Scones have quickly become one of my favorite things to bake. Part of it is nostalgia (my mom used to make my family scones every Sunday) and part of it is the simplicity. My go-to vegan scone recipe has less than 10 basic ingredients, requires only a few minutes to throw together, and takes under 30 minutes to bake up. It’s just enough flour mixing and dough-kneading to make you feel accomplished, but not so much prep/clean up that it feels like another to-do. The return on investment is high, plus you get to eat scones when all’s said and done.
Most weekends my mom would make us orange scones, so for this latest recipe rendition I followed her lead and also went super classic: cranberry orange scones. It’s tricky to find fresh cranberries this time of year, and I prefer dried anyway. The key is to buy dried whole cranberries, not pieces, to get both the chew factor and some softness.
Lately I’ve been making my scones with a small amount of buttery spread, although unrefined coconut oil also works well if you want to keep the ingredients on the less processed side. If you buy apple juice-sweetened cranberries this recipe is completely refined sugar-free, but I topped this batch with an orange flavored powdered sugar glaze that was too good to pass up. All things in moderation, right?
A couple of other things worth noting:
- If you’re gluten-free, I’ve had good results swapping out the all-purpose flour for this gluten-free baking blend.
- You can mix your scones by hand and get in a decent arm workout, or do what I do and let your stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) do all of the heavy-lifting. The dough will be super thick and a little crumbly, so if you do mix it by hand, you may find you need to work in a tablespoon or so of extra almond milk.
- ½ cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- zest of 1 organic orange + 2 ½ tablespoons orange juice
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup vegan buttery spread, cut into pea-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup whole dried cranberries
- ½ cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- organic orange zest for decorating
- Pre-heat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly dust with flour, and set it aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk and orange juice. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttery spread pieces and mix on low-medium speed until well-incorporated (about 30 seconds).
- Make a well in the center and add in the almond milk mixture, orange zest, and vanilla. Mix until a slightly sticky, very thick dough forms. Fold in the cranberries. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
- Transfer the dough to your prepared baking sheet. Lightly dust it with flour, then form it into an 8-inch round and cut into 8 parts, leaving space between each so all sides can brown. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and no longer doughy. Allow the scones to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the scones cool, make the glaze: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and orange juice until no lumps remain. Drizzle the scones with the glaze, sprinkle with orange zest, and serve.
I find that using a stand mixer is easier and faster in terms of working the buttery spread into the flour mixture. It's a very dry dough and mixing by hand takes some elbow grease. I use and recommend a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.
Solid coconut oil can be used instead of buttery spread, if you'd prefer. You'll want to cut it into pea-sized pieces to make sure it gets evenly incorporated when you mix it (I usually end up pinching it into the flour mixture).
Recipe adapted from my Vegan Blueberry Scones.