Recipes from a Singapore kitchen

Sour Cream Biscuits

March 15th, 2012 | Posted by yvonne in Shophouse Bakery - (1 Comments)

sour cream biscuits

These breakfast biscuits have a serious history with me. It started long ago (way long ago) when I worked as a counter girl at the Pastry Garden bakery in Poughkeepsie, NY. After my first bite of one of these fresh from the oven, I was immediately obsessed. Slightly crisp on the outside, and moist, buttery, sweet, and slightly tangy on the inside. I knew I’d never get the recipe from them so I vowed that I would figure it out myself somehow. I experimented a few times at home and then gave up. It was easier to just buy ‘em.

Years later when I opened my own bakery, these were the first item that I added to the menu. After many more attempts at playing detective in the kitchen, I finally perfected a version that made me happy. And it made my customers happy. Really happy. While I owned Desserticus, these were hands down the most popular pastry that I sold. I carried countless pans of these biscuits, hot from the oven, up the stairs from my basement kitchen, and into the pastry case. Especially when they’re warm it’s impossible not to gobble it down and then ask for another. For years, I’ve had numerous requests for the recipe-so here it is!

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to the mixer. Mix for 10 seconds on medium-low speed to combine the dry ingredients. Add the cubes of cold unsalted butter (if you only have salted butter on hand then omit the salt in the recipe). Mix on medium-low speed until there aren’t any more visible lumps of butter and the mixture looks like grated Parmesan cheese. Don’t overmix and let the dough clump up.

Proper consistency of mixture after butter has been added

Now add the sour cream and egg yolk, and mix just until it comes together and there aren’t any streaks of sour cream. The dough may look craggy–that’s okay. It shouldn’t be completely smooth. Roll it out into a slab on a floured surface to about 1-inch thick.

Roll out to 1-inch thick

Use a 2 1/2-inch round cutter (or a glass like I did) and stamp out 8 biscuits. Gently re-roll scraps if you need to. Place on a parchment paper lined pan, equally spaced from each other. Brush with cream and sprinkle with Demerara sugar or Sugar in the Raw to give the biscuits a nice crunchy top. Regular sugar can be substituted, if that’s what you have on hand. The result will be sugary and crackly, not crunchy.

Brush biscuits with cream

Sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw

Bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven. After they bake, cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool another 5 to 10 minutes (if you can wait that long!). Fresh baked, they are super tender and light, tangy from the sour cream, and with just a touch of sweetness. They taste awesome plain as they are, or can be served with jam or butter. The next day you can re-crisp them in the oven.

biscuits after baking

biscuits with jam

Sour Cream Biscuits

Makes 8 3-inch biscuits


1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 cup cold full fat sour cream

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar, or Sugar in the Raw

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on medium-low speed to combine, about 10 seconds.
  3. Add butter cubes and continue to mix until no lumps of butter remain and the mixture resembles grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Add sour cream and yolk, and mix until dough comes together and no streaks of sour cream remain.
  5. Roll out onto a floured surface to 1-inch thick. Stamp out 8 biscuits with a floured 2 1/2-inch cutter (or glass). Space evenly apart on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Brush with cream and sprinkle with Demerara sugar. Bake until light golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool biscuits on pan 5 minutes, then remove biscuits to cool on wire rack.