Cream Biscuits

December 7, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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: 8 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
In This Recipe


  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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Biscuit|Bread|Grains|Milk/Cream|Serves a Crowd|Make Ahead|Mother's Day|Valentine's Day|Side|Snack|Appetizer|Breakfast

Reviews (39) Questions (6)

39 Reviews

Renee January 13, 2018
I woke up this morning, ready for my weekend slice of toast for breakfast. I always keep a homemade loaf of bread in the freezer. Well, with the holidays and all, somehow there was no bread. I was instantly depressed. Decided to peruse Food52 for biscuit recipes and happened upon this one. Made it exactly as written and OH MAMA!!! These are melt in your mouth perfection. Now that I'm sustained and satiated I can face taking down my Christmas decorations. Thank you, Merrill. Job well done!
LizCo77 November 27, 2016
These are so simple and so delicious, it's remarkable. I followed the recipe exactly. Thank you for making me look good on Thanksgiving!
Wanda B. June 23, 2016
Never mind on the butter.........I should have read the whole recipe...It's just for brushing on. Silly ME!!!
Wanda B. June 23, 2016
How much butter?
Reed K. March 4, 2016
will definitely be making, with the addition of currants (I love a cream current scone with some milky tea...)
Kerry G. October 18, 2015
...and 2nd time, I used 1.5c flour, and reduced salt by half as I only had 250 ml cream
Kerry G. October 11, 2015
Perfect! I made these because I needed to use up extra cream. Now I will be buying extra cream so that I need to make these ;-)
liz September 11, 2015
These look terrific. Could I use plain kefir instead of cream? It works great in pancakes etc.
Author Comment
Merrill S. September 11, 2015
I haven't tried it so I'm not sure how they'd turn out. Let me know if you do!
Rachel C. January 8, 2015
WOW i just made these today and they are fantastic. i immediately ate 2. into the freezer they go.
Hiromi M. December 21, 2014
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.
lastnightsdinner December 16, 2014
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!
Author Comment
Merrill S. December 16, 2014
That sounds amazing! I may have to make your version this weekend...
Marian B. December 16, 2014
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!
Author Comment
Merrill S. December 16, 2014
Good call on the flaky salt!
Allison T. August 9, 2014
Looks wonderful! I do love a good cream biscuit. Thanks for sharing!<br />
Blanca June 20, 2014
Can I make ahead this recipe and freeze it?
MegB January 24, 2014
Can't believe how easy and good these were!
Rose W. November 15, 2013
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.
threeks March 20, 2013
Sounds delish. How can I sub the baking powder due to a corn allergy?
Peony February 9, 2013
Quick and simple to make. We ate ours with cream cheese and three fruit jam. We will be enjoying these again - very good.
cririz December 27, 2012
Easy and so delicious. No cutting in butter!! Yippee!!
KarenO December 25, 2012
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.