This step-by-step guide will show you how easy it can be to make fluffy, tender and flaky southern style vegan biscuits.
Biscuits are as much a part of southern culture as Coke and hot, humid summer days. You can find fluffy, flaky biscuits at many gas stations and at pretty much any breakfast spot.
When I lived in Portland I really, really missed Georgia biscuits. Naturally, I took it upon myself to learn the art of the southern biscuit.
I cannot claim to be an expert in biscuit-making, but I have learned a thing or two from early mornings spent trying to make the perfect biscuit. As a vegetarian, I split my biscuit making between traditional butter and vegan butter. I wanted to feel confident in my ability to make “regular” biscuits before trying dairy-free.
Because of that, 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 biscuits. The kind you find a gas station or on the menu at your favorite restaurant – just dairy free.
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Vegan biscuit ingredients
Flour. Choose an 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. This article breaks down the history of southern biscuits and White Lily flour.
Buttermilk. Make vegan buttermilk (AKA sour milk) by combining 1 cup of soy milk with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until lumpy and thickened.
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 – nothing fancy here, folks.
How to Make Southern-Style Vegan Biscuits
In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder.
Use a knife to cut the vegan butter into smaller chunks (no need to be exact about the size of chunks). Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter, forks, or your fingers. You want to break the butter into pea-sized bits.
Use a wooden spoon to stir vegan buttermilk into the dry mixture. Stir until the dough holds to the wooden 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.
Turn the biscuit dough out onto a well-floured surface. Use your hands to flatten it to half an inch thick. Fold the dough over on itself, then pat back down to 1/2 inch thick. Repeat 2-3 times – this is how you form the flaky biscuit layers.
Cut the biscuits into ~3 inch rounds. Place 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.
Biscuit Making Tips & Tricks
- 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 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.
- Have you ever tried to make biscuits and they turned out tough? It may be because you overworked the dough. Handle the dough as minimally as possible to keep a light texture.
- Have fun! Making 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.
Essential vegan biscuit making tools
It is possible – and certainly common – to make 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.
- 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. Alternately, 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 vegan southern recipes?
- Southern Style Vegan Banana Pudding
- Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Easy BBQ Tofu Sandwich
- Learn how to make a vegan oil pie crust
- Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets
Southern Vegan Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour more as needed
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 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 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.