While you’d probably consider a scone a simple bake, I can say with confidence the scone does not take kindly to being turned gluten-free. I’ve been testing scone recipes for a while with minimal success (until now). My biggest hurdle was producing a recipe for gluten-free vegan scones that didn’t crumble and had a fluffy texture on the inside.
I’ve categorized scones as cake on the blog and I will forever question that choice. A scone is what would pop out of the oven if vanilla cake and shortcrust pastry went in there to make a baby. So in the end, I turned to some classic pastry techniques to give these gluten-free vegan scones their high rise and tender crumb.
If you thought you’d just drop in for a half dozen scones well you thought wrong, you’ll be brushing on your pastry skills while you’re here.
I’ve included a 3-fold in the method but don’t be intimidated, once you get the hang of it it’s very simple! It will all be worth it when you sit down for your cup of tea and a perfect gluten-free vegan scone smothered in jam.
Questions about the recipe? Do you want to change something Or did something go wrong with your gluten-free vegan scones? I’ve included all the recipe notes at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
150g non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
300g gluten-free flour, all-purpose plus extra for dusting
¾ tsp. xanthan gum, leave out if your flour already contains xanthan
50g caster sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
145g solid vegan butter, straight from the fridge
Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a small bowl or jug combine the milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir well to combine and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the sugar to the flour and mix with a whisk to combine.
Use the coarse side of a grater to grate your butter directly into the flour bowl, briefly mixing as you go to prevent the butter from clumping together. Once all the butter is grated, mix through with the flour and break up any large clumps by rubbing them between your fingers.
Add the milk to the flour and butter and briefly mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms (avoid over mixing the dough, little streaks of butter are a good thing).
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle that is 3 times as long as it is wide. Turn the dough so that the long side is perpendicular to your work surface. We’re going to laminate the dough using a 3 fold otherwise known as a letter fold. Fold the dough (from the narrow edge) into thirds. Fold the bottom third of dough over the middle third first and then fold the top third over the bottom third. Turn the dough 90 degrees, roll out again and fold two more times.
Roll the dough out into a squat rectangle 4-5cm thick, the thicker the dough the higher the scones will be. Use a 6-7cm cookie cutter to cut out 6 scones.
Transfer the scones to a baking tray, brush the tops with non-dairy milk and bake for 15 minutes. Allow the scones to cool completely before cutting into them (this will prevent crumbling).
Can I use non-dairy marg instead of solid butter?
I haven’t tried it but you can give it a go. You won’t be able to grate it, so you’ll have to rub it into the flour instead. FYI I used the Naturli Vegan Block
What gluten-free flour do you use?
I used Dove’s Farm all-purpose gluten-free flour and I love the way it performs. If you’re not able to use this brand, you may need to add more liquid to your scone dough. All GF flour mixes will absorb moisture differently so if your dough feels very dry try adding 1-2 tablespoons of extra milk until it feels slightly sticky.
Do I have to add xanthan gum?
I highly recommend it. In a recipe like these gluten-free vegan scones, xanthan gum is standing in for gluten and eggs as a binder. Without xanthan gum, gluten-free bakes tend to crumble. If you’re opposed to xanthan you can, of course, try the recipe without it but note that I haven’t tried it so I can’t guarantee it’ll work.
Why does the recipe have baking soda and baking powder?
Baking powder and baking soda have a greater leavening ability when combined. Gluten-free bakes often need a little extra boost and so I have added both to achieve a higher rise. The apple cider vinegar should be enough to neutralise the baking soda and prevent any flavour from it coming through.
Can I add dried fruit to these scones?
I haven’t tested these with dried fruit but I don’t see why not. You may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of additional liquid as the dried fruit will draw some moisture out of the dough. Toss the fruit in with the flour mix after it’s been sifted and mix briefly.
Wait! What is lamination?
Lamination is a technique used in pastry to achieve flakiness. The process involves folding dough, in such a way, that you get layers of fat alternating with layers of dough. During baking, the water in the fat evaporates and the steam from this results in a risen dough and layers of pastry.
Why are we baking at 200C? What about low and slow?
Yes, usually gluten-free bakes go in the oven at a lower temperature but this dough is partially laminated so a higher temperature is more appropriate. While we’re not exactly looking for layers of pastry in the scones, what we do want is the liquid in the fat to evaporate quickly. Much like in pastry, the steam from fast evaporation will help the scones rise and create a tender texture.