Here’s how to make biscuits that are so light and fluffy, they practically float off the plate right into your mouth. They’re seriously easy to make, too; you don’t even need a pastry blender to make the best biscuits ever—just a bowl and a spoon.
The best homemade biscuits have a trick up their sleeve—wait, do biscuits even have sleeves? Okay, if biscuits had sleeves, this would be their trick: no butter. This biscuit recipe without butter still makes the shortest, tastiest biscuits ever.
Why? Heavy cream. It still provides the butter fat for tender biscuit dough, but saves you the work of cutting cold butter into tiny, pea-sized pieces. All you have to do is stir the cream into the dry ingredients and voilà! You’re ready to bake.
You can eat these delightful biscuits however you want: plain, with my orange marmalade recipe, honey butter, or dressed up a little. Think biscuits and gravy or bacon and egg biscuit sammies for a decadent weekend brunch.
Making homemade biscuits from scratch for a big family breakfast? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
How to make biscuits at home:
Gather your ingredients: all-purpose flour, a little sugar, salt, and baking powder. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Then pour in the heavy cream and stir until the mixture is combined. This shouldn’t take long, so be careful not to over stir.
You might need to adjust the dough a little at this point—if it’s too dry, add a spoonful of cream.
Gently knead the dough for about 30 seconds, and press the dough out into a round that’s about 3/4” thick. Use a biscuit cutter, a fancy crinkled edge biscuit cutter, or even a juice glass to cut the dough into biscuit rounds. Place each biscuit on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper underneath for easy removal. Scraps can be pushed together and recut.
If you’re not yet ready to bake them, the biscuits can be wrapped up on the baking sheet and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours.
How do I know if my baking powder is still good?
Biscuits need baking powder, or some sort of leavening, in order to rise up tall and proud.
If you’ve tried making biscuits at home and not been very happy with the outcome, it may be because your baking powder is past its prime. Baking powder doesn’t last forever. The shelf life is between 6 months to a year—unlike baking soda which lasts pretty much forever— and it should be stored in a cool dry place.
To test your baking powder, try pouring boiling water over it and see if if bubbles!
How do I make biscuits without baking powder?
If you like, you can head over to my recipe for 3-Ingredient Homemade Biscuits, which uses self-rising flour, butter, and milk in the recipe. It’s a classic homemade biscuits with butter and milk recipe.
Or, you can use a baking powder substitute, or make your own baking powder at home: Sift ¼ cup cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons baking soda through a fine strainer 3 times into a small bowl. Store airtight at room temperature.
Remember that baking soda has 4 times the strength of baking powder, so ¼ teaspoon soda is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
For a tablespoon of baking powder, simply substitute ¾ teaspoon baking soda and 1 ⅞ teaspoons cream of tartar.
What if you don’t have cream of tartar? We’ve all been there. Use ¾ teaspoon baking soda, and 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar. (Add the lemon juice along with the cream, and the baking soda gets whisked into the dry ingredients.)
How to make biscuits without sugar:
Just omit the sugar in the recipe; it’s a small amount and you don’t need it, if you don’t want it.
Can I make homemade biscuits ahead of time?
Yes, you can make these zippy biscuits several hours ahead of time, wrapped up in plastic film on a baking sheet, or way ahead of time and freeze them.
If you want to freeze biscuts, freeze them raw. When you go to bake them you can take them out and allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge.
Making beautiful homemade biscuits shiny:
If you want to give your biscuits a little extra shine, beat one egg yolk together with a splash of cream and brush it on the tops of the raw biscuits right before baking. The egg wash will make the tops golden and beautiful!
What’s your favorite homemade biscuit recipe? Let me know in the comments…until then, bake happy!
How to Make Biscuits
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 1/4 cups heavy cream plus more as needed
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in cream until combined, about 30 seconds. Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter, gather into ball, and knead briefly until smooth, about 30 seconds. If dough is too crumbly, add an additional teaspoon of heavy cream to get smooth dough. Repeat if necessary.
- Shape dough into 3/4-inch-thick round. Dip 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter in flour and cut out biscuits, recombining scraps as needed to yield 12 biscuits. Place rounds on prepared baking sheet. (Baking sheet with biscuits can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.)
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.