Vegan Sweet Potato Coconut Biscuits Recipe

Excerpted from Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora, edited by Bryant Terry.

To learn more about Bryant Terry and the work and history of the book and project, read our interview with the author here.


“In late summer our work might be thinning the long vines off the sweet potatoes because my father would say we’d only have little stringy potatoes if we didn’t.” —From Mama Dip’s Kitchen by Mildred Council

Mildred Edna Cotton Council founded Mama Dip’s Restaurant in 1977. She was the daughter of a sharecropper, the granddaughter of a slave, and the founder of a culinary empire. She was also my grandmother. One of her most popular dishes was her sweet potato biscuits. I’ve adapted her recipe to make it vegan. Coconut milk adds a delicate richness, with cinnamon and brown sugar providing an extra hint of spice that elevates these biscuits to another level.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup mashed sweet potato, chilled (from about 1 large sweet potato)

1⁄4 cup chilled coconut milk, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In a small bowl, whisk together the chilled sweet potato and coconut milk. Add this mixture to the large bowl and mix just until the dough comes together. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press together with the heel of your hands. If the dough is not holding together, add in additional coconut milk one tablespoon at a time—I usually need to add about 2 tablespoons.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, bring the dough together, then pat into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick.

Cut the dough into rounds, using a 2-inch biscuit cut­ter. Place the biscuit rounds about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with coconut milk.

Bake the biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are puffed and just barely golden.

Reprinted with permission from “Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora” edited By Bryant Terry, copyright© 2021. Published by 4 Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and Penguin Random House.”Photographs copyright © 2021 Oriana Koren

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