While I usually make a loaf of dark rye bread or lighter sourdough rye bread each week, sometimes it’s nice to have a quick biscuit recipe on hand for soups or as a simple side dish. These can be on the table in less than 20 minutes – about the time it takes for soup to cook!
With just six ingredients, you can’t go wrong with super-easy coconut oil biscuits. American style, these are fluffy risen biscuits made with baking powder, just right with a bowl of lentil chili. I’ve been making these for over a decade now and they’re always excellent. It’s a great way to make vegan biscuits without have to buy a specific type of margarine.
Perhaps even easier than butter biscuits, there’s less concern with keeping the ingredients as absolutely cold as possible – though it doesn’t hurt – because coconut oil is harder at room temperature in any case. You don’t want to use softened oil.
As these are made with spelt flour they’re also a bit less likely to get ultra tall, but have a nicer overall flavour as a result. You can use other flour types (see below). Homemade vegan buttermilk adds an extra flavour boost and more lift.
There are several spelt-based basics on OE. If you’re looking for more everyday spelt flour recipes that make great sides, try spelt flour buns, speedy spelt tortillas, or my all-time favourite, vegan spelt naan.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Spelt flour: use light spelt flour for the fluffiest biscuits. Use a mix of whole grain and light, or all whole grain, if you want something more wholesome. Regular wheat flour can be subbed 1:1.
- Coconut oil: if you prefer not to have a slight coconut flavour, use refined coconut oil instead of cold-pressed.
- Milk: I always use oat milk. Any non-dairy milk can be used, even canned coconut milk.
- Vinegar: apple cider vinegar is ideal but any light vinegar (not balsamic) can be used.
Step by Step
1. Mix the dry ingredients: add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Cut in coconut oil: use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix in the coconut oil.
3. Stir in the milk: use a wooden spoon to stir in the milk until just combined.
4. Fold the dough: transfer to a lightly floured surface, pat into shape, then fold twice to create layers (see video). Pat it out again to the right thickness.
5. Cut out biscuits: use a knife or cookie cutter to cut the biscuits into your desired shape.
6. Bake: place the biscuits onto a baking sheet, brush the tops, and bake until golden.
If you can’t see the recipe video, please watch it here on YouTube instead.
A creamier milk will make for a richer biscuit. Regular oat milk makes them rather light, while full-fat canned coconut milk will result in something more like a tea biscuit or cream scone.
If you want to skip the step of cutting out the biscuits, make easy vegan drop biscuits instead. Use a regular tablespoon to drop portions of dough onto the baking sheet, then bake until lightly golden. Skip the milk wash if making drop biscuits.
A food processor can also be used to mix the dough, particularly useful for incorporating the coconut oil. You have to be careful not to over mix if using a processor, though – be sure to pulse briefly rather than mixing for an extended period.
If the biscuits don’t need to be vegan, you can brush the tops with an egg wash rather than milk. They brown nicely either way.
How to Store
Storage: biscuits are best served the day they’re baked, but they can be stored in a sealed container for up to three days. They will dry out slightly the longer they’re stored.
Freezing: the dough can be frozen before baking, or freeze the biscuits once they’re finished. To freeze before baking, place the cut-out biscuits onto a tray and freeze until solid. Place into an airtight container, then bake as needed from frozen, but add an extra couple minutes onto the baking time as outlined in the recipe.
- Use light hands: don’t work the dough like mad. Use quick, light hands to cut in the oil, then mix the milk in until just combined. Don’t knead as you would a yeasted bread.
- Give the buttermilk some time: you’ll want to give your ‘buttermilk’ at least five minutes to curdle slightly. This extra acid reacts with the leavening agents and creates a greater rise when baking.
- Don’t overwork the dough: fold and press out the mixed dough as few times as possible to get the lightest biscuits. You can cut them into squares rather than rounds to avoid folding it for a second time.
More Easy Quick Breads
If you make these Coconut Oil Biscuits or any other vegetarian sides on Occasionally Eggs, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more OE, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, purchase the Occasionally Eggs cookbook, or subscribe for new posts via email.
Coconut Oil Biscuits
- 200 grams spelt flour*
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 80 grams solid coconut oil
- 120 ml non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Start by making the buttermilk. Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside for at least five minutes.120 ml non-dairy milk, 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Alternatively, pulse in a food processor until mixed.200 grams spelt flour*, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Add the coconut oil to the flour mixture. Use your hands to quickly mix until the oil is in small pieces, at largest pea-sized. If using a food processor, briefly pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.80 grams solid coconut oil
- Add the buttermilk you made earlier to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until just combined. The mixture will seem too wet but it should look that way.120 ml non-dairy milk, 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Form a rough ball with the dough, and then flour a clean working surface. Gently press the dough out to a rough square about 3 cm (1.2 inches) thick, then fold in half and then half again (into a square again). Press it out to 3 cm again.
- Cut the dough with a small biscuit cutter (8 cm / 3 inches). Bring the scraps together and roll them out again, continuing to cut biscuits until no dough remains. Alternatively, cut into squares with a sharp knife.
- Place the biscuits onto your prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with non-dairy milk. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Best served warm.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post has been updated most recently as of December 2022 with some slight improvements to the recipe and better instructions.