Nourishing Flourishing

Petite Vanilla Scones: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, + Vegan!

29 Jun

Ok, so. About this… I had to practice a lot of self-restraint to not blurt out what I had made all over Twitter and Facebook. Instead, I teased. I talked about riding my bike to various grocery stores 5 times in 95*+ heat. I talked about my 4 failed attempts. I talked about standing in front of my stove for hours with no air conditioning in the middle of summer. I talked about letting some frustrations slip out of my mouth as I paid for yet another jar of vanilla beans. And I taunted that I had hit the vegan, gluten-free jackpot of deliciousness with the final success batch. After all that dramatic build-up, you can see what I was so dedicated to making…

When I saw Mama Pea’s take on a vegan version of Starbucks’ Petite Vanilla Scones last week, I was excited. I had been contemplating making a gluten-free version for months — literally, months. Somehow I had gotten wind of this Starbucks scone craze, and then ran across it via a random link to The Pioneer Woman’s blog. The wheels were churning. If you take a look at that version, you might notice why I would need to use some creativity; cream, wheat, and butter aren’t so much included in my diet. I was totally overwhelmed. What would they be made out of?! But then I saw Mama Pea’s genius “health-ified” upgrade — and a vegan one at that! No more excuses. No more missing out on tasty treats. It was time to vegan-ify my scone recipe, and make a gluten-free alternative to these adorable little scones. At last — gluten-free eaters, rejoice! You can partake in the deliciousness. Huzzah!

P.S. My recipe looks way more complicated than it is — trust me.

3 Tb water + 1 Tb ground flax seed
2 1/2 C blanched almond flour (make your own and save)
2 Tb arrowroot powder
2 Tb coconut flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 C agave nectar
1/2 Tb vanilla extract
1 t fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean pod

1) Mix water and flax together with a fork and set aside for 10 minutes (ideally, you can put everything else together during this time).
2) Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3) Mix agave, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and vanilla bean pod scrapings (click here for tutorial).
4) Add agave mixture to dry ingredients. Stir, and add flax egg.
5) Stir until combined. I like to actually use my hands to mix gently and thoroughly.
6) Flatten into a rectangle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. It won’t rise much in the oven, so keep that in mind, thickness-wise. My dough was around 1/2″-3/4″, I would guess.
7) Cut four even lines into dough with a sharp knife,. (Example)
8 ) Cut three more even lines in the opposite direction. (Example)
9) Cut each small rectangle/square in half on the diagonal for a total of 24 mini scone triangles.
10) Arrange carefully on the baking sheet so that they are spread evenly. Pop in a 350* oven for about 10-12 minutes — until the edges and tops are lightly browned. Let cool.

Vanilla Bean Glaze

1 C powdered sugar (corn-free for some of us!)
2 Tb unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla for added flair)
2 vanilla bean pod

1) Add almond milk to powdered sugar. It will seem to dry at first, but just trust and keep stirring with a fork until smooth.
2) Scrape the vanilla bean pod and stir into glaze mixture.

You can certainly halve the glaze recipe and just lightly lace your scones with a slight drizzle of frosting. I just included the whole recipe in case you are crazy about the glaze…y. I avoid refined-type sugar as much as possible (my body doesn’t do well with it), but I’m still working on a mild-tasting, sugar-free alternative. If you can’t eat this small amount of powdered sugar, don’t fret! Simply mix the vanilla bean scrapings with agave or honey and drizzle immediately before serving (it will eventually soak into the scone and make it soft). Still delicious — just different : )

So. Do they look worth the teasing? Perhaps not after you look at Mama Pea and The Pioneer Woman’s beautiful photography. I admit it, I don’t have a DSLR, or — what really counts – mad skillz. BUT if you taste these, do come back and let me know what you think. I’m guessing somewhere in between “vanilla sugar cookie” and “what a rainbow would taste like if it exploded with joy in my mouth.”

Oh yeah — and speaking of exploding (good transition, Katie)… If you want to make a fun 4th of July brunch spread, how about this banner of delicious, patriotic themed scones?! Thanks to Kelly of The Spunky Coconut for hosting another great Our Spunky Holiday Gluten-Free Carnival!

Red (ish)


And blue:


Any other fun ideas you’d like to see adapted?

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56 Responses to “Petite Vanilla Scones: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, + Vegan!”

  1. Abby June 29, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    These look good but I am still a sucker for the blueberry ones! :)

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 29, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      The blueberry ones are sooo much more photogenic! These are a lot sweeter… But a nice treat every now and again ;)

  2. lauren@spicedplate June 29, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    As a gluten free gal who used to work at Starbucks, I thank you for making a healthier version that I can actually eat! I hope to gather the ingredients together to make some soon…

  3. Heather @ Dietitian on the Run June 29, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    You’ve got a lot of patience for that recipe development! I give things one or two tries and then I get impatient ;) Love the red, white + blue variations!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 29, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      Ha, thanks! I assure you, there was a lot of impatience involved… ;) But I just couldn’t give up. I wanted to see what the big deal about vanilla bean scones was! :)

  4. Pure2raw twins June 29, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Love this recipe, and your pictures are great. We were not much of scone person before, but when we started baking them for our customers, we have come to love them!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 29, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      Aw, thanks! I have just recently come to love them too :) I guess we’re always changing, right? I need to branch out more often; these were delish!

  5. Caitlin June 29, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    your scones look BEAUTIFUL!

  6. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 29, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Great flour combination! I love almond meal and coconut flour. They make gluten free baked goods so buttery and yummy! These look amazing!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 29, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Thanks Sarena! The coconut flour really helped make the scones a bit drier, like traditional scones. These really were devilishly good. Way sweeter than I usually like my treats, but with a strong cup of coffee or tea they are perfect! :)

  7. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 29, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    Yum! I love the flecks of vanilla in the glaze. I saw these on Mama Pea’s site and immediately drooled, yours look equally as good!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 29, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      Mama Pea is a master of making over recipes! And yes, the flecks of vanilla are 100% what sold me on the concept! :D

  8. Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! June 29, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    ZOMG. Those look amazing. Also, I washed my hair with baking soda last night and thought of you. That is all. :)

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 29, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      Ahhh niiice! Even just doing the baking soda trick once a month really does make your hair so fresh and so clean clean. I randomly considered tweeting you Parks and Rec quotes last night..

      I am strange.

  9. kate June 29, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    oohh I love the red white and blue scones they look delicious, I have everything on hand so I might be doing a little baking later ;)

  10. (what runs) Lori June 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Oh. My. GOSH!!!!

    I’d love to know what rainbow would taste like if it exploded with joy in my mouth… yes, yes I do. These scones look incredible. Great pics and definitely a great healthier recipe than it could be!

    I’d blast this all over Twitter!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      But really. Make them. Flavah dynamiiite. (Blasting has commenced. And probably will continue until I end up in Twitter Jail, a la BookieBoo ;) Hehe. )

  11. Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers June 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Yummy! I love fruity baked goodies, but then again, who doesn’t??? :)

  12. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    I love the blueberry ones so much that I’m sure these will be divine!

  13. Cait's Plate June 29, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Oh. My. YUM! These look AMAZING! Scones have been big in the blog world lately and I think it’s about time I get on it and make some of my own!

  14. Katie (quick cook rice) June 29, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Secret: DSLR (and good light) is more the key to good photography than the skills(z). Also, you already have the eye. Your photos are great, and these scones looks delicious albeit far too many ingredients for my laziness as of late. I’ve literally not cooked/baked or done anything in the kitchen in weeks. I know. Pathetic.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      Thanks, lovely. I know, there are way more ingredients in this than my other recipes. Ha! Hey, it’s summer. This is the best time to avoid the kitchen at all costs. ;)

  15. Jen June 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    These looks SO good. The melting icing is making me drool. Somehow, my dough balls do not seem as enticing ;)

  16. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun June 30, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Those sure do look yummy! And love the festive end. :)

  17. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats June 30, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    These look great! I have been playing around with a grain-free, gluten-free and vegan savory muffin recipe (to use up juice pulp)- I am starting to think I need to use a couple of tablespoons of arrowroot in it though – no matter what ratios I use of blanched almond flour, coconut flour and other ingredients, they still stay a bit mushy.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      I always add arrowroot to dry things up a bit; in this case, combining it with the coconut flour made the texture perfect. Your vegan savory muffin recipe sounds so good… I hope you post on it soon so I can make some! :) (P.S. So glad I connected with your blog; love it!)

  18. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats June 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    So glad you are enjoying my blog. Am loving yours :) I don’t know how close I am to the vegan grain-free savory muffins, but I can email you the in-progress recipe if you would like to try it. After reading your post, I am thinking of trying them again as scones, to see if they dry out better. They include a healthy dose of nutritional yeast as well as broccoli and zucchini pulp, and while I have never seen a broccoli-cheddar scone, I have seen plenty of cheddar cheese scones that it does not seem like that much of a stretch.

    I try hard to avoid starches (ie arrowroot, tapioca etc) to keep my recipes low-glycemic, but with blanched almond flour and using just a small amount of starch, it does not seem like it has that much of an impact. I may try another couple of batches, with less pulp and one with starch and one without.

    It will be a while though, so email me if you want the current in-progress recipe :)

    So glad we have connected too!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing July 2, 2011 at 8:36 am #

      Hm, yes, I would think that being a bit flatter (i.e., scones) would help to release more moisture, as opposed to muffins, right? I love that they include nutritional yeast! I hear ya — I avoid starches as well, but the arrowroot doesn’t seem to bother me when it’s in such small, spread-out amounts. Can’t wait for the finished result of your experimentation! :)

  19. Emilia June 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Yum– love how wholesome and nutrient- dense these are. I can assure you you’d never see any of the ingredients you used in the starbucks ones :) Definitely bookmarking this recipe for future use!
    Coconut, flax, almonds, vanilla- all my favorite add-ins!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing July 2, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      Thanks Emilia! Ha, yes…something makes me doubt that Starbucks cares even remotely about what ungodly, unknown ingredients go into their food…! ;) Hope you love them!

  20. Kris | June 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    Holy Mutha!!! I can a batch of these right now!!! Way to go! I am a HUGE vegan, gluten free lova and can’t wait to try these….drool!!


  21. andrea devon July 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    these look soooo good! I always see those in starbucks and think ‘i should make those!’ because i simply refuse to eat the ones they make- i know they will not be up to bakery manis standards!

  22. Kelly July 7, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I think your pics look great! I love how your drizzling sauce turned out. Looks awesome. Thanks for the effort.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing July 9, 2011 at 10:04 am #

      Thanks Kelly :) It took quite a few test runs, and I tried to do it without powdered sugar for a whole day… Then finally I just gave in. I don’t really regret it ;) So good!

  23. Girl in the pink July 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Yum, I’ve been trying to reduce my dairy and I love scones – I’ll have to give this a try!!! :)

  24. Erica July 19, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Hi there =)

    These look delicious! What are good alternative flours to the almond flour that would still work for this recipe?

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing July 20, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      Hi Erica! To be honest, I don’t believe any other flour would work; almond flour is very unique. However, there is a chance that you could make another nut flour to substitute. Hazelnuts are the only other possibility that readily comes to mind. You could grind them into flour using a food processor. I’ll do what I can to help, but I am uncertain about using other flours. Let me know how it goes if you try it! :)

  25. Sandy January 26, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    How do you get Vanilla Bean scrapings? I’ve never worked w/ fresh raw vanilla bean sticks. I know what they look like as I’ve seen cooks on tv use them.

    Also, what exactly is Egg flax refer too? Is it a term for mixing ground flax seeds w/ a liquid, perhaps?

    I adore your blog. I find your sense o humor refreshing, your recipes enlightening, and the pics tantalizing!

    (planning on trying your Herbed Chickpea flour crackers.) Looking forward to your reply, Katie.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing August 6, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Oh Sandy, I am SO SORRY. I completely missed this comment — from months ago! — and am just seeing it now in August. Eeek! I apologize for such an outrageously belated reply. Sometimes my comments get jumbled as I respond to them in my WordPress Dashboard. :( Anyway, I so appreciate your kind words, and your questions.

      To scrape the vanilla bean, cut it in half length-wise, and inside you will see tiny little dark specks. Using your knife horizontally, drag it on the line you just cut until it is emptied of the specks. Those are the scrapings! :)

      A “flax egg” is just as you inferred — some ground flax seed mixed with a bit of water to mimic the properties of a real egg. They work great for vegan adjustments in baking, usually, but can be a bit too wet for some recipes.

      Hope you are well! Let me know if you have anymore questions and I’ll respond in much more timely manner, dear Sandy!


  26. Meredith May 12, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Made these tonight and just had to comment because they are delicious! Thanks for posting!

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