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Butter Swim Biscuits

Every household needs a great biscuit recipe. Let these heavenly Butter Swim Biscuits be yours! Baked golden in butter, these homemade buttermilk biscuits are soft, flaky and moist with crispy edges.

If you love biscuits, don’t forget to try my Skillet Biscuits recipe. They are an ALL TIME favorite in my house!

Soft and Buttery Homemade Biscuits

These biscuits are literally swimming in butter. Butter underneath, butter on top, made with buttermilk – all this to say, these homemade biscuits taste DELICIOUS. Soft butter swim biscuits are one of our favorite sides. These buttermilk biscuits are tender and moist beneath a buttery, crisp surface, ready in 30 minutes or less! Sweet enough to spread with jam for breakfast, yet also perfect for soaking up the savory flavors of chilis and stews.

What’s Special About Butter Swim Biscuits?

What is a butter swim biscuit, you ask? These classic biscuits are special in that they’re exceptionally moist, soft, and full of flavor. This is because they’re cooked in butter that steams as the dough bakes, trapping pockets of air inside. Thanks to these air pockets, as the dough cools off, you’re left with a biscuit that’s crazy-light and flaky in texture. I like to think of a butter swim biscuit as a croissant’s hearty, pan-baked, low-maintenance cousin.

The ingredients for butter swim biscuits.

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’ll need just six ingredients to make these simple and incredibly tasty butter swim biscuits from scratch. Here’s an overview, with the full details waiting in the recipe card:

  • Butter: I use salted butter for this recipe for the extra flavor. 
  • All Purpose Flour: I use regular all-purpose flour for the most consistent results.
  • Baking Powder: You can’t have light, fluffy biscuits without it!
  • Granulated Sugar: Sugar gives these buttery biscuits just a hint of sweetness.
  • Kosher Salt
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk brings all its glorious sweet-tangy flavor to these butter swim biscuits. You can use store bought buttermilk, or see the tips section later on for an easy substitute.

How to Make the Best Buttermilk Biscuits

This flaky biscuit recipe is SO easy. I can’t wait for you to try it for yourself. Here’s what you need to do:

Top view of cubes of butter in a square casserole dish.

Melt the Butter: First, you’ll warm up the pan and melt the first butter layer. While you prepare the biscuit batter, place the cubed butter into a 9×9 baking pan and pop the pan in the oven while it preheats. Make sure to check on it every so often, to make sure the butter doesn’t overheat.

Make the Batter: Whisk together the dry ingredients, and then add in the buttermilk. Use a wooden spoon to bring the batter together into a stick dough. Be careful to not over mix!

Assemble the Biscuits: Take your pan with the melted butter out of the oven, and transfer the biscuit dough into the pan over top of the butter. Spread the dough out to the sides using a spatula or the wooden spoon from earlier. Lastly, cover the top of the biscuit dough with additional melted butter – this helps the dough bake up all delicious and golden.

Bake: Before you place the biscuits into the oven, use a knife to cut the unbaked dough into 9 even-sized squares. Finally, you’ll send your butter swim biscuits back for a quick dip in the oven (about 20 minutes or so), until the tops are crisp and golden brown.

A butter swim biscuit is lifted from a white baking dish.

Tips for Success

These butter swim biscuits are some of the most fluffy and delicious biscuits I’ve ever tasted. Here are some tips to make sure yours come out just as irresistible:

  • Don’t Burn the Butter: Not all ovens are the same, so keep an eye on your butter while it’s melting in the baking pan. You don’t want boiling butter, just nicely melted.
  • Serve Warm: These biscuits are best served warm from the oven, or at least warmed back up before serving to really taste the buttery goodness.
  • Use a Different Pan: If you prefer a thicker biscuit, you can bake these in an 8×8 pan. Just follow the recipe as directed and increase the baking time to 20 to 23 minutes instead. See the variations section below for more ways to adapt this recipe!
  • No Buttermilk in the Fridge?: No problem. You can make an easy substitute by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it rest for 5 minutes and voila! Buttermilk in a pinch.
A single biscuit on a white plate, with more butter swim biscuits in a bowl in the background.

Variation Ideas 

Sure, these biscuits are living their best life just as they are. But mixing it up a little never hurts. Here are some variation ideas for butter swim biscuits:

  • Thicker Biscuits: As mentioned in the section above, making this recipe in an 8×8 baking dish will yield a thicker biscuit. Don’t forget to increase the baking time!
  • Herbed Butter Biscuits: Stir your choice of fresh herbs into the butter before melting and baking. Good options are thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and fennel seeds.
  • Gluten Free Biscuits: These buttermilk biscuits can easily be made gluten free by swapping the regular all-purpose flour for gluten free flours.
Close up of a biscuit on a plate, filled with jam.

Serving Suggestions

If the thought of these butter swim biscuits has you salivating already, just wait until you see them in action. Here are some simple and scrumptious ways to enjoy your butter biscuits:

  • Serve these at breakfast sliced open and smeared with fruit jam or preserves, or drizzled with maple syrup.
  • Use these biscuits to make extra buttery, mini breakfast sandwiches. Top them with an egg cooked to your liking, along with crispy bacon and melted cheese. Or use these biscuits in place of the Hawaiian rolls in this recipe for Maple Sausage Breakfast Sliders
  • Send your biscuits swimming again, this time in white sausage gravy, for easy homemade biscuits and gravy.
  • These buttery crisp biscuits are wonderful to serve with hearty soups, stews, chili, and saucy dishes as a way to mop up all the flavor. We love to serve them with Old Fashioned Brunswick Stew, Chunky Beef Chili and Slow Cooker Beef Tips.  
  • They’re also just as delicious as a bread side next to Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, and Air Fryer Asparagus or other roasted veggies as a family-friendly meal. 
  • Enjoy these biscuits topped with Apple Cider Caramel Sauce for a sweet and buttery treat. 
A single biscuit on a white plate, with more butter swim biscuits in a bowl in the background.

Storage and Reheating

Leftover butter swim biscuits are easy to keep in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days. Just place them in an airtight container, and reheat them whenever you’re craving something buttery and delicious (in my case, this is all the time, but I digress).

To reheat the biscuits, pop them back into the oven on low for about 10 minutes until they’re warmed through. Otherwise the microwave can speed things up, just reheat the biscuits on high for 30 seconds or so.

Can I Freeze These?

Yes! To freeze these butter swim biscuits, I like to wrap them individually in foil or plastic wrap, and then place them together into a freezer bag. When stored airtight, they’ll keep frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw the butter biscuits in the fridge overnight or on the countertop for a bit before reheating and serving.

More Easy Bread Recipes

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Butter swim biscuits in a serving bowl lined with a cloth.

Butter Swim Biscuits

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 18 reviews
  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9 biscuits 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Baked golden in butter, these heavenly Butter Swim Biscuits are soft and moist with crispy edges. The ultimate buttermilk biscuit recipe!


  • 1/2 cup salted butter, plus 2 tablespoons additional melted butter for pouring on top of the batter
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk


  1. Place 1/2 cup butter in a 9×9 pan. Turn the oven to preheat to 450°F. Place the pan in the oven as it preheats allowing the butter to melt and the pan to heat up. *see note
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add in the buttermilk and using a wooden spoon, stir together to combine. A sticky dough will form.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven when the butter has melted and spread the dough on top of the melted butter in the pan. Use the spoon or a spatula to evenly spread the dough out to the sides of the pan. Cover the top of the batter with additional melted butter, this helps the top bake up golden.
  5. Using a knife cut the raw dough into 9 biscuits before baking. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 18 – 20 minutes until golden brown.


  • Watch the butter in the oven carefully. If you get sidetracked while making the biscuit dough the butter can burn. You only need it to be melted. Alternately, you can melt the butter separately and pour into the pan without preheating the pan. 
  • Best served warm.
  • You can also bake these in an 8×8 pan for a thicker biscuit. Follow the instructions as written but increase the bake time to 20 – 23 minutes.

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40 comments on “Butter Swim Biscuits”

  1. I can’t get past the sugar in this recipe. Haven’t made them yet but want to this weekend as our grandson will be here and he loves biscuits for breakfast. Watched my grandmother make so many homemade biscuits and she never added sugar!

  2. Butter Swim Biscuits—didn’t know what they were until I watched 2023 Spring Baking Championship on Food Network. Looked up this recipe and have made twice now—BEST biscuit I’ve ever had. Will be keeping and making this one a lot in the future.

    1. That’s exactly where I got the idea from! Made them this weekend. Seriously the best biscuit I’ve ever had!

  3. For such an easy recipe, these make a HUGE impact! I have made them several times and they always turn out perfectly. My favorite part is having them the next day, sliced open and toasted in the over.
    Am making them at this moment and realize I have 3 tabs open on my computer with different Cookies & Cups recipes up. Have never tried a bad recipe from this site.

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