It's easy to make buttery, flaky, and downright delicious southern-style vegan biscuits at home using 6 ingredients in just over 30 minutes! These biscuits are dairy-free and are made with 2-ingredient vegan buttermilk.
There are few things better than a hot and buttery vegan buttermilk biscuit on a slow weekend morning.
Because I've lived in Georgia for most of my life, I know a good biscuit when I see one! But vegan biscuits are few and far between, so it's only natural that I make my own vegan buttermilk biscuit recipe.
These vegan biscuits are essentially an adaption of a traditional Southern biscuit recipe. Nothing is swapped to make it "healthier" or "lighter", we're simply talking about good, southern-style vegan biscuits.
The kind you find a gas station or on the menu at your favorite restaurant. This is the recipe that I use for my vegan biscuits and gravy.
- Quick & easy: Vegan biscuits are ready in just over 30 minutes using 6 pantry staples.
- The best texture: This recipe makes biscuits that are light, fluffy, tender, flaky, and dripping with vegan butter!
- Buttermilk biscuits: These biscuits use a 2-ingredient "vegan buttermilk" to add extra light and fluffy texture and the gentlest tang.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Flour: Choose all-purpose flour. If you live in the South, or in an area that has access to this brand, choose White Lily all-purpose flour. This is the southern biscuit-making flour. It's soft and light as air, allowing the biscuits their classic fluffy rise.
- Vegan butter: My favorite vegan butter for baking is Earth Balance buttery sticks or Country Crock plant butter (olive oil or regular sticks work). Miyoko's cultured butter is also a good option for baking.
- Vegan buttermilk: Make vegan buttermilk (AKA sour milk) by combining 1 cup of soy milk with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Let it stand for 10 minutes, or until lumpy and thickened. I've had varied success making vegan buttermilk with oat milk.
- Baking powder: Baking powder helps these biscuits rise to their full potential. Any standard baking powder will do.
- Salt: Choose regular table salt for biscuit making. Don't skimp on salt in biscuits, it's really important for flavor.
Step by step instructions
Making the biscuit dough
Step one: In a large mixing bowl, use a spoon to mix together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder.
Step two: Use a knife to cut the vegan butter into smaller chunks. You do not need to be exact about the size of the plant butter pieces. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter (this is the one that I use), forks, or your fingers.
The goal is to break the butter into pea-sized pieces so that it is evenly distributed through the biscuits.
Step three: Use a large spoon to stir vegan buttermilk into the dry mixture. The vegan "buttermilk" should be thick and lumpy.
Step four: Stir until the dough holds to the spoon. You want the dough to be slightly sticky still, but not so much so that it sticks to your hands. It will be a delicate dough.
Cutting the biscuits
Step five: Turn the biscuit dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to gently flatten it to half an inch thick. Fold the dough over on itself, then pat back down to ½ inch thick. Repeat 2-3 times. This is how to form flaky layers in vegan biscuits.
Pro tip: Do not roll the dough with a rolling pin! While it can work if you're extremely gentle, more likely than not the dough will be flattened out and lose its beautiful flaky layers.
Step six: Cut the biscuits into roughly 3-inch rounds using biscuit cutters or the mouth of a jar. Place vegan biscuits 2 inches apart on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes in a 425-degree oven. They are ready when golden brown.
Expert biscuit-making tips
- Keep your ingredients cold. In fact, I like to chill diced butter for at least 10 minutes before using. Vegan butter melts quite quickly, so starting with almost-frozen butter will slow the melting process. You can even chill your mixing bowl and utensils before using.
- To make pull-apart vegan biscuits with soft sides, line biscuit dough up on the baking sheet so that the edges are almost touching.
- Spoon and level flour: For a consistent measure, spoon flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping the measuring cup into the flour. Use the back edge of a knife to sweep off excess flour.
- For golden vegan biscuits, brush the biscuit tops with melted vegan butter before baking.
- Have fun! Making vegan biscuits (really any biscuits) is messy, and it can take a while to get them "perfect". But every biscuit-maker has their own style, so have some fun with it.
- Serving: Enjoy this recipe with my favorite Vegan Sausage Gravy and a side of 15-Minute Tofu Scramble. They are also perfect for biscuit sandwiches with homemade vegan sausage.
- Serving size: This recipe makes six 3-inch biscuits or four 4-inch biscuits, depending on the size of the biscuit cutter used.
Overworking the dough can cause them to turn out dry, dense, and tough. It also may mean that you added too much flour. The dough should be delicate but should not stick to your fingers.
Biscuits are best enjoyed the same day, but you can keep them for up to 3 days. Store at room temp and enjoy as is or reheat in the microwave until hot, about 30 seconds.
I have not tested this recipe with coconut oil but it should work if it is very cold.
Yes, you can use almond milk or oat milk instead of soy milk for the buttermilk mixture. Just make sure to choose one that is unsweetened and unflavored. Other dairy-free milk might work but I haven't tested them out.
Recommended biscuit-making tools
It is possible and common to make vegan biscuits with just a bowl, your hands, and a hard surface. But there are tools you can use to make the biscuit-making process a little easier. These are the tools that I use with my own biscuits.
- Biscuit cutters. These cut perfectly circular biscuits, which allows biscuits to spring up higher. If you cut with something like an upside-down glass or a ball jar, your biscuits will likely not inflate as high because the edges have been pressed down.
- Pastry cutter. Use this to cut butter into flour. Alternatively, use your fingers or two forks.
- Baking mat or parchment paper. I love my baking mat. It makes clean-up so much easier; no hard-to-clean flour-coated counters here! You can also use the baking mat in your oven, but make sure to check the max recommended temperature for your mat before using it with biscuits.
- Large mixing bowl and wooden spoon. For mixing, of course!
Looking for more southern classics?
If you liked this guide you may also enjoy learning how to make a perfect oil pie crust.
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Southern-Style Vegan Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour more as needed
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup vegan butter a little more than 5 tablespoons
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Stir together the soy milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before using.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt.
- Using a knife, slice the vegan butter into smaller chunks (no need to be exact about the size of chunks). Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, forks, or your fingers. The butter should be pea-sized.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir the buttermilk into the dry mixture. Stir until the dough holds to the wooden spoon. You want the dough to be slightly sticky, but not so much so that it sticks to your hands.
- Turn the biscuit dough onto a well-floured surface. Use your hands to flatten it to about half an inch thick. Fold the dough over on itself, then pat back down to half an inch thick. Repeat 2-3 times, making sure not to overwork the dough.
- Use a biscuit cutter or knife to cut the biscuits into ~3 inch rounds. Place biscuits 2 inches apart on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 425 F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Biscuits will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature but will have the best quality if enjoyed the same day.
- Keep your ingredients cold. Chill diced butter for at least 10 minutes before using for best results. You can even chill your mixing bowl and utensils before using. It's okay to skip this step if you're short on time.
- To make pull-apart biscuits with soft sides, line cut biscuit dough up on the baking sheet so that the edges are almost touching.
- For a consistent measure, spoon flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping the measuring cup into the flour. Use the back edge of a knife to sweep off excess flour.
- Handle the dough as minimally as possible to keep a light texture. Overworking the dough can make the biscuits tough.
- When I'm not using parchment paper, I like to use this non-stick baking mat.