Lightened Buttermilk Biscuits

August 27, 2012

From the title of this post you should instantly know what went wrong. Who in their right mind wants Lightened Buttermilk Biscuits? Well, I do or rather I did. From time to time I get back on the calorie-counting wagon, so I’m always on the lookout for lightened recipes where I can enjoy the foods I love with the calories slashed. Some things aren’t meant to be on the lighter side and buttermilk biscuits are one of them. The first thing I thought when I bit into one was my Southern, biscuit-lover friends would not be happy.

Lightened Buttermilk Biscuits

So, how’s it taste?

Unlike any biscuit I’ve ever had. They were little and hard and flavorless. I ended up adding back any calorie I’d saved by slathering them with jam (more on that later). Of course they are lighter in calories because they are teeny tiny. I could make a regular biscuit and cut them that small and save on calories, duh. I fully admit that I might have over mixed the dough. I have a hard time figuring out when “mix just until moistened” happens, so that possibly contributed to my downfall as well. The small size and non-fluffy texture I might have gotten over, but they tasted like nothing. No buttery, yummy, carby goodness. Just nothing. Lesson learned that buttermilk biscuits were not meant to be anything else than calorie-laden awesomeness. Next time I’ll just have a splurge and not bother changing a good thing.

Bathtub Gin Jams

I’m happy to report not all was lost on the biscuit mishap. That jam I slathered them with was Bathtub Gin, made right here in Nashville, Tennessee. I had the Rum Raisin Mission Fig and Limoncello Strawberry. Both were spectacular, even atop my pitiful biscuits. The Rum Raisin was thick and rich. It has that little crunch from the fig, too. My favorite (and I licked that little sample jar clean) was the Limoncello Strawberry. It’s tart, it’s sweet and you distinctly taste both flavors. I’ll be seeking out a big jar of that one, and I’ll be sure to eat it with a real biscuit this time.

Lightened Buttermilk Biscuits

Southern Living, September 2011
makes 1 1/2 dozen
per biscuit: 79 calories, 2.7g fat, 11.6g carbs, 0.4g fiber, 2.1g protein


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups non-fat buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill 10 minutes.

2. Add buttermilk to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 3 or 4 times.

3. With floured hands, pat dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches); dust top with flour. Fold dough over itself in 3 sections, starting with short end (as if folding a letter-size piece of paper). Repeat once, beginning with patting dough into a rectangle.

4. Pat dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 2-inch round cutter, and place 1 inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake at 400° for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks; cool 2 minutes. Serve warm.

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  • Lesley August 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Oh, no. Just no. You are right; some things just should not be low-cal/low-fat.

    That Bathtub Gin is amazing. Love that stuff. Perl Catering has some fantastic jams, too. You can get it at The Turnip Truck.

    • Leah August 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Ooo, didn’t know about Perl. Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check it out soon!

  • Jessica Macpherson August 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Could you maybe try it with low fat buttermilk? I find that the difference between non fat and low fat is huge. I love low fat cream cheese, blah on the non fat. Same definitely goes towards cheese. And creamy dressings – barf! Give me my fat in those!

    • Leah August 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Possibly, although I think the problem with this recipe is that they slashed the butter in half. I agree on the low-fat versus non-fat. It’s not worth the little calorie count to go all the way down to tasteless non-fat. Blech!

  • Linda Lindquist August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I’ve had good luck substituting olive or cannola oil for the butter. You might try half oil & half butter (1/3 cup total) to see how you like the taste. Melt the butter & oil together. (I’ve had no issues with not using the cold butter) You’ve got to have fat for the flakiness / lightness. But at least you can choose your poisons!
    Handle dough as little as possible. This recipe really worked the dough a lot. Replace step 3 with this: mix together until dough just holds it’s shape. Dough should be almost “wet”. YOur; not making cookies! Pat out on lightly floured surface, cut with cutter, dipped in flour to keep from sticking & place on lightly lightly oiled pan. Made a lot of biscuits this way!

  • Ann May 21, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you for making the lightened up biscuit so that I don’t have to :-). I am intrigued by the idea of using olive oil, though – wonder how a flavored oil would work?