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Pumpkin Buttermilk Biscuits

Check out the Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuit Post for video tutorials!
Servings 9 large biscuits


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tablespoons salted or unsalted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening I use non-hydrogenated
  • zest from 1/2 an orange optional
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • extra buttermilk for brushing tops
  • raw sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  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. If you think your butter has gotten too soft, just put the mixture into the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes before going on to the next step.
  5. Add the orange zest to the flour mixture, tossing lightly to insure the zest has separated and is mixed throughout.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, buttermilk and maple syrup.
  7. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the buttermilk mixture.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Flour your hands and bring dough together, then lightly fold it in half in a gentle kneading motion.
  11. Do this about 10-11 times until your dough comes together and is beginning to feel smooth.
  12. Pat dough into a rectangle or square just under an inch thick.
  13. 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.
  14. Turn biscuits upside down and place onto an ungreased baking sheet, close together but not touching.
  15. Brush tops with a little bit of buttermilk, sprinkle with raw sugar and bake until they have risen nice and tall and are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

*Baked 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 don't have pumpkin spice, substitute cinnamon or you can use this mixture: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or ground all spice, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I use freshly grated)

*You can completely eliminate the orange zest or reduce the amount to just a pinch for a lighter hint of orange flavor.

*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 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)

Adapted from Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits

The Merchant Baker © 2015