Southern Biscuit Recipe (3 Ingredients Only)

Made with just 3 ingredients, this classic Southern biscuit recipe is a staple in Southern homes. Soft and scrumptious, they’re delicious to eat from breakfast to dinner.

Southern biscuit recipe

You’d be hard-pressed to visit the South and not see homemade Southern biscuits at many meals. We have them for breakfast, as the base of a sandwich at lunch, and often as the main bread at dinner. Many restaurants you visit are likely to plop down a plate of warm biscuits before even taking your order! My grandmother grew up during very difficult times, and often a biscuit and some gravy were all that kept them from starving.

Recognizing the beloved heritage of delicious flaky biscuits among Southern families, White Lily created a wonderful campaign to encourage folks to get back to basics and share the easily acquired skill of biscuit making with others. I’m honored to have been chosen as a White Lily Ambassador to help do just that.

Today I’ll be sharing White Lily’s classic, 3-ingredient Southern biscuit recipe with you and I’d like to hear your biscuit memories, too! SaveTheBiscuitTshirt_4-3_B-postWho taught you how to make biscuits? Who made the biscuits in your family? Maybe you’ve never had a biscuit or to you, a “biscuit” is what we think of like a cookie – that’s just fine, too.

                                             Let’s hop to it!

3 ingredients needed to make my Southern biscuit recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

  • White Lily flour (self-rising)
  • Shortening
  • Milk or buttermilk

How to Make This Classic Southern Biscuit Recipe

Cut shortening into flour in mixing bowl.

Place the flour into a medium bowl and add the shortening. Cut in with a fork or pastry cutter.

Flour and shortening combined in mixing bowl.

It will look like this when you are done.

Not incredibly different but you won’t be able to really see the shortening anymore once it is incorporated into the flour.

Most recipes will tell you to cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles peas. I’ve never, in my life, seen peas that look like this, or a flour/shortening mixture that looked like peas. It must have been a high imagination day when that analogy was thought up. 

Add milk to Southern biscuit dough.

Add in your milk.

Add milk to dough and combine.

Stir that milk in until your dough starts to stick together good.

Sprinkle flour onto a surface. I like to lay out a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it on top of that for easy clean-up later.

Dump dough on floured surface.

Dump your biscuit dough out onto the floured surface.

Southern biscuit dough on floured surface.

Now you need to knead it.

However, you don’t want to over-knead it or you’ll end up with my Daddy’s hockey pucks.

I tell my kids “In biscuits, as in relationships, it’s never good to be too kneady.” LOL

Southern biscuit dough.

Then, I cut your Southern biscuits.

Cutting dough with a biscuit cutter.

Cut your biscuits with a biscuit cutter or small glass that has been dipped into flour to keep the cut biscuits from sticking to it.

Place biscuits in a baking dish.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and place your cut biscuits in it, making sure the sides touch. This helps them to rise because they support each other as they bake and rise up.

I tell my kids “You want them touching because biscuits are like good friends, they help each other rise up.”

Classic Southern biscuit recipe, freshly baked.

 Bake these at 500 for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and brush tops of these classic southern biscuits with melted butter, if you’d like. Enjoy all the delicious flaky layers.


  • Store leftover Southern-style biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat in a low oven or in the air fryer.
  • You can also freeze the baked biscuits or unbaked biscuit dough for up to 3 months. Thaw both the frozen biscuits and dough overnight in the fridge before reheating as above or following the baking instructions.

Recipe Notes

  • Here are some fun variations to make with this Southern biscuit recipe:
    • For a savory alternative, add shredded cheddar cheese, chopped chives, or chopped bacon to your dough.
    • For sweet, sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar into your dough.
    • To make a scone-like biscuit, add dried fruit.
  • These fluffy biscuits pair best with your favorite Southern comfort food or toppings. This might be fried chicken, sausage gravy, pimento cheese dip, or bacon, egg, and cheese for the ultimate breakfast sandwich.

Recipe FAQs

Why does the recipe have such a large range for how much milk to use?

Sometimes, your flour will need a little more, sometimes a little less. I could have used a little more in this tutorial but it’ll turn out just fine. Biscuits are really hard to mess up, so if yours end up a little dry, no worries, they’ll still be delicious! They’ll actually absorb honey and butter a little better. My daddy used to make hockey puck biscuits on Sunday morning but they still tasted good and we gobbled ’em all down! What’s even better, if there were any left we could use them as weapons on each other out in the backyard. Always a plus side!

How do I avoid over-kneading my Southern biscuit dough?

To avoid over-kneading, I press my dough into a ball and then press it out flat. I do this no more than two or three times. The dough should still stretch.  If it rips or tears then it’s probably over kneaded.  So once the dough is soft and springs back a little, it’s done.

You may also enjoy these other Southern biscuit recipes:

Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Pimento Cheese Biscuits

Easy Chicken and Dumplings (With Canned Biscuit)

Biscuit Pretzels

Drop Biscuits Recipe

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Southern Homemade Biscuits

Using 3 ingredients, this classic Southern biscuit recipe is a staple in Southern homes. They're delicious to eat from breakfast to dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: biscuit
Servings: 4
Calories: 545kcal


  • 2 cups White Lily self-rising flour see notes if using all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2/3-3/4 cup milk


  • Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place flour into a medium bowl and cut in the shortening until well incorporated. Stir in just enough milk until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
    2 cups White Lily self-rising flour, 1/4 cup shortening, 2/3-3/4 cup milk
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead two or three times. Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter or small glass that has been dipped in flour. Place the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.


If using all-purpose flour, combine two cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and one teaspoon of salt before cutting in shortening. Follow the rest of the directions as written.


Calories: 545kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


Who taught you how to make biscuits? Who made the biscuits in your family? Maybe you’ve never had a biscuit or to you, a “biscuit” is what we think of like a cookie – that’s just fine, too.

Share a memory with us in the comments on this post.

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  1. I love biscuits but alas my boys prefer storebought to mine. I keep trying though!

  2. I have memories of my grandmother making biscuit in a wooden dough bowl that my great grandfather made by hand.

  3. I love biscuits, but not good at making them. They are always so dry. Would love to win something. Hope all of you have a great day and are enjoying this very cold winter. Spring is coming…God bless all of you. Nancy

  4. I’ve tried and tried to make good homemade biscuits like my great grandmother used to make. Thanks for this simple recipe – maybe I was just trying too hard and made it difficult!

  5. My favorite memory is just eating them on special mornings like Christmas, Easter, etc. when we would pour globs of chocolate gravy all over them.

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