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Wholesome Apple Cinnamon Vegan Scones

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Alisa Fleming ~ With so many loving holidays on the way – Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Days – my mind wanders to recipes for fresh baked goodies like this one. These special vegan scones were ones that I originally created for my mother-in-law. She is English by heritage and by culinary taste, and she simply adores scones. However, my in-laws have been working hard to stay away from white flour and sugars for the past couple of years. In order to offer her a little treat that wouldn’t derail their efforts, I baked up these vegan scones using a shredded organic Braeburn apple and a little coconut sugar for the sweetness.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Vegan Scones w/ Gluten-Free Option

I also decided to take the health factor one step further, by substituting coconut oil for what would typically be butter or shortening in your average scone recipe. Coconut oil solidifies just below room temperature, so it works well as a solid fat in many recipes. Just like chilled butter, I add the solid or slightly softened coconut oil with a pastry blender or fork to get that “crumb” consistency – a preparation method that is typically used with scones.

So Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Unsweetened Coconut Milk BeverageTo keep these vegan scones soy-free, refined sugar-free, and relatively low in fat, I use So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage instead of cream. It is just rich enough and adds a nice hint of vanilla, but is sugar-free and low calorie. Click here for a So Delicious Coupon

As for the flour, I went with a whole wheat pastry flour, which is a touch lighter than ordinary whole wheat flour due to the lower-protein, soft wheat it is milled from. If you prefer light and fluffy vegan scones, then you can sub all or part of the whole wheat pastry flour with all-purpose or even cake flour. The whole wheat pastry flour definitely makes for a heartier scone … something my palate prefers in the morning or for a re-energizing snack with tea.

I know what some of you may be wondering – coconut milk beverage, coconut sugar, coconut oil – do these vegan scones taste like coconut? Fortunately, unsweetened coconut milk beverage has most of the coconut “meat” removed, so it has a very mild flavor that doesn’t overpower at all in baked recipes. All you get is some creamy goodness. Likewise, the coconut oil and coconut sugar are fairly mild, allowing the apple and cinnamon to shine through in these flavorful vegan scones. If you’re still concerned, then you can use one of the other sweetener options that I’ve included in the recipe and you can substitute shortening (I recommend using organic palm shortening to keep away from the hydrogenated oils) in place of the coconut oil.

And oh yes, my in-laws and husband adore these apple cinnamon vegan scones!

Gluten-Free Option: You can also trial your favorite gluten-free flour blend in these apple cinnamon vegan scones. If you opt to use a gluten-free flour blend that doesn’t contain any xanthan gum or guar gum, and is fairly low protein (such as a rice flour or starch blend), then I recommend adding about 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum with the flours.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Vegan Scone w/ Gluten-Free Option

Wholesome Apple Cinnamon Vegan Scones
 
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These hearty but tender vegan scones are gently sweet, but I like to add a little crunchy coconut sugar on the tops for an extra oomph of indulgence. I originally created this recipe using So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage, but when they came out with an Unsweetened Vanilla version, I found a new love! You can often find a coupon for this product on the So Delicious Facebook Page.
Author:
Serves: 8 to 12 scones

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut / palm sugar, divided (you can substitute evaporated cane juice (sucanat) or brown sugar, if desired)
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (see post above for other flour options, including gluten-free)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup solid or softened coconut oil (you can substitute non-hydrogenated dairy-free margarine or shortening)
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup of apple shreds)
  • ½ cup So Delicious® Dairy Free Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Place the ¼ cup coconut / palm sugar in your spice or coffee grinder and give it a quick whiz to powder it; this should take more than 10 or 15 seconds. You can skip this step if using brown sugar.
  3. Pour the powdered coconut sugar (or brown sugar) into a large bowl. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until everything is well-combined. Add the coconut oil (or other fat) and using a fork or pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in the apple and coconut milk beverage, until the mixture starts to come together. It should be a little crumbly, but fairly easy to handle (not sticky) and easy to form into two balls. If it is too wet, add a little flour, too dry, sprinkle in some more milk alternative.
  5. Take those two balls of dough, and gently flatten them into two disks that are about an inch to an inch and a half high on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the scones with the remaining tablespoon of sugar (the stuff you left coarse) or even a little more if desired.
  6. Cut or score the disks into 4 or 6 triangles (like a pizza), and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the scones begin to take on a nice golden brown hue on the tops and edges. I like to keep the scones touching as they bake for a pull-apart effect and tender middle.

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About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry. Follow me on Google+.

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Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

15 Comments

  1. The Peace PatchJanuary 29, 2013 at 4:53 pmReply

    Thank you for sharing this! All this week I’ve had the most inexplicable craving for those store-bought cinnamon crumb cakes from my childhood. These are perfect and so very much healthier…assuming I don’t eat the whole batch! ;)

  2. JoanneFebruary 5, 2013 at 4:28 amReply

    Aww how sweet of you to make this for your mother-in-law! They look absolutely delicious!

  3. DFebruary 12, 2013 at 8:07 pmReply

    This was very good. Hard to beat the “real” thing made with butter, but a good alternative. I had to add almost another cup of flour. It was doughy, but the next day toasted in the oven was more reminiscent and very good. Thank you!

  4. DeanaFebruary 18, 2013 at 9:40 amReply

    I just made these and replaced the coconut oil with apple sauce (same quantity) and used oat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour.I also used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It was delicious! Thank you for the amazing recipe!

  5. TashMarch 21, 2013 at 8:08 pmReply

    Ive been making these a lot lately, they are my favourite!! I use almond milk instead of coconut milk though as i have that in the fridge all the time and we dont get that brand here in New Zealand (that i know of). Anyway, they are so amazingly yummy and addictive. I have a batch baking right now and the smell in my kitchen is devine, i cant wait for the timer to go off ;)

  6. ReaganMarch 30, 2013 at 10:01 pmReply

    These are so wonderful! They are sweet but not overly. I used rice milk because my children have multiple food allergies. I also added an extra apple! So so good and something the whole family can enjoy!!!!

  7. The So Delicious® Dairy-Free 2013 Recipe Contest - Go Dairy FreeApril 1, 2013 at 9:08 amReply

    [...] Wholesome Apple Cinnamon Scones [...]

  8. JodyAugust 27, 2013 at 3:58 amReply

    These turned out great. I substituted applesauce for the oil and left out the sugar. I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon and sugar on the top before baking.

    • Alisa FlemingAugust 27, 2013 at 6:52 amReplyAuthor

      I love your (mostly) sugar-free alteration Jody! I’ll try that myself.

  9. Pumpkinitis (cured with scones) | RAWR! Foods...September 15, 2013 at 10:19 amReply

    […] had been working on a version of my favorite scone recipe from GoDairyFree.org that was more carroty in nature (saving that one for when the mood strikes me […]

  10. Sarah LilesSeptember 18, 2013 at 12:15 pmReply

    Bookmarking this. It can be very frustrating finding recipes that are adaptable for those of us that are top 8 free. Thanks for sharing!

  11. CarlaSeptember 18, 2013 at 1:27 pmReply

    I just made these with some substitutions: GF flour, sugar, Earth Balance SoyFree Buttery Spread, vanilla, blueberries, and unsweetened almond milk…and holy cow, talk about delish. This is the first time I made scones and this recipe is excellent. As soon as i can get some apples, I will be making the apple cinnamon version. Cant wait.

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 18, 2013 at 1:48 pmReplyAuthor

      So glad you enjoyed Carla! And I love the sound of your blueberry version. Thank you for sharing. Did your GF flour have xanthan or guar gum or did it work without added gums?

  12. Tina KluemperOctober 19, 2013 at 1:46 pmReply

    Ok. I used a gluten free artisan flour blend with guar gum to accomodate my son’s allergies. Mine were quite flat. Going to give it another try. I did a chocolate chip version instead of the apples, so maybe that is where things went wrong. I’m new to this gluten free/ dairy free baking. It’s possible my taste buds just aren’t used to the artisan flour yet.

    • Alisa FlemingOctober 21, 2013 at 11:19 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Tina, this is the tricky part – I can’t vouch for all gluten-free mixes as a good 1:1 swap for all-purpose flour. Some work, some don’t. In this case, it sounds as if more flour was needed. I’m speculating that they were flat due to too much moisture (flours didn’t adequately absorb). I would focus on the dough consistency (which I explain in the recipe). Also, if you are not at high altitude and you felt that the scones simply didn’t rise enough, you can up the baking powder to 1 tablespoon.

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