Osteoinductive calcium phosphate (CaP) ceramics can be combined with polymeric carriers to make shapeable bone substitutes as an alternative to autologous bone; however, carriers containing water may degrade the ceramic surface microstructure, which is crucial to bone formation. In this study five novel tricalcium phosphate (TCP) formulations were designed from water-free polymeric binders and osteoinductive TCP granules of different particle sizes (500–1000 μm for moldable putty forms, and 150–500 μm for flowable paste forms). The performance of these novel TCP formulations was studied and compared with control TCP granules alone (both 150–500 and 500–1000 μm). In vitro the five TCP formulations were characterized by their carrier dissolution times and TCP mineralization kinetic profiles in simulated body fluid. In vivo the formulations were implanted in the dorsal muscle and a unicortical femoral defect (Ø = 5 mm) of dogs for 12 weeks. The TCP formulation based on a xanthan gum–glycerol carrier exhibited fast carrier dissolution (1 h) and TCP mineralization (7 days) in vitro, but induced inflammation and showed little ectopic bone formation. This carrier chemistry was thus found to disrupt the early cellular response related to osteoinduction by microstructured TCP. TCP formulations based on carboxymethyl cellulose–glycerol and Polyoxyl 15-hydroxystearate–Pluronic® F127 allowed the in vitro surface mineralization of TCP by day 7 and produced the highest level of orthotopic bone bridging and ectopic bone formation, which was equivalent to the control. These results demonstrate that water-free carriers can preserve the chemistry, microstructure, and performance of osteoinductive CaP ceramics.