Vegan wholemeal scones are not only delicious, but they’re also healthy. These ones are rich with fibre, vitamins, minerals and also protein. They’re quick and easy to make and you’ll find some hot tips on how to make them rise well.
Scones are a British institution and any afternoon tea worth its salt will feature them. You’ll find plenty of scone recipes on Tin and Thyme, but I’ve recently realised there isn’t one for vegan scones. Until now.
Healthy Vegan Wholemeal Scones
Scones can be a real indulgence, especially if you load then with jam and cream – ahem! These vegan wholemeal scones, however, err on the healthier side of scone land. They’re made with wholemeal spelt flour and a little protein powder to make up for the protein you’d normally get in dairy milk.
Having said all that we generally do top them with jam and cream. But the jam is homemade and the cream is whipped coconut cream. I tend to add a little rose syrup to the coconut cream to add floral notes and a bit of sweetness. It works really well.
Wholemeal flour is inherently a lot healthier than white flour which is heavily processed and where all the bran has been removed. It’s a great source of much needed fibre, is rich in vitamins B1, B3, and B5 as well as riboflavin and folate. It also has more iron, calcium and protein than plain flour. But good as it is, spelt flour is even better. Head over to my post to find out why.
Not only is wholemeal flour far more nutritious than plain flour, however, but it tastes really good too. It has a nutty quality and a firm texture. Like many foods, it may take a bit of getting used to, but it’s well worth making its acquaintance.
In order to add in a little extra protein, I’ve substituted some of the flour with lupin flakes. If you look closely, you can see the yellow lupin bits. Lupin not only contains more protein than quinoa, but it also has more dietary fibre than oats, more antioxidants than berries, more potassium than bananas and more iron than kale. Yes, it’s another superfood. But hands off Granny’s lupins. They should stay firmly in the border.
But as lupin flakes probably aren’t that easy to get hold of, you can use pea flour or quinoa flour instead. They both have their fair share of health benefit claims.
Vegan Wholemeal Scones
It’s rare for me to use eggs when I bake scones. One of the main benefits to a scone is that you don’t need eggs. So for these dairy-free scones, it’s really just a simple process of substituting butter for a vegan fat and the milk with a plant based milk.
However, I’m not a fan of vegan margarines. I prefer the ingredients for my home cooked recipes to be as unprocessed as possible. So I use coconut oil in these vegan wholemeal scones. Coconut oil is one of the healthier oils and it also has an affinity with baking. I’ve heard olive oil works well in scones too, but I haven’t tried it – yet!
When coconut oil is at room temperature, it’s usually hard. This means it’s best to rub the oil into the flour with your fingers as you normally would with butter. However, when it’s hot, as it is here in the UK at the moment, coconut oil liquefies. So if this is the case when you make these vegan wholemeal scones, just mix the oil in at the same time as you add the milk to the dry ingredients.
There’s a slight bitterness that often comes with protein powders, so you might want to offset it with a little sugar. Occasionally I do, but mostly I don’t. If you’re going to load your scones with jam or something else sweet, there’s really no need.
The last thing I do, which is a bit unusual, is to sour the milk before using it. This really helps with the rise. Just add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk five minutes before you add it to the flour.
The Perfect Vegan Wholemeal Scone
The key to baking scones is a hot oven. Make sure yours is up to temperature before you put the scones in. They only need between twelve to fifteen minutes to bake, which is one of the reasons they make an ideal impromptu treat when you have unexpected visitors.
These vegan wholemeal scones should be nicely risen, moist rather than dry and not at all heavy. You know you’ve got a good one when there’s a natural crack in the middle. This means there’s no need for cutting, just pull the two halves apart with your hands.
You may notice two very different scone photos in this post. The ones with the coveted crack aren’t as burnished as the others as I forgot to brush them with milk before baking. With the burnished beauties, on the other hand, I misjudged the amount of liquid and they were a bit drier and not as well risen as they should have been. These baking mishaps happen to the best of us. Do as I say, not as I do.
Scones are at their best served warm, soon after baking. They don’t keep very well, so eat them the same day you bake them. This isn’t difficult. Having said that, they do freeze well. So wait for them to cool properly, then pack into a freezer bag and freeze. They’ll last for three months.
Serve with jam and whipped coconut cream for afternoon tea. Alternatively spread with mushroom pâté, vegan cream cheese or Moroccan carrot dip for a light lunch. They also make an excellent accompaniment to soup.
How Do You Get Vegan Wholemeal Scones to Rise?
There’s no doubt about it, wholemeal scones will never be as light and fluffy as scones made with white flour. The bran in wholemeal flour inhibits the rise to some extent. But a good whole grain scone should not be heavy. Here are some top tips on how to get your scones to rise.
- Use a mix of two teaspoons of cream of tartar and one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, rather than baking powder. I’ve always found this gives a better rise. But if you don’t have any cream of tartar scratch the above and use two and a half teaspoons of baking powder instead.
- Ensure your baking powder is in good working order. It can lose its vigour if it’s too old. Once opened a tub of baking powder should last anywhere between six months to a year. To test its effectiveness, simply add a teaspoon to a cup of hot water. If it bubbles up immediately, it’s good to go. If not, it’s good to go in the bin.
- Sour your milk before using it. Just add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk five minutes before you add it to the flour.
- Wholemeal spelt flour seems to produce a lighter scone than ordinary wholemeal flour.
- For a good halfway house, use half wholemeal flour and half plain flour. You’ll get a good rise, but still have the goodness of some bran in your scones. Alternatively, sieve your wholemeal flour into the mixing bowl and throw any leftover bran into the compost bin.
- Try to handle the dough as little as possible. The more you knead it, the tougher it becomes. Mix the dough with a fork or knife rather than a spoon and then bring it together with your hands into a ball. That’s enough.
- The dough should be slightly on the sticky side. The more flour you add, the drier the dough becomes and the less it’s likely to rise. The result is a tighter scone with a denser crumblier texture.
- For the reason stated above, it’s better to pat out the dough lightly with your hands, rather than use a rolling pin. You’ll need more flour if you use a rolling pin in order to stop the dough sticking to it. Likewise a rolling pin presses the dough onto your rolling surface, making it more likely to stick.
- Make sure the scones are somewhere between 2 to 2 ½ cm (¾ to 1″) high when you cut them. You won’t get the coveted crack if they’re too thin.
Whipped Coconut Cream
The trouble with whipped coconut cream is the colour is less than appealing. It has a grey cast, which I have to say, isn’t a patch on good old Cornish clotted cream. There I’ve said it.
The flavour is obviously different too. I really like all things coconut, so I’m happy to go with this as a substitute for dairy when I make vegan wholemeal scones. But it still takes a bit of getting used to. That aside, whipped coconut cream makes a very good accompaniment to scones and vegans won’t feel left out.
As I said earlier, I add a little rose syrup to my whipped coconut cream. But you could just leave it plain. Alternatively you can add a little sifted icing sugar for sweetness and / or some vanilla extract.
On the day I made these particular dairy-free whole wheat scones, it was very hot. I got up early so I could bake them whilst it was still relatively cool. But when it came to whipping the coconut cream, things didn’t go too well. Coconut cream likes to be cool. Alas, by the time we were ready for afternoon tea, it was positively steamy and when I whipped that cream, it just didn’t want to peak properly. But although it wasn’t as stiff as I’d ideally like it, it still tasted good.
International Scone Week & Afternoon Tea Week
International Scone Week was started way back when (in 2011) by Celia over at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. I know I keep saying it, but where does the time go? Tandy from Lavender and Lime later took up the mantle. Last year I joined in with these spelt strawberry shortcakes. You can see all of the scones that were made last year on Tandy’s sidebar and this year’s batch will be replacing them on 17th August.
This year #ISW2020 runs from 10th to 16th August. If you’d like to join in, you’ve still got time. Scones really don’t take very long to make.
It’s also Afternoon Tea Week this week (10th to 16th August), so I’m pretty well set up for that too. But if you haven’t made scones recently, this is another good excuse for doing so.
Other Vegan Bakes You Might Like
- Blueberry muffins
- Brown sugar aquafaba meringues
- Chocolate banana cashew cake
- Drizzle cake
- Peanut butter banana muffins
- Spelt burger buns
- Tiger nut chocolate chip cookies
- Vanilla almond cookies
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try this recipe for dairy-free wholemeal scones, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more scone recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Vegan Wholemeal Scones. PIN IT.
Vegan Wholemeal Scones – The Recipe
Vegan Wholemeal Scones
- 7 oz (200g) wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 oz (25g) vegan protein powder I used lupin flakes
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp cream of tarter
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar optional
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ pt (140 ml) plant milk I use soya
- 1 tsp lemon juice or cider vinegar
- a little plant milk to brush the tops with
- Set oven to 220℃ (425℉, Gas 7).
- Measure your milk and stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. Leave for five minutes to sour.
- Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Depending on how solid / liquid the coconut oil is, rub it in to the flour with your fingers or a fork until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If the oil is liquid, omit this step and add it at the same time as the milk.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the soured milk. Stir with a round bladed knife from the inside to the outside until the ingredients are just combined and form a dough.
- On a lightly floured surface. pat the dough out with yor hands to form a round about ¾" (2cm) thick. Cut into small rounds with a 2 ½" (6cm) floured cutter. Combine the leftover bits, pat and cut again until the dough has all been used. You should get 7 or 8 scones depending on how thick you made them.
- Place onto a greased baking tray and brush with your milk of choice. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are golden and the bases sound hollow when tapped.
- Place onto a cooling rack. Enjoy at least one whilst they're still warm. Serve with jam and whipped coconut cream, with mushroom pâté or cashew cheese. They also make a good accompaniment to soup.
I’m sharing this recipe for vegan wholemeal scones with Lost in Food for #CookBlogShare.