I called my mom a few days ago to say hi and catch up, and told her that I made biscuits. She replied, “Ohhh, biscuits are my favorite food.” Umm, excuse me?
In all my life, my mom has never declared any sort of baked good to be her favorite food. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say anything is her favorite food. She’ll call things amazing, delicious, sooooo goood, the best *insert food name here* she’s ever had, and so on.
But favorite? Not a word I’ve heard her use in relation to a particular food. Ever.
So, apparently… biscuits are where it’s at for her.
And you know, it’s easy to see why.
These fluffy vegan delights are the quintessential biscuits – buttery, dense, and flaky. They’re definitely the kind that I could imagine my mom calling her “favorite food.”
The only problem with her favorite food, in general, is that it’s usually full of butter and cream – ingredients that don’t really fit all that nicely into her plant-based diet.
When I set out to make some darn good vegan biscuits, I didn’t want to sacrifice any of that decadence. And so, I started experimenting.
I tried using almond milk in place of the cream, but it resulted in something other than what I was going for, much more like a muffin. They weren’t quite crispy enough, like a good biscuit should be.
Next, I went to my old vegan baking standby and – surprise, surprise! – it worked again.
If you’re rolling your eyes at me as I claim cashew cream to be the world’s best heavy cream substitute, then feel free to move on and skip right on down to the recipe, or over to another delicious dish. But if you’re looking for a fantastic baked good that doesn’t taste vegan, stay right here with me and get ready for some home-baked satisfaction.
The thick and rich cashew cream makes these fluffy, crisp, and dense all at the same time… something that sounds totally impossible, but that any biscuit lover knows is the epitome of a great biscuit.
Cashew cream is really easy to make, though it does require about 30 minutes of soaking time. Then you just pop it in your blender and blend it for about 2 minutes. That is, if you have a cheapo blender like I do.
If you happen to have a fancy high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, then the cashew cream will take about 30 seconds or less to whip up. It’s pretty amazing! And I know you’ll love it.Print
These vegan biscuits are everything you ever dreamed of in a biscuit, flaky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth good. They’re just like the real thing – only dairy free!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6 3/4 oz)
- 1/2 cup oat flour (2 1/4 oz)*
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- Heaping 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 Tbsp chilled vegan margarine, cut into 1 cm cubes (I used Earth Balance sticks)*
- Soak the cashews in the hot water for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
- Place the cashews and their soaking liquid in a blender and blend in 30-second bursts until creamy. This takes me about 2 minutes total in my non-fancy blender. Refrigerate 1 hour, or overnight.*
- Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor (or a large mixing bowl). Pulse (or whisk) to combine. Add the cubed margarine, then pulse until the flour looks like sand, with some pea-sized chunks remaining (I pulsed for about 30 seconds). If you’re using a bowl, cut the butter in with a pastry blender or two knives. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can do this with a fork. They’re lying.
- Measure out your cashew cream – you should have 1 cup. Add water if necessary to get it all the way there. Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and add the cashew cream. Use a fork to mix the flour into the cream as best you can – it’ll feel a bit dry.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead just a bit until most of the flour is incorporated (don’t overdo it – about 3-4 press-and-folds of the dough).
- Gently flatten the dough until it’s about an inch tall, then fold it in half (use a bench scraper if it’s sticking, then dust the surface with flour) and flatten again. Repeat once more, then flatten again and use a 2-inch biscuit cutter cut out your circles* and arrange in rows on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Very gently press the remaining dough back together, flatten, and cut until you get about 12 rounds in total. Be aware that the more you work the dough, the less flaky the final product will be. Discard any remaining dough.
- Refrigerate the prepped dough for 15 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Bake the biscuits for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove from the sheet pan. If you want, melt an additional teaspoon of margarine and brush it over the top of the baked biscuits before serving, for a more polished look.
- I like the addition of oat flour in these, but you can sub with all-purpose flour if you don’t have any.
- I recommend the Earth Balance sticks for this recipe. It’s much easier to measure, and I think they perform better in baking than the tub butter does.
- This recipe is heavily inspired by Sam Sifton’s biscuit recipe, featured in the New York Times. If you’re not vegan, you can probably make these instead, with good results.
- You can make these while the cashew cream is still warm, but I recommend letting it cool at least to room temperature before incorporating with the dry ingredients. Cold is even better, since it will help to keep the margarine cold.
- If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, you can make these square instead. Just flatten your dough into a square or rectangle, cut off the edges with a knife, then cut into equally sized squares.
Keywords: vegan, biscuit, dairy-free biscuit, egg-free
Whether you’re dunking them in mushroom gravy or slathering them with jam, these are sure to satisfy your craving, whether you’re vegan or not. In fact, you might want to make a double batch…
Give this recipe a try, let us know how it turned out in the comments below, and don’t forget to give it a five-star rating if you loved it!
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on April 24, 2016. Last updated: November 4, 2018 at 9:33 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).