Butternut squash biscuits with maple cinnamon butter are what happens when cozy fall spices meet up with buttery biscuits – so basically heaven.
This recipe was originally published on October 2, 2018. It has been updated with new content and photos. Enjoy!
This time last year Eddie and I were getting ready to hop on a plane to Italy and eat all the things. Nowadays life is still pretty exciting, but not nearly as jet setty (new word alert). But even if we’re not strolling along the Mediterranean coastline, eagerly awaiting our next plate of pasta, trust that delicious things are definitely still on the menu.
Butternut Squash Drop Biscuits
Especially with fall produce hitting the markets like gangbusters, and temps finally dropping low enough that I actually WANT to turn my oven on for the first time in months, my passion for all things cozy, spiced, and carby has been reignited. So today let’s revisit these buttery, craggy, soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, easy as hell butternut squash drop biscuits, shall we?
What is a Drop Biscuit?
There are typically two schools of thought when it comes to biscuits. Rolled biscuits (which tend to be a bit more common) are what you get when you mix cold butter together with flour, seasonings, and some sort of liquid (often buttermilk). This dough gets handled gently, folded, stacked, and cut into shapes. The process results in layers that rise up in the oven creating tall, flaky biscuits.
I sure do love that kind of biscuit, but in my wise, old age I’ve honestly come to adore the simple drop biscuit even more.
A drop biscuit still combines a mixture of butter, flour, seasonings, and liquid to make a dough. Except instead of flaky and distinct layers you get an impossibly tender and fluffy inside with a crunchy, golden brown exterior. Also instead of rolling and cutting, these biscuits are literally “dropped” onto the pan, making them SO much easier.
Pros to Making Drop Biscuits
Of course both types of biscuits have their unique qualities, and so it’s hard to really compare one to another. But for me, drop biscuits are much easier, neater, and more approachable than their multi-layered counterparts. Some other reasons I love a drop biscuit?
- They’re faster. You can have a batch of drop biscuits in the oven in less than 10 minutes – and that’s if you’re dilly dallying.
- They’re neater. Even though they look a little more “rustic” they’re actually much lighter on cleanup than traditional rolled biscuits. That’s because the mess is contained within one bowl and never spreads to your counter, rolling pin, and if you’re me and prone to making an enormous mess whenever flour is involved – the rest of human civilization.
- They’re forgiving. Making adjustments to a rolled and cut biscuit is pretty hard at a certain point. But with drop biscuits you can easily make adjustments on the fly.
- They have a variety of texture. This one is more a matter of preference, but what I love so much about drop biscuits is that for as fluffy and soft as they are on the inside, they’re lovely and craggy on the outside. Oh and those little peaks and crannies are perfect for collecting a drizzle of hot butter just before serving.
What Makes These Butternut Squash Drop Biscuits Amazing
To me the success of this recipe both in execution and outcome comes down to just two simple things.
- Flavorful ingredients: Earthy butternut squash, warm spices, and lightly sweetened maple cinnamon butter make this the least boring biscuit you’ll eat this fall – I promise.
- An easy method: Seriously, if you can melt butter, measure flour, pour milk, and unceremoniously plop dough onto a baking sheet then you can make these. In fact I bet you’ll find that these (and all drop biscuits for that matter) are so easy that you’ll be whipping up casual batches to go with dinner on a weeknight like it’s no big thing!
What You’ll Need to Make Butternut Squash Drop Biscuits
This is a simple list of ingredients, but here’s a breakdown so you know what’s what.
- Flour – All purpose is best
- Baking powder – This, along with beautiful butter is what the gives the biscuits a little lift in the oven. Make sure to read the expiration date on yours though, because old stuff won’t have the same leavening power as fresh.
- Salt – All baked goods (even the sweetest of desserts) MUST HAVE SALT. I tend to bake with kosher salt, because I already have it around, but if you’re using fine salt just use half as much as is called for the in the recipe.
- Sugar – This not only adds the tiniest hint of sweetness but also helps with browning.
- Unsalted butter – This is not a diet food. But you can’t have tender, moist, beautiful biscuits without it, so…also have a salad?
- Milk – I have made these successfully with anything from 2% to half and half. Buttermilk would also be an excellent choice.
- Butternut squash – When I roast a butternut squash we’ll typically eat half of it as a side dish for dinner, and I’ll save the rest to make these the next day. If you’re not into roasting your own you can also toss some peeled, diced squash into a bowl with a splash of water and some salt and pepper, cover it and microwave until it’s soft. But I think the flavor of roasted is superior.
- Warming spices – I use cinnamon and nutmeg here because they remind me of fall without overwhelming the delicate flavor of the squash. But if you have a spice you’d prefer feel free to sub it in.
- Maple syrup – The maple cinnamon butter is optional (as these biscuits are plenty delicious all on their own). But who in their right mind could really pass it up? Use good quality “real” maple syrup for this – not the caramel colored corn syrup parading as a pancake syrup.
How to Make Butternut Squash Drop Biscuits
- Preheat your oven to 425. Preheating should ALWAYS be your first step.
- Melt one stick of butter in the microwave or on the stove top. Set aside to cool (you want it to remain liquid, but don’t want it to be super hot).
- Whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices in a large bowl.
- Pour your melted and cooled butter into your cold milk. Mix with a fork until the butter starts to clump up.
- Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and add your butternut squash. Mix everything together just until no dry flour remains. The dough will be sticky and thick.
- Spoon out generous portions onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving an inch or two of space in between each biscuit.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown on the outside.
- Let them cool for at least five minutes before serving with maple cinnamon butter.
Tips for Making Butternut Squash Biscuits
- Start by preheating your oven. I’ve said it before, but it’s the WORST when you make something and then realize your oven is COLD.
- Whisk together your dry ingredients. No need to sift.
- Cool down your butter a little faster by parking it in the fridge for a few minutes after melting. But don’t forget about it or it will go solid on you.
- Keep a little extra flour and milk on hand. Because your butternut squash might be a little dryer or wetter from batch to batch you may need to adjust your amounts of milk or flour by a tablespoon or so. You’re looking for a pretty sticky and thick dough with no bits of dry flour in sight.
- Don’t overmix. While these are way more forgiving than roll and cut biscuits, you don’t want to manhandle them too much. So mix them, making any necessary adjustments, but don’t get carried away.
Substitutions for Butternut Squash Drop Biscuits with Maple Cinnamon Butter
As long as you get the right consistency in your biscuit dough, the sky is kind of the limit as far as substitations go.
- Feel free to use pretty much any soft squash in place of butternut here. Pumpkin would be great, but be aware that some squash has a higher moisture content, and so you may need more flour.
- Warming spices are there to compliment the squash, so if you want to make swaps outs, go for it. I love the idea of ginger and orange zest in an acorn squash biscuit myself.
- Instead of straight milk sometimes I like to sub in buttermilk for a bit of tang, or even some thinned out whole milk yogurt. Alt milks would also work here, but I haven’t tested with non-dairy butter substitutes, so I can’t speak to making this completely vegan.
- Sweeteners can be easily interchanged, as there isn’t much of any one kind in there to begin with. Just make sure the overall consistency is right and you’re golden!
How to Serve Butternut Squash Biscuits
These are obviously a great addition to any cozy, fall or winter meal. I also love them split and toasted in the morning with a cup of tea, or draped with spicy chipotle sausage gravy and a runny egg for a decadent brunch. And if you’re looking at these and thinking about the holidays – well we’re so on the same page. I think they’d be the perfect compliment to some of my favorite celebratory dishes like…
- Orange and Honey Glazed Roast Turkey
- Easy Mashed Potatoes
- Caramelized Onion Stuffing
- Shaved Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad
So if biscuits are your jam but you’re looking for a version that’s more flavorful, a little easier, and involves far less clean up, then give these a whirl. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Butternut Squash Biscuits with Maple Cinnamon Butter
Butternut squash drop biscuits are what happens when buttery biscuits get bitten by the fall bug. Oh and the maple cinnamon butter is a thing of glory and should be eaten on something every single day of fall.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 Biscuits 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
2 ½ C all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 C milk
1 C butternut squash, roasted, cooled, and mashed until mostly smooth
For the maple cinnamon butter:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 T maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 425° F.
Melt your butter and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pour the cold milk over the butter and stir. The milk should make the butter clump up a bit. If the mixture is too warm and the butter remains liquid, just put the whole thing into the freezer for about ten minutes, then stir. Add the butter/milk mixture and squash to the flour and mix with a rubber spatula (or your hands) just until no dry flour remains.
Drop ½ cup mounds of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch in between each biscuit.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they begin to turn golden brown on top.
While they bake, make the maple cinnamon butter but combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until completely smooth.
Remove biscuits and let cool for 5 minutes on a rack before serving.
Serve with maple cinnamon butter.
To roast your squash, slice it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then roast, cut side up in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and scoop the flesh from the skin.
You can also use canned squash, or microwave peeled, diced squash in a covered microwave safe bowl with a splash of water.
Start by preheating your oven. I’ve said it before, but it’s the WORST when you make something and then realize your oven is COLD.
Whisk together your dry ingredients. No need to sift.
Cool down your butter a little faster by parking it in the fridge for a few minutes after melting. But don’t forget about it or it will go solid on you.
Keep a little extra flour and milk on hand. Because your butternut squash might be a little dryer or wetter from batch to batch you may need to adjust your amounts of milk or flour by a tablespoon or so. You’re looking for a pretty sticky and thick dough with no bits of dry flour in sight.
Don’t overmix. While these are way more forgiving than roll and cut biscuits, you don’t want to manhandle them too much. So mix them, making any necessary adjustments, but don’t get carried away.
Keywords: easy biscuits, drop biscuits, maple cinnamon butter, butternut squash biscuits