Cream Biscuits

By • December 7, 2010 30 Comments

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Author Notes: Throughout my life as a cook, I've gravitated to bread recipes that do not involve yeast or rising of any kind. I'm sharing one such recipe for what are quite simply the best biscuits I have ever had. According to Marion Cunningham, author of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, this recipe was taught to her at one of James Beard’s summer cooking classes in Seaside, Oregon. Instead of buttermilk or regular milk, they call for heavy cream, which keeps them from being even remotely dry. And more great news for non-bakers like me: the recipe is completely forgiving. You knead the dough before shaping it, but the resulting biscuits are as tender as could be. Maybe it's all that cream...Merrill Stubbs

Makes 12 biscuits

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Melted butter
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl, stirring with a fork to blend.
  2. Slowly add the cream to the dry ingredients, stirring constantly, until the dough holds together. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface for about 1 minute. Pat it into 1/2-inch thick round and use a sharp knife to it cut into 8 wedges.
  3. Arrange the wedges 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve warm with plenty of butter and/or honey.

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Comments (30) Questions (6)


8 months ago Rachel Christensen

Rachel Christensen is the Director of Audience Development for Food52.

WOW i just made these today and they are fantastic. i immediately ate 2. into the freezer they go.


8 months ago Hiromi Motojima

I made this for our afternoon tea party and everyone just loved it! And this was the easiest and simplest thing I made for the party. I used tiny bit more than 1 cup of cream. But one of my friend suggested to use greek yogurt instead of half of the cream, so I may try that. Although that may make the biscuit a bit sour? Anyway, it is really good as is. I had it with strawberry jam and mascarpone cheese, and lemon curd I made for macarons.


9 months ago lastnightsdinner

This recipe is STILL my go-to for biscuits. I actually embellished it a bit recently, adding about 4 oz. of grated cheese (a parmesan/fontina/asiago blend), a little dry mustard, some snipped chives and lots of fresh black pepper (oh, and omitting the sugar). Used them to top a pot pie! So good!


9 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

That sounds amazing! I may have to make your version this weekend...


9 months ago Marian Bull

Wow! Finally made these tonight (at midnight, restless, worried that my fancy local cream would turn soon) and they're amazing. I used probably 1 1/4 cups cream, and they're so light and soft and perfect with honey. Sprinkled some extra flaky salt on top for good measure. Thanks, Merrill!


9 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Good call on the flaky salt!


about 1 year ago Allison T

Looks wonderful! I do love a good cream biscuit. Thanks for sharing!


about 1 year ago Blanca

Can I make ahead this recipe and freeze it?


over 1 year ago MegB

Can't believe how easy and good these were!


almost 2 years ago Rose Waters

I made these for breakfast yesterday--so easy without having to cut in butter. Took 30 minutes including baking. I ate 4. I try not to eat so much white flour, but I will keep this as a go-to biscuit recipe.


over 2 years ago threeks

Sounds delish. How can I sub the baking powder due to a corn allergy?


over 2 years ago Peony

Quick and simple to make. We ate ours with cream cheese and three fruit jam. We will be enjoying these again - very good.


over 2 years ago cririz

Easy and so delicious. No cutting in butter!! Yippee!!


over 2 years ago KarenO

Made these for Xmas breakfast today for ham and egg biscuits. They were easy, which I loved and they were totally delicious, which we all loved. Thank you. This recipe is for sure a keeper.


about 3 years ago Mlouise

I know I haven't had coffee yet BUT how do eight wedges serve 12 ?????


about 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Whoa, sorry about that! Guess I hadn't had my coffee either when I wrote this. Should say "Makes 8 large biscuits."


about 3 years ago bmallorca

I have some heavy cream that's gone sour. I was wondering if I could make these biscuits with it. What do you think?


about 3 years ago bmallorca

I mean, what are good things to do with soured heavy cream? Can I use it like buttermilk?


over 3 years ago loubaby

I will definitely try these; I made Paula Deen's recipe for Cream Biscuits a few weeks ago and they were good and similar to yours--she adds a little more sugar, a little less salt and some baking soda/less baking powder. She doesn't brush with butter before baking. I like the crisp brown edge you have on yours I see here...will see if a few changes makes a better biscuit. thanks for the recipe.


over 3 years ago caroberts77

Made these for our Christmas dinner today, although I made a couple of changes. I added some rosemary and some cheddar cheese. I only had one of those small containers of cream so I had to add some additional milk. Even though we won't be eating dinner for another few hours, we had to sample these. They came out quite good and I'm having to defend them from advances by the hubby. Thanks!!!


over 3 years ago mainecook61

A recipe almost identical to this one has long been associated with the great cookbook writer Marion Cunningham. A recipe for cream biscuits (a tsp. less sugar, a slightly different shaping technique) appears in her revision of the "Fannie Farmer Cookbook," her "Fannie Farmer Baking Book," and her lovely "Breakfast Book." In the latter, she generously credits James Beard with teaching her how to make them.


over 3 years ago mainecook61

Ah, should have read the expanded head note---in which Merrill says exactly that.


almost 4 years ago EmilyC

I'm commenting on these again because I love them so much. I made them again tonight (for about the tenth time!) and used 1/2 cup whole milk buttermilk and 1+ cup of heavy cream...they stayed really moist but had a delicious tang from the buttermilk. I so appreciate a recipe like this that's easy enough to be assembled during the work week. They're by far my favorite biscuits.


almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Love the idea of combining buttermilk and cream -- will have to try it!


almost 4 years ago francesk

This is my new go-to biscuit recipe. It's easy, it's fast, it has precious few ingredience and the result is light, fluffy, and magnificient. They are so yummy, you can eat them as is without any butter or jam at all!


almost 4 years ago misschef

Finally biscuit success! Light and fluffy. Tasty and so easy. This is a great recipe and I highly recommend it.