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Grain-free Cranberry Orange Scones

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I have been sitting on this recipe for a good 3 winters now!

I’d apologize but that is such a lengthy amount of time that this recipe is damn near perfect after the countless attempts. I love to share a recipe in the best form I can get it to but I recognize that there are always improvements that can be made with time and more attempts (and try to update recipes as I perfect them, where appropriate).

About these scones though.

Replicating a traditional pastry dough (the combo of flour, fat, a liquid, and sometimes egg) is reallllly tricky to do with grain-free baking due to the lack of structure provided by proteins in wheat flours. After all these years and an entire cookbook on grain-free baked goods, I *still* don’t feel I’ve perfected the pie dough yet.

But scones, they were a priority. They’re my one true breakfast pastry love. Pulling off a dense, yet light and crumbly scone that held together well and could stand up to a little butter pat, should I choose…. well, let’s just say it was no easy feat!

I stand by the ratios in this scone. I’ve seen other recipes that make use of different grain free flours and I don’t think they work as well (I’m looking at you, coconut flour!). I’ve also seen some without the use of arrowroot, which I can’t stand behind either since arrowroot gives them the light crumb that is essential in a scone. And I don’t recommend subbing for tapioca flour, since it can result in a tougher texture than arrowroot. I save tapioca flour strictly for thickening sauces these days.

There’s some flexibility with this scone, as far as flavors go (watch for a Maple Pecan rendition coming soon). You can play around with subbing dried cranberries or dried orange peel, maybe a few drops of orange essential oil if you *really* want the orange flavor to pop. Let me know in the comments if you switch any of this up and I hope you enjoy this Cranberry Orange Scone recipe just as much, if not more, than the (often subpar) grain-filled counterparts!


Get a printable PDF of the recipe

Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Scones

Yields: 8 large scones

Directions:

Note: using the pulse button through this process will ensure the dough isn’t overworked (tough scones) and the butter stays cold (important for a fluffy scone!).

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat mat.
  2. Add the almond flour, arrowroot flour, gelatin, baking powder, sea salt, cranberries, and orange zest to the bowl of a large food processor. Use the pulse button to combine the flours and break up the cranberries, about 5-10 pulses.
  3. Add the honey and vanilla extract. Pulse again to combine, about 3-5 pulses.
  4. Add the cubed butter and pulse to just barely combine, about 5 pulses. You should still be able to see small pea-sized pieces of butter in the batter.
  5. Whisk the egg well in a small bowl. Remove ~1 tablespoon of the egg to a separate bowl. Pour the remaining egg into the batter. Pulse again until the dough starts to form a ball of batter, about 3-5 pulses.
  6. Using a large cookie/ice cream scoop, place generous scoops onto the lined sheet pan. Whisk 1 tablespoon water into the reserved 1 tablespoon of egg and lightly brush onto the tops of the scones. Optionally, you can also sprinkle some sucanat sugar over the tops.
  7. Place the sheet pan into the freezer to chill the scooped dough for about 10 minutes before baking. You don’t want to freeze the dough but you do want to make sure that butter is fully cold before baking.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the scones are golden on top.
  9. Remove the scones to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes before enjoying.  Allow them to cool fully before storing on the counter in a sealed container.

Notes:

  • You can substitute dried cranberries but if you do, decrease the almond flour by ¼ cup.

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