This Blackberry Scone recipe is an easy bake, almost as simple as a boxed mix. The dough is easy to work with and requires almost no shaping.
They are scrumptious at breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea or coffee. Needing only a cup of those sweet, dark berries, your tender scones can be out of the oven in no time.
Because these scones are healthier than the usual breakfast pastry with whole grains and fewer saturated fats, feel free to indulge.
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- Whole wheat pastry flour
- White whole wheat flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Brown sugar
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Canola oil
- Powdered sugar
Flour: For maximum whole grain goodness, the recipe uses a combo of whole wheat pastry and white whole wheat flour. You could easily use a gluten-free variety or substitute all-purpose flour for all or part of the total flour needed.
Granulated sugar: Use any granulated variety you prefer. White sugar, cane sugar, coconut sugar--any of these are fine.
Baking powder + baking soda: For light fluffy scones. Using the combination helps to soften the harsh, metallic note of the powder.
Salt: Helps to bring out the sweet flavors in the scones. Minimize salt if you are sensitive to it.
Buttermilk: If it's not a staple of your fridge, you can make sour milk by combining two teaspoons of lemon juice with your choice of milk. (Use plant milk if you are vegan.)
Egg: It helps the scone taste richer and increases the rise of the scones during baking. Use a flax egg, if you are vegan.
Brown sugar: It gives a richer taste to the scones. To minimize sugars, you can use a brown stevia-blend sweetener, such as Truvia to replace half of the sugar. If you only sub for half the sugar, no one will notice and the texture of the scones won't suffer.
Lemon juice: it makes your glaze delightfully citrusy!
Lemon zest: The bright lemon note in the dough syncs perfectly with the flavor of the dark, sweet blackberries. Zest a whole lemon and then use the juice for your glaze. I love a lemon press for quick juicing!
Vanilla: Enriches the taste and sweetness of the scones.
Butter: Use a large-holed grater and very cold butter. Or cube the butter.
Canola oil: Keep it in the fridge and drizzle it cold over the dry ingredients. Blend the butter and oil into the dough with a pastry cutter. You can use all butter, but canola oil decreases the amount of saturated fat.
Blackberries: The stars of the recipe! I have not tested the recipe with frozen. One six-ounce package will provide all the berries necessary for this recipe.
Powdered sugar: For the glaze. Here again, you can slash the sugar grams by using a stevia- or monkfruit-blend powdered sweetener for half the amount of sugar. See the cooking tips to learn how to keep it from lumping!
How to Make
(Note: if you are using sour milk instead of buttermilk, you should add your lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and set it aside before you start the recipe.)
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar in a large bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
- Grate butter into the dry ingredients and drizzle cold canola oil over the top. Using a pastry cutter, blend fats in until the mixture is a little sandy and wants to clump together. Do not over-blend!
- Toss the blackberries into the flour-fat mixture and gently combine.
- In a measuring cup, combine buttermilk, egg (or flax egg), brown sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla.
- Make a well in the center, and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir gently until a sticky dough forms and there are no more wet spots.
- Pour the sticky dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape gently into a symmetrical circle, by flattening the top slightly and pushing at the edges.
- Place in a 400 F oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, reversing the baking sheet front to back, halfway through.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly while you whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a glaze. (Put the powdered sugar through a small strainer to keep it from lumping.)
- Pour or spread the glaze over the top of the scone circle.
- Cut in half. Then, cut each half into four to six wedges with a serrated knife.
For full details, see the recipe card below.
Although these may be the easiest scones you'll ever make, it's important to flatten the top a little after you pour the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
If the center is too much taller than the edges, the dough will be too soft in the middle and overly crispy on the edges.
Keep the butter and oil as cold as possible for the best texture. You can even put them in the freezer before adding them. You could also put the wet ingredient mixture in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
A pastry cutter is perfect in this situation. It also spares the cold butter from the warmth of your hands, keeping the chill in the dough as long as possible.
To keep the powdered sugar from lumping, sieve it through a small strainer into the bowl you're using to make the glaze.
No time for the lovely lemon glaze? No problem! Brush the scone circle with milk and dust with a drop of sugar before baking for sweet, crackly tops.
- Can I use all-purpose flour, almond flour, or gluten-free flour instead of whole wheat?
You can use any of the above varieties, but if you want to include almond flour, don't use it for all the flour. Substitute it for up to half a cup of the entire flour amount needed.
- Can vegans make this scone recipe?
Vegans can enjoy these scones if they substitute plant milk for dairy milk and a flax egg for the chicken egg. Because flax eggs don't provide leavening, it's a good idea to add a ½ teaspoon of baking powder to compensate.
- Can I swap in another berry besides blackberries?
Blueberries and raspberries are also delicious in this recipe. You could also use strawberries if you cut them up. Stir them in after adding the wet ingredients.
- Is this a copycat recipe of the Sticky Fingers brand of scone?
Sort of! It's a similar concept of cutting the scones after baking, but it tastes homemade and has less sugar!
Scones taste best when eaten on the day they are baked. Extra scones will keep in a plastic bag or airtight container for a day or two in the refrigerator.
If you want to keep them for longer, it's best to keep extras in the freezer. Wrap each in wax paper. Then, place the scones inside a large plastic zip-top bag and put it in the freezer.
Are scones healthy?
You may be skeptical!
How can scones be healthy? They have a reputation as an indulgent teatime treat or brunch/breakfast food. (Not quite as decadent as donuts, but almost!)
With just a few tweaks, such as choosing whole grain flour and healthier fats, this scone transforms from simply tasty to truly nutritious.
Of course, fruits in a scone boost the sweetness and help improve the health profile whether they are the traditional raisins or the juicy blackberries in this recipe.
Health Benefits of Blackberries
Blackberries increase the nutrition of a scone (or a muffin).
Here are some of the healthful highlights of a 100-gram serving* (a scant cup, slightly less than the amount in this recipe):
- 5.3 grams fiber
- 29 mg calcium
- 0.62 mg iron
- 162 mg potassium
- 0.53 mg zinc
- 21 mg vitamin C
- 25 mcg folate
- 20 mcg vitamin K
🦴 Bone health: There is a nutrition synergy here between calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Blackberries are an excellent source of vitamins K and C, both of which improve the absorption of calcium, needed for strong bones and teeth.
Each Blackberry Scone has 55 mg of calcium.
So, enjoying a Blackberry Scone (or maybe two) might help a little bit if you're trying to reach the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for calcium, which is 1,000 mg for adults younger than 50. This is especially true given the nutrient combo in blackberries.
Berry powerful: Flavonoid phytonutrients
Blackberries are also rich in anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid phytonutrient responsible for their blue-black color.
Anthocyanins act as antioxidants, protecting from free radical damage and tamping down inflammation.
These plant-based nutrients may have benefits for heart disease and cancer. Research has shown that flavonoid anthocyanins support vascular health, improving high blood pressure, venous insufficiency, and diabetic eye disease.
Other foods high in anthocyanins include:
- Black raspberries
- Black currants
- Pomegranate arils
- Forbidden rice
- Purple carrots
Credit: Arjun Kapoor on Unsplash
Plants with good amounts of anthocyanins are deep red or purple. The color of hibiscus flowers, rosehips, and goji berries comes from anthocyanins.
Bone-health breakfast: Blackberry Scones with a small dish of yogurt topped with goji berries or more fresh or frozen raspberries or blackberries!
🌾 Whole-grain flour for better nutrition
Healthwise, the Blackberry Scone recipe has more going for it than anthocyanins and calcium. Each scone supplies a hearty serving of whole grains and healthy fats that will keep your stomach from rumbling for some time.
Whole grains supply B vitamins, for energy, as well as fiber, magnesium, trace minerals, and some protein. The whole-wheat flours in the recipe are whole grain.
Whole-grain gluten-free flour choices include teff and millet flour. You could also substitute nut flour like almond or coconut for up to 25% of the total flour amount.
No matter what flour you bake with, this scone recipe is very forgiving. All-purpose (AP) white flour and standard gluten-free flour will yield a delicious result.
If you want to try regular or stone-ground whole wheat flour, you'll get a better-tasting scone by combining about a cup of white AP with ¾ cup of whole wheat flour.
Other healthy scone and quick bread recipes you might enjoy...
If you love berries at breakfast, try this recipe for Banana Blackberry Oatmeal Muffins. All their yummy sweetness comes from bananas and date sugar or maple syrup so they don't need any refined sugar!
☕ Earl Grey Scones are another delicious choice with bergamot flavor baked right in.
Date Scones are another very English and exceptional healthy choice!
If you're in the mood for a darkly decadent snack or breakfast bread, try these Triple Chocolate Muffins. You won't regret it!
Want something more savory? Cheddar Rosemary Biscuits are perfect with brunch and sit well on the table next to ham or roast bird.
Blackberry Scones with Buttermilk
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 Tablespoons sugar, granulated; can use coconut sugar or cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk; can sub ½ cup regular milk or plant milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 egg, or use flax egg if vegan. Add ½ t baking powder.
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar can sub brown stevia or monkfruit sweetener for half the brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons butter, very cold, cubed or grated
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil, chilled
- 1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, can use erythritol or stevia (Truvia) powdered sugar substitute for half the amount
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice use enough so that the glaze is runny, but not drippy
- Wash hands for 20 seconds before beginning to bake. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Combine buttermilk, egg, brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. Beat with a fork.
- Add cold butter (cubed or grated) to the bowl of dry ingredients. Drizzle chilled canola oil over the top. Using a pastry cutter, work the fats into the dry ingredients until the mixture is sandy or crumb-like.
- Add the berries. Mix gently to combine.
- Make an indentation in the center of the mixture. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir until no dry spots remain.
- Dump the dough out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into a circle, 8 inches in diameter. The dough might remind you of a drop biscuit and it will look like a large, thick pancake. Flatten the center if it's much taller than the edges.
- Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway through the cooking time. Start checking for doneness after 18 minutes.The scone will be golden-brown on top. A knife (not a toothpick) inserted in the middle should not have bits of batter sticking to it. Bake another three minutes if necessary.
- Let the scone cool for 5 minutes. While the scone is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle or spread glaze over the top of the scone and cut into 8 to 12 wedges using a serrated knife.
- Serve warm.
This post was originally published in July of 2021. It has been updated with more recipe content and process photos.
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