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Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits

September 13, 2023
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

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There's nothing as delicious as homemade Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits, a true fusions of two Southern staples---cornbread + biscuits! They make for the perfect side, breakfast meal with a bit of jam or butter and eggs, or even as a snack for a soft, tender bite.

Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits

These Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits are the epitome of Southern joy in food form. They are fluffy, buttery, super soft, tender with the right amount of sweetness which is the perfect reminder of classic cornbread. Spruce up your mornings with a side of biscuits with jam or butter and eggs or add these biscuits as a side dish to your favorite meal. Dairy-Free option available.

Up close shot of biscuits lined on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Homemade biscuits are by far one of my favorite past times, especially since I grew up on them almost on a daily basis. So, of course I had to make good ole' drop biscuits which are a true staple in my house and are SUPER easy to make compared to traditional ones. Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits definitely live up to their name and you'll be fully satisfied with the comforting, sweet + savory flavor that reminds you of a good slice of tender cornbread, especially this Vegan Sweet Cornbread.

These drop biscuits are made with everyday pantry items, cornmeal, butter, buttermilk, and raw honey for a nice sweetness. If you're into fluffy, buttery, and super tender biscuits that just melt-in-your-mouth then this biscuit recipe is the perfect thing for you! Of course, I keep things more traditional with these Flaky Honey Buttermilk Biscuits, Flaky Sweet Potato Biscuits, and Garlic Herb Biscuit Recipe.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for all Reels and content, especially for these drop biscuits.

While you might think that making buttermilk biscuits from scratch is hard, it really isn't. Of course, you can always use standard biscuit cutters when making these biscuits (I mention to options in the recipe for shaping), however, this "scoop + bake" method is the easiest you'll get. It makes the biscuits come out almost in a "crumbly" texture. Plus, these biscuits have no rise time and can easily be made ahead of time and frozen for longer.

Jump to:

What is Biscuits Made of?

When it comes to baking biscuits, especially these drop biscuits, you'll need: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, buttermilk, and honey.

Ingredients on a wood table including flour, cornmeal, honey, butter, and other ingredients.

What You’ll Love Most About these Drop Biscuits

  • Super easy. These biscuits as I've mentioned are so easy to whip together. You won't need any fancy equipment and just a good ole' wooden spoon and mixing bowl will do! Plus, for shaping, just a larger ice cream scoop does the trick or a regular tablespoon!
  • Quick way to indulge. You won't have to worry about chilling the dough or spending a ton of time to whip together these biscuits. Just a mixing together and scooping unto the baking sheet is all that's needed.
  • Taste just like cornbread! Although these are biscuits, they literally taste like sweet cornbread which just melts-in-your-mouth with every bite. Seriously addictive!
  • Most incredible texture. The perfect balance between fluffy, soft, tender, and crisp in all the right places. Truly a winning texture for the entire family!
  • Fun baking activity for entire family. This biscuit recipe is so easy and works for both beginner and advance bakers---making it a fun way to spend time as a family in the kitchen.
  • Works for any meal! Did I mention that these biscuits are the best thing to eat for breakfast (with some butter or jam and a side of eggs, bacon, etc.), as a snack, or as a side for dinner. Yes!!
Cubed butter on a cutting board with a knife.

How to Make Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits

Overall, these fluffy drop biscuits aren't very hard to make at all. Like you would any biscuit or pastry recipe, you start with all COLD ingredients and adding the dry ingredients together followed by grated/cubed butter, the wet ingredients, and mixing everything together. Then you do the "scoop + bake" method and Wallah. Perfection!

Ingredients for Biscuits Recipe

For these honey butter cornbread drop biscuits, you'll only need the following handful of ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s organic flour, which add great texture. Again, quality matters! For a flakier biscuit, you can substitute with pastry flour. I love mixing both flours together for the best texture!
  • Cornmeal. Use yellow cornmeal from Bob's Red Mill if you can. Most cornmeal is already gluten-free, but if necessary, double check that yours is certified.
  • Baking powder and baking soda. Works as a leavener. See further post below to ensure that they are still fresh.
  • Buttermilk. You can use store-bought buttermilk or make your own by mixing heavy cream + lemon juice together. For a dairy-free option, you can use plant-based milk + lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
  • Unsalted butter. I like to bake with unsalted butter, however, you can substitute with salted butter and omit the additional salt.
  • Honey. I love using organic raw honey as a great natural sweetener. You can also use maple syrup or organic cane sugar as well.
Dry ingredients together in a white bowl being mixed with hands.

Tips for Making the Best Drop Biscuits

Creating the perfect soft, fluffy drop biscuits isn't a tough process once you follow these pro tips below:

TIP 1: VERY COLD INGREDIENTS ARE KEY!

Ensuring that your butter and buttermilk are COLD helps the biscuits to uphold their structure and expand nicely as they bake. This creates a light, fluffy texture which is exactly what you want!

TIP 2: PREPPING THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR SCOOPING + BAKING IS IMPORTANT!

I love using a larger ice cream scoop (that has the clicker) for the best results when scooping the biscuit dough. However, if you don't have this then you can totally scoop large chunks of dough using a standard tablespoon (slightly shaping with your hands) or a measuring cup (which should always be greased lightly to avoid sticking). As for baking, I always line a baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid sticking and for an easy retrieval once fully baked. But if you're using a skillet, then always grease a non-stick skillet for double protection.

TIP 3: DON'T OVER-MIX!!

Like many other baked goods, gently handling the dough is super important when mixing the wet and dry ingredients together. Unfortunately, over-mixing will create dense and tough biscuits which won't be so indulgent if you ask me. Haha.

TIP 4: PLACE BISCUITS NEXT TO EACH OTHER!

Placing your biscuits next to each other on the baking sheet will help them to rise up higher.

TIP 5: THE OVEN HAS TO BE HOT!

Much like other baking recipes, ensuring that your oven is preheated is super important! In addition, baking these biscuits at 400 degrees Fahrenheit ensures that they rise and crisp up nicely enough to cook through. 

Amazing Substitutes + Additions

  • Different flour. You can swap out the all-purpose flour with a variety of types like pastry flour (for a fluffier texture), bread flour (for a more bread-like, thicker texture), and whole wheat flour (for a nuttier taste). I highly recommend mixing ANY of these flour types half and half along with the all-purpose flour so that the texture of the biscuit isn't changed too much!
  • Milk instead of Buttermilk. I like to make my own version of buttermilk whenever I don't have actual buttermilk on hand and all you need is regular or dairy-free milk along with 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. You'll just need to let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it slightly thickens and wallah.
  • Butter substitute. If you don't want to use unsalted butter or don't have it on hand---no worries! You can totally substitute the butter with vegan butter for a dairy-free option (cut into pieces + cold) or use shortening or solid coconut oil.
  • Cheesy biscuits. Much like my cheesy biscuits on top of my Chicken Pot Pie, you can totally add cheese to the mix for a nice cheesy flavor. I mean who doesn't like cheese with a hint of sweetness that reminds you of cornbread? Grated or shredded sharp or mild cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or whatever is your favorite works!
  • Herbs + Spices. For a kick of extra flavor, you can totally add herbs + seasonings to these drop biscuits, very similar to my Garlic Herb Biscuit Recipe.
Scooped biscuit dough on a baking sheet with parchment paper with butter brushed on top.

How to Know If Your Baking Powder + Baking Soda are Fresh

Baking is such a science, but more importantly because certain ingredients like your leaveners (aka baking powder + baking soda) are completely fresh so that your drop biscuits (and other baked goods) fully rise and bake through nicely and are the right texture.

Incase you weren't aware, there's an easy to double check both the baking powder and baking soda. Here's what you need:

BAKING SODA HACK:

-Add 1 teaspoon baking soda with ¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking soda needs to be replaced.

BAKING POWDER: 

-Add 1 teaspoon baking powder with ¼ cup Hot tap water in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking powder needs to be replaced.

Can I Use Another Plant-Based Milk for my Buttermilk?

Yes, you can use any dairy-free milk you like to make the dairy-free option for your buttermilk. Here are some easy recipes to make your own milk that’s cheaper and so easy!

Biscuits on a wire rack on a brown wood table.

What to Serve with Cornbread Drop Biscuits

Serving these warm, cozy Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits with something light like jam or butter works for those early morning that call for a side of tea or coffee. However, the great part about these drop biscuits is just how versatile they are! You can add gravy for a Southern classic dish or make these biscuits a side dish for dinner or breakfast (with a side of eggs, bacon, etc.).

Also, you can make a sandwich with things like chicken, ham or candied bacon for a sweet-savory food experience or add a fruit compote (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc.) for a nice twist on the shortcake experience.

Common Q + A's for these Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits!

How to store + reheat leftover biscuits?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm the biscuits in the oven on a baking sheet or heat in the microwave for a few seconds until warmed through.

Can I freeze these biscuits?

Absolutely! For longer storage–the biscuits can be stored in the freezer. After they have baked and are completely cooled, simply individually wrap the biscuits with foil paper or plastic wrap and add them to a zip loc bag and freeze.

Can I use a food processor for dough instead?

Yup! If using a food processor to incorporate buttermilk to flour/butter mixture, ONLY ADD ¼ cup of milk AT A TIME to your dough, keeping it on “pulse” to avoid the dough from breaking down too much and it becoming “watery”. 

Do I need to use honey?

Not at all! You can always substitute the honey with maple syrup or organic cane sugar if you'd like.

Can I make these drop biscuits dairy-free?

Absolutely! To make these biscuits dairy-free, simply substitute the butter with vegan butter (cut into pieces + cold) and be sure to reduce the dairy-free buttermilk to ¾ cup instead to avoid them from being too wet.

Why are my drop biscuits dry?

Don't worry----If your drop biscuits turn out too dry, there might be a few reasons for that like the over-mixing of the dough or over-baking the biscuits, or even using too little liquid in the dough, especially when using full-fat buttermilk. Ensure that your dough is still moist enough but not too wet!

Can I make drop biscuits without buttermilk?

Yes, of course! As I've mentioned, I like to make my own version of buttermilk whenever I don't have actual buttermilk on hand and all you need is regular or dairy-free milk along with 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. You'll just need to let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it slightly thickens and wallah.

Why are they called drop biscuits?

Based on my research, drop biscuits, or so-called “emergency biscuits,” were first noted in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook in 1896. It's an appropriate name because they can be made in a hurry, as the dough is dropped from the spoon onto the pan, rather than rolled or cut.

What is the difference between drop biscuits + regular biscuits?

Basically, Drop biscuits have more milk or other liquid added to the dough than their regular biscuit counterparts. Also, the dough for drop biscuits is moister and cannot be kneaded or rolled----which is why you simply drop tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet or skillet as opposed to rolling + cutting. Lastly, drop biscuits don't rise as much as other biscuits.

Biscuits on a brown wood table with a glass of milk, jam, and a plate with knife.

More Delicious Southern Recipes to Try Next!

Now that you've fallen in love with these drop biscuits in this recipe, you'll want to check out these other Southern staples for the entire family:

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

Biscuits on a brown wood table with a glass of milk, honey stick, jam, and plate with a knife.
Biscuits on a brown wood table with a glass of milk, honey stick, jam, and plate with a knife.

Fluffy Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits

September 13, 2023
5 from 4 votes
There's nothing as delicious as homemade Honey Butter Cornbread Drop Biscuits, a true fusions of two Southern staples---cornbread + biscuits! They make for the perfect side, breakfast meal with a bit of jam or butter and eggs, or even as a snack for a soft, tender bite.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8 biscuits

Ingredients

BISCUITS:

  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups VERY COLD unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 ¼ cups COLD buttermilk, homemade or store-bought (You can also mix together heavy cream + 1 tablespoon lemon juice; See Notes for Dairy-free option!)
  • ¼ cup organic raw honey

HONEY BUTTER (FOR BRUSHING):

  • 2 Tbsps unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsps organic raw honey

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

TO MAKE HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK:

  • If making your own buttermilk, add the organic heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice together in a measuring cup, stirring to combine and allowing it to sit for 2-3 minutes until mixture has thickened. SEE NOTES for Dairy-free Buttermilk option.

TO MAKE THE BISCUITS:

  • In a bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisking them all together until combined.
  • Add the COLD cubed butter and honey and using a pastry blender, blend butter + honey into dry ingredients until the mixture becomes “peas-like” and crumbly.
  • Pour the COLD buttermilk and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened enough. NOTE: If the ingredients feels a little too dry, add 1 tablespoon of cold heavy cream (or buttermilk) at a time, until it’s moistened BUT not too wet!

ASSEMBLY + BAKE:

  • Using a medium-size scoop, scoop (about 3 Tbsps or so) each biscuit dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between each biscuit for spreading when they bake. Repeat until all dough is made.

TO MAKE THE HONEY BUTTER:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter + honey until combined. Once assembled, lightly brush generous amount of honey butter atop each biscuit.

BAKE THE BISCUITS:

  • Bake in the oven 18-20 minutes (on the top rack) or until golden brown and everything looks crispy. Remove from oven and let cool until warm. Serve and enjoy!
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator. To serve warm in the oven or heat in the microwave.
  • FREEZER: See FAQ section for option!
  • FOOD PROCESSOR FOR DOUGH: If using a food processor to incorporate buttermilk to flour/butter mixture, ONLY ADD ¼ cup of milk AT A TIME to your dough, keeping it on “pulse” to avoid the dough from breaking down too much and it becoming “watery”. 
  • SALTED VS. UNSALTED BUTTER: You can always substitute the salted butter with unsalted butter. When doing so, you can omit the salt as an ingredient.
  • SWEETENER OPTION: You can always substitute the honey with maple syrup if you'd like.
  • DAIRY-FREE OPTION: See FAQ section to make these biscuits dairy-free!

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 746mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 149IU | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 3mg

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  1. The recipe leaves out a few things…when do I add the cornmeal? When do I add the honey? Dough seems too wet which is probably why they turned out very flat/didn’t hold their shape. After cubing butter I put it into the freezer until I needed it and I left the buttermilk in the fridge until I had to get it out so the temperature of the ingredients is most likely not the problem. But I do feel like it might be way too much butter. I don’t know if the recipe doesn’t work or if it’s all the missing components in the instructions causing the problems.

    • Hi Hayley! I'm so sorry for any confusion and trouble! Thanks so much for pointing out the two missing ingredients in the instructions----everything has been updated! Please note that drop biscuits are actually a bit more "wet" in texture than standard biscuits, which is why they're often scooped out and unto a baking sheet. Once you've added in the cornmeal, the texture should be just right. I've made a video via IG of this recipe in case you need a visual, but it should work just fine! 🙂