Honey Pumpkin Biscuits

October 14, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Makes Ten 2.5-inch biscuits
Author Notes

Warm, spiced, and flecked with sea salt, these honey sweetened pumpkin buttermilk biscuits are the perfect way to greet a brisk fall morning. —Beth Kirby | {local milk}

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (250 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • one pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin purée (100 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons honey (100 grams)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (180 grams/200mL)
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices.
  3. In a glass measuring cup combine the pumpkin, honey, and buttermilk, and whisk with a fork to combine.
  4. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers, two knives, or a pastry cutter until no pieces larger than a pea remain.
  5. Stir all but the last 1/4 cup of the buttermilk mixture in with a fork to just combine. If mixture seems dry, add the additional 1/4 cup. It should be a sticky dough. If using weight measurements, just go ahead and add the whole thing.
  6. Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface. Dough will be sticky! Sprinkle top of dough with flour, and pat into a rectangle, fold in half, rotate clockwise, pat back out, and fold again. Repeat this once more, and then gently pat the dough out to about 1-inch thick.
  7. Grease a baking sheet, and using a floured 2.5-inch biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits being careful to not twist the cutter. Place the biscuits on the sheet, touching.
  8. Gently reroll the scraps as needed until all the biscuits are cut, and then bake for 10 to 13 minutes until puffed and cooked through. Excellent served with honey whipped butter!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sandra
  • sweetE
  • AnnabelMelrose
  • bonbonmarie
  • AlexandraD
A Southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera. Freelance food writer & photographer. Blogs at Localmilkblog.com

30 Reviews

Danielle December 21, 2014
Anyone know of a possible substitute for pumpkin puree?
JRM November 28, 2014
Made these for thanksgiving having never made biscuits before - followed directions exactly using cup measurements not weight - came out perfectly - amazing and still moist the next morning when stored in a plastic bag. Didn't use all of the liquid but most of it. Used maybe a 1/4 handful flour for "kneading". Also didn't have a biscuit cutter so used a star shaped cookie cutter. All improvisations worked out in my favor - lucky;-)
coopet November 22, 2014
Great flavor but mine didnt rise much and not flakey...too much liquid? I added full amount. Am new to baking so don't have experience with consistency.
Sandra November 18, 2014
Just made these. I used 4 T of honey ( didnt want it too sweet) yet the dough was too wet still. I followed all other ingredients via weights measure. I ended up scooping the wet dough from my work surface using 2 spoons and dropping them onto the baking sheet. Still yummy. I think 'll decrease the buttermilk to 2/3 c? What do you think?
sweetE November 9, 2014
My family and I all loved these! I subbed spelt flour for the AP, used my fresh homemade yogurt for buttermilk and decided on food processor mixing instead of my hands this morning (please forgive me!) and they were wonderful. Sometimes the spices get dulled down so much in biscuits, but this was just the right amount. I had a great deal of spead when I baked right after cutting, so I will be cutting and then putting them in the fridge for a chill before hitting the oven next time. Can't wait to make them again!
sweetE November 9, 2014
I had SPREAD, not spead - whatever that is. :)
jennifer E. October 20, 2014
I'm so disappointed in these biscuits. I made them last night and they were a total failure for me. I checked and rechecked every part of the recipe and I followed everything exactly. The only difference was that i made mini biscuits. I cooked them for a slightly shorter time. this morning when i checked them, they were like little rocks. Unfortunately I won't be making these again, the idea of them sounds great.
Sarah October 6, 2014
Made these on Saturday and they were so delicious! Used homemade pumpkin puree and buttermilk.
AnnabelMelrose January 29, 2014
I love these biscuits, so much so that every one I hand over to someone else feels like a real testament of my love for them. I usually have some of the "wet" mix left, and I've always found good use for it.. In a pancake batter, or mixed in to oatmeal with a bit of extra milk.

On the subject of salt, I have twice used Big sea salt granules and twice I have regretted it. There is a happy medium I'm sure, I need to investigate the flaked variety - but I think because of the minimal processing in this recipe any big grains stay the size they are when you add them so I've ended up with a crunch of pure salt in every bite.

I followed the weights measurements and still found I had some left over (happily) so I would advise to add as you go.

If I can't have them hot out of the oven, I like them best toasted. To reheat from the freezer I let them come to room temperature over a couple of hours and then toast them as usual, with butter and honey ideally..

I have used natural yoghurt instead of buttermilk with no problems. I have also used equal parts maple syrup, rice syrup and honey with no problems. These are pretty hardy biscuits, we live somewhere fairly remote so I play fast and loose with what I have to hand and I've always loved what's come out of the oven.
Brian D. November 27, 2013
We made these last night and they were AMAZING! Thanks!

BTW, any chance of you letting us know where you found that awesome knife? :)
bonbonmarie November 18, 2013
Eating a warm bit right now. Mmm! Brilliant call on the crunchy flaked salt. I have been baking with big salt--at least kosher sized--for years now because I love how it delivers a major burst of delicioiusness. I remember reading years ago, from a very respected source, to always use fine grain salt in baking. I am glad that rule has been thoroughly questioned!
AlexandraD November 13, 2013
Do you think I can make the dough the day ahead but not bake until Thanksgiving afternoon?
Beth K. November 13, 2013
I don't know that I'd recommend it, but the dough takes about 5 minutes to whip up. You would try cutting them and freezing them on a baking tray. I'd probably do an experiment before I tried it.
Beth K. November 13, 2013
*could try
Casey P. November 2, 2013
These were amazing! I will definitely be making this again... and again. I used almond milk and lemon juice to make buttermilk (didn't have any milk or white vinegar on hand) and they turned out just fine. Thank you for another delicious recipe!
Lis November 1, 2013
sexy lamb chop- love that name bty. I usually bake my breads the day ahead if I am traveling. They usually re-heat well in either a moistened paper towel in the microwave OR a brown paper bag in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes. depending on the total number. I also freeze my other biscuits by two in sandwich bags- the ziplock kind and then place those bags in a freezer bag and when we want then , simply pull out how many we might need and microwave them. The moisture in the frozen biscuits is enough to prevent that 'rubber hockey puck' effect microwaving tends to have. I have been baking for 48 years now. Man, that sounds really old! But I started when I was 8 years old and baking the cinnamon rolls was always my job every Saturday. I was blessed with a mother and aunt who were talented bakers and cooks. As well my Grandmothers...just bake. It isn't as intimidating as it seems and Miss Beth here writes a really concise recipe to follows=. I am trying to bake in weighted measurements and I am just not lovin' it all that much. But remember, when you are all done, you should feel absolutely wonderful inside for baking! It is just that wonderful.
Emeli W. October 25, 2013
I just made these and they were absolutely perfect. I don't have a ton of experience with baking so I was nervous about messing up the dough, but I love anything pumpkin and really wanted to try these out. I'm so glad I did!

I followed Food52's directions for homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned, and now I have extra to use for other Food52 recipes!

I didn't need the extra 1/4 cup of buttermilk mixture (I only used half a cup that I added in slowly). It took some folding with a fork to get the dry mixture absorbed, but I did so very delicately. It seemed like it would be way too dry at first, but I'm glad I was patient because it came out sticky but not wet.

I used foil covered in flour for my workspace (I have a very small kitchen) and I found that the dough did stick to the foil quite a bit at times in between the folding and patting. But I just patted a little bit of flour onto the excessively sticky parts in between cutting the biscuits out and it worked quite well. I didn't use a roller at all, just my fingers.

They cooked for 12 minutes and came out lightly browned on the edges and on the bottom. I ate them with whipped honey butter (my favorite) and they were divine. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I can't wait to make these for my family during Thanksgiving!
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 26, 2013
Emeli, great feedback. I was looking at this recipe for thanksgiving but I'm not a baker and was nervous. Any idea how or if I can make the day before or morning of to travel to my family (1 1/2 hrs away)?
Emeli W. October 26, 2013
Hi there,
I baked mine immediately after patting out the dough so I'm not sure how they would bake if you refrigerated the dough first. But I will say that they warm up quite nicely! When I reheated mine, they were still soft and fluffy. They didn't harden at all, which was great. You could always try a trial batch to see how they bake after being refrigerated for awhile. I would love to see how these bake after being frozen so I could make them last a lot longer! I'm sorry I'm not of much help!
Steph D. October 20, 2013
These were quite tasty! Unfortunately, despite following the recipe exactly, my dough ended up very, very wet even with a well-floured cutting board. Maybe next time I will use less flour... or add the buttermilk bit by bit, just until hydrated.

Since they were too wet to roll out, and I didn't want to risk overworking the dough to incorporate more flour, I ended up using the "Touch of Grace" biscuit method (grabbing ball of dough and shifting it in my hand to coat in flour) and then plopped them into a greased baking dish.

Any chance that Food52 might start using weights instead of cups for measurements? I always seem to get better results when I can precisely weigh the ingredients with my kitchen scale.
Beth K. October 20, 2013
Ok. This thoroughly freaks me out! I am also a scale baker and really prefer to write my recipes that way. I'm going to retest it using grams and I'll let you know the absolute, final verdict! Sorry for your troubles...but yes... depending on how dense your cups of flour are it could make a big difference! I'm on it!
Steph D. October 21, 2013
No worries, 'cause they were still amazing! but I would love to have grams for the flour and pumpkin if you end up retesting. (I was always taught to measure solid pack pumpkin with a dry measuring cup because you can't level out pumpkin in a liquid measuring cup, but I think some people do it differently. It occurred to me that maybe that's where I went wrong? :))
Beth K. October 21, 2013
I know for a fact I used 250 g flour. I've amended the recipe to say 2/3 cup buttermilk and to simply add an additional splash if it seems dry since everyone's "2 cups" will be different. But my 2 cups are always 250 g : )
Steph D. October 21, 2013
Cool. :) Well, I'll probably end up trying this recipe again soon (hey, why not, I have the rest of a can of pumpkin to burn...) so I'll let you know how it goes!
Beth K. October 21, 2013
It's been amended with weights b/c other people were having difficulty. If you try it again... let me know!
phi T. October 22, 2013
What a fun recipe! I'm curious as to what type of flour you were using? I know that when I have homemade pumpkin puree I always use the weight measurement and not the volume. Plus, if it is a foggy day, I cut all of my buttermilk down by a wide margin. ..This recipe will probably only need 1/2 c. for me. I'll probably give these a shot this week!
phi T. October 22, 2013
1/2 cup of buttermilk.
Beth K. October 22, 2013
Let me know how they turn out. Biscuit dough is definitely one of those things that can depend upon the weather; it really helps to just know the texture you're going for by sight. Should definitely be sticky & require flouring the counter, your hands, and dusting the top of it with flour. After 2 extra trials, the weight measurements above worked every time! But that's with the weather here : )
phi T. November 18, 2013
OK, so I've made this a few times now and here are my teeny changes: I generally use just 1/2 c. of buttermilk. I add 1/4 ts. of baking soda. I increase butter to 6 TB. I dust the mixture with flour and I make drop biscuits with my hands and put them next to each other to help them rise better. Once they brown a bit on the top I separate them to get it crispy on all sides. That's it! Everyone loves it! Thanks Beth.
Bonny@CleverHen October 16, 2013
These look and sound great! I have gotta try them this weekend.