Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

Fluffy and flaky, these are the best vegan buttermilk biscuitsWhen’s a biscuit not a biscuit?Depends on where you are, I’d say.In India (where the English is of course a legacy of its British colonizers), and in many other parts of the world, a biscuit is the name for a cookie. Or a cookie’s called a biscuit. You get my drift?

So when I first moved here, I was surprised to find out that a biscuit here wasn’t a cookie at all but a flaky, sublime experience of layered deliciousness.

As you can tell, I fell in love with the American biscuit.

Especially buttermilk biscuits which have a really tender crumb. To recreate buttermilk in my kitchen without animal ingredients, I used soy milk and vinegar. It was perfect.

I cook these up every chance I get. They are an unsweet scone, really, and therefore perfect for any kind of topping from jelly to a dab of vegan spread to even a dollop of peanut butter. Or you can, of course, serve them up with any spicy gravy and a side of mashed potatoes. Yum.

I like mine stark naked, though, in all their golden deliciousness.

So here you go. Enjoy!

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits, a vegan recipe

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These delicious buttermilk biscuits are completely vegan but you'll never be able to tell the difference.
Recipe type: Biscuits
Serves: 10-12 biscuits
  • Mix and set aside to curdle:
  • 1 cup very cold soymilk or almond milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • Mix together:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Add to this:
  • 5 tbsp transfat-free vegetable shortening (like Crisco) or very cold vegan “butter” like Earth Balance, chopped into small cubes.
  1. With a fork or a pastry-cutter, mix the fat into the flour until you have a coarse mixture with no large pieces of fat. If using “butter,” work quickly because you don’t want the fat to melt.
  2. Now add the curdled soymilk-vinegar mixture and mix quickly until the dough comes together.
  3. Make a ball of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Now take the dough and roll it into about ½-inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter about 1½ to 2 inches in diameter to cut the biscuits.
  5. Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Reroll any leftover scraps of dough to cut more biscuits from it.
  7. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a mixture of 1 tbsp soy milk and 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil for a nice, golden-brown glaze. Leave about 1 inch space between each: don’t overcrowd.
  8. Bake the biscuits in a preheated 450-degree oven 10-12 minutes.
  9. Cool on a baking rack.

Vegan buttermilk biscuits nutrition facts
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

39 thoughts on “Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 10, 2009 at 9:55pm

    I love them too, I made biscuit and gravy for breakfast last Sunday. Looks orangy, fluffy and wonderful. Enjoy! :)

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 10, 2009 at 10:14pm

    minus all the fatty butter milk,the biscuits look scrumptious and needless to say much healthier:)

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 10, 2009 at 11:41pm

    yummy… I love these biscuits.. Like you said, they can be had with jams, nutella or even with some spicy gravy :)

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 2:28am

    U amaze me Vaishalli! I love my Biscuits “Stark Naked” too:-) Only never thought of baking them with soymilk!

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 2:54am

    Got that drift because I was having the similar thoughts the other day! There is a very thin demarcating line, or is it there at all? I thought they looked like scones too, and they look delicious!

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 3:16am

    I have come across biscuits being described as used a part of a meal .. usually used to mop up that last bit of gravy .. I think that is the american version … love the look of your ‘stark naked’ biscuits. :-) Can feel their discomfit under that glaring camera light. ;-)

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 4:31am

    Biscuits look perfect. Oh i still refer to cookies as biscuits and my son corrects me. He has accepted marie biscuits as biscuits though :)

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Happy cook

    February 11, 2009 at 7:34am

    The looks so yumm, yeah i remember when i moved here it was als a big confusion cookies and biscuits.

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 7:38am

    looks so fluffy and so perfect..must have been delicious,,.

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 8:33am

    Biscuits looks wonderful,scrumptous. Nice click.

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 11:32am

    I would totally call these scones. That’s how confusing all these food items can be for a second language speaker. But no matter what, they sound delicious.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 3:09pm

    biscuits looks very delicious Vaishali. I am not a good baker so I don’t know much abt patry flour. Which brand do u use for pastry flour?

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Pavithra Kodical

    February 11, 2009 at 3:56pm

    Yummy biscuits..perfect with a cup of tea.I was also confused about difference between biscuit and cookie when i came to US :)

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 4:50pm

    Those look fabulous! Love the golden color! Yum!

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2009 at 5:16pm

    ha ha when I first reached in US I didn’t understand the biscuit meaning… Love the way u vegan all the food! They are fluffy & perfect!

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Proud to be vegetarian

    March 1, 2009 at 3:42am

    Is it really easy to mix cold butter with rest of the things?

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Proud to be vegetarian

    March 1, 2009 at 6:44pm

    In the grocery stores near my house, I can’t find the vegan butter in unsalted varieties. Should i try in health food store?

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 2, 2009 at 1:12pm

    Proud to be a vegetarian– You don’t mix in the butter thoroughly. You want it to be dispersed in small pieces throughout the flour so it will melt in the oven and create little flaky air pockets. That’s the whole idea behind using very cold fat– so it doesn’t melt into the flour.
    I would advise using vegetable shortening instead of butter to make these biscuits really flaky, but if you want to use butter, go ahead and use salted. But leave out the 1/2 tsp of salt in the recipe.

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    July 8, 2009 at 5:49am

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for a good dairy free biscuit that has the qualities of good buttermilk biscuits. You have made my day :)

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 8, 2009 at 3:05am

    thanks for the recipe, but why did you use vinegar? just curious. and trying to figure out whether or not i can leave it out.

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 9, 2009 at 4:57pm

    Hi unmadebed, The vinegar with the soymilk produces an acidic mix that acts and tastes like buttermilk. It helps make the biscuits fluffier.

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 9, 2009 at 10:25pm

    Oh my goodness, these are amazing! I’m from the south, where we have biscuits for breakfast with our sausage and eggs, or in the evening with dinner too. Since I’ve been vegan, I’ve been looking for a good recipe, and now I’ve found it – just made some and they taste incredible. Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  23. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 9, 2009 at 11:38pm

    Andrea, glad you liked them. Thanks for letting me know! :)

  24. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 29, 2009 at 9:29pm

    Dear Vaishali

    Finally I got a chance to bake these biscuits this year a day b4 Christmas. These tasted heavenly. I used vegan butter and all purpose flour. My fiancee is an Omni and any non-veg food is on his top list. He loved these like anything and said he won’t eat biscuits sold outside and even asked me to bookmark your recipe. He cooked Pav-Bhaji (only Bhaji :)) and we all friends enjoyed our dinner with wonderful vegan food including desserts.
    Once again, Thank you very much and wish you and Desi and the Pets very happy new year. Keep writing as you get time :)

  25. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 29, 2009 at 9:44pm

    Anonymous, how wonderful! Thanks for the feedback– and a very happy new year to you and your family too.

  26. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 29, 2010 at 2:40am

    Just made this recipe with a “chicken” pot pie, and this will definitely be bookmarked.

  27. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 3, 2010 at 3:15pm

    Just finished devouring 3 biscuits!!!!! They were so delicious! Thanks so much. I will be posting this on my website linked to you!

  28. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    July 14, 2010 at 3:48pm

    Fabulous! Thanks for this recipie. After living in The South(southern US)I did not think it possible that the best buttermilk biscuits I’d taste would contain neither butter nor milk :) . I followed the recipie exactly, though used all (2c) white whole wheat flour (didn’t have any pastry flour) and instead of making sour ‘milk’ with vinegar, I used (plain) nondairy yogurt (in this case coconut-based). They were awesome. Thanks!

  29. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 5, 2012 at 1:12am

    Difference between a cookie and a biscuit:

    Cookies are chewy , not crispy..

    Biscuits are crispy not chewy..

    Both are not same..

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      April 5, 2012 at 3:20am

      Anon, no, that’s not accurate. Cookies come in all textures, and in India cookies are called biscuits.

  30. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 14, 2012 at 4:44am

    This is hands down the best vegan recipe site ever! Keep it up girl you’re awesome,

  31. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 6, 2013 at 3:24pm

    Hey, accidently came upon your site when i was looking for bean burgers. Thank you, tried them out and loved them absolutely…………

  32. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 6, 2013 at 3:27pm

    Hey, loved your bean and oat burger recipe!! THank you!

  33. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 14, 2013 at 8:36am

    Baked these a few days ago…something told me it seemed like a lot of baking powder, but I shrugged it off given the other reviews. When they came out, they smelled like baking powder and were bitter. Not willing to give up, I used 1/2 a teaspoon less baking powder than your recipe calls for the next time I made them. This time, they were light, fluffy, savory, and tasted great. No baking powder smell. Wondering if anyone else experienced the baking powder bitterness when they made these.

  34. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 22, 2013 at 11:28pm

    These were awesome. Best biscuits ever ! I read on some other blog to fold the dough over a few times to make them flaky and turned out perfect.

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