biscuits in muffin tins

Cream of Tartar Drop Biscuits

biscuits in muffin tins

Recently, I posted my family’s recipe for fish chowder and nothing goes better with any kind of chowder than biscuits. So now I’m posting another family favourite, these Cream of Tartar Drop Biscuits. These biscuits are fluffy and light and come together in a jiffy with ingredients you can easily always have available.

The recipe was originally called Olde Tyme New Brunswick Cream of Tartar Drop Biscuits. I shortened it to Cream of Tartar Drop Biscuits for everyone’s sake. Lol. It evolved because my cousin Mary had to make a rolled out and cut version of these Olde Tyme biscuits when she worked as an interpretive guide at an Olde Tyme New Brunswick provincial historic site – The Sheriff Andrews House in our hometown of St. Andrews. Actually, when I think about it, all the recipes from that place started with Olde Tyme. Olde Tyme was their thing! Anyway, Mary’s mother, my Great Aunt Muriel Carson, liked the taste of the recipe Mary brought home but she thought that having to roll and cut the biscuits was, “a bit too fussy.” 

Why Cream of Tartar?

Aunt Muriel devised these drop biscuits cooked in muffin tins instead. The cream of tartar adds loft, replaces the usual buttermilk in biscuits, and explains why the biscuits need a little “rest period” as called for in the instructions below. My cousin Mary says that while the batter had its resting period, Auntie would patiently wait and sing it a little tune. Auntie Muriel was the sweetest of sweet people, like her mother, my great-grandmother, Allyne Dyer, before her. 

Both women cooked with love and patience and with whatever they made, you could always taste that love as the first and foremost ingredient. Note: I’ve also written out Aunt Muriel’s instructions for doubling and tripling the Cream of Tartar Drop Biscuits because it’s not a matter of simply doubling and tripling the ingredients.

Please let me know if you give these a try. It’s nice to know there’s a little of the sweet ways of my Auntie and Grammy out in the world. Having had their presence in my life helps me savour it all now no matter what life serves up.


Cream of Tartar Drop Biscuits

biscuits in muffin tins


Light and fluffy, these biscuits come together in a jiffy and use ingredients you can always have on hand.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 1 to 3 dozen
  • Category: biscuits
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: canadian


Yield: 1 dozen

1 egg

¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons milk

⅓ cup vegetable oil

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup sugar

Yield: 2 dozen

2 eggs

1¾ cups milk

¾ cup vegetable oil

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

1½ teaspoons slat

⅓ cup sugar

Yield: 3 dozen

3 eggs

2 ⅔ cups milk

1 cup + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking soda

6 teaspoons cream of tartar

2¼ teaspoons salt

½ cup sugar

Variation: Add a teaspoon of dried herbs and a few Tablespoons of grated cheese to the batter to change things up.


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Beat the egg/s in a large measuring cup, then add the milk and oil.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar together in a large bowl, make a well in the center, pour in the egg mixture and stir into the flour mix until moist throughout.
  4. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes (this is when Aunt Muriel would sing a tune).
  5. Drop the dough (evenly) in the greased muffin tins and bake for about 12 minutes.
  6. Enjoy with a hot bowl of chowder or baked beans or with a little butter and jam and a nice cup of tea.



  1. Brandi Gray

    These are great, Karen! Me and Max the dog sang a tune while waiting for the dough to rest. 🙂

    Oh oh we’re half way there
    Whoa ohh living on a prayer… 😂

    Went so well with my lamb stew. Thanks for the recipe!

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