2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Self-rising flour is softer than standard wheat flour which makes for more tender biscuits.
  • Heavy cream takes the place of the butter and buttermilk in a standard biscuit recipe.

People have been making two-ingredient biscuits ever since self-rising flour hit supermarket shelves, and it's easy to see why. Stir heavy cream into self-rising flour, scoop it onto a baking sheet, bake, and serve: It's that easy. But not everything worth making is brand new.

There are times when I'm willing to put in the extra effort for an incremental return. And then there are times when I'm willing to settle for less-than-perfect-but-still-really-great results, so long as it only takes a fraction of the work to get there. Some recipes are straight up 50/50 recipes. That is, if you do 50% as much work, you get results that are only 50% as good. Others are 20/80 recipes. With just 20% of the effort, you can get yourself 80% of the way towards perfection. These two-ingredient biscuits have one of the lowest effort-to-greatness ratios of any recipe I can think of. They take practically no effort or practice to pull off, yet produce some of the lightest, tenderest, tastiest biscuits around. They're at least a 5/95 recipe, or perhaps even a 2/98.

The Key to Traditional Biscuits

Traditional biscuits are made by combining a soft flour—one that is finely milled and relatively low in protein content—with salt and baking powder, then cutting in solid butter or shortening. As you work the fat into the flour, some of the flour gets coated in fat, while other bits end up forming a fat/flour paste. When you subsequently add a liquid—typically buttermilk or milk—that liquid is absorbed by the portion of the flour that is not coated or mixed with fat, allowing it to form gluten, the web of flour proteins that form to give bread structure.

The tricky part with biscuits is working the fat into the flour in such a way that just enough free flour is remaining. Too much and your biscuits completely crumble as they bake. Too little and your biscuits become tough, dense, and bread-like. With enough practice, you'll eventually reach a point where incorporating the fat properly becomes second nature. Most of us aren't going to make enough biscuits in a lifetime to hit that stage (though if you really want to, this recipe will start you on the path to biscuit supremacy).

That's where two-ingredient biscuits come in.

2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (1)

The Two-Ingredient Workaround

The first step to streamlining and fool-proofing biscuits is to replace the flour, baking powder, and salt with self-rising flour. Now you may say, but isn't self-rising flour essentially flour with baking powder and salt built into it, and isn't that cheating?

Well yes. That's essentially what self-rising flour is. However, self-rising flour is also typically softer and more finely milled than standard all-purpose or even cake flour, which makes it particularly suitable for making biscuits.*

*True DIY'ers can make their own self-rising flour by finding a soft wheat brand of flour such as White Lily and combine it with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt per cup of flour.

Cream biscuits solve these issues in one fell swoop by replacing the butter and milk in a traditional biscuit recipe with heavy cream. Turns out that heavy cream already has pretty much the ideal ratio of water to fat in it to form a biscuit that has just enough structure to hold together, but limits gluten development enough to keep it light and tender. And since the fat found in solid butter and the fat found in liquid cream are essentially identical, cream biscuits end up with a rich, buttery flavor even though there is technically no butter in them at all.

Making the Dough

To make two-ingredient biscuits, all you have to do is add self-rising flour to a bowl on top of a scale, (I use about one ounce of flour per biscuit I'm planning to bake), then pour in an equal amount of heavy cream by weight. Stir the two ingredients together, and you've got your basic biscuit dough. The only trick is to ensure that you don't over-work the dough. As soon as there's no real dry flour left in the bowl, you're done.

To Drop or Roll?

From there, you have a couple of options for your biscuits. For the absolute simplest biscuits, use the "drop biscuit" method: just grab a cookie dough scoop, scoop out balls of dough, and drop them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake them and you're done.

You can also use the dough to make semi-laminated, flaky, layered biscuits by rolling it out into a rectangle, folding it up in thirds like a business letter left to right then top to bottom, re-rolling and folding it, then cutting it out into rounds with a biscuit cutter. I personally find this method to be almost too fussy for such a simple recipe. I don't like to do things half-assed: if I'm going to be lazy, I'm going be as lazy as I possibly can.

2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (3)

Since we already have the heavy cream out, brushing the tops of the biscuits with a little bit of it before baking will help them develop a nice golden brown hue with an attractive sheen.

2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (4)

Baked at 425°F, they finish in about 10 minutes, which means they take around 15 minutes altogether. But your guests don't need to know that, now do they?

2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (5)

September 2015

Recipe Details

2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits

Prep10 mins

Cook15 mins

Active5 mins

Total25 mins

Serves15to 20 biscuits


  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) self-rising flour

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (if making sweet shortcake-style biscuits)

  • 10 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) heavy cream, plus more for brushing


  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F. Place flour in a large bowl. If making sweet biscuits, whisk in sugar. Stirring with a wooden spoon, drizzle in cream. Stir until a lumpy dough is formed. Do not over mix.

    2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (6)

  2. For Drop Biscuits: Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Brush tops with cream and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

    2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (7)

  3. For Flaky Rolled Biscuits: With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Using a bench scraper, fold the right third of the dough over the center, then fold the left third over so you end up with a 12-by-4-inch rectangle. Fold the top third down over the center, then fold the bottom third up so the whole thing is reduced to a 4-inch square. Press the square down and roll it out again into a 12-inch square. Repeat the folding process once more, then roll the dough again into a 12-inch square. Use a 3- to 4-inch biscuit cutter to cut out rounds and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Press together scraps to form additional biscuits. Brush tops with cream and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

    2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (8)

2-Ingredient Cream Biscuits Recipe (2024)


How do you make back to basics 2 ingredient biscuits? ›

To make two-ingredient biscuits, all you have to do is add self-rising flour to a bowl on top of a scale, (I use about one ounce of flour per biscuit I'm planning to bake), then pour in an equal amount of heavy cream by weight. Stir the two ingredients together, and you've got your basic biscuit dough.

What is the secret to biscuits? ›

Use Cold Butter for Biscuits

When the biscuit bakes, the butter will melt, releasing steam and creating pockets of air. This makes the biscuits airy and flaky on the inside.

Can I substitute milk for heavy cream in biscuits? ›

Sometimes. In making biscuits, it doesn't really matter if you use sweet, sour, butter milk or cream. Arguably, using milk instead of cream is the difference between an American-style biscuit and a scone.

What happens when you add more butter to biscuits? ›

Increasing the amount of butter definitely makes the biscuit "taste" softer, more crumbly, and more flaky.

What are the 3 steps for the biscuit method? ›

Procedure: Biscuit Method
  1. Scale and measure all ingredients.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut the shorting or butter into the dry ingredient mixture using the paddle attachment. ...
  4. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients, mixing only until combined.

What are the 4 steps of the biscuit method? ›

Biscuit Method
  1. Scale out all of your ingredients.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Add the butter and using the paddle attachment (with mixer) or pastry blender or by hand until the mixture has pea size bits of butter in it. ...
  4. The liquid ingredients are then added and combined to form a soft dough.
Aug 25, 2023

What not to do when making biscuits? ›

So before you get ready to bake up you next batch, here are five mistakes you'll want to steer clear of.
  1. Starting with room-temperature ingredients. ...
  2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer. ...
  3. Re-rolling the dough too many times. ...
  4. Taking biscuit-making way too seriously.

What makes homemade biscuits taste better? ›

Buttermilk adds a tangy flavor to the biscuits and makes them slightly more tender. Butter: We use salted European butter in this recipe. It will work with unsalted or salted butter. I like the extra saltiness of salted butter, but you can reduce the salt to 3/4 teaspoon if you prefer.

What kind of flour makes the best biscuits? ›

White Lily brand flour, especially the self-rising flour, is the gold standard among Southern cooks who make biscuits on a regular basis. White lily, self rising. I use it for everything except those thing I make using either cake flour or yeast. If I'm using yeast I use King Arthur flours.

Which liquid makes the best biscuits? ›

Just as important as the fat is the liquid used to make your biscuits. Our Buttermilk Biscuit recipe offers the choice of using milk or buttermilk. Buttermilk is known for making biscuits tender and adding a zippy tang, so we used that for this test.

Is it better to bake with milk or cream? ›

Whole milk is a good choice for general cooking and baking, as it adds richness and flavor without being too heavy. Heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are best for recipes that require a thick and creamy texture, or for making whipped cream.

Are biscuits better with buttermilk or milk? ›

Buttermilk adds a nice tang to the biscuit flavor and helps them rise better.

Are biscuits better made with butter or Crisco? ›

So what's the final verdict? Butter is the winner here. The butter biscuits were moister with that wonderful butter taste and melt-in-your mouth texture. I'd be curious to test out substituting half or just two tablespoons of the butter with shortening to see if you get the best of both.

How can I get my biscuits to rise higher? ›

Bake them close to each other.

Biscuits are an exception to this rule: Placing them close to one another on your baking sheet actually helps them push each other up, as they impede each other from spreading outward and instead puff up skywards.

How much butter do I use for 1 cup of flour? ›

Keep in mind, this ratio of 1 part butter to 1 part flour pertains to weight, not volume. And weights aren't equivalent to cup and tablespoon measurements. So, for example, if you start with 5 tablespoons of butter (70.94 grams / 2.50 ounces) you would add half a cup of flour (72.5 grams / 2.56 ounces).

What are the two methods of preparing biscuits? ›

The ultimate biscuit recipe
  • The roll and cut out technique. This is the best way to make different shaped biscuits. ...
  • The shape and slice technique. Make the biscuit dough and roll it into a log. ...
  • The scoop and bake technique. These cookies can be ready in less than half an hour – there's no need for chilling or rolling.

What are the ingredients in biscuits? ›

The main ingredients for biscuit making are flours, sugars and fats. To these ingredients, various small ingredients may be added for leavening, flavour and texture. The principle ingredient of biscuits is wheat flour. Wheat flour contains proteins including gliadin and glutenin.

What is a substitute for self-rising flour? ›

It's easy to make a self-rising flour substitute at home. Here's our Test Kitchen's simple method to make self-rising flour: For every cup of self-rising flour, substitute one cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda.

What are the ingredients are needed to make biscuit and what is their function? ›

The principal ingredients of biscuit dough are soft wheat flour, sugar, fat, and water. They are mixed with other minor ingredients (such as baking powder, skimmed milk, emulsifier, and sodium metabisulphite) to form dough containing a well- developed gluten network.

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