Gluten Free Biscuits

Want to know how to make gluten free biscuits?  Butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream transform gluten free flour into amazingly fluffy, buttery biscuits like you’ve never had before.

Biscuits are a thing of beauty.  No, seriously, they area.  They are amazingly simple and uncomplicated.  Flour and fat in the perfect ratio, mingled together with an easy touch, yield melt in your mouth, fluffy goodness.   But despite their simplicity, they are also complicated little bundles as well.

The Search for the Perfect Gluten Free Biscuit

Before blogging, I scoured cookbooks and other online recipes in search of the perfect gluten free biscuit recipe.  To my dismay, most recipes contained egg.  It’s not terribly uncommon in gluten free baking to use more eggs than traditional recipes.  Eggs help to hold things together in the absence of gluten.

Unfortunately for me, I am allergic to eggs.  And as a result, I abandoned the idea that I would ever have light and fluffy, gluten and egg free biscuits again.

For some reason, I had a serious hankering for biscuits a few weeks back.  I sat back and looked through the recipes on my blog for a jumping off point for biscuits.  Believe it or not, I found just what I needed in my recipes for Gluten Free Apple Butter Rugelach and Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Rugelach.  There my eyes were opened to a secret weapon:  cream cheese.

Using Cream Cheese in Biscuits

Yes, friends, cream cheese is the secret weapon in my biscuit recipe.   I’m certain that I am not a pioneer here, but the combination of butter and cream cheese works like a charm in this recipe.  Cream cheese does what you DON’T want butter to do.  We’ll go through this later, but you don’t want to completely mix your butter and flour together when making biscuits.  You want some marbling present…some butter pieces…those little buttery pieces make biscuits extraordinary.

In this recipe, the cream cheese IS mixed completely into the flour.  It’s like grabbing every gram of flour and loading it up with some fat – this is good, very good.

For this to work, please use regular full fat cream cheese, not lite or whipped or neufchatel (which gives me the willies).  Full on, full fat cream cheese is a must (and use the good stuff).  I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

How to Make Gluten Free Biscuits

Well, I’ve given you my secret ingredient.  Now, let’s talk about technique…how to bring all of these ingredients together.

Do NOT use a stand mixer or a handheld mixer.  I also prefer not to use a food processor.  I find that I get the best results by using my hands.  There will be many people who disagree with me on this.  They will claim that the heat from my hands will begin to melt the butter and ruin everything.  I respect that.  But, I personally find that when I use my hands to cook and bake, I can “feel” when things come together as they should.

And for this recipe, my hands are doing two things.  First, they are working all of the cream cheese into the flour.  Secondly, I am slowly breaking down some of the butter into the flour.

If you would prefer to use a food processor or a hand held pasty blender, go for it!

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1:  Gather up your ingredients.  Here is exactly what I used.  As always, different gluten free flour blends behave differently.  This recipe was tested and made with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour.

Be sure to use COLD, out of the refrigerator cold, butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream.  Room temperature fat will be a complete disaster.

Step 2:  Place 1 & 1/2 cups gluten free flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt into a bowl.  Using a whisk or a fork, stir the ingredients together.

Flour stirred.

Step 3:  Cut one stick of salted butter (1/2 cup) in half lengthwise, then in half lengthwise again.  You should have 4 long sticks of butter.  Next cut each quarter into small cubes.  Remember, take the butter out of the fridge just before you cut it.  Place the butter in the flour.

cubed butter

Step 4:  Take 4 ounces of cream cheese and cut it into cubes.  Again, cream cheese should be cold and taken out just prior to cutting.  Place the cream cheese into the flour.

cream cheese

mixing

Step 5: Using your hands or a handheld pastry blender, work the cream cheese into the flour completely, and at the same time, begin to break down some of the butter into the flour.  You do NOT want to work all of the butter into the flour.

For this step I like to turn the ingredients over and press down on them a bit, then turn them over and press down again.  I continue this rhythm until my dough looks like this.  See, you can still see plenty of butter chunks in there.  This is good!

butter

Step 6:  Add 1/4 cup of cold heavy whipping cream to the mix.  Using a very light touch, turn the dough over and over until the cream is just incorporated.  The dough will be a bit more sticky than it was before.

mixing in cream

Step 7:  Lightly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gluten free flour onto a work surface.

flour

Step 8:  Place the biscuit dough onto the work surface.

dough

Step 9:  Begin to press the dough together with your hands.

form a disc

Step 10:  Continue to press the dough together until a nice round disc, about 1″ high forms.  Be sure not to knead or overwork the dough.

dough

Step 11:  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Using a 2 & 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, press down into the dough to create biscuit rounds.  You should be able to cut out 2 biscuits from this round.

biscuit cutter

Step 12:  Press together the dough again into a round that is 1: high and cut out additional biscuits.  This recipe yields 5 hefty biscuits.  Place the biscuits 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.

biscuits

biscuits

biscuits 1" inch high

Step 13:  Lightly brush the tops and sides of each biscuit with heavy whipping cream.  You could also brush each biscuit with melted butter instead if you prefer.

Step 14:  Bake for 18-22 minutes until the biscuits are golden.  Allow the biscuits to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

biscuits

Due to the high fat content of these biscuits, they are best served warm.

I hope that you enjoy these as much as we did.  My son summed it up best,

“Mom, these taste just like real biscuits.  They’re amazing.”

Gluten Free Biscuits

Gluten Free Biscuits

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Gluten Free Biscuits - The Gluten Free Gathering

Gluten Free Biscuits

Light, fluffy gluten free biscuits (with no egg)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword biscuit, butter, cream cheese, Gluten Free, ice cream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings 5 biscuits
Author The Gluten Free Gathering

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum) - I used King Arthur's Measure for Measure
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold, salted butter, cubed
  • 4 ounces cold, cubed cream cheese (block type)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, cold

Additional:

  • 1-2 tablespoons gluten free flour for dusting work surface
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream or melted butter

Instructions

  • Gather up your ingredients. As always, different gluten free flour blends behave differently. This recipe was tested and made with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour. Be sure to use COLD, out of the refrigerator cold, butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Room temperature fat will be a complete disaster.
  • Place 1 & 1/2 cups gluten free flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt into a bowl. Using a whisk or a fork, stir the ingredients together.
  • Cut one stick of salted butter (1/2 cup) in half lengthwise, then in half lengthwise again. You should have 4 long sticks of butter. Next cut each quarter into small cubes. Remember, take the butter out of the fridge just before you cut it. Place the butter in the flour.
  • Take 4 ounces of cream cheese and cut it into cubes. Again, cream cheese should be cold and taken out just prior to cutting. Place the cream cheese into the flour.
  • Using your hands or a handheld pastry blender, work the cream cheese into the flour completely, and at the same time, begin to break down some of the butter into the flour. You do NOT want to work all of the butter into the flour. For this step I like to turn the ingredients over and press down on them a bit, then turn them over and press down again. I continue this rhythm until my dough still has butter pieces but the cream cheese is completely incorporated into the flour and the flour is no longer dusty in appearance.
  • Add 1/4 cup of cold heavy whipping cream to the mix. Using a very light touch, turn the dough over and over until the cream is just incorporated. The dough will be a bit more sticky than it was before.
  • Lightly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gluten free flour onto a work surface.
  • Place the biscuit dough onto the work surface.
  • Begin to press the dough together with your hands. Continue to press the dough together until a nice round disc, about 1″ high forms. Be sure not to knead or overwork the dough.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a 2 & 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, press down into the dough to create biscuit rounds. You should be able to cut out 2 biscuits from this round.
  • Press together the dough again into a round that is 1: high and cut out additional biscuits. This recipe yields 5 hefty biscuits. Place the biscuits 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  • Lightly brush the tops and sides of each biscuit with heavy whipping cream. You could also brush each biscuit with melted butter instead if you prefer. Bake for 18-22 minutes until the biscuits are golden. Allow the biscuits to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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 The images, content, and recipes found within are copyright protected. Do not use images and written content without first obtaining permission from The Gluten Free Gathering.  Looking to share or republish a recipe? Please link back directly to this post for the recipe.

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9 thoughts on “Gluten Free Biscuits

  1. These biscuits look so perfect! I’ve never thought to use cream cheese in biscuits, but totally intrigued to give it a try! I’m totally with you on using my hands to mix biscuit dough. When I get my hands into the dough, I can totally feel when things are right. Using kitchen tools that distance you from the dough doesn’t give you the necessary feedback loop you need to make the perfect biscuit.

    1. I always use salted butter. I feel like they have added the perfect amount of butter already – so I don’t mess with it!

  2. Can you make them and refrigerate before cooking? On Thanksgiving, there is so much going on that last hour, it would be so nice to make them ahead of time and then just pop them in the oven.

  3. Unfortunately these did not work for me. There was not enough liquid I think. I added another 2 T of heavy cream and it was still very crumbly when I tried to patch it together to make a “round.” I tried putting them in the fridge before baking because the oven was tied up. I left them out for about 5 minutes after to warm up a bit. They didn’t really rise. I did use a AP GF blend with xanthan gum. Oh well.

    1. I am sorry to hear that these did not work well for you. Curious which flour blend you used. All blends do not behave the same.

I'd love to know what you think!