comes together and is beginning to feel smooth.
  10. Pat dough into a rectangle or square just under an inch thick.
  11. Using a floured knife or something long enough to make one cut across the dough, cut the dough into desired sizes. I usually make big biscuits and cut mine into 9 pieces.
  12. Turn biscuits upside down and place onto an ungreased baking sheet, close together but not touching.
  13. Brush tops with a little bit of buttermilk and add a sprinkling of cheese. Bake until they have risen nice and tall and are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

*Because of the extra salt you get from the cheese, I used unsalted butter here and kosher salt. If you don't have kosher salt, you could use table salt and only use 1/2 teaspoon. If you don't mind the extra saltiness, you can keep the recipe as is.

*Biscuits can be stored overnight at room temperature, wrapped lightly in foil. Even though they are best the first day, they reheat nicely in a toaster oven.

*If you like your biscuits crusty on all sides, place them far enough apart on the baking sheet so that they don't touch another biscuit when they bake. They may also bake in less time, so keep an eye on them.

*If you cut smaller biscuits, you may need to reduce baking time, especially if you don't place them close together. Always go by how they look visually. I would check at 10 minutes.

*If you prefer cutting your biscuits into shapes, roll or pat the dough and cut with a floured cutter. Push straight down with the cutter and do not twist to release it as you may seal the edges of the dough, making it more difficult for them to rise. Re-roll the scraps and cut again. (This is not my preferred method)

Recipe slightly adapted from Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits

The Merchant Baker © 2015