These super easy, homemade biscuits without baking powder or baking soda are fluffy, buttery, and SO flaky with a crisp bottom crust. They take less than 25 minutes to make, only require 1 bowl, and 4 simple ingredients.
This recipe is also vegan friendly since traditional dairy based ingredients can be easily subbed using a 1:1 ratio with dairy free ingredients!
Why You’ll Love These Easy Biscuits without Baking Powder
- Easy Homemade Biscuit Recipe: no baking powder is required for this easy recipe! You only need a 4 ingredients and a couple of steps to make these flaky biscuits from scratch.
- Fluffy Biscuits with Flaky Layers: self-rising flour gives these biscuits a wonderfully fluffy texture and shortening or plant-based butter creates ‘buttery’ flaky layers.
- Perfect for Breakfast, Brunch, or Dinner: eat these flaky biscuits for breakfast or brunch with a bit of jam, or serve them with gravy for a filling and cozy dinner.
- Dairy Free & Vegan Friendly: this recipe easily swaps dairy-based butter and buttermilk with a 1:1 ratio for plant butter and dairy free milk, making these easy biscuits vegan friendly!
Today we’re using basic ingredients to make the best biscuits without baking powder or baking soda. These biscuits are easily made dairy free and vegan but can be made with regular ingredients as well.
The self-rising flour already contains baking powder, baking soda, and salt, so all we need to add is fat for moisture and acid to help the biscuits rise. Acidic ingredients create the chemical reaction that helps the biscuits rise. Traditionally, acidic ingredients used in biscuits are buttermilk, yogurt, or even sour cream.
This biscuit recipe is adapted from my mom’s non-vegan recipe. A few simple swaps for dairy based butter and milk and we have a vegan version of buttermilk biscuits without baking powder.
What You’ll Need:
- Self Rising Flour, like White Lily Self Rising Flour
- Crisco Shortening or Dairy Free Butter
- Dairy Free Buttermilk (vinegar + plant milk), or regular buttermilk if not dairy free
- Self Rising Flour: White Lily Self Rising Flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. However, White Lily Flour is made with soft winter wheat which results in fluffy, tender biscuits. If using all-purpose flour, the biscuits will be a bit less tender.
- Vegan Butter: the vegan butter in the biscuits can be substituted for shortening (like Crisco). Dairy-free butter can also be substituted with a 1:1 ratio with dairy butter.
- Vinegar: I typically use apple cider vinegar in my non-dairy buttermilk, however, white vinegar or lemon juice can be used instead.
The Best Plant-Based Milk for Dairy Free Buttermilk
I’ve found the best non-dairy milk for these easy homemade vegan biscuits are:
- Almond Milk
- Oat Milk
- Soy Milk
Try not to use very flavorful dairy-free milk like coconut milk. It’s best to use one that has a more neutral flavor.
- Large Bowl
- Cast Iron Skillet or Baking Sheet
- Pastry Cutter or Pastry Blender
🎥 *Video Tutorial is Above the Recipe Card Below!*
STEP 1: Put a baking pan / cookie sheet or cast iron skillet with about 1 tbsp of butter in the preheating oven to heat up. (This helps make the crust on the bottom of the biscuits). Remove the preheated, buttered pan from the oven after about 5 minutes.
📌 TIP: This can also be done on the stovetop if using a cast iron pan.
Making the Dough
STEP 2: In a large mixing bowl, add the self-rising flour and salt (if using unsalted butter or a self rising flour without salt added). Mix well.
STEP 3: Then, add the room temp. vegan butter or shortening and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
STEP 4: If using dairy free buttermilk- mix the dairy-free milk and vinegar in a measuring cup. Let the mixture curdle for 1-2 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Mix to combine. If the mixture looks too dry and isn’t coming together, continue adding the remaining buttermilk until the dough comes together nicely. It should be soft and moist, but not sticky or soggy.
📌 TIP: Weather, room temperature and elevation all impact how flour absorbs liquid when baking. If the mixture needs more liquid slowly add the remaining ¼ cup until the dough forms.
Shaping the Biscuits
STEP 5: Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface (or onto parchment paper); knead lightly just until it forms a nice disc to roll. Press it into a rough rectangle and fold the dough 4 or 5 times onto itself. This helps make the flaky layers.
STEP 6: Press the dough into a rectangle (or use a rolling pin), about ¾” thick. Using a biscuit cutter or a circular glass, cut the dough into 6-8 biscuits, about 2-3” in diameter.
STEP 7: Place the biscuits in the preheated skillet or pan (5-6 on outside 1 in the middle). Brush tops with more melted butter and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.
STEP 8: Bake at 475° for 10 minutes then decrease the heat to 450° and bake for 5-6 more minutes. They will be light golden brown and should rise to 1 1/2 -2 inches high. Cool on rack or serve warm.
These homemade easy flaky biscuits are so tasty straight out of the oven. I love to serve them with a smear of plant based butter and strawberry jelly.
You could also top them with breakfast sausage gravy to make Biscuits & Gravy.
The flaky biscuits are best enjoyed the same day when warm, but they are still very tasty the second day!
- Room Temperature: The leftover biscuits can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Freezer: for frozen biscuits, place the cooled biscuits in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Below are a few tips for the best, fluffy vegan biscuits without baking powder!
- Preheat the Skillet with Butter: placing the biscuit dough in a hot pan helps create a crispy bottom crust on the cooked biscuits!
- Fold the Biscuit Dough On Top of Itself: this creates the best flaky layers.
- Top with Flaky Salt: for more flavor, sprinkle a little flaky salt on the tops of the biscuits before baking.
This recipe uses self rising flour which already contains baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
How do I make dairy free biscuits?
To make dairy free buttermilk biscuits, use vegan butter or shortening to replace dairy-based butter. You can make homemade dairy-free buttermilk by mixing 1 tbsp of vinegar with 3/4 cup of dairy free milk. My favorite vegan butter brands are Country Crock Plant Butter and Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.
If you don’t have self rising flour or baking powder, you could try making these biscuits with only baking soda. However, they won’t be as fluffy as biscuits with self-rising flour. Simply use 2 cups (260g) of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt instead of the self-rising flour.
Yes, you can use cold butter in this recipe. However, I’ve found room-temperature shortening or dairy-free butter are easier to cut into the flour. If using cold butter, you can actually use a cheese grater to grate it into the flour mixture.
Dairy-free milk can be subbed 1 for 1 with regular milk. If using regular milk, I recommend adding in vinegar or lemon juice like the recipe highlights below.
More Breakfast & Brunch Recipes:
- Vegan Just Egg French Toast
- Oat Milk Chia Pudding
- Easy French Toast Casserole
- Southern-Style Vegan Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Did you make this easy biscuit recipe without baking powder?
I’d love to know! Leave a star rating and comment below!
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