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.
Mmmmm….biscuits. Ready to be topped with jam, dunked into a hearty soup, stuffed with vegan bacon for a breakfast sandwich, or…
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.
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Oooooooooo time to buy some raw cashews and give this recipe a whirl. Thanks for sharing, Beth!
You’re so welcome, Christopher! Glad you’re excited about it. Also, you win the prize for quickest commenter ever. 🙂
Kylee Campbell says
Should I soak the raw cashews first?
Hi Kylee! Thank you for asking this, I forgot to add that as a note in the recipe. You do not have to soak the raw cashews first, although it wouldn’t hurt to do so. If you want to be sure there are no little pieces of cashews in the cream, you could run it through a fine mesh strainer just to get those out. Hope that helps!
Look forward to trying these. Can they be made with whole wheat flour in place of the all purpose?
Hi! I would try whole wheat pastry flour, as it’s not as heavy/dense. They still might not turn out quite as fluffy, but they’ll still be tasty! 🙂
Made these tonight to go with dinner. Great texture and flavor. Perfect with jam and soaked up the broth in our soup really well.
Lauren Culp says
These were light, fluffy, and some of the best vegan biscuits I have made. My only issue is I had to add at least another cup of self-rising flour to have them hold up enough to keep their form after cutting with the biscuit cutter. The bench scraper was a genius idea and helped quite a bit. I may use half freshly ground whole wheat flour and half all purpose next time, but it was great using only self-rising flour and the cashew cream. Also parchment paper or a greased pan was not mentioned and mine did stick to the ungreased cookie sheet. With the extra flour I ended up with 15 biscuits! Looking forward to strawberry shortcake season next spring. Thanks so much for the recipe.
Deborah Gitschlag says
Hi! I am wondering if you can share the recipe for the gravy you made for these?
Saw this on AM NW and it looks great, can’t wait to try it! When will you post that delicious gravy recipe? I have to do biscuits & gravy asap 😉
Amalia Shinton says
Wow! Not easy to find a recipe to satisfy the teenage cravings of me and my vegan cousin, but here it is! I love adding my homemade chicken gravy and she loves a slab of vegan butter. These are delicious! Not to mention we can both eat it with braces! love this recipe!
Emily Zielinski says
These biscuits look delicious and bonus that they’re healtheir for you too!!
Phyllis Towns says
I just finished making these but I did use mostly white whole wheat flour as I prefer a heartier biscuit. They were delicious! This is my new go to recipe. Sorry Grandmom, but these are virtually guilt free! Lol! I immediately ate 2 & forced myself to stop there. Even my non vegan husband was pleasantly surprised. Thanks so much for sharing such a great recipe! ????
Hi Phyllis! I’m so excited that you loved these biscuits! I like the swap of the white whole wheat flour, I need to give that a go. And that they went over well with a non-vegan is the best compliment! <3
I’m definitely saving this recipe for later. It seems that I’ve just fallen in love with these soft, fluffy, and super tender biscuits. They’re so easy and quick to make. I imagine how amazing they taste when topped with jam. Get a grip Ann. Get a grip. I’m so eager to give this recipe a try.
Beth, thank you for sharing this fab idea and such detailed instructions. The info you provide will surely help me and your readers a lot. Look forward to your new ideas. Keep it up!
p.s. I’d really appreciate it if you’d share with me a few similar recipes which are your favorites.
Cheryl Duncan says
Can these be made with gluten free flour?
Thanks so much.
I’d like to know this as well.
Do you need to soak the cashews ?
This recipe looks so easy and delicious. Do you know if this would turn out using gluten free flours?
Hi Beth. My husband and I just recently went whole food/plant based. For my 98 year old mother, however, I continue to make a lot of her favorites. This morning it was strawberry shortcake made with Bisquick. That used to be a treat we shared. She felt a bit guilty watching me eat my oatmeal. But then I saw your recipe and have hopes that we can share once again. Part of enjoying an indulgence is sharing with someone you love. So thanks!
I made these and loved them! Who knew that biscuits could actually be great w/o oil/butter! I’m planning to make biscuit dogs for my adult grandson and his girlfriend, who has negative issues with gluten. Have U (or anyone reading this) tried this with gluten-free flour (ingredients: brown rice flour, white rice flour).
Beth this recipe is OUTSTANDING. I couldn’t believe how light and fluffy the biscuits. turned out. I have made vegan biscuits before, but using coconut oil and always feeling guilty for using sooo much oil. These are my new favourite and will be making them often. Thank you so much for your great recipes.
opps forgot the 5 star rating!!
These are so delicious. I love the flavour and texture. I’ve made them twice now. This morning when I made them, I didn’t roll them out. I found the dough way too sticky the first time and I ended up adding too much flour. This time I dropped them with a cookie scoop. Game changer!! Perfection. I will be making these often:)
I love the idea of making them drop biscuits!!! I need to update the post with that suggestion. Thanks Angela!
Hi there you’ve yet to address the gluten-free option. Many of us are gluten-free and vegan, it would be greatly appreciated as wasting cups of alternative flours is very expensive.
Perfection! I won’t miss fluffy biscuits anymore…I still miss butter! Was easier to give up cheese than butter.
Anne Morley says
I was looking for a WFPB biscuit recipe to use on top of sweetened apples to make a cobbler. Apple cobbler wasa a standard treat in the fall for years but the past 5, eating plant based/no oil, I had to let go of them. This is the best recipe I’ve come across. I’ll be using whole wheat pastry flour and keeping my fingers crossed for a good result. Thank you.
You’ve not answered any questions regarding gluten free, there are MANY of us who are vegan AND gluten-free.
I’m no baker but these came out fantastic! I really kept in mind not to handle the dough much, just used a bowl scraper to blend. Then I use an ice cream scooper to drop them onto a baking sheet. They were so light and fluffy. Making these again when family is here for the holidays. Thank you!
Wonderful recipe! Our fav so far is the savory version. I’m going to try the sweet one next week which I know will be equally delicious! Thank you Beth????????
Hi Laura, sorry I missed this comment! So happy you are enjoying the biscuits!!! 🙂
Can we please have some feedback on a gluten free approach, it’s been requested multiple times.
Hi Am, sorry I missed this comment. I understand that gluten-free recipes are in demand, but that’s not my primary focus when developing recipes at this time (although I do have many). There are so many sites out there that focus on gluten-free vegan recipes in the meantime. I will try to test this recipe with a gluten-free blend at some point, but again it’s not a rush for me because it’s not how our family eats so I don’t have those ingredients on hand often.
Maggie Danner says
Very good and easy! Thank you ????
My pleasure, Maggie! So glad to hear you enjoyed them. 🙂
OMG…so tired of using oil and trying to get to completely whole food plant based. These are amazing, easy, and will always be ingredients we have on hand. Thank you!!!
Lara Tin says
These biscuits taste fantastic and also super easy to make. The family loved them ❤️
Nikki Odorisio says
Oh my gosh! These are so goooood!!!! Game changer for weekend breakfast. Used whole wheat flour and it worked great.
Gene Marie Rutkauskas says
Beth, you Rock!! I am 73 years old and finally have made delicious vegan biscuits using your recipe! I gave up on making ‘regular’ biscuits years ago. Thanks so much for the vegan recipe and helpful instructions!
Oh I’m so happy to hear that they were a success for you! <3