Lemon Cranberry Buttermilk Biscuits

by Rachel on March 16, 2010

My form of Zen.

When I made these biscuits this morning I had an epiphany.   Eating biscuits right out of the oven is exactly what is missing from most American’s lives.  The simple pleasure of a warm, slightly crunchy, homemade biscuit – it’s so joyful, so reassuring and yet eludes so many.  It took me ten minutes to make the biscuits, but I know my way around the kitchen.  My grandmother taught me how to cook, as did my mother and father.  My children (both boys) spend countless hours working with me in the kitchen and will find the process of cooking for and with their families in adulthood totally intuitive.  But financially struggling families with too many time constraints buy all of their food prepared.  It’s highly caloric and for the most part tastes exactly like what it is, processed.  We sat this morning around the breakfast table, sipping coffee, eating warm biscuits and life was good, really good.

Lemon Cranberry Buttermilk Biscuits (12 biscuits)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, cold
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Lemon Glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (packed)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use Meyer lemons)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  It is best if the rack is in the middle of the oven.

Sift together the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the sifted flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the buttermilk and vanilla and blend with a fork until it forms wet dough.  Add the dried cranberries and gently combine with a spoon (don’t use the fork – you’ll destroy the dried fruit).

I need to have people over for brunch. Who's available?

Using a large metal spoon cut the dough into equal-sized portions and drop by a rounded spoonful onto two ungreased cookie sheets (6 per sheet).  They won’t be terribly pretty at this point, but don’t fret, they’ll look great once they are baked.  You can gently adjust the dough with your fingers so that each biscuit is slightly rounded.  Bake until lightly golden, approximately 15-18 minutes.  While the biscuits are baking make the lemon glaze by mixing the sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl.  Wait a minute or two and then drizzle with a small amount of the lemon glaze.  Serve immediately or cool on a rack until room temperature and store.

I wish I looked this good close-up.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Memoria March 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm

These biscuits are calling my name. I’ve been craving something like this. Wow. I’m bookmarking this recipe. Thank you.

Kathy March 30, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Yes it’s been a long time since I last eat a biscuit out of the oven. And when I saw this recipe, the ten minute thing caught my attention. And when I see the pictures, they are so ohhh lovely. I am sure they also taste so great. Thank you for the wonderful post.

Mary Ann April 19, 2010 at 4:37 am

Looks good!! I will try this tomorrow!!

Esther August 23, 2010 at 10:29 am

I made these a month ago or so, but they didn’t turn out as pretty as yours. Also, I accidentally burned the bottoms, oops.

wendy January 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

hey! thank you for this awesome recipe!
have you ever made it with fresh cranberries? i was just wondering if i can substitute fresh cranberries next time i make them………thanks!!

Rachel January 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

First, fresh cranberries are super sour. Dried cranberries are sweetened. So, you can try it, but likely you’ll want to add a little sugar to balance out the sour berries. Also, dried cranberries hold their shape. Fresh cranberries will burst when they bake. That will change the look and texture of the biscuits. It might be fine – but it it might make them a bit mushy. You’ll just have to try it and see!! Don’t add too many the first time! Good luck. Rachel

Betty September 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm

These biscuits were incredible! Just the right amount of sweetness and tasted great the next day. I’ll be using this as my base recipe and can’t wait to try different mixins. Thanks so much!

Rachel September 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I am so glad you enjoyed them – and I agree, they do make a great base. If you think of it, let me know what mixing you choose and which ones you like best!

SusanAnn Sheidy August 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I made these with my carrot bisque. My husband didn’t speak through almost the entire meal. Finally words came out of his mouth. “This is the best soup and biscuits (he doesn’t like biscuits) you have ever made.” “Do we have enough for tomorrow?” First time I made the carrot bisque too and he was right it was the best I ever made! Thank you for this fantastic recipe. Next is the fish tacos for sure.

Anna Exter May 14, 2017 at 4:25 am

I have a question about the lemon zest. Based on prior experience making lemon scones, I decided to add the zest before the vanilla and buttermilk.

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