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ALDI, who I’m so proud to partner & share with you all throughout 2020. ALDI has everything you need for a traditional Thanksgiving meal – the Butterball turkey, sides, & dessert – it’s all offered at the best prices! All thoughts & opinions are my own.
Because the sides are kiiinda the star of Thanksgiving – I say we ditch plain ol’ dinner rolls & swap them out with biscuits!
Not just any biscuits, either. The flakiest, most buttery-tender pumpkin biscuits, boasting dozens & dozens of layers of earthy pumpkin goodness laced with fall spices & a hint of maple sweetness.
Extra Flaky Pumpkin Biscuits: A Must-Make for Thanksgiving
For some time now, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of developing a recipe for pumpkin buttermilk biscuits, thinking they’d be the perfect festive addition to any Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving spread. I don’t really go nuts for all-things-pumpkin-spiced the way everyone on the internet seems to, but I’ve really grown to love using pumpkin in savory recipes.
The natural sweet & earthy flavor of pumpkin is enhanced with a few of my favorite ingredients – pure maple syrup, fresh sage, & warm fall spices. They taste like actual pumpkin & they beautifully dance the line between sweet & savory: dozens of tender layers, rich & buttery flavor, crisp edges, & a tender center.
If you’re not a pumpkin lover or if you can’t find canned pumpkin near you, you can totally make these biscuits with butternut squash, sweet potato, or homemade pumpkin puree. Directions for all 3 substitutions are provided in the Recipe Notes, below!
These are Savory Biscuits!
These pumpkin biscuits aren’t especially sweet & they’re not especially “pumpkin spiced” – exactly why I love them so much! I consider them to be savory biscuits, a welcome addition to any holiday menu (breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner).
As a major bonus, everything you need to make these biscuits is available at ALDI! ALDI is my absolute favorite place to shop, especially during the holiday season. ALDI has the best staples & seasonal items, & I always stock up on baking essentials at ALDI this time of year to ensure I have everything I need for holiday baking.
Next time you’re at ALDI, be sure to do the same – it’ll mean you can throw together pumpkin biscuits on a whim this fall (& that’s a really good thing if you ask me)!
Dozens of layers of pure pumpkin goodness. ♡ Read on to learn more about this Pumpkin Biscuits recipe, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
Simple Ingredients for Savory Pumpkin Biscuits
The beauty of this pumpkin biscuits recipe is that it leans on baking essentials & a few staple fall ingredients. You probably keep most of the ingredients on hand this time of year!
Key ingredients in pumpkin biscuits:
- Pumpkin puree – The star of the show! I love the Baker’s Corner Pumpkin Puree from ALDI. It has a great rich flavor & a beautiful velvety texture. If you can’t find pumpkin puree or if pumpkin isn’t your jam, I include a couple substitutions below.
- All-purpose flour – Plain & simple! The Baker’s Corner Flour from ALDI is what I always keep stocked in my pantry.
- Baking powder – A generous amount gives these biscuits their height & lift.
- Unsalted butter – Another staple I always buy at ALDI. The prices are always the best & the Countryside Creamery Sweet Cream Butter has amazing flavor.
- Buttermilk – Adds tangy richness that cuts through the natural sweetness of the pumpkin beautifully.
- 100% pure maple syrup – While these biscuits are totally savory, the littlest bit of pure maple syrup provides a slight touch of sweetness that’s really nice.
- Sage, ground cinnamon, & ground nutmeg – Aromatic additions that both complement & enhance pumpkin’s natural flavor.
Substitutions In These Pumpkin Biscuits
Due to the different flavors & textures at play here, this pumpkin biscuit recipe is pretty forgiving. If you don’t have something on hand or you can’t find something at the store, there are a couple of ways you can adapt the recipe.
Make a buttermilk substitute by simply adding vinegar or fresh lemon juice to plain milk. For this specific recipe, you’ll add 1 teaspoon of vinegar or fresh lemon juice to a scant 1/3 cup milk. Let it sit for a minute to curdle, then give it a stir – voila, homemade buttermilk!
Pumpkin Puree Substitution
Instead of canned pumpkin puree, try…
- Homemade pumpkin puree – It is very easy to make homemade pumpkin puree. Simply roast a sugar/pie pumpkin – cut the pumpkin into wedges, deseed, & roast at 350 degrees F for up to 1 hour, until the flesh is very tender. Scoop the flesh into a food processor & process until smooth.
- Sweet potato or butternut squash – Both of which provide a similar flavor profile & make excellent substitutions for pumpkin. ALDI carries both in frozen packets for steaming, so prep couldn’t be easier: Simply steam a package of Simply Nature Organic Sweet Potatoes or Simply Nature Organic Butternut Squash according to package directions, then transfer to a food processor & process until smooth.
How to Make Homemade Biscuits
While there is some technique involved in making tender pumpkin biscuits with beautiful flaky layers, once you get the hang of it, baking biscuits is really a cinch! These pumpkin biscuits take just 20 minutes to prep.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl & whisk to combine. Simple!
- Mix the Wet Ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients in a second mixing bowl & whisk to combine. Again, simple!
- Add the Butter. While many biscuit recipes call for use of a pastry blender or food processor to blend the butter into the dry ingredients, my favorite little trick (learned from Carla Hall via A Cozy Kitchen) is to simply use a box grater! Run a stick of cold butter along the sides of a box grater for perfectly sized shards of butter. It’s simple, highly effective, & eliminates the need for any special equipment.
- Mix the Dough. Add the wet ingredients to the flour & butter mixture & mix just until combined. The dough will be very loose & shaggy at this point, & that is exactly what we want.
Tips for Tender, Flaky Biscuits
- Use Cold Butter. One of the secrets to extra-flaky biscuits lies in using cold butter. Leave your butter in the refrigerator until you’re ready to add it to the dry ingredients. Work quickly while grating it, mixing the biscuit dough, & rolling out the biscuits to ensure that the butter stays cold. If it begins to soften up (you’ll smell the buttery flavor & you’ll feel the oily texture on your hands), simply pop the biscuit dough into the refrigerator for a few minutes to let the butter cool down.
- Don’t Overwork the Dough. Tough biscuits are a result of overworked dough. In overworking, you build the glutens in the dough, which yields chewier, tough biscuits. To ensure your biscuits are fluffy & tender, be careful not to overwork the dough & instead mix just until combined. It will look very shaggy, but trust the process – it’ll come together!
- Press Straight Down. When cutting the biscuits, firmly press the biscuit cutter straight down through the dough & pull it straight back up, preserving the flaky layers. Try to avoid twisting the biscuit cutter as you cut each biscuit – this “seals” the edges & prevents the biscuit from rising.
Fold the Biscuit Dough
With the pumpkin biscuit dough prepped & ready to go, all that’s left to do is roll it out & cut the biscuits. This is when the magic happens!
To ensure the pumpkin buttermilk biscuits are extra flaky, you’ll go through a process of folding the biscuit dough. It really couldn’t be easier!
Note: full Recipe Directions with step-by-step photos provided in the Recipe Card, below.
The process of folding the biscuit dough is inspired by the classic French pastry technique of lamination (i.e. folding butter & pastry dough multiple times to create the thin flaky layers in puff pastry). The first time I saw this technique used specifically for biscuits was from Sally & Tessa, 2 of my go-tos for all things baked, & I was blown away by its genius!
Folding biscuit dough is not nearly as intense as classic lamination in the pastry world, but it’s highly effective in creating the flaky, layers we’re after in these pumpkin buttermilk biscuits.
Press the biscuit dough into a rectangle, folding the left & right sides into the center of the rectangle horizontally. Rotate the folded dough 90 degrees, then press down on the layers, forming the biscuit dough into another rectangle. Repeat the process of folding, rotating, & pressing the biscuit dough 2-3 more times, & you will be ready to cut, chill, & bake the biscuits.
I cut these pumpkin biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter for perfect individually portioned biscuits. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter on hand, no need to fret – you can easily cut biscuits with a standard Mason jar lid or a chef’s knife. Check the Recipe Notes below for some guidance.
As soon as the tops of the pumpkin biscuits begin to brown, they’re ready to pull from the oven for immediate enjoyment. Eating them really is the best part!
Serving Pumpkin Biscuits!
These pumpkin buttermilk biscuits are great on their own, but if you’re feeling extra fancy, there are a couple simple ways you can spiff ’em up even more:
- Whip up garlic herb butter: Simply combine softened butter with some garlic & a handful of chopped herbs. Add a little bit of pure maple syrup for a kiss of sweetness, & slather it onto the flaky layers of a warm biscuit. SO. GOOD.
- Decorate them so they look like mini pumpkins!: For an extra festive touch, split a handful of pecans in half lengthwise & insert a halved pecan into the center of each pumpkin biscuit along with a sprig of thyme or a small fresh sage leaf. The pumpkin biscuits look like actual baby pumpkins. Does it get any cuter than that?!
I cannot wait for you to try these Extra Flaky Pumpkin Biscuits. I guarantee they will steal the show at your Thanksgiving table this year – everyone will love them!
If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! Happy cooking! ♡
Obsessed with all things Pumpkin?
Fall-Inspired Pumpkin Recipes
A classic buttermilk biscuit with a heavy dose of autumnal goodness, these pumpkin biscuits are extra flaky, tender, & laced with fresh sage & warm fall spices. They’re a delicious & comforting addition to any fall meal & the perfect festive touch for your Thanksgiving menu.
- 2 ½ cups Baker’s Corner All-Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons Baker’s Corner Baking Powder
- 8–10 large sage leaves, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons) or 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Sage
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Simply Nature Organic Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Stonemill Ground Nutmeg or freshly ground nutmeg
- ⅔ cup Baker’s Corner Pumpkin Puree (see Recipe Notes)
- ⅓ cup buttermilk, plus extra for brushing (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 tablespoon Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- ½ cup cold Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter
for the garlic herb butter:
- 3 tablespoons Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of choice (rosemary, sage, thyme, chives, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- coarse kosher salt, to season
Prep note: One of the secrets to extra-flaky biscuit lies in using cold butter. Leave your butter in the refrigerator until you need to use it in Step 3 of Recipe Directions.
- Mix the dry ingredients: Add the flour, baking powder, sage, salt & nutmeg to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients: Add the pumpkin, buttermilk, & maple syrup to a small bowl – I typically just use a liquid measuring cup. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Grate the butter: Grab the cold butter from the refrigerator. Working quickly, grate the butter directly into the dry ingredients – the large holes-side of a standard box grater will work great. Stir to combine, coating the grated butter pieces with flour. No need to overmix or worry about the large pieces of butter – they are the key to flaky, tender biscuits.
- Mix the biscuit dough: Add the wet ingredients to the flour-butter mixture. Stir just until combined, taking care not to overmix the dough – the mixture will be very shaggy & crumbly at this point, & that is fine!
- Fold the biscuit dough: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to press the dough into a rectangle, roughly 10×4 inches. Fold the left third of the rectangle (horizontally) into the center of the rectangle; repeat with the right third – I find it’s easiest to use a bench scraper to help fold the dough. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, then press down on the layers, forming the dough into another 10×4 rectangle. Repeat the folding, turning, & pressing 2-3 more times. After the last turn, press the dough into a 10×4 rectangle, roughly 3/4-inch thick. Flaky biscuit tips: Be patient & work quickly – the pumpkin biscuit dough will be very shaggy at first, but by the second or third turn, it will really begin to come together. If at any point the dough begins to feel especially soft or warm (or you can begin to smell the butter melting), pop it in the fridge or freezer to chill for a few minutes.
- Cut the biscuits: Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut into biscuits, reshaping any scraps until you have 9-10 biscuits. Flaky biscuit tip: Twisting the biscuit cutter as you cut biscuits “seals” the edges & prevents the biscuit from rising. Instead, firmly press the biscuit cutter straight down through the dough & pull it straight back up, preserving its flaky layers.
- Freeze: Transfer the cut biscuits to a plate or small baking sheet & set in the freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes as the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet & set aside.
- Bake the biscuits: Once the oven is preheated, remove the pumpkin biscuits from the freezer & transfer to the prepared skillet. The biscuits may need to touch in places in order for them to fit in the skillet, which is totally fine. Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown & shiny.
- Make the garlic herb butter: Meanwhile, as the biscuits bake, prep the garlic herb butter. Add the butter, garlic, herbs & maple syrup to a small bowl. Stir to combine. Taste & season with salt or ground black pepper, as desired. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Serve the biscuits warm, slathered with garlic herb butter. For a festive touch, press half a pecan & fresh herbs into the top of the biscuits for a pumpkin-like appearance. Enjoy!
- Buttermilk‘s tanginess is key for a tender biscuit with rich flavor. If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute for this pumpkin biscuits recipe by adding 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to a scant 1/3 cup milk. Stir to combine & let the mixture sit for a minute to thicken slightly.
- Homemade pumpkin puree – If you cannot find canned pumpkin puree, homemade pumpkin puree is very easy to make. Simply roast a sugar pumpkin – cut the pumpkin into wedges, deseed, & roast at 350 degrees F for up to 1 hour, until the flesh is very tender. Scoop the flesh into a food processor & process until smooth.
- Sweet potato or butternut squash – 2 more great substitutes if you cannot find pumpkin. ALDI carries both in frozen packets for steaming, so prep couldn’t be easier: steam a package of Simply Nature Organic Sweet Potatoes or Simply Nature Organic Butternut Squash according to package directions, then transfer to a food processor & process until smooth.
- Biscuit cutter: If you do not have a biscuit cutter on hand, you can cut your biscuits using a standard Mason jar lid or a chef’s knife. Press the dough into a 1/2-inch rectangle and use a Mason jar lid to stamp out biscuits as directed in Step 6 of Recipe Directions OR use a chef’s knife to cut into 2.5×2.5-inch square biscuits.
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Planning Your Thanksgiving Menu?
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