A buttermilk biscuit is a popular bread item in American cuisine that is often served as a side dish with meals or eaten on its own as a quick snack. Buttermilk biscuits have a soft, fluffy texture and are made with simple ingredients like all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cold butter, and buttermilk. The rich buttermilk gives the biscuits their signature tangy flavor and also contributes to their light and fluffy texture. But just how many calories are in one of these tasty homemade biscuits?
What Ingredients Go Into a Buttermilk Biscuit?
The main ingredients that go into a basic homemade buttermilk biscuit recipe include:
- All-purpose flour: The base ingredient that provides structure and gluten development.
- Baking powder: Helps the biscuits rise with its leavening power.
- Salt: Enhances overall flavor.
- Cold butter: When cut into the flour, creates pockets of fat that result in flaky layers.
- Buttermilk: Contributes flavor and acidity to activate baking powder; also creates tenderness.
- Milk: Often added along with buttermilk to achieve the right biscuit dough consistency.
The specific amounts of each ingredient in a buttermilk biscuit recipe can vary, which will also cause the calorie count to vary. Generally though, most basic homemade buttermilk biscuit recipes call for about 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 cup of cold butter, 3/4 cup of buttermilk, and 2-3 tablespoons of milk.
Calories in Buttermilk Biscuit Ingredients
To determine how many calories are in a full homemade buttermilk biscuit, we need to look at the calorie count of each individual ingredient that goes into the biscuit:
- All-purpose flour: Approximately 100 calories per 1/4 cup, or 400 calories per full cup of flour.
- Baking powder: Roughly 5 calories per teaspoon.
- Salt: Essentially no calories, at 0 calories per teaspoon.
- Butter: About 100 calories per tablespoon.
- Buttermilk: Around 40-50 calories per 1/4 cup.
- Milk: Approximately 20 calories per tablespoon.
These are all approximate numbers that can vary between specific brands or types of each ingredient. But it gives us a general baseline for determining calories.
Calorie Calculation for a Large Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit
Now let’s put all of this together to calculate the full calorie count for a large homemade buttermilk biscuit:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour = 800 calories
- 1 tablespoon baking powder = 5 calories
- 1 teaspoon salt = 0 calories
- 1/4 cup butter = 100 calories
- 3/4 cup buttermilk = 112 calories (approximated at 50 calories per 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons milk = 20 calories
Total: 800 + 5 + 0 + 100 + 112 + 20 = 1037 calories
So for a large homemade buttermilk biscuit made with typical ingredients and measurements, the total calorie count comes out to approximately 1037 calories.
What About Smaller or Larger Biscuit Sizes?
The calorie count calculated above is specifically for one large sized homemade buttermilk biscuit. What if you make smaller or larger biscuits with the same recipe?
Here is how the calorie count would differ:
- Small biscuit: About 500 calories
- Medium biscuit: Around 700 calories
- Large biscuit: Approximately 1037 calories
- Extra large biscuit: Roughly 1300 calories
As you can see, the calorie count scales up or down proportionally depending on the size of each biscuit. Halve the size, halve the calories. Double the size, double the calories, and so on.
Calorie Comparison to Store-Bought Biscuits
How do the calories in a homemade buttermilk biscuit compare to store-bought versions? Here is a look:
|Biscuit Type||Calories (Average)|
|Large homemade buttermilk biscuit||1037|
|Pillsbury Grands! Buttermilk Biscuits||100|
|Pillsbury Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits||140|
|Marie Callender’s Buttermilk Biscuits||150|
As you can see, homemade buttermilk biscuits contain significantly more calories per biscuit compared to store-bought, pre-made refrigerated biscuit dough. This is likely because homemade biscuits tend to be larger in size compared to commercial biscuits. Also, homemade biscuits tend to have higher proportions of calorie-dense ingredients like butter and buttermilk.
Tips for Reducing Calories in Buttermilk Biscuits
If you want to enjoy scrumptious homemade buttermilk biscuits while limiting the calorie count, here are some tips:
- Use lower calorie butter or reduced-fat buttermilk options.
- Substitute Greek yogurt for some of the buttermilk.
- Reduce the amount of butter or replace it with oil.
- Make smaller sized biscuits.
- Adjust recipe to use less buttermilk and flour.
- Use heavy cream instead of buttermilk and milk.
- Substitute low-fat milk for whole milk.
- Cut back on portion size – stick to 1 biscuit.
With some simple ingredient swaps and adjustments, you can easily reduce the calories in homemade buttermilk biscuits while still retaining that delicious classic flavor.
Nutritional Benefits of Buttermilk Biscuits
Despite their higher calorie count, homemade buttermilk biscuits can still be part of a healthy diet when enjoyed in moderation. Here are some of the key nutritional benefits:
- Protein – Provides protein from the flour as well as milk/buttermilk to help satisfy hunger.
- Calcium – Buttermilk offers a good amount of bone-strengthening calcium.
- Potassium – Helps control blood pressure.
- Phosphorus – Supports bone health.
- Vitamin B – Riboflavin helps convert food to energy.
Pair a buttermilk biscuit with some scrambled eggs and fruit for a balanced, nutrient-dense meal. Or enjoy it alongside a hearty soup for some added carbs.
A large homemade buttermilk biscuit made with a typical recipe contains approximately 1037 calories. This number will vary depending on exact ingredient amounts and biscuit size. In comparison, store-bought refrigerated biscuits range from 100-150 calories per biscuit. While homemade buttermilk biscuits are higher in calories, they can still be incorporated into a healthy diet in moderation and provide beneficial nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin B. Adjusting recipes by reducing butter, buttermilk, and portion size can lower the calorie count while still yielding delicious homemade flavor.