Regina’s Butter Biscuits Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Regina Charboneau

Adapted by Kim Severson

Regina’s Butter Biscuits Recipe (1)

Total Time
50 minutes
Read community notes

People travel long distances to eat Regina Charboneau’s biscuits. She built a blues club in San Francisco, called Biscuits and Blues, on their reputation. And in her hometown, Natchez, Miss., her biscuits are considered the best. She mixes traditional French culinary training with tricks passed on through generations of Southern bakers to create a layered, rich biscuit that has to be frozen to be at its flaky best. The dough will seem rough and the fat too chunky at first, but persevere. Using a tea towel as a base to move and manage the dough until it rolls out smoothly is a brilliant technique that makes the whole process easier and neater. —Kim Severson

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Yield:3 dozen 2-inch biscuits, 12 servings marmalade butter

    For the Biscuits

    • 4cups/480 grams all-purpose flour
    • ¼cup/41 grams baking powder
    • ¼cup/50 grams sugar
    • ½cup/120 grams (1 stick) salted butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
    • cups/360 grams (3 sticks) salted margarine, chilled and cut into 2-inch cubes
    • cups/420 milliliters buttermilk, chilled

    For the Marmalade Butter

    • ½cup (1 stick)/120 grams salted butter, at room temperature
    • 3tablespoons sweet orange marmalade

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)

549 calories; 41 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 5 grams trans fat; 16 grams monounsaturated fat; 8 grams polyunsaturated fat; 41 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 652 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Regina’s Butter Biscuits Recipe (2)


  1. Make the Biscuits

    1. Step


      Put flour, baking powder and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Turn the machine on low and blend for 15 seconds. Add the butter, margarine and buttermilk to flour mixture before turning mixer back on. Turn mixer on medium and count to 10. This goes very quickly; the key is to not overmix the dough. There will be large chunks of butter and margarine, the size of quarters, in the dough.

    2. Scrape dough from the bowl onto a generously floured work surface or tea towel and shape into a long vertical rectangle about 2 inches thick. The dough will seem rough and messy. Using the edges of the towel, fold the lower part of the dough (about one-third) toward the center, then fold the top portion down. With a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 2-inch thickness. Fold the two ends in again, lifting the edges of the towel to help move the dough. Give dough a one-quarter turn, and roll it out again to a 2-inch thickness. Continue folding, turning and rolling dough until it is smooth, with noticeable yellow ribbons of butter and margarine throughout.

    3. Step


      Roll dough to 1½-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut dough into rounds. Punch cutter into dough cleanly, without twisting. When refolding and rerolling the dough, gently stack it to retain the layers. Do not overwork.

    4. Step


      Place biscuits on a baking sheet and freeze. Once they are frozen, transfer biscuits to plastic bags. The unbaked biscuits can be frozen for 2 months.

    5. Step


      To bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Place frozen biscuits in the cups of muffin tins. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes.

  2. Make the Marmalade Butter

    1. Step


      Put butter and marmalade in a mini food processor and pulse to combine. Alternatively, whisk together butter and marmalade in a bowl. (Can be made a week in advance and refrigerated.) To serve, bring to a cool room temperature and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve next to hot biscuits.



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Cooking Notes

nancy essig

To the lady who posted this recipe...How can you misrepresent it so with the picture chosen to accompany the recipe? I watched Regina make these on a vid and they were normal biscuit sized, not these towering things. I want the recipe for the towering biscuits please.

Cate Doty, Senior Staff Editor, NYT Cooking

Regina Charboneau, the creator of these biscuits, really recommends that you make these biscuits with the butter and the margarine. She says that without the margarine, the butter weighs the dough down, resulting in a shortbread-like texture. Kim Severson swears that these biscuits are the lightest and flakiest she's ever had.


Is it necessary to post what you will or will not do with certain ingredients? This is a forum to post helpful comments. So testing and adapting a recipe not a consideration? This is basically a pâte feuilletée, which is usually made using 100% butter. So try a recipe first, as offered, then make changes. Or try something new: read and research similar recipes. Note what is held in common. Experiment! No need to throw down the gauntlet in defiance of margarine, or calories.


margarine is still a thing?


There's a noticeable thread here: margarine. Could Kim Severson explain what its function is? Like ten below, I wonder whether lard would be a good substitute, but it's an expensive experiment so a little guidance would be great.


I have made these for holidays for the past two years. My family will have no other biscuit and negotiate for the last one remaining. They are a bit time consuming compared to most other biscuits. The fact that they must be frozen, requires that they be made in advance but makes the day of eating so easy. I do cut the margarine in half, but otherwise follow the recipe exactly. The finished biscuits look exactly like the photo using a 2" cutter. The marmalade is divine.

Jocelyn Breaux

The Finest Southern Biscuits Ever! Please use Land O' Lakes Margarine if you can find it. Regina spilled this recipe and I will never let go. First enjoyed her biscuits at Regina's in San Francisco. Freak out if you must over some other indulgence but the biscuits are worthy a special occasion.

nancy essig

These were great right out of the oven but let them rest and the margarine makes a heavy bottom. I thought I would cook the rest i had in the freezer on a rack over a cookie sheet. the margarine that dripped out of them was horrifying and the cooked product, drained of all that fat was truly amazing.


I have great respect for Regina who has made a big mark with these biscuits. So I saw no reason to change her recipe. I use a lot of butter in my cooking, but had never bought margarine in my life before. I did it exactly as she did in her video on P Allen Smith, including her compound butter. They were absolutely delicious and flakey. I now keep the frozen uncooked biscuits for quick bonuses for my meals. Since I only restrict carbohydrates, and not fats or proteins, they are a treat!


Hi. I wondered this myself. It (now?) says at the top: 3 dozen 2-inch biscuits.
But I'll never make them. I won't use this amount of margarine in anything.


First time was best. I used a 2" can to cut them. Regular cutter is 2.25"-- makes a big difference. Now I use the larger cutter and they don't rise as well. Also cook them longer than instructed: until they smell done, thirty to forty minutes.

Nancy Matt

The recipe calls for baking powder, not soda.

Kathleen H

Making these biscuits look like the photo is so easy. Butter and margarine iced cold. Cut them 1 1/2 thick as directed. Don't twist. Keep ice cold everything. Don't freeze, but if you do, let them thaw a tad longer. Then do not put in muffin pan as directed. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. One has only you look at the biscuits baked in the muffin tin to see that the heat of the muffin cup seals the side of the biscuit preventing rising.

nancy essig

the sugar is to counteract the bitterness of the baking powder


I made exactly as written after buying margarine for the first time in my life and WOW. Actually quite easy and the results were fantastic. Light, flaky, tall and buttery. I did go thru by hand and ensure that the butter and margarine had been reduced to manageable chunks before I began folding, turning and rolling. I did that quite a few times and the technique, like with puff pastry, made the layers just grow. Finally, they did need to cook longer; about 45 minutes.

The Soulful Mr T

Researching biscuit recipes: a general question about these types of biscuits:It occurs to me that I’d want to eat these hot, fluffy babies right out of the oven, i.e., I wouldn’t want to prepare them, bake them, put them in a warm towel in basket and drive half and hour to someone’s house and serve them an hour later when we all get around to dinner. In other words these are to be made at home and served directly out of the oven. Yes?

Laura M

I have always used lard when making biscuits. I am a bona fide Southerner


Friends and family consider me to be a pretty good baker but I cannot make a proper biscuit. If I were given an ultimatum - make a decent biscuit or die - you might as well just order the tombstone. Nonetheless, I try new biscuit recipes a couple of times a year, usually whenever I see buttermilk on sale. That seems to inspire me. I would love to try one of these biscuits made by someone who has the knowhow. Meanwhile, we can add this recipe to the long list in my obituary.


RE the margarine. Try vegetable shortening (Crisco) instead. This is what cooks in eastern KY use for biscuits.


Sorry, these biscuits aren't great. I have a rotating repertoire of about five biscuits recipes that I use depending on the dish. And these won't be added to that. They were flat, greasy, no flavor, just a dissapointing venture all together. And I have no qualms with margarine as someone who makes lard biscuits without hesitation.


I agree with comments noting that a splurge is a splurge. I have no problem with a delicious calorie-laden treat on occasion. No one is making these every day. That said, I don't know why anyone would make these at all. They're incredibly time consuming and they're just OK. The immense effort required is not justified by the result. I love a challenge, and will happily devote an afternoon to a ridiculously complex cooking challenge. I won't do this one again!


Kind of greasy and didn’t look as tall as the picture but my family liked them


I used all butter and bumped the temperature to 400 degrees F for an additional 5 minutes. The few pools of melted butter browned a bit and reabsorbed. Beautiful flaky layers. My biscuits doubled in height, using 3 tsp baking powder and rolling to about 3/4 inch thickness. Didn't take all that much longer than my cream biscuits. Delicious!

M Davis

No margarine so used half Crisco, half unsalted butter and added a tsp. of salt. Came out so light and flaky. Butter has a lower melting point than margarine/veg. shortening, which is why it's important NOT to substitute all butter (some shortening makes better pie crusts/cookies too). Butter tends to flood out and create heavy, dense pastry. Using some vegetable shortening creates flakes. It's essential the fat be cold/preferably frozen before baking.


Made a half recipe with full butter (you follow?) and they turned out spectacular. Nice tall slinkys, maybe not quite as defined as the ones in the photo, but for a first try, absolutely bomb.

nancy van house

Excellent -- a hit at neighborhood pot luck. However: (1) should have read comments first; can't use spreadable margarine; too liquid. Hard to find margarine in stick form. Made again with sticks. Better. (2) too sweet with the amount of sugar in the recipe. With no sugar, the bitterness of the baking powder comes through. Next time I'll try with some sugar but not this much. (3) Took more like 40 min to bake.

Kevin W

Before Biscuits & Blues, Regina Charboneau had the eponymous-named restaurant, Regina’s, in San Francisco’s theater district. I remember her biscuits more than 30 years later. They are that good! Five stars from me.


I only wish I had been able to find real margarine without traveling 20 miles. I tried to substitute with a mix of Crisco and butter after reading the notes about the issue of water content in most margarines made today. I unfortunately had the same experience as others with the spreading of the biscuit; they were tasty though but would have done better in muffin tins rather than on a cookie sheet where they spread.


I used all butter, mixed it in bread machine which blended butter in. Rich and good.


So wait do I need to bake these in a muffin tin?

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Regina’s Butter Biscuits Recipe (2024)
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