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Gluten Free Cream Biscuits

Gluten Free Cream Biscuits

Made without any butter, these gluten free cream biscuits are still crisp outside and fluffy inside. Drop biscuits ready in 20 minutes flat!

Closeup image of gluten free cream biscuits showing crisp outside.

If you’re hungry for an alternative to rice or gluten free pasta for dinnertime, and don’t want to plan ahead, these cream biscuits are your last-minute solution. They’re tender, light, and fluffy, and make any meal just a little more special.

What makes cream biscuits different?

Cream biscuits are no-butter baking powder biscuits made with heavy whipping cream. Since butter is made from cream, think of these as a single step removed from traditional gluten free biscuit pastry.

The way butter works in pastry making is by layering cold pieces of it throughout the dry ingredients (mostly flour) that expand when they hit the heat of the oven. That’s what creates pastry’s prized flakiness.

Since the heavy whipping cream takes the place of both butter and buttermilk that you’d find in traditional biscuits, you might expect these biscuits not to be particularly tender. But there’s plenty of butterfat in the cream (along with the liquid that’s mostly absent in butter itself) to keep these tender and moist. 

Brushing raw gluten free cream biscuits with cream before putting them in the oven.

Does ingredient temperature matter?

Typically, when baking pastry, the ingredients must be cold so that the fat stays in a solid state. Think of the ultimate pastry, like our gluten free puff pastry, as a miracle of architecture. The preparation is all about the physical layers of mostly solid butter and pastry layers.

These cream biscuits are more like the dumplings you make in our gluten free chicken and dumplings. Their lift comes from baking powder, and the added egg that I think makes these biscuits better in every way. (If you’re egg free, scroll down for how to replace it).

Since their lift doesn’t come from cold pockets of butter, the temperature of the ingredients doesn’t seem to matter very much in this recipe. For the easiest process, I recommend using the cream right out of the refrigerator, beating it with the egg, then mixing it into the dry ingredients.

There’s no need to chill the dough after you scoop it onto the baking sheets. Pop them right into the oven and bake.

Made without any butter, these gluten free cream biscuits are still crisp outside and fluffy inside. Drop biscuits ready in 20 minutes flat!

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

Although this recipe doesn’t call for butter, it does call for heavy whipping cream. Since the cream is one of two major ingredients in these biscuits, you will create a much different biscuit if you replace it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try.

If you would like to make these biscuits dairy-free, I recommend trying canned full-fat coconut milk. Be sure to fully integrate the cream part into the liquid part of the canned cream by shaking or whisking it. 

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the Silk brand dairy-free heavy whipping cream substitute, try that. I bet it would work great.

Egg

Typically, cream biscuits don’t contain eggs. I’ve made these biscuits without the egg, and I find that they are missing the richness of the egg yolk and the lift from the egg white. The egg in the mixture also helps hold the biscuits together and creates a better mouth feel.

If you can’t have (or just don’t have) eggs, you can leave it out. You’ll need to add more heavy whipping cream by the tablespoon until the dry ingredients are all moistened and the texture looks comparable to that in the photos and video. The biscuits won’t brown quite as much and tend to collapse a bit as they cool.

If you’re looking to make drop biscuits but without any egg, we have another recipe that will suit you well. Our traditional gluten free drop biscuits are worth your time.

Cornstarch & flour blend

In place of cornstarch, you can try using arrowroot or even tapioca starch/flour. If you’re using a higher starch blend than Better Batter or my mock Better Batter, like Cup4Cup or my mock Cup4Cup blend, instead of the cornstarch, just use an additional 1/4 cup (36 g) of the flour blend.

If you have run out of all purpose gluten free flour but have some basic component flours like superfine white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch/flour, you can try making these biscuits with my gum-free gluten free flour blend. Be sure to add xanthan gum as directed in the recipe.

Crisp outside, fluffy inside, these gluten free cream biscuits are ready in 20 minutes flat.

 
Made without any butter, these gluten free cream biscuits are still crisp outside and fluffy inside. Drop biscuits ready in 20 minutes flat!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 fluffy biscuits

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, plus more for brushing

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine. Set the dry ingredients aside. Place the cream and egg in a separate container (a measuring cup works great) and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the cream and egg mixture, and mix until just combined. The biscuit dough will be very thick and rather lumpy, and may become difficult to stir. Mix until just combined.
    Scoop the dough into large mounds, about 3 heaping tablespoons each, and place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2-inches apart from one another. Brush the tops and sides of the mounds with a bit more cream to help the biscuits brown in the oven.

  • Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minute, or until the outsides are beginning to brown and the tops spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before serving warm.

Love,
Nicole

  • cindy
    May 27, 2020 at 1:10 PM

    I made the recipe as directed using Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 baking flour. I did not weigh the egg in advance, but it was one large egg at room temperature. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the biscuits melted in the oven and then puffed back up again into big fluffy looking pancakes. The consistency of the dough was light, airy, and yet thick. We did have a tad bit of sugar in there by accident, but not much. My daughter said they tasted “like Christmas” and I agree they were quite tasty. We will definitely try this again, I’m just not sure what to change….

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 27, 2020 at 1:27 PM

      You cannot use Bob’s Red Mill flour in my recipes that call for an all purpose gluten free flour, Cindy. It’s not a properly balanced, high quality blend at all. Please see the page that discusses flour blends fully, which I link to every time I call for an all purpose gluten free flour. Here’s that link again, for your convenience: https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/all-purpose-gluten-free-flour-recipes/

  • Jen
    May 11, 2020 at 8:16 PM

    These truly are the easiest and tastiest GF biscuits. The only egg I had left wasn’t quite as big as 50g, so I did add a splash more cream, probably too large a splash, but they still baked up fine. It was so great to whip up a batch of biscuits in 20 minutes to go with the soup I made. Thanks for the recipe!

  • A.
    May 11, 2020 at 7:46 PM

    Thank you. I made them today and they were wonderful, the only thing I did different was add 3 tbsp…. Of soft butter to the recipe. Again thank you.

  • Cheryl Cook
    May 10, 2020 at 1:07 PM

    Wow, best biscuits I have ever made. So light and airy. I had some Cup 4 Cup that I needed to use so I followed Nicole’s suggestion and used 2 cups and no cornstarch. Mixed lightly till barely combined. The cooked and browned beautifully. Thanks. This will be my forever biscuit recipe.

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 10, 2020 at 7:57 PM

      I’m so happy to hear it, Cheryl! Love “forever biscuit recipe.” I hope you will be very happy together. 👰❤️

  • Rebecca Hall
    May 10, 2020 at 9:44 AM

    Thank you for your great gluten free recipes!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 10, 2020 at 10:01 AM

      You’re so welcome, Rebecca. Thank you for being here!

  • JoAnn
    May 8, 2020 at 2:04 PM

    These are the best biscuts ever. I have tried many GF recipes, this one is the best and easiest. Love the cheddar bay biscuts also. Thanks for all u do .

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 8, 2020 at 2:35 PM

      I love it, JoAnn! You really can’t beat the ease. The simpler it is, the more you’ll be willing to make it, right?

  • Caroline
    May 2, 2020 at 1:26 PM

    Substitute for cornstarch?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 2, 2020 at 2:28 PM

      Please see the Ingredients and substitutions section, Caroline.

  • Barbara Wilson
    April 27, 2020 at 12:54 PM

    These biscuits are delicious! Had them with sausage gravy, something I had been missing. I warmed up the leftover ones with honey and butter for breakfast next day and they were just fine. Only problem… my supermarket by me is out of heavy cream !! Can’t make more! Due to virus processing plants are closed and farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of milk.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 27, 2020 at 2:16 PM

      Oh no, Barbara! It’s so tragic how farmers are having to dump milk and refrain from harvesting crops. We just heard this morning the NY’s governor is facilitating the transfer of milk from NY farms to yogurt producers who are using it to make yogurt that is being donated to food banks. We need more of that!

  • Suzanne Lee
    April 27, 2020 at 11:28 AM

    Oh. My. Goodness! These were so good! I patted and cut my biscuits out and baked them in my big iron 🍳. (Southern girl). I served them with my homemade strawberry freezer jam and cinnamon whipped cream. I think it’s just about as good as therapy!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 27, 2020 at 11:49 AM

      I’ve been in traditional talk therapy forever, Suzanne, and I still need baking therapy. Especially these days! So glad you got yours. And I’m relieved that they passed the Southern girl test.

  • Anne McCracken
    April 27, 2020 at 11:15 AM

    Hi Nicole. Made these yesterday and they were amazing! Even my son had to admit it who never wants to eat my GF food. I have also made the artisan bread which is my favourite as well. I have tested many many different recipes and also many different flour blends and yours are by far the best. I have used the mock better batter and mock cup 4 cup. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad I found your website.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 27, 2020 at 11:48 AM

      I’m so glad you found my website, too, Anne! I’m working on a variation of the artisan bread, and I’m super excited to share it when it’s ready. I’m so glad you impressed your son. If I were you, that would be a goal. I think that part of the reason I started this site all those years ago was based on that sort of intention!

  • Jean Ann
    April 26, 2020 at 7:21 PM

    Oh my gosh! These are the best biscuits! My gluten eaters had seconds and asked me if I was sure they were okay for me to eat because they didn’t think they were really gluten free. A new family favorite. Thank you so much Nicole! A bright spot on this rainy quarantine Sunday!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 27, 2020 at 11:43 AM

      That’s when you know you have a real winner, Jean Ann! Thank you so much for letting me know of your success.

  • Carol Morgan
    April 26, 2020 at 12:03 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    Can these biscuits be frozen for use later after baking them?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 26, 2020 at 12:21 PM

      Absolutely, Carol. I would defrost them in the microwave (or at room temperature) and then sprinkle with water and place in the toaster oven.

  • Shelley
    April 26, 2020 at 10:47 AM

    I have been looking for a simple biscuits recipe for ages, I’m so happy to see this! I’m making them this morning before Livingroom Church. I can’t wait!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 26, 2020 at 11:25 AM

      Livingroom Church is brilliant, Shelley. We are all settling into our new reality as best we can!

  • Judith
    April 26, 2020 at 9:51 AM

    Hi Nicole! I love your newsletter, but a problem for me with a lot of the recipes is that tapioca makes me very sick too. Any chance you have a basic flour recipe that would skip tapioca? Thanks so much.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM

      Hi, Judith, I’m afraid that tapioca starch/flour is about as hard to replace as rice flour. There’s nothing else quite like it. Many of my Paleo recipes don’t contain it, though. And you can always go with the flourless baking recipes.

  • Bev
    April 22, 2020 at 4:46 PM

    Could Buttermilk be use instead of the heavy whipping cream? I’m trying to use ingredients that are in the fridge.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 22, 2020 at 5:32 PM

      Hi, Bev, the biscuits should still turn out, but they’ll likely be drier and more crumbly. The extra butterfat in the heavy cream tenderizes them.

  • Jennifer
    April 22, 2020 at 1:38 PM

    Can these biscuits be sweetened to make strawberry shortcakes?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 22, 2020 at 2:46 PM

      Yes, definitely, Jennifer! That’s a great option. Just whisk in 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of granulated sugar with the dry ingredients.

  • Sandy
    April 22, 2020 at 11:59 AM

    Other than coconut milk is there any sub for heavy whipping cream?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 22, 2020 at 2:43 PM

      Please see the Ingredients and substitutions section for all the information I can provide about that, Sandy!

  • Susan
    April 22, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    Does Better Batter have xanthan gum in it? If so do you omit it from the recipe above?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 22, 2020 at 11:47 AM

      Yes! It does, Susan. So yes, you omit it.

  • Anita
    April 22, 2020 at 10:42 AM

    My 4 1/2 yr old step daughter loves biscuits and this recipe looks perfect for baking with her! Thank you so much, Nicole!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 22, 2020 at 11:05 AM

      Oh that’s a great idea, Anita. My kids are teenagers now so I didn’t even consider how perfect this would be for baking with a little one. Hopefully this can fill a small part of the day!

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