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Baking Powder Biscuits


These baking powder biscuits are flaky, tender, and rich. If a breakfast or dessert biscuit is desired, just add more sugar to taste.

  • Yield: Makes 8 biscuits

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2001


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (for shortcake variation)
  • Sanding sugar, (optional for shortcakes)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining. Add remaining 2 cups flour, and toss to combine.

  2. Pour in heavy cream; using a rubber spatula, fold cream into dough, working in all directions and incorporating crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, until dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky.

  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured fingers, gently pat dough into a round about 1 inch thick, pressing in any loose bits. Do not overwork the dough. Use a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits as close together as possible. (Use one cut edge as the edge for the next biscuit.)

  4. Place biscuits on an unlined baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Generously brush tops of biscuits with cream. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until biscuits are golden and flecked with brown spots, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool.


HERB MIX-IN: Finely chop and then mix together a variety of fresh herbs -- such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, and chives -- to yield 4 tablespoons. Add herbs to butter-and-flour mixture after butter has been cut in. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe.

Reviews Add a comment

  • wibaker12
    1 JUL, 2015
    This is a great recipe. I cut the recipe in half and it made 5 biscuits. Had no biscuit cutter, used a glass instead. I also used buttermilk instead of the heavy cream. Wonderful for strawberry shortcake. This will be my go to recipe from now on.
  • Jasmine Gannalo
    27 MAY, 2012
    This has been my standard go to biscuit recipe for years! I don't make strawberry shortcake any other way. Thank you!
  • alexis0012
    2 APR, 2008
    I omitted the egg, and used the same measurements as the written recipe (didn't watch video) and these came out perfect! These are a favorite.
  • krislin
    30 NOV, 2007
    martha's video does not match the recipe given. is it 3/4 cup of butter or 1 cup? is it 2 cups of flour or 4? and is it 2 teaspoon of sugar or 1/2 cup of sugar? please help....
  • luckymom
    18 NOV, 2007
    Very fattening as written, but I am sure they are to die for! You can also use buttermilk instead of cream to get great results w/o so much fat. Brush with melted butter instead.
  • mudwafaris
    16 NOV, 2007
    what do you do with the egg !!