Sure, you can make air fryer biscuits using pre-made dough, but these homemade buttermilk biscuits are worth every bit of the extra 10-15 minutes. Not only are they the best biscuits you can make in an air fryer, these are some of the best biscuits period. They’re tall, ultra flaky, buttery golden brown, and make next level breakfast sandwiches.
How to Make the Best Buttermilk Biscuits
My wife’s latest bake-off experiment had an end goal of finding the best biscuit recipe on the internet. As an official taste tester, I had a clear favorite in Claire Saffitz’s Buttermilk Biscuits. They’re ultra flaky and buttery, almost pastry like, and super delicious.
So, that’s the recipe I’ve adapted here, scaling it down to fit a standard air fryer size and making the biscuits a bit larger (to fit my personal preference).
I’ve included a visual recipe walkthrough in the post below with tips for making biscuits and air frying along the way. You’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post in case you’re a biscuit pro already.
Side Note: Claire also has a video covering her biscuit recipe.
Use a food processor to cut butter into a blend of all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt, and sugar.
In the biscuit bake-off we grated frozen butter, melted butter, used pastry blenders, and the food processor is the way to go. With 4-5 pulses and about 10 seconds, the butter is perfectly worked into the dry ingredients.
Slowly stir in buttermilk with a fork until a scruffy biscuit dough forms.
Claire gives the cue to start adding buttermilk once you have pea-sized butter pieces. It’s important to not over mix the dough at this point. You should have some dry ingredients remaining.
Transfer to a work surface and gently work the dough into a 1″ tall square.
This dough will seem like it needs more buttermilk or like it has no chance of coming together, but I promise it’s spot on. Use your hands to lightly work the dough together, picking up the stray dry ingredients along the way.
Press the dough into a 5.5″ to 6″ square that’s about 1″ tall. It doesn’t have to be perfect (see photo below).
Cut the square into four pieces.
The dough will continue to come together as you cut, stack, and press/roll again.
Stack the four pieces on top of one another and press down into another 1″ tall square.
Try to place any dry ingredients in between each layer as you stack. Re-rolling the dough will continue to bind everything together.
Most of the other biscuit recipes we tested in the bake-off called for 3-5 folds and re-rolls as opposed to stacking like this. But these were by far the flakiest biscuit of the bunch, and that’s how I like ’em!
Trim the dough’s edges and cut into four biscuits. Freeze the biscuits for 10 minutes.
Trimming the edges allows the biscuits to evenly rise. If you skip this step, you’ll have wedge-shaped biscuits. Not the end of the world, but I recommend trimming.
What to Do with Dough Scraps
If you don’t want to waste scraps, you can roll them into balls and brush with a little melted butter and cinnamon sugar to make something resembling “dough doughs” from one of our favorite restaurants in Austin, Bird Bird Biscuit.
Why Freeze Biscuits Before Air Frying?
Handling the dough at room temperature causes the butter to soften. Freezing biscuit dough before baking or air frying chills the butter again, keeping the biscuits nice and tall. Soft butter can cause the biscuits to spread and flatten.
You can also completely freeze this biscuit dough to bake or air fry later. Claire recommends baking from frozen and adding a few minutes to the cook time.
How to Cook Biscuits in an Air Fryer
I used a 6.5 quart Ninja Foodi for this recipe. Every air fryer is different, so you may need to make slight adjustments to cook time. It’s always a good idea to check on your first batch early to avoid over cooking.
Transfer the biscuits to an air fryer basket and brush with melted butter.
Make sure you give the biscuits a little room to breathe on every side. You shouldn’t need any parchment paper or spray on the bottom of the biscuits unless your air fryer basket has a tendency to stick to foods.
Side Note: Claire mentions sprinkling the tops with either sugar or salt and pepper depending on how you plan to serve them. I never add anything, but I wanted to mention it.
Air fry the biscuits for 10-12 minutes at 375ºF.
You’re looking for golden brown tops with plenty of layers throughout the center of each biscuit.
As a troubleshooting note, the temperature may be too high if the tops of your biscuits brown too quickly before the biscuits have cooked through and fully risen. And the temperature may be too low if the biscuits are dry and tough in the center while the tops are barely golden brown.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Biscuits
And if you’re coming over from our sister site, Kinda Healthy Recipes, you could add some protein with chicken sausage patties and a folded egg like we used in our healthy copycat McGriddle. We even have a low fat sausage gravy recipe over there!
However you end up serving your air fried biscuits, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in a recipe review or the comments below. And if you have a recipe question, you can leave it there as well.
- 1 3/4 cup (210g) All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 stick (4 oz) Unsalted Butter (plus 1 tablespoon melted for brushing)
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk
- Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to a food processor and pulse 1-2 times to evenly mix.
- Cut the butter into 6-8 pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse 4-5 times until the butter is incorporated and the largest pieces are about the size of a pea.
- Remove the food processor's blade or transfer to a bowl and slowly stir in the buttermilk with a fork. Once a scruffy dough has formed (it will look slightly dry), transfer to a work surface. Gently knead the dough and press into a 5.5" to 6" square, about 1" tall.
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces and stack them on top of one another, adding any straggling pieces in between layers. Press the dough down and roll into another 1" tall square.
- Thinly trim the square's edges before cutting 4 square biscuits. (Discard trimmings or see post above for ways to repurpose.) Transfer to a small sheet pan or plate and freeze the biscuits for 10 minutes.
- Place the biscuits in an air fryer basket and brush with a tablespoon of melted butter. Air fry for 10-12 minutes at 375ºF until golden brown on top.
Recipe can be double or tripled and biscuits can be frozen to bake later. Fully freeze uncovered before transferring to a resealable bag or container. Don't thaw before cooking but extend the time in the air fryer by a few minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 Biscuit
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 23gCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 7g