Biscuit Recipe

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This show-stopping Biscuit Recipe is ridiculously simple to make and requires only 5 ingredients — most of which are pantry staples! Whip up a batch of these buttery biscuits to serve alongside a hearty dinner or enjoy them with butter, jam, and whipped cream for a sweet treat!

A plate of biscuits

This Easy Biscuit Recipe Will Be Your Go-To!

Around the world, the word “biscuit” can mean a lot of different things — typically a type of cookie that is crisp, flat, and unleavened. Some are sweet and others savory (similar to crackers).

But in the U.S., it’s known as one of the most popular baking-powdered-leavened (no yeast) quick breads. Americans pride themselves in biscuits that rise about twice their original height with a light, tender, fluffy interior. Even golden-brown exteriors with a slight crispness and visible layers on the side indicate a perfectly flaky biscuit! And one of our favorite ways to enjoy them: pulled apart and coated in a rich sausage gravy — delicious!

Beyond this amazing recipe for biscuits and gravy, this American Biscuit recipe can top a chicken pot pie or an amazing breakfast biscuit sandwich.

And while those meals are super delicious, these biscuits are incredible all on their own. In fact, there are few things better than a hot, buttery, flaky biscuit straight from the oven, spread with copious amounts of butter, jam, or honey– and maybe even some sweetened whipped cream!

Process shots: freeze butter cubes; combine dry ingredients; add butter; pulse to combine.

How To Make Biscuits

There are several different ways you can make this easy biscuit recipe (alternative methods are detailed in the recipe card), but I’ve found the most success with a food processor. Similar to pie crust, we want to handle the dough as little as possible, and the food processor helps pull the dough together with minimal handling.

  1. Start with cold butter. The colder the better! We cube the butter and then freeze the cubes before starting.
  2. Pulse butter, flour, baking powder, and salt together until butter is broken down to the size of peas.
  3. Add heavy cream. Pulse until crumbs start to form and a dough begins to come together.
  4. Knead — Knead just enough to form a ball and then press into a 1-inch tall disc. 
  5. Cut out biscuits, brush the tops with more cream, chill the biscuits, and then bake!

QUICK TIP

If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this homemade Biscuits Recipe! Use a pastry cutter or even two table knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.

Process shots: Add heavy cream to the food processor; pulse briefly to combine ingredients; knead into a ball; press to a 1-inch thickness.

Biscuit Recipe Ingredients

  • All-purpose white flour: Make sure to spoon and level the flour into the measuring cup (rather than scoop from the bag or canister) to avoid adding too much flour.
  • Granulated sugar (optional ingredient)
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Heavy cream: Make sure to get full-fat, straight-from-the-fridge cream. Or use buttermilk (see “variations” box below).
  • Butter: We recommend unsalted butter so you can perfectly season the biscuits to your personal preference. The better the quality of the butter used, the better the biscuits will taste.

VARIATIONS

  • If you’d like to make a buttermilk biscuit recipe instead, replace the heavy whipping cream with 3/4 cup buttermilk.
  • For a 3-ingredient biscuit recipe, use self-rising flour, heavy cream, and butter! You can leave out the salt and baking powder if using self-rising flour, since both are included in that mix.

Process shots: Cut biscuits; transfer to the pan; brush with cream.

Tips To Make The Best Biscuit Recipe

  • Number 1 tip: Keep the butter and the dough as cold as possible! Chill the flour, freeze the butter after cutting it, and use wet ingredients straight from the fridge. The colder the biscuit dough, the better they will turn out.
  • When cutting biscuits with a biscuit cutter press the cutter straight down — don’t swivel, shimmy, or shake it! This is important for how they rise. It creates firm edges in the dough that hold together.
  • Go easy on the kneading. As soon as the dough comes together — STOP. A few bumps and lumps are good (really!). Remember, we want to keep the dough as cold as possible. The more you have hands on the dough, the softer the butter will become.
  • Watch the bake time. Keep an eye on the biscuits while they’re in the oven so they don’t over bake. 
  • Let baked biscuits stand. Once you pull out the biscuits from the oven, let them stand on the sheet pan for about 5 minutes without breaking into them. The residual heat and steam ensure the insides are fully baked through. Another quick test for doneness: tap on the tops — they should sound hollow.
  • Don’t use a rolling pin. It will flatten the dough too much; instead, use your hands to work the dough into a disc.

QUICK TIP

Don’t have a biscuit cutter? No worries! Cut the dough into 2×2-inch squares instead!

Process shots: chill biscuits and then bake.

Biscuit Recipe FAQs

1What are the four types of biscuits?

  1. Rolled biscuits: This recipe today is a form of rolled biscuits. Characteristically, these biscuits are light and fluffy with a crusty exterior and have a flat top with straight sides.
  2. Drop biscuits: These biscuits have more milk or liquid added to create a more moist dough that is too wet to knead or roll so instead you “drop” the dough onto a baking sheet. Check out our Drop Biscuits recipe here!
  3. Scones: These are typically cut in wedges and are sweet, rich desserts made with a combination of cream and butter. Scones have a slightly heavier crumb, are tender, and have a crusty top. Peruse some of our favorite scones recipes: Strawberry SconesChocolate Chip SconesPumpkin Scones, or Cherry Scones.
  4. Shortcakes: This is a dessert recipe that uses rich biscuits or scones as a base. Scones are typically served split or whole and topped with sugared fruit and whipped cream or ice cream. Our classic Strawberry Shortcake recipe has been wildly popular!

2Why are my biscuits flat?

There are two likely culprits:

  • Old baking powder: Before spending time, energy, and money on baking, be sure that the baking powder you’ll be using is fresh. Here’s how to determine that.
  • Not using cold butter: Fat (butter) forms small pockets throughout the biscuit dough. As it melts in the oven, the CO2 from the baking powder takes the place of the fat so the biscuits will rise. If the butter is too soft or melts before the biscuits have even gone in the oven, the biscuits will be hard and flat — there is no place for the CO2 to go except out!

3Are biscuits better with butter or shortening?

There are pros and cons to both, but we love and recommend butter since it yields the best flavor and a perfectly flaky texture!

Shortening has a higher melting point than butter so you may get a better rise than if butter was used and the dough was over-worked. Shortening biscuits have a more cake-like crumb and are a bit more crumbly.

Buttery biscuits are more prone to coming out flat if not made properly (butter gets too soft before baking). But with cold butter, these biscuits have the best flavor and a more flaky texture!

4Which flour is used to make biscuits?

White, all-purpose flour works great in biscuits.

5Do biscuits need sugar?

They don’t need sugar, but just a little bit of sugar helps to develop the texture of the biscuit, delivering a more tender texture.

6Do biscuits contain eggs?

Some biscuit recipes do contain eggs. We tested this biscuit recipe with and without eggs and had a blind taste test. Every single voter voted to have the eggless biscuit!

7Should you let biscuit dough rest before baking?

We recommend letting the dough rest in the freezer to re-solidify the butter. This will help ensure a nice rise and beautiful flaky texture.

8Can I use water instead of milk in biscuits?

Water isn’t a great substitute in biscuits — you’ll be missing out on flavor and texture. Milk can be substituted for the heavy cream, but you’ll need about 1/4 cup less (use only 3/4 cup).

Biscuits on a plate

STORAGE

Biscuits Storage

While we prefer these biscuits the same day they are made, you can store leftovers. Package the (completely cooled) biscuits in an airtight bag and refrigerate. Leftovers are best eaten within a few days.

Can you freeze baked biscuits?

Yes! Wrap the completely cooled biscuits individually in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, and then freeze. They should last for 2-3 months in the freezer. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight

What To Serve With Biscuits 

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Biscuits

5 from 1 vote
This show-stopping Biscuit Recipe is ridiculously simple to make and requires only five ingredients -- most of which are pantry staples! Whip up a batch of these buttery biscuits to serve alongside a hearty dinner or enjoy them with butter, jam, and whipped cream for a sweet treat!
Print Recipe

Biscuits

5 from 1 vote
This show-stopping Biscuit Recipe is ridiculously simple to make and requires only five ingredients -- most of which are pantry staples! Whip up a batch of these buttery biscuits to serve alongside a hearty dinner or enjoy them with butter, jam, and whipped cream for a sweet treat!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword biscuit, biscuit recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 15 2-inch biscuits
Calories 220kcal
Cost $3.98

Equipment

  • Sheet pan and parchment paper or silpat liner
  • 2-inch biscuit cutter OR use a knife and cut dough into 2x2 inches
  • 12- cup food processor or pastry blender

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (260g) white all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (16g) baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (26g) granulated white sugar optional
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (232g) + 2 tablespoons (26g) heavy cream divided-- See Note 1
  • Optional: softened butter to brush on top

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line a sheet pan with a Silpat liner or parchment paper (not foil). Cut butter into small cubes and then put in the freezer to get as cold as possible-- ideally about 15 minutes.
  • USE A FOOD PROCESSOR (EASY!): Add flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cubed butter from freezer into a large food processor. Pulse (don't puree) 5-8 times at 1-second intervals. Then check; the butter should be in pea-sized crumbs. (Pulse another couple of seconds if not.) Pour 1 cup heavy cream over everything. Pulse again just until the cream is incorporated, about 8 more 1-second intervals; don't over-pulse. The dough should still be crumbly when you're done pulsing. Use a spatula to scrape everything out of the food processor onto a clean working surface. Knead just a few times to bring the dough into one ball (the less kneading, the better). If needed, you can add a sprinkle of flour, but avoid adding too much -- you'll end up with drier biscuits.
  • CUT OUT BISCUITS: Use your hands to press the dough into a 1-inch thick disc. Grab a 2-inch biscuit cutter (See Note 2 for bigger biscuits) and first press into flour, then press directly straight down into dough (don't wiggle or shimmy the cutter into the dough). Use a metal spatula to scrape the cut biscuit onto the prepared baking sheet (avoid touching the biscuit with your hands). Repeat until you've cut as many as possible then re-roll scraps, flatten, and cut out a couple more. I typically get 14 or 15. See Note 3 if you don't have a food processor!
  • BAKE: Set biscuits close together on sheet pan, only about 1/2-inch apart. (Rising close together helps them rise straight up.) Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom and tops. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes. (The steam will finish cooking the interior.) Out of the oven, brush on some softened butter with a pastry brush if desired. Serve warm, split in half with butter and jam, or even some cream if you're feeling fancy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Heavy cream: We love what the cream does for the texture and flavor of the biscuits, but if you prefer to use regular milk, that works as well. Replace the 1 cup heavy cream with 3/4 cup whole milk or low-fat buttermilk.
Note 2: Bigger biscuits: For larger biscuits, use a 2-3/4-inch biscuit cutter. I typically get 6-7 biscuits. Bake for 17-22 minutes.
Note 3: Alternative preparation method: To use a pastry blender or two table knives, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Remove the frozen, cubed butter from the freezer and put right on top the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of this bowl. Pour the heavy cream, straight from the fridge, into the well. Use a wooden spoon to gently stir until combined. Do not over-mix or overwork this dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and use your hands to gently work the dough together. (If it's too sticky, add a little more flour, but avoid adding too much more flour, or you'll get dense/drier biscuits). Once the ingredients have formed a ball, fold the dough in half over itself. Gently flatten the dough to a wide rectangle (flatten using hands, not a rolling pin). Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold in half again. Flatten with your hands again. Fold in half, flatten, rotate the dough. Repeat this process a total of 4-6 times, being careful to not overwork the dough or make it too warm. Finally, flatten the dough to 1-inch thick. Grab a 2-inch biscuit cutter and, first press into flour, then press directly straight down into dough (don't wiggle the cutter). Use a metal spatula to scrape the cut biscuit onto the prepared baking sheet (avoid touching the biscuit with your hands). Repeat until you've cut out as many as possible then re-roll scraps, flatten, and cut out a couple more. I typically get 14 or 15.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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