These rich buttery flaky vegan biscuits are unbelievably just as good as regular biscuits. The secret to fluffy dairy-free biscuits is using rich and creamy coconut cream. They are ready in just 30-35 minutes and are made with 7 simple ingredients that are pantry staples. This easy recipe is made in one large mixing bowl for easy clean up and doesn’t require any special equipment like a food processor.
An American Classic
Biscuits are the quintessential American comfort food. Hot flaky buttery layers of deliciousness slathered with butter and jam or dipped into gravy – what’s better than that? Making vegan biscuits is easy and all you need are 7 simple ingredients that are probably in your pantry already. The best part is they are ready in just 30-35 minutes.
This vegan biscuit recipe is based off a traditional cream biscuit recipe made with heavy cream. Thick rich and creamy coconut cream is used in place of heavy cream in this vegan version.
Coconut Cream: Use canned coconut cream straight from the can or refrigerate canned coconut milk overnight and scoop out the hardened coconut cream that separates out from the water. You can also make homemade coconut milk and refrigerate it to let the cream separate. To make homemade coconut milk use the meat from a mature dry coconut and blend it with water then strain out the coconut milk through a nut milk bag or fine cheesecloth.
Apple Cider Vinegar: A dash of apple cider vinegar will thicken and sour the coconut cream and produce a slightly tangy flavor in the biscuits similar to using buttermilk. Lemon juice may be used as an alternative to vinegar in an equal amount.
Vegan Butter: Use any vegan butter or plant-based butter alternative. Or use vegan shortening. Vegan butter is usually salted so you can omit or reduce the amount of salt added to the dough. Vegan shortening is unsalted so be sure to add the full amount of salt to the dough if using it. Suggested vegan butters for this recipe include country crock plant butter, earth balance buttery sticks, and miyokos vegan butter.
Flour: Unbleached all-purpose flour is best to use when making biscuits. It contains less protein than bread flour, which means it will produce less gluten and in turn result in a lighter and more tender crumb structure. To make these healthier you can replace half of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour, which are made from whole grain soft wheat berries. To make gluten free dairy-free biscuits simply replace the flour with a gluten-free baking flour alternative such as bob’s red mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
Baking Powder: Baking powder is used to leaven the biscuits and helps create airy and fluffy biscuits.
How To Make Coconut Cream Biscuits
Step 1: Make the Biscuit Dough
Start by preheating the oven. First stir the apple cider vinegar into the coconut cream and let it sit while you prepare the dry ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients together with a fork in a large bowl then cut cold vegan butter or shortening into the flour mixture. Use your fingers or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs with some larger pea-sized pieces.
Pour the coconut cream mixture into the flour and butter mixture then mix it together with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.
Step 2: Shape and Cut the Cream Biscuits
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands 14 times, no more no less. Over-working the dough will develop gluten and make dense tough biscuits so be sure not to knead it any more than necessary.
Press the biscuit dough out into a round that is ¾” thick. Use a 2″ round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits. Push the cutter straight down into the dough and do not twist it at all. This will ensure clean cut edges that will rise and become very flaky. If you twist the cutter it will smush the layers together at the edges and the biscuits won’t rise as much.
Step 3: Bake the Vegan Biscuits
Place the cut biscuits onto a an ungreased baking sheet (or line it with parchment paper for easy clean up) so that the edges just touch each other. Then brush the tops of the biscuits with non-dairy milk such as soy milk or almond milk or more coconut cream.
Bake the biscuits on until they rise up and have crusty golden brown tops with visible flaky layered edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack.
Serve the biscuits warm from the oven or at room temperature.
Just like traditional biscuits, vegan biscuits are best eaten the day they are made and are best when they are just baked and still warm. Leftover biscuits can be stored in a sealed bag or airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven, toaster oven or microwave before serving.
Tips for Flaky Vegan Biscuits
For best results follow these pro tips:
- Use cold ingredients. Vegan butter tends to soften quickly so to keep it form and cold freeze it first. I like to keep a package or two of vegan butter in the freezer for when I need to make anything that calls for cold butter, like pie crust.
- Don’t over-work the dough. Keep some larger chunks of butter intact when cutting the butter into the flour. Knead the dough for 14 turns only. Any longer will work the dough too much and gluten strands will start to form, which will develop a tougher crumb structure in the final biscuits.
- Don’t twist the biscuit cutter. Make sure to push the cutter straight down into the dough to create a clean cut where the layers can rise and become flaky. Twisting the cutter will smush the layers at the edges and they won’t be able to rise as well.
What To Serve with Biscuits
These vegan coconut cream biscuits are perfect to serve at breakfast, as a snack or with dinner. Use them to make breakfast sandwiches, or simply slather them in butter and jam for a delicious treat on their own. Serve them with hearty fall soups or stews like this Vegan Buttercup Squash Soup, Vegan Mung Dal or this yummy Everyday Vegan Chili. Serve them in place of bread rolls with a Sunday dinner such as this Sumac and Herb Roasted Chicken with Vegetables.
This recipe is also great to use for vegan shortcakes. Simply add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the flour mixture before cutting in the butter. Then sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with more sugar before baking them.
To make gluten-free vegan biscuits simply swap the all-purpose flour with a gluten free 1-to-1 flour mix in an equal amount.
Yes, it is best to freeze unbaked biscuits. Freeze them on a baking sheet after cutting them out but before brushing them milk. Once they are frozen transfer the biscuits to freezer bags and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bake them straight from the freezer and increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.
American biscuits are very similar to scones. They are both made by cutting cold butter into flour and adding milk, cream or buttermilk to form the dough. They both use baking powder as a rising agent. Where they differ is that scones are sweetened with a bit of sugar and usually have mix-ins or other flavors added. Cream scones are most similar to this recipe as they use heavy cream. In Great Britain the term “biscuit” is used for what we call “cookies” here in the USA.
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Easy Vegan Biscuits Recipe
- 160 g coconut cream 2/3 cup, canned or homemade
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 280 g unbleached all-purpose flour 2 cups, or a 1:1 mix of whole wheat pastry and ap flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder non-aluminum
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt if using salted vegan butter than you can omit or reduce the amount of salt
- 113 g vegan butter 1/2 cup, 1 stick, or vegan shortening
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk or coconut cream, for brushing biscuits
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Stir apple cider vinegar into coconut cream and let sit to thicken.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together then cut the shortening or vegan butter into the mixture using your fingers, pastry cutter or two knives until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs with some larger pea-sized chunks.
- Add coconut cream mixture all at once and stir with a fork until the dough comes together in to a shaggy dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it 14 times (no more no less!). Pat out the dough with your fingers to a 3/4" thick round or rectangle.
- Use a 2" round cutter to cut out round biscuits. Push the cutter straight down into the dough, without twisting it. This will help to get flaky layers int he biscuits. Gently rework scraps and re-cut. You can also pat dough out into a rectangle and then cut into into squares with a shape knife. If you do this make sure to cut the outer edges for flakier layers.
- Transfer rounds to an ungreased baking sheet just touching each other. Brush biscuits with non-dairy milk or more coconut cream.
- Bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes until they puff up and are golden brown with a crusty top.
- Biscuits are best eaten hot from the oven or the same day they are made. Store biscuits in a sealed bag or container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Warm them up in the oven, toaster oven or microwave before serving.
- To make sweet biscuits or shortcakes add 2 tablespoons of sugar or a sweetener of your choice to the dough and sprinkle the tops with more sugar before baking them.
- Add savory mix-ins such as vegan cheese, herbs, nuts or sweet mix-ins like fruit jam, fresh or frozen berries, apples, etc. to make vegan scones with this dough.