Food & Drink

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits

North Carolina-style biscuits in Denver

Photo: Margaret Houston

Denver’s Seth Rubin left the South more than a decade ago, but he never lost his love for a flaky buttermilk biscuit. For years, the Chapel Hill native baked for grateful friends before Saturday morning bike rides in the mountains. A few years ago, he turned his hobby into a business, Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café, which gained a loyal following among displaced Southerners and mile-high converts who know a good thing when they taste it.

Rubin insists on traditional technique—like baking in small batches and incorporating butter by hand—but he experiments with ingredients to put a contemporary twist on the buttermilk classic. The biscuit kitchen offers a different flavor every day of the month, from cheddar jalapeño to chipotle honey to manchego green onion. “One of my favorite flavors is curry,” Rubin says. “It’s great with fried chicken, Havarti cheese, and strawberry jam.”

His brown sugar bacon biscuits (recipe below) are good on their own and heavenly as the base for egg sandwiches.

Margaret Houston



  • Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour

    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, plus more for dusting (if desired)

    • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    • 3 slices cooked, crisp bacon, crumbled

    • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter (cold)

    • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and bacon until evenly mixed.  Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture has a sandy texture and the pieces of butter are the size of a small pea.

  2. Add buttermilk and stir until the dough is uniformly moistened.  On a lightly floured surface, bring the dough together and roll to approximately ¾-inch thickness.  Fold, envelope style, and roll again.  If necessary, fold and roll again until the dough is smooth and uniform.  Cut biscuits and bake 11-15 minutes until tops are golden.  If desired, brush tops with butter and sprinkle with additional brown sugar.