New Gluten-free Vegan Scone Recipe

I have been spending the last several weeks working on a few new recipes: gluten-free vegan scones and gluten-free pancakes. I have now produced a scone recipe that I can't wait to share.

This recipe is incredibly simple. I was resistant to the idea of vegan scones until I found a few recipes for cream scones, which don't take butter or egg. Therefore there is only one dairy product to substitute: the cream.

In a cream scone recipe, the fat in the cream is the substitute for the fat in the butter that has been omitted. Therefore I couldn't use a low-fat substitute like rice milk.

I have found that coconut cream is the best vegan substitute for regular cream, especially in cooking. I love coconut soup, coconut curry, coconut everything. It's the only non-dairy cream I've found that has somewhere close to the right fat content to substitute for cream. To make sure the coconut cream was really rich, I first scooped the dense part out from the top of the can into my liquid measure to make sure I got most of the good stuff in. Then I filled the measure to the appropriate line with the thinner liquid in the bottom of the can. There may be a bit of thin liquid at the bottom of the can that you can set aside in case you need it. Once separated, stir the cream until smooth. A 14-oz can of unsweetened coconut cream will yield enough thick, rich cream for one recipe.

For a dairy version, simply use real cream or see my famous scone recipe. If you are a wheat eater, you may certainly enjoy my scone recipes too. Just substitute your wheat flour 1:1 for the gluten-free flour listed here.

The trick with this recipe is to handle the dough as little as possible. In regular scones, the cold butter that has been cut into the flour melts as it cooks and leaves pockets of air. These air pockets are expanded by the baking powder and leave the dough light and flaky. Since this recipe doesn't call for butter, the lightness of the dough depends on you not compressing it by over-handling.

My best gluten-free tip is to use a flour mix that doesn't have xanthan gum, guar gum, or any gluten substitute. Besides being somewhat unnecessary in a quickbread recipe in general, they could render this delicate dough tough. Coconut seems to be a pretty good binder, so the use of xanthan gum can easily be overdone. If you try this recipe and find the scones too delicate, try using 1/8 tsp xanthan gun in your next batch.

Use a flour mix that you like the flavor of, and which substitutes well for wheat flour in other recipes. Coconut cream does not brown well, so make sure you use a flour mix that contains tapioca starch for color.

NEW! Don't want to mix everything yourself?  I now have a Scone Mix available.

Lemon Coconut Cream Scones Recipe

Heat oven to 425 degrees farenheit.

2 C All-Purpose Gluten-free Flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 C (unsweetened) coconut cream or coconut milk
zest of one lemon or orange

Combine all the dry ingredients. Add the citrus zest to the liquid. Mix the coconut cream into the dry ingredients until it barely holds together. (If the dough seems at all dry, or it isn't coming together quickly, add more coconut cream and quickly mix it in.) Flour your hands with white rice flour. Pour out the dough onto a floured surface, then press it together as gently as possible until it just comes together in a thick disk. Cut into eight equal pieces, carefully transfer them to a baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into them comes out clean.

Enjoy your gluten-free dairy-free scones! Feel free to top the scones with a citrus glaze, but I think these stand well on their own.

Need a new zester? I recommend this microplane.  It gives you a really fine zest, and it's easy to hold.


Gluten Prude said…
I've been looking for a good vegan scone recipe that doesn't use margarine but has a decent substitute for the fat in the dough, which I find essential for flavor and texture. Coconut cream is a good call. Thanks for the idea!
Lauren Denneson said…
Scones have to be one of my favorite baked treats! I love how your recipe simplifies the butter and milk by using just one ingredient that covers both. genius! I usually use coconut oil and hazelnut milk when cooking scones for dairy-free or vegan friends (and often for myself!).
Gina said…
Hazelnut milk - I hadn't thought of that! I did intend to try almond milk at some point. Do you make your own hazelnut milk, or is there someplace you can find it in the store?
Pacific Foods makes a Hazelnut Milk. I've never tried it, but seen it many times in stores.

Thanks for sharing, this sounds great! It is hard to find the thick, rich quality of cream in dairy substitutes, so coconut cream is a great choice - scones need that kind of fatty goodness : ) I'm thinking a blend of amaranth, millet or sorghum, and tapioca might work well. Have you tried using brown rice syrup or agave to sweeten instead of sugar?
Gina said…
Kim, thanks for the tip on the hazelnut milk. I have not used agave or brown rice syrup for sweetener, although they seem to be getting more popular. I'm not sure how using a liquid sweetener would affect the texture of the dough in this recipe. Let me know how it works out if you try it!
Unknown said…
This is perfect! I wanted something like this for a while and now I have it! Thanks for posting :)
These look fab. I can't wait to try them. I've also been experimenting alot with gluten free and dairy free. It's so much fun when you are successful. And it's so much fun to read about other people's success. Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading your posts.

best, Ellen
Gina said…
Ellen - I'm still working on my gluten-free pancakes, but you took it to another level with your GF dairy-free pancakes! I'll be checking back on your blog to see what else you come up with.
Linda said…
You've got me wanting to try a scone recipe, but I don't have any kind of cream (coconut or otherwise) on hand. Yours look delicious. Good job making it vegan!
Gina said…
Thanks, Linda! Dairy-free is a challenge for me considering how much I like cream, but this one turned out really well.
I've been looking for a recipe like this. They are perfect!! I will be baking these tomorrow. Thanks.

And, love your blog!
laurelvb said…

I just made these this morning with a brown rice, tapioca, potato starch, sorghum and coconut flour mix. I did add a squeeze of lemon juice though because I really like the lemon flavor to come through.
I was also kind of tired so instead of making them round and slicing them I just used my humongo cookie scoop and flattened them a little.
They are incredibly tender and good with some tea or coffee. I guess that's why the English like them so much.
Thank you.
Gina said…
Laurel - That sounds like a good mix of flours for this recipe. I have yet to try coconut flour, but I imagine this would be a good application for it. I guess you don't need to worry about the lemon juice curdling the cream if it's non-dairy! I've been intending to do drop scones, too - that's a technique that's completely traditional. I'm glad the scones worked for you!
mitmax said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
mitmax said…
great recipe and amazing feedback from mutual friends, neither vegan nor gf. i'm curious as to the flour mix that you've used. folks shared the results were pure perfection. thanks : )
Gina said…

I am not ready to publish my GF flour mix, which I blend myself from seven different flours. this recipe seems to work well with lots of different flour combinations, although I try to steer clear of any mix that contains bean flours for scones or other pastries. This is certainly you a recipe that you can use as a traditional cream scone with dairy and regular wheat flour if you choose. My mix substitutes nicely by volume and weight for wheat flour (as a gluten-free flour mix should).
mitmax said…
thanks gina. any "vegan/gf" blogs or sites you can recommend?

this blog of yours is amazing and much appreciated : )
Gina said…
Thanks! It's good to know people read an enjoy my posts! "Gluten-free Taste of Home" is a new GF/vegetarian blog. "I Am Gluten-free" is a GF/vegan blog. Most other GF blogs give dairy-free alternatives to a lot of their recipes because so many GF people can't tolerate dairy. For instance, "The Whole Gang" is not a vegan blog, but the author is dairy-free. I am not vegan myself, but I've done the vegetarian diet and the dairy-free diet and I enjoy the challenge of making vegan recipes. Good luck!
Miss | A said…
wow. I will have to try these!
Arielle said…
I just came across this recipe and plan to try it with almond flour! I was wondering, does the coconut milk have to be full-fat? I think I only have lower-fat on hand, but I'm wondering if this would make a big difference.
Gina said…
Arielle, The fat content does make a difference. Scones are typically made with cream, which has higher fat but less water. Coconut cream is the vegan liquid that mimics the texture of cream the best. If you use a low fat coconut milk it will change the texture of the dough, and it may make it very wet as well. That's not to say it won't work - it'll probably still be good if it doesn't come out too gooey - but it will just be less scone-like. I'd try reducing the amount of liquid slightly if you use something low-fat. You can always add more in later if the dough doesn't come together. Let me know what you end up trying!
Willow said…
I love the sound of this recipe. I am vegetarian, but hoping to little by little go all the way vegan. I try to cook vegan as often as I can, and have found baking a challenge. I have only made scones one time and they were yummy although I wasn't sure of the texture.
Can you tell me what a good texture outside and in for scones that are done?
I am working on trying to perfect the scones I tried making a few weeks back. Having never really been raised around scones, I am totally lost on what the appropriate texture should be. I work in a doctors office with some people who are vegan, gluten allergies, and soy allergies so my cooking for them is limited.

Thanks, & Love your blog!

Gina said…
Scones should be dense and rich. If made with butter cut into the flour as in a regular scone, they are also somewhat flaky. However, this all-"cream" scone recipe creates a dense dough that should be cooked through but not dry. I hope this helps - the next time I make them I'll try to get a better shot of the interior!
Nadya said…
Thanks for the tip about leaving out the xanthan gum in quick bread recipes - I'd wondered about that!
I am experimenting with chesnut flour (just roasted some chestnuts, then peeled & whirred in my seed grinder!) in pumpkin scones - found the recipe on 'daring to thrive' blog.
I love using coconut oil & milk in recipes, & yes, coconut flour! I used my brown rice mix (with potatoe & tapioca), 1/3 C coconut flour, & 1/3 C chestnut flour - & 2 T buckwheat flour - Oooh yes!! (recipe over at the Vale . . .)
Allison said…
These were awesome!! I used Bette Hagman's flour mix, added a little bit of vanilla, omitted the lemon zest (none on hand) and added blueberry's (my wife's favourite!) and they are AWESOME!!! I did add a touch of xanthan gum, as I find that omitting it makes things very very bad, and they turned out beautifully! The crumb is exactly the same as a non-gluten scone, the texture is slightly denser (rice flour), but very very good! Next time I will try sorghum! Yummy!
Gina said…

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you liked them. I have also done vanilla instead of lemon zest, and I like it. It gives the dough a more pastry-like flavor.
Christina said…
Hi. My daughter is seriously casein intolerant so we can't ever use butter. ): Instead of using coconut cream, what about cutting in hard coconut oil which should melt the same way pieces of cold butter would. I cut in lard with the GF Biscuit mix for their bicuits and they were wonderfuly flaky. Christina, Denver, CO
Gina said…
Christina, the beauty of this recipe is that it doesn't call for butter. The coconut cream, like real cream, has enough fat in it to make the scone soft. This is an alternate, though traditional way to make scones. If you are looking for that flaky texture that you get from cutting in butter, you can substitute whatever non-dairy fats you prefer in a more standard scone recipe like this one:
Thanks for this recipe! My aunt and cousin are allergic to wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs and cane sugar, so making them baked goods is really difficult. I will be adapting this recipe to be cane sugar-free the next time they come for a visit! They'll be thrilled.
Gina said…
You could always just use beet sugar instead of cane sugar. Beet sugar lends the same texture, so it's easy to substitute.
Ni said…
Hi Gina
I used a mixture of rice flour, corn flour and corn starch and it was great. Thank you for this fantastic recipe :)
DebbieG said…
Help!!! I have previously tried your traditional scone recipe and today I tried this recipe. Both times I have ended up with scones that are way too wet. This time I even cut the liquid and added more flour but I still ended up scooping them on to the pan instead of the "form and cut" method. Could it be the flour mixture? Also, the ones I made today have great flavor but the texture is chewy and a little tough. I am not a baker so I don't know how to fix this. I am guessing I did too much mixing (to make it drier) but what causes the toughness - is it the baking powder? Maybe a little less baking powder next time or will that cause other problems in the recipe? Thank you for the hard work and the great blog! My son can't have gluten or dairy and I suspect I shouldn't either. I know this will be a great recipe for us if I can just figure out what I did wrong!
Gina said…
Debbie G - Thanks for trying my scone recipes. I'm sorry you're having trouble with them! It could be your flour mix. Each flour mix acts a bit differently in how it absorbs liquid. With this vegan recipe in particular it's unlikely that mixing it too much made it tough - that could also be the flour mix. What flours are you using?
Unknown said…
I made these today with modifications and they turned out really well.

My flours included sorghum, millet, and tapioca starch. The flavor was really nice and buttery.

I used coconut sugar instead of regular.

I added some flaxmeal for nutrition and a pinch of xanthan gum for better binding, but I think it could use a pinch more xanthan next time. It had a great crumb, but I worry that it would dry out and get crumbly over the next few days, so having a little more xanthan would be nice.

Since I didn't have coconut cream, I used a combination of canola oil and unsweetened vanilla almond milk to provide the fat and liquid.

Generally I'm used to seeing scones use coconut oil, so I would like to try coconut oil next time.

I made these with added almond extract and chopped almonds.

I ended up baking these in muffin tins at 400F for about 12 min.

These were really tasty! Buttery almond! And turbinado sugar sprinkled on top. Yum.

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