Recipe Box

Iron Skillet No-Excuse Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Delicious tender-center crunchy-outside biscuits for harried or lazy bakers! No need for all that tedious mucking about cutting the butter into the flour, either. There’s a hack for that. And you don’t need to run to the store for buttermilk. Yep, I’ve got another hack. And if you need to go low-sodium… I’ll reveal how that magic happens at the end of the recipe.

If you don’t have an iron skillet, I suggest you remedy that right now. This is the one I bought and I love it. I also use it to bake pizza, and I make many stovetop dinners in it too! I highly recommend Lodge cast iron products. Click the pan for Amazon purchasing options.

Are you out of excuses now? Let’s get baking! 


1 cup buttermilk (below the recipe I share a quick way to create fake buttermilk. I do this all the time and it works just fine.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat  oven to 450F. Lightly grease a 12″ cast iron skillet.

Pour the buttermilk into a 2 cup measuring cup, then pour the melted butter into it and stir. Put the measuring cup in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir again. The butter should be scattered all through the buttermilk.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the buttermilk/butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Gently stir to combine, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.

Scoop out lumps of dough with a large spoon, and use a second spoon to help pat them into a roundish lump. Drop into the greased skillet. Make a total of 8 biscuits.

Bake for 20 minutes or until  golden brown. Be careful not to burn the bottoms.

Serve immediately. They should slide right out of the pan.

Leftover Storage

Store any leftover biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for no more than 2 days. Gently reheating in a toaster oven works well.

Fake Buttermilk

In a glass measuring cup, stir together 1 cup of milk (whole, raw or 2%, but NOT skim) and one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. You can use this trick for any recipe that calls for buttermilk. I also use it in my homemade Ranch Dressing.

Low-Sodium Alternatives

I use Hain Featherweight no-sodium baking powder and I omit the teaspoon of salt. Let’s see what that does to the sodium levels in the biscuits:

One teaspoon of salt is 2,325mg. One tablespoon of regular baking powder is 1,464mg.

By omitting the salt entirely and using a no-sodium baking powder, we drop the sodium from 3,968mg total in 8 biscuits to 179mg in 8 biscuits. That’s only 22mg per biscuit!

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving (1 biscuit):
SODIUM: 496mg (or 22mg with low sodium alternatives)

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.


  • Stephanie Harper

    Because of chronic illness, keeping perishables like milk and buttermilk around for when I am well enough to bake is a big problem. I use some tricks I learned while living in Alaska, far from a grocery store during winter months. Dried everything!! Dried mushrooms, dried buttermilk, dried vegetables, etc.
    Dried buttermilk is especially great with baking since you can mix it with your dry ingredients. Then just add the amount of water needed to your other wet ingredients.
    You can get dried buttermilk from King Arthur if you want to pay for fancy, or from Amazon if you are like me ;). You might even be able to find it at your local market.


    • Lori Alden Holuta

      This is a good alternative, and you have my thanks for sharing the tip! I did a bit of math (ironic for someone who hates math!) There’s 40mg of sodium per tablespoon for that buttermilk powder. Three tablespoons make a cup, so that would be 120mg total. Compare that to my 2% milk plus lemon juice hack, which is 108mg. The difference is not bad if someone wants to use this option AND keep the sodium low.

    • Lori Alden Holuta

      I’ve learned that even if you accidentally leave it in the fridge too long and the butter doesn’t make little blobs, the biscuits STILL come together just fine. Just dump the milk/butter mix into the dry and work the dough till it’s all blended. Hope you enjoy!

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