A Gluten-Free Biscuit for Shortcakes & Summer Breakfasts

July  4, 2016

These are tender, ultra-buttery, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits—even though, as you'll notice, there's no butter called for in the recipe. This no mistake. All of the butter in the recipe comes from the cream—a mere technicality, I know.

But there is more to the story: The biscuits are made with rice instead of wheat flour. The flavor of rice flour is so very delicate that it often accentuates the other flavors used with it: Here, it magnifies the flavor of the cream (and the butter therein), so you get more butter flavor without actually using more butter. A little oat flour adds complexity that’s hard to isolate, but would be missed if it were absent. And biscuit makers will be surprised at the amount of mixing—please don’t skimp on mixing. Resting the dough gets you optimum results as well.

If you are gluten-free, and as fussy as Maya Klein (my genius coauthor of Flavor Flours, from which this recipe is excerpted—check out the book for more uses and variations!) and I, you might be interested in some of the details of our biscuit testing. We tested three different brands of rice flour (not sweet rice, a.k.a. mochi flour) for these biscuits: Bob’s Red Mill, Authentic Foods Super Fine rice flour, and a Thai brand of rice flour, either Erawan or Flying Horse (both of which are even finer than the Authentic Foods Super Fine) found in Asian groceries. Excellent results were had with each of the three flours, but the nicest browning and texture came with using the Thai flour. Authentic Foods came in second. Serve these warm with (more!) butter and jam, make shortcakes or top cobblers with them…

What makes a good biscuit to you? Give us your musts in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Amanda Waterman
    Amanda Waterman
  • Caroline Lange
    Caroline Lange
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


Amanda W. July 5, 2016
what would be a replacement for 'oat flour' - oats are not allowed in a gluten free diet in australia
Caroline L. July 5, 2016
hi amanda! though not a replacement, you might be able to seek out specifically gluten-free oats (probably at a health food store—or online!). hope this helps.