Soft, fluffy, tender biscuits that are vegan AND oil-free? That sounds like an oxymoron, I know. But not only is it possible, it’s easy and fast! Get these biscuits on the table and they’ll be gobbled up in no time.
Ah, biscuits. Is there anyone who doesn’t like them? Oh, wait, my son Josh. For some reason he’s anti-biscuit. But then again, he’s 4, so at any moment he could suddenly become pro-biscuit without any warning whatsoever. He also says I’m the best mom in the world about a billion times a day so he’s forgiven his flakiness. See what I did there? Biscuits…flaky…you get it.
Making vegan biscuits is rather straightforward, just substitute vegan butter for the dairy butter. But if you are trying to cut back on oil or cut it out altogether, it becomes a trickier proposition. Most of recipes I’ve seen floating out there in the cloud (fluffy like biscuits, of course) are pretty complicated or have a lot of ingredients. I wanted to make an oil-free vegan biscuit that was low in ingredients and time required. So I did. And here it is.
Not counting the water, there are four (count them) ingredients required to make oil-free vegan biscuits. As many ingredients as there are words in the recipe title, I just realized. They are:
- Raw cashews
- Baking powder
If you use self-rising flour, there are only two ingredients. Because the self-rising flour has baking powder and salt already in it. Cool, huh?
Since we’re not using oil for these biscuits, I decided to make them the vegan equivalent of a cream biscuit, but with cashew cream instead. It works beautifully, and the natural fat in the cashews browns in the oven so nicely and makes the interior so soft and tender. And bonus, no greasy fingers when eating!
Oil-free Vegan Biscuits – Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 475F. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix well. Puree the cashews with cold water in a blender or food processor, then pour the cream into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until a shaggy dough forms. I use a dough whisk for this because it helps prevent the dough from being overworked, but you can use a regular whisk or even a fork. The goal is to mix the dough as little as possible, just enough for it to come together.
Turn out the dough onto a well floured surface. It will be very wet and sticky, and that’s ok.
Using floured hands or a bench scraper (my preference), fold the dough over itself a few times, just enough to incorporate a bit of flour and build up a couple of layers before patting the dough out 3/4″ thick. Be careful not to handle the dough too much, or you’ll end up with white floury hockey pucks.
And yes, the handle of my bench scraper is melted. It still works, and I’m sure it appreciates getting featured despite its disfigurement. Side note, this bench scraper comes with biscuit cutters!
Use a floured biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits and place them on a baking sheet 1 inch apart. I can usually get 10 biscuits out of this recipe, but I only got 9 when I took this photo. RIP to the biscuit dough scraps that didn’t get to fulfill their biscuit destiny.
Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on the top.
Smothered in vegan sausage gravy.
OH YES. THIS IS HAPPENING. GET EXCITED. DO YOU NOTICE THAT ALL OF THESE WORDS ARE IN CAPS? THAT SIGNIFIES EXCITEMENT THAT YOU SHOULD BE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW UPON LEARNING THAT THIS RECIPE IS HAPPENING.
The only person not excited right now is Josh, because he would say “I don’t like that sauce” even though he’s never tried it. 4 year olds, man.
Ok, calm down and biscuit on. And then come back and tell me how it went! I’ve gotta go preheat the oven now.
Oil-free Vegan Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cups raw cashews**
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- Preheat oven to 475F.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the cashews and water into cream.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the cashew cream and stir until a shaggy dough is formed.
- Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and fold the dough over on itself three or four times, sprinkling flour as needed if it is too wet. The main goal is to avoid overworking the dough. I use a bench scraper for this so that my hands barely touch the dough until it’s time to pat it out.
- With floured hands, pat the dough out until it is about 1/2-3/4” thick.
- Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and transfer to a baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake on the upper rack at 475F for 10-12 minutes.
- Enjoy fresh out of the oven!
**Or 1/2 cup Savory Cashew Cream mixed with the water These biscuits reheat well, just pop them in an 400F oven for 3-4 minutes, or if you have an air fryer or convection toaster oven, those work even better (and you don’t have to turn on the oven). Baked biscuits can be stored in a covered container for 1-2 days at room temperature, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months (wrapped well to avoid freezer burn). Flavor Suggestions To make a sweeter dessert-style biscuit, add two tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients before mixing in the cashew cream. Or add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the cashews when making the cashew cream. To make a more savory/cheesy biscuit, add 1 tablespoon of light miso to the cashew cream mixture and 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the dry ingredients.