A Recipe for Coconut Oil Biscuits

As dietitians committed to recipe makeovers, we tend to shy away from foods rich in saturated fat. So we’ve never cooked much with coconut milk (though we do like the light variety) or coconut oil. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but it turns out that the kind of saturated fat in coconut oil — lauric acid — can actually help to raise HDL cholesterol, the so-called good kind. Our trusted interns, Yvonne and Tashia, are currently doing some research on coconut oil and milk (the canned and refrigerated varieties), and we’ll be recording a podcast on the topic some time in May. In the meantime though, we decided to start dabbling with the oil and recently cooked up this easy, flaky, and delicious biscuit recipe that uses coconut oil instead of butter or shortening.

Made with coconut oil and light canned coconut milk, these biscuits are ideal for vegans whose diets eliminate the usual cow’s milk and butter.

The recipe we found on the Whole Foods website calls for refined coconut oil, which is mild in flavor and better suited for high heat cooking compared to the deeper-flavored virgin coconut oil.

Coconut Oil Biscuits

Makes 12 Servings

This recipe comes from Whole Foods. We changed it up slightly. For starters, we swapped the 2 cups all-purpose flour for 1 cup AP flour and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour. We also used kosher salt instead of the fine sea salt called for in the recipe. We had leftover coconut milk which we froze and plan to use later for our Pint-Size Pina Colada Smoothies.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup solid refined coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup canned light coconut milk

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in coconut oil with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in coconut milk just until a dough forms. Pat together and flatten on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 12 squares and arrange on the prepared baking sheet, about 1½ inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 biscuit): 170 calories, 11g fat (9g saturated), 150mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein

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Whole Foods suggests some interesting variations:

> Savory herb variation: Stir 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as chives, cilantro and/or parsley and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper into the flour mixture before cutting in coconut oil.

> Sweet variation: Increase sugar to 2 tablespoons. Just before baking, brush biscuit tops with 1 tablespoon light coconut milk, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

Melissa Clarke from the New York Times wrote an interesting article on coconut oil last year, so you may want to check that out. In it, she shared a coconut-oil roasted sweet potato recipe that looks amazing. Could be next up on our list of must-try recipes :)

16 Responses to “A Recipe for Coconut Oil Biscuits”

  1. Janel on April 23rd, 2012

    These look so tasty! I think I’ll file this away to make for a mother’s day brunch. I know this is a silly question but…do they taste like coconut? Or is it more of a mild hind of coconut? I have to add…I’m LOVING coconut oil for its moisturizing properties! I used it on a cut on my face it it healed a million times faster with coconut oil rubbed on it than it did with neosporin!

  2. Ann Dunaway Teh on April 23rd, 2012

    These look great! I just got some coconut oil to play with recently but.haven’t used it yet. And I’ve wanted to attempt vegan biscuits so this is perfect timing. I’m wondering how they would be using all white whole wheat flour which is my new thing in all my baking. I will let you know!

  3. Liz on April 24th, 2012

    Hi Janel: No, the biscuits do not taste like coconut. We used the refined oil which is much milder in flavor than the virgin oil. As for a moisturizer … we love that tip!

  4. Liz on April 24th, 2012

    Ann, we love the idea of using all white whole wheat flour. Let us know how they turn out. Which kind of coconut oil do you have? The refined or the virgin?

  5. Kristine on April 24th, 2012

    So the coconut milk doesn’t make it taste like coconut either? They sound delicious and I love coconut oil! I use it on my face as a moisturizer!

  6. Deanna Segrave-Daly on April 25th, 2012

    I’m a recent convert to coconut oil (will have to remember Janel’s tip!) Love using it for stovetop popcorn and definitely want to give this biscuit recipe a whirl – thanks for sharing!

  7. Diabetic Snacker Reviews on April 29th, 2012

    Wow these look good! I’ve been wanting a more diabetic friendly biscuit because I miss them so much. I’m glad someone said using it for popcorn I’m definitely going to try that since I do pop my own corn since it’s more diet friendly that way. I like being able to eliminate butter whenever I can. Thanks so much & I look forward to your sweet potatoe makeover my new “go to” for a potato. I wish we could come up with a recipe that would make them taste more like a real potato & less sweet. To me they taste more like a dessert item & I miss my white potatoes.

  8. Rae-Ann montague on April 30th, 2012

    I TO AM USING COCONUT OIL AND LOVE THE POP CORN COOKED IN IT! I ALSO COOKED MY EGG PLANT IN THE COCNUT OIL ITS GREAT AND NOT GREASY LIKE OTHER OILS. THE BISCUITS SOUND GOOD AND AS SOON AS I CAN GET THE INGREDIENTS I’LL TRY THEM.
    CAN ANY ONE TESTIFY TO COCONUT OIL HELPING THEM LOOSE WEIGHT?

  9. Linda on January 27th, 2013

    I’m going to try these today; I don’t have a coconut milk, but I’ve made regular biscuits with almond breeze and they turn out fine, so I’ll try that in this recipe. I love the tip about putting it on cuts; my daughter recently had a bicycle accident and had stitches in her face, so I’ll tell her about this.

  10. Cindy on April 7th, 2013

    I’ve been making biscuits and pie crust from coconut oil and love it, but now I’m reading it breaks down at heat over 350 F. Does that mean it’s losing its nutritional value when I bake at higher heat?

  11. Liz on April 8th, 2013

    We tend to use the “refined” coconut oil, which can handle higher heat. They say the virgin coconut oil does better at a lower heat. The reason we actually go for the refined is the mild, neutral flavor. Our kids don’t like the more “coconuty” flavor of the virgin. Which one are you using?

  12. sherry baker on August 12th, 2013

    This sounds so good. Have just made an apple pie – the crust made with solid coconut oil. Can not believe how much tastier it is than a crust made with solid vegetable oil-like Crisco. My mother and grandmother have just rolled over in their graves— being from the South this is heresy to not use Crisco for biscuits, “dumplins”, or pie crusts….Happy to have found a healthier way to cook!

  13. Liz on August 14th, 2013

    Sherry, we are laughing out loud. I’m sure your mom and grandmother would approve! Glad you liked the coconut oil version :)

  14. Lyn on September 27th, 2013

    What about gluten free flour? Thanks

  15. Liz on September 29th, 2013

    We have not tried this recipe with gluten-free flour. Give it a whirl and let us know if it works out okay. Maybe try half a recipe just in case. We have not played around w/ gluten-free flour so hard to give the best advice here :)

  16. Sharon on February 17th, 2014

    I just used this recipe but I used almond milk and regular flour instead of whole wheat. OMG! The biscuits had a very light and flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture and my husband (who is a biscuit aficionado) said these were darn-near the best biscuits he had ever had!
    Glad I stumbled upon this while looking for various homemade biscuit recipes!

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