Copycat Starbucks vanilla scones made gluten free! Real vanilla beans make them taste amazing. Easy to make homemade. Vegan friendly!
The scones at Starbucks have always been one of my favorite treats to enjoy whenever I pop in for a tea. But with so many new allergens having developed in the past few years, I haven’t been able to enjoy them.
Which is why I’m loving this new recipe. I wanted to recreate the petite vanilla bean scones and make them gluten free. What's even better is how easy they are to make with only 7 ingredients.
Free from: wheat, gluten, dairy (optional), casein (optional), eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, corn, celery, and more
You honestly only need a few simple things to make these petite vanilla bean scones!
Vanilla beans - This is the star of the show! But if you can’t find any or don’t want to spend on them (let’s be real, they are expensive!) you can swap out for good vanilla extract.
Whipping cream - This is the secret ingredient to make these outta this world good! The cream is full of fat and flavor. For a dairy free option, see the notes below.
Gluten free flour - Choosing the right flour is important for each recipe. I’ve had the best success with King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour. If you are avoiding nightshades, use this flour blend Homemade Gluten Free flour.
Prep the ingredients
First, take your butter stick and grate it into fine pieces! This seems strange but here is why you are doing this. Grating the butter like you grate a block of cheese does a lot of the hard work of getting into smaller pieces of butter. The butter is then more easily distributed through the dough, making your scones lighter and more buttery.
It's essential that after grating the butter you pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes so it can really harden up!
Second, you sift together all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Form the pastry
Third, take your pastry cutter, or two knives, and begin to really incorporate the frozen butter into the pastry. Work quickly! You don't want the butter to melt at any point.
If you think that the butter is getting too warm, don't be afraid to pop it back into the fridge or freezer for 5 minutes to chill down again.
Work the dough until the butter is evenly distributed through the batter and it looks like wet, corse sand.
Fourth, add the cream and vanilla. I switch away from my pastry cutter and move to a spatula at this point to mix the scones together.
Make the scones
Now (step 5), the dough should start to really come together. It will be a sticky mess! This dough is pretty wet as you can see on the spatula in the photo.
If you think it is too wet to work with, add a bit more flour in small increments.
The dough is ready when you can shape it into a form and it holds it's shape.
Divide the dough into two equal portions. Press into a disc shape, about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down into 6 equal pieces.
The pressing straight down is important. If you drag the knife, you will be closing the scones, making it impossible for them to rise. To get the best rise out of the scones, only press down.
Finally (step 6), place the scones onto a lined baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and delicious! You can frost these with a simple mix of powdered sugar and water after they are completely cooled.
To make these dairy free, swap out the butter for plant-based butter of your choice. I like Earth Balance soy free! To replace the heavy cream, use your milk of choice. Oat, soy, or almond would taste delicious in these! You could also use coconut cream, just be aware that a coconut flavor will be imparted into the scones.
Special note: If you are avoiding corn, make sure that the powdered sugar you use is corn free. I like Wholesome Ingredients best for their corn free powdered sugar!
A pastry cutter is essential when making scones or any pastry for that matter. I love using this one. I’ve had it for years and it always makes flakey beautiful pastries.
It’s also important to have a good knife or bench scraper to make the cuts in the dough.
Finally, I like to bake these on my favorite cookie sheets. These sheet trays are so versatile they get used for everything in my kitchen!!
Best way to make my scones light and fluffy?
The secret to fluffy scones are two things: First, make sure you use good baking powder. This gives them a lift in the oven. Second, when you are cutting the scones, just like when making biscuits, you want to have the knife go straight down and up. No pulling the knife! That will press the edges down and they won’t rise.
My dough is sticky. Is this good?
Yes! You want the dough to be on the stickier side. The dough should barely be held together for the best texture of a scone after baking.
Why did my scones get cracks on top?
The oven temperature was probably too high. Make sure you invest in an oven thermometer so you know exactly how hot your oven is. Most ovens need to be calibrated once a year!
How to Store
Store the scones in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 5 days. These scones can be frozen after baking if kept in an airtight container. Allow to thaw in the fridge for 12 hours before serving from frozen.
Other recipes you may enjoy
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- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- pastry cutter or knives
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
Vanilla Bean Scones
- 1 cup gluten free flour
- 2 ½ tablespoons white sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter frozen and grated
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla bean scraped
- 2 tablespoons water or cream plus more if needed
To make the scones:
- Grate the butter using a cheese grater. Freeze for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F making sure your oven rack is set to the middle of the oven. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour.
- Add the grated frozen butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, or two knives, work the butter into the flour until crumbly. The mixture should resemble crumbled sand.
- Add the cream and vanilla extract. Mix with a spatula until dough comes together. Dough will be very sticky. If too sticky to handle, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time.
- Divide dough into two equal portions. Flatten each dough ball into a disc, about 1 inch thick.
- Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, press straight down to cut the dough into 6 triangle portions. Place each scone on the baking tray.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until each scone is golden brown and no longer appears wet. Let rest on the tray for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze:
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and water.
- Take your vanilla bean and cut open down the long side. Scrape out the vanilla beans and add them to the sugar and water.
- Mix well until no lumps remain. Pour over each scone and let rest to allow the glaze to harden.
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