Vegan Scones

Running Cafe Anna at the Vermont College of Fine Arts means that my customer population is small and changes every week or so. What they want to eat, or get most excited about, changes A LOT when there’s a turn over. This week people got excited about coffeecake, last week it was vegan scones, before that non-vegan scones, before that biscuit cinnamon rolls and the cream cheese coffeecake (which, interestingly, did not sell well with this week’s generally pro-coffeecake crowd). 

Luckily I’m cheerful about both developing new recipes and selling things I’m making for the first time moments before opening. 

“Cheerful” might be a stretch, but willing – I’m willing. 

 As you know from my previous posts on recipes that rocked my week, parts one and two, I’m getting a whole lot of utility from recipes that provide an easy base for variations. Here are two vegan scone recipes I’m making now that are a variation on the vegan scones from Babycakes via First Mess’ adaptation, referenced in those two earlier posts (I gave a savory variation in the last post). I’ve strayed from the First Mess version pretty far, and they adapted it from the Babycakes version, and I have no idea at what point you declare a recipe “new”. Because I love tracing the genealogy of recipes, I’m happy tacking on “adapted from” ad infinitum.

And why should you learn some vegan scone recipes when the cream version is so delectable? Besides because your customers are buying them. It is because as Claire Fitts-Georges of Butterfly Bakery once pointed out to me, most vegan baking ingredients are shelf stable – in other words, you can always have them on hand. So if it’s Sunday morning and you want a fresh from the oven scone and you don’t want to leave the house in search of cream, buttermilk, or eggs. . .the answer may be a vegan scone. (Perhaps you don’t often have the urge to bake without needing to go buy ingredients, but I do). 

Lemon Vegan Scones

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1 Tb baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon  
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • Cream from the top of a full fat coconut milk can – about 1 cup 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 375-F. Grease a baking sheet or cover with parchment paper (I recommend the parchment paper because it helps limit how much the scones spread while baking – or so I’ve read, I pledge to experiment next time I bake these scones). 

Whisk together the dry ingredients, including sugar, in a large bowl. 

With electric beaters, or the whisk attachment on a standing mixer, or a very strong arm, whisk the coconut cream with the lemon and vanilla until it is smooth. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, using a rubber spatula to incorporate with a minimum of stirring. Stir in the hot water.

Plop heaping serving spoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheet – I make 5-6 but go with what you prefer for size. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan. After 15 minutes (total) baking time start checking for doneness – they should be delicately browned. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Or alternatively wait a few minutes so you don’t burn your mouth, then eat them. 

Espresso Scones
You’ll notice the directions are the same as the recipe above, the ingredients are what change.

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat spelt flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tb baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb cocoa powder (interesting fact – America’s Test Kitchen recommends Hershey’s, which beat out fancy brands in taste testing)
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (I resisted buying this specialty ingredient for a long time; I was wrong)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Cream from the top of a full fat coconut milk can – about 1 cup 
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup soy* milk (or if you don’t have this regular milk – which would make them not vegan) *If you don’t want to use soy milk but want a non-dairy milk, I would recommend oat milk as a substitute

Preheat the oven to 375-F. Grease a baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, including sugar, in a large bowl. 

With electric beaters, or the whisk attachment on a standing mixer, or a very strong arm, whisk the coconut cream with the lemon and vanilla until it is smooth. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, using a rubber spatula to incorporate with a minimum of stirring. Stir in the hot water.

Plop heaping serving spoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheet – I make 5-6 but go with what you prefer. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan. After 15 minutes (total) baking time start checking for doneness – they should be browning across the top. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Or alternatively wait a few minutes so you don’t burn your mouth, then eat them.

I think these scones work well with flavored butter – aka compound butter (nope, not vegan). Here’s a primer on making compound butters from Fine Cooking, here’s a Serious Eats article on flavors to pair with coffee to inspire you, and when in doubt you should just whip together butter and real maple syrup (if you can be picky about your syrup, don’t get the dark grades for this application, the maple will be too strong, use medium or light amber – yeah I sound like a maple syrup snob, that’s because I’m from Vermont and I am a maple syrup snob). 

 

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