Sensational Scones

You’ve got to love scones; light, fluffy, just sweet enough and the perfect carrier for a delicious topping. No proper afternoon tea is right without a batch of warm scones, and this recipe always goes down a storm. You can even freeze them, defrost, pop into the oven for a couple of minutes and then you can have an elegant afternoon tea in a flash.

When we had our stressful tea at Pan Pacific we met Cherish Finden and she said that scones were the most difficult thing to recreate free-from. Now these aren’t gluten-free (but I know others who make them gluten-free), but I can assure you that these are just as good as a traditional scone. Go on, give them a go and let me know what you think?


The most crucial part of scone making is a light touch – you must add air whilst rubbing in the margarine and definitely no kneading! Just very lightly bring together the dough and you’ll have some sensational scones. Just add some jam and dairy-free whipped cream and you can have a sensational tea at home.


Sensational Scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

  • makes 10-12
    • 450g plain flour
    • 3 tsps baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 75g dairy-free margarine
    • 70g soft brown sugar
    • 300ml dairy-free milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
    • 2 tbsp Demerara or granulated sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 6
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the salt. Stir in the sugar.
  3. With your fingertips, gently rub in the dairy-free margarine until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  4. Make a well in the centre and pour in the dairy-free milk and vanilla essence (if using).
  5. Bring together to a very soft, sticky dough. Turn onto a floured surface and very gently bring together to a soft, smooth dough.
  6. Pat out with your fingers until 3 cm thick.– Cut out with a well-floured 6cm cookie cutter (or whatever size you choose)
  7. Place on an oiled and floured baking sheet. Brush the tops with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with Demerara or granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden on top.– Cool on a wire rack.

Bonfire or Christmas Spice Scones

I’m not one for a milky coffee but I do like the sound of the seasonal varieties that are sold in the big golf shop chains. Bonfire and pumpkin spice sounds so warm and appealing and just the right kind of taste for these cold winter months. So to avoid missing out, I’ve added the same warm spices to these delightfully light and fluffy spiced clouds of pure pleasure!

After the awful scones we had in a 5*hotel (see previous post!) I felt I had to post a better recipe  – One Aldwych if you’re reading look here for a good dairy and egg-free scone recipe 😉 These scones are spot on every time, light, fluffy and delicate; absolutely nothing like the almost inedible hard biscuits we got in the fancy tea!

I’ve provided two different spice varieties; one more autumnal and the other with a bit more of a Christmas feel but adding clementine and lemon zest to the mix.

Spiced Scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegan and vegetarian)

Makes about 12

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch ground cardamon

(zest of 1 lemon and 1 clementine for Christmas spice)

220g plain flour

1 and 1/2 tsps baking powder

2 tbsp dairy-free margarine

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Up to 100ml dairy-free milk

1-2 tbsps Demerara sugar

1 tbsp dairy-free milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/Gas mark 6
  2. Grease and flour a baking sheet
  3. Mix together all the spices (plus zests if making Christmas spice)
  4. Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and most of the spice mix spices. Rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Pour in some of the dairy-free milk. Gently bring together to form a soft dough (do NOT knead or you’ll end up with rock hard scones!). Add more milk if necessary.
  6. Gently pat out to a circle about 5cm thick. Stamp our circles and place on the baking sheet. Gather up the remaining dough, pat out again and stamp out more circles until all the dough is used up
  7. Brush the tops with dairy-free milk and sprinkle over some Demerara sugar and the remaining spice mix
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden on the tops and bottoms
  9. Cool on a wire rack

Marmite Scones

Are you a Marmite lover or a Marmite hater? There seems to be no in-between and we’re a family that contains both, so it’s always a quandary as to whether to use it as a flavouring or not. Although to be fair there are far more Marmite lovers, so the savoury yeasty spread often wins.

I find that savoury snacks are lacking for Little S – there are so many things she can’t have when out people would reach for a savoury option. That’s where the marmite comes in. Little S really doesn’t like marmite but she loves these deeply savoury scones, somehow the marmite-y flavour turns into a more appealing savoury taste when it’s added to a bake. Savoury scones make a perfect tasty snack or side to a big bowl of soup, or just a speedily made change from a bread roll. The beauty of scones is that they take little time to make and bake, so once you feel confident you can whip up a batch in no time at all. Serve with extra marmite if you’re on the fan side!

I’d heard that adding cream of tartar made scones extra light and fluffy and I was desperate to try the idea out, and my it’s a great addition, the texture of these scones will blow your mind. Look at that craggy delicate texture, no heavy stodgy scones here!

Marmite Scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 8 large scones

250g plain flour

1/4tsp salt

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

25g dairyfree margarine

15g vegetable fat (or use 15g extra margarine)

150ml dairy free milk

2 tsp marmite

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Centigrade
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar. Rub the fats into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir the marmite into the milk and pour into the flour mix. Very gently bring together to form a rough dough. Be very gentle, do not knead, otherwise you’ll get tough scones and no-one wants that!
  4. Stamp out circles and place on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little milk mixed with marmite.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden and risen. 

Strawberry Scones

The sun’s out and I feel inspired and buzzing with fresh ideas. There really isn’t anything like the end of Winter to make me feel ready to attack the spring and summer with gusto – it’s amazing what a bit of warmth and sunlight can do!

We had a lovely trip to see the sea of bluebells last weekend, which is a bit of a yearly tradition in my part of the country, which culminated with cool drinks in a National Trust cafe. All the other customers seemed to be tucking into cream teas (obviously it was drinks or nothing for us!), which got me thinking about making a batch of scones. Scones, with their association with cream teas and strawberry jam always seem rather summery to me, so perfect for my current vibe. So here is a cracking combination of scones and strawberries  so we can tuck into a cream tea at home.

I’d really recommend using freeze-dried berries in sweet recipes, as you get all the flavour and none of the ‘sog factor’, so there’s no need to adjust the indigents to factor in extra moisture.

 

Strawberry Scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes about 20

450g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

75g dairy-free margarine

75g caster sugar

300 ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly

1 tsp berry essence, if you have it

1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries , roughly chopped

To top: 2 tbsp oat milk 2 tbsp granulated sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6. Grease and flour 2 baking sheets.
  2. Rub the margarine into the flour, sugar and baking powder until it resembles breadcrumbs. 
  3. Pour in the essence and dairy-free milk and very gently bring together to a soft dough. It’s very important not to work scone dough. Add the freeze dried berries.
  4. Gently pat out the dough until its about 1 inch thick. Using a 2inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place on the baking sheets Continue, gently bringing the dough back into a ball and cutting out, until all the dough has been used up.
  5. Brush the top of each with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with sugar Bake for about 20-25 minutes until starting to turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Hot Cross Scones

 

Get it? Since Easter is all about Hot Cross Buns they have to feature. However, I also love scones, then why not link the two to make some wonderfully seasonal baked goodies which are a little out of the ordinary?

The spicing, with added fruit and peel (if desired), is to my mind, the taste of Easter. Who would have thought it would work so beautifully in scone format (or biscuit as I believe they’re known in the US).

Obviously any Easter recipe must feature a cross so these little spiced scones are topped with a water icing cross which was more effective and maybe a bit more celebratory than a traditional flour paste version.

 

Hot Cross Scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes about 12

 

220g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp dairy-free margarine

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Up to 100ml dairy-free milk

handful of dried fruit and 2 tbsp mixed peel (optional)

1-2 tbsps granulated sugar

1 tbsp dairy-free milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/Gas mark 6
  2. Grease and flour a baking sheet
  3. Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and spices. Rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the dried fruit and mixed peel if using.
  4. Pour in some of the oat milk. Gently bring together to form a soft dough (do NOT knead or you’ll end up with rock hard scones!). Add more milk if necessary.
  5. Gently pat out to a circle about 5cm thick. Stamp our circles and place on the baking sheet. Gather up the remaining dough, pat out again and stamp out more circles until all the dough is used up
  6. Brush the tops with dairy-free milk and sprinkle over some granulated sugar
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden on the tops and bottoms
  8. Cool on a wire rack

Sticky Toffee Scones

sticky toffee scones, vegan

I do like scones, they’re such a delightful teatime snack. Not too sweet, light and fluffy, the perfect accompaniment to some tasty or interesting jam and a doddle to make as long as you’re light handed and respectful of the dough. I’ve made any varieties, with particular favourites being lemon drizzle and blueberry. I recently bought the fantastic 80 cakes by Claire Clark and its providing me with lots of inspiration. She features some ginger and molasses scones which for some reason got me thinking of combining the flavours of sticky toffee pudding and transporting them into a scone recipe. Sticky toffee scones! Now that sounds like a great idea.

In fact it turns out to be an awesome idea, why don’t people make sticky toffee scones all the time? The mellow sweetness of the whizzed up dates is perfect in the not so sweet scone template and who can resist a sticky, crunchy top?

Sticky Toffee Scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegan, vegetarian)

sticky toffee scones, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free

makes 10-12

100ml dairyfree milk

25g dates

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

220g flour

50g caster sugar

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

75g dairy-free margarine

1 tbsp golden syrup

Extra dairyfree milk for brushing

2 tbsp Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade
  2. Simmer together half (50ml) of the milk with the dates until soft. Whizz up in a food processor/ blender to form a puree. Add the bicarbonate and set aside.
  3. Into a bowl sift the flour and baking powder, stir in the caster sugar.
  4. Rub in the margarine with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Pour in the date puree and the remaining 50 ml of dairy-free milk. Gently bring together to a soft sticky dough. Do not knead.
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat out to about 5cm thick. Cut out circles and place on a floured baking tray.
  7. Brush with the extra milk and sprinkle with Demerara.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden and risen.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

sticky toffee scones, vegetarian and vegan

Cinnamon swirl scones

vegan cinnamon swirl scones

We had a hankering for cinnamon buns with their heart warming, amazing aroma that fills the entire house, not just the kitchen. It’s such a warm and cosy smell, ideal for bringing a little light and spice to a dreary old day. But cinnamon buns do take a while to make, you need time for the dough to prove twice, so it’s not a rush job that can be quickly assembled in time for an impromptu tea, and definitely not ideal during a jam-packed summer holiday.

These cinnamon scones, on the other hand, are a complete doddle to make, and also fill the house with lovely sweet cinnamon aromas; they taste mighty fine too! Probably not one to add jam to, but a smidgen of dairy-free margarine, or for a proper cream tea effect – a swirl of dairy-free cream such as Soyatoo and you have a tea fit for Royalty. I gave my scones a drizzle of white water icing to give a truly authentic appearance, but they’re just as lovely with a light sprinkle of the sugar and cinnamon mix before baking, giving a lovely craggy and crispy top – yum!

Cinnamon Swirl Scones

dairy-free cinnamon scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

220g plain flour

1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsps dairy-free margarine

2 tbsp caster sugar

150ml dairy-free milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Grease and flour a baking sheet
  2. Mix together the tsp of cinnamon and tbsp brown sugar and set aside
  3. Rub the margarine into the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir in the sugar. Pour in the oat milk and very gently bring together to form a very soft dough.
  4. Pat out into a large circle, sprinkle over most of the sugar and cinnamon mix [keep aside enough to sprinkle on the tops], then roll the dough into a sausage shape to encase the sugar. Pat out with your fingers and stamp out circles.
  5. Place on the baking sheet , brush with oat milk and sprinkle over the remaining sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack and then drizzle with water icing, if desired.

egg-free, nut free cinnamon scones

dairyer cream tea, scones filled with cream!

Lemon drizzle scones

IMG_5885

Spring makes me want to add some zing – some bright, sunshine freshness to add light to the palate and awaken the taste buds after months of comforting cosy foods.

My mum recently gave me a lovely little elegant plate which was my grandmother’s favourite. It’s so pretty that I decided it needed to be used for an elegant but also traditional dish, and not much fits the bill as perfectly as some scones.

But these scones don’t just look pretty, they also provide the double whammy of lemon scented insides and surprisingly zingy lemon drizzle topping. Unusual for a scone that’s for sure, but also totally delightful. Best served with a warm blueberry compote.

Lemon Drizzle Scones (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_5889

Makes about 12

  • 220g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free spread
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Up to 100ml oat milk
  • 1-2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/Gas mark 6
– Grease and flour a baking sheet
– Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and lemon zest. Rub in the spread until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
– Pour in the lemon juice and some of the oat milk. Gently bring together to form a soft dough (do NOT knead or you’ll end up with rock hard scones!). Add more milk if necessary.
– Gently pat out to a circle about 5cm thick. Stamp our circles and place on the baking sheet. Gather up the remaining dough, pat out again and stamp out more circles until all the dough is used up
– Brush the tops with lemon juice and sprinkle over some granulated sugar
– Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden on the tops and bottoms

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IMG_5892

Mini Blueberry Scones

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Dried fruits are a fabulous addition to any baked goods, giving an intense flavour hit, with none of risk of excess moisture that fresh fruit can produce. However, dried fruits can be tricky to find if you have concerns over nut traces. They always seem to process fruits and nuts in the same facilities, meaning we usually give them a wide berth. Which is a shame really as they’re such wonderful little flavour bombs, and can even appeal to those who don’t like the sogginess of fresh fruit (like my children).

I don’t have the luxury of a dehydrator but if your oven goes low enough and you have the time and patience, home dried fruits that are totally safe are at your disposal. These berries were literally placed on a lined baking sheet and put into a low oven (100 degrees Centigrade) for 3-4 hours until they were wrinkled and shrivelled but not dried up.

IMG_3405

The berries work wonderfully in these elegant little canapé sized scones; think a similar effect to sultanas but with bags more flavour. I couldn’t stop eating these light, crumbly and tasty little morsels – pity I made quite so many!

Mini Blueberry Scones (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

20141011-075151.jpg Makes about 40

  • 450g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 75g dairy-free spread
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 300 ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly
  • 1 tsp berry essence, if you have it
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries, roughly chopped
  • To top: 2 tbsp oat milk 2 tbsp granulated sugar (I used blue sugar crystals)

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6

– Grease and flour 2 baking sheets

– Rub the spread into the flour, sugar and baking powder until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the dried fruit.

– Pour in the essence and dairy-free milk and very gently bring together to a soft dough. It’s very important not to work scone dough.

– Gently pat out the dough until its about 1 inch thick. Using a 1inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place on the baking sheets Continue, gently bringing the dough back into a ball and cutting out, until all the dough has been used up.

– Brush the top of each with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with sugar Bake for about 20 minutes until starting to turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.

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Lemon and Raspberry Swirl Scones

 

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I don’t know where it came from, but I suddenly had a brainwave. I was going to make scones to add to our picnic whilst watching a wonderful outdoor production by the Illyria theatre group, but was having some trouble deciding how to transport the jam. Then it came to me, a little flash of inspiration – why not have the jam already swirled into the scone? Why don’t people do this? It makes so much sense – scone and jam in one neat and rather pretty little parcel – I’m telling you this is the way to go!

Raspberry and Lemon Swirl Scones (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

20140719-074930.jpgmakes 12

  • 450g plain flour
  • 3 tsps baking powder
  • 75g dairy-free spread, such as Pure
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 300ml oat milk (I use Oatly)
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2-4 tbsps raspberry jam
  • 2 tbsps Demerara sugar, to sprinkle

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 6

– Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.

– Stir in the sugar and lemon zest.

– With your fingertips, gently rub in the dairy-free spread until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

– Make a well in the centre and pour in the oat milk.

– Bring together to a soft, sticky dough.

– Turn onto a floured surface and very gently bring together to a soft, smooth dough.

– Pat out with your fingers until 2 cm thick.

– Spread the jam all over the surface and roll up into a thick sausage.

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– Cut 3cm/1 inch slices

– Place on an oiled and floured baking sheet.

– Brush the tops with oat milk and sprinkle with sugar.

– Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden on top.

– Cool on a wire rack.

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