Did you know that today is National Cream Tea Day? To celebrate, I thought I'd share with you a delightful British combination of scones, vegan cream, strawberry jam, and a big pot of tea! These vegan scones are flaky and crisp outside and buttery soft inside. They're made with only a handful of ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare! If you'd like to celebrate this much-treasured British tradition, these scones are a must!
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British Afternoon tea isn’t complete without scones – They’re a staple! Scones aren’t traditionally vegan as they contain eggs, butter and milk, so I used some alternative ingredients to create the best vegan scones!
I’ve added a bit of vanilla extract to these scones, but this recipe makes the perfect base so you can get creative with additional ingredients. You can add dried fruits such as sultanas, raisins, blueberries or cranberries, and why not try adding a citrusy twist with a bit of lemon or orange zest.
HOW TO SERVE SCONES
Scones have a tendency to go stale quite quickly, so they’re best served on the day they’re baked. I’d recommend baking them about 30 minutes before you’d like to serve them. Once baked, take them out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. They’re traditionally served with strawberry or raspberry jam and clotted cream. For a vegan alternative to clotted cream, you can serve them with oat based crème fraiche, vegan buttercream or sweetened vegan cream cheese.
HOW TO STORE SCONES
If you get the occasional craving for a few scones but you don’t want to bake a large batch, then you can freeze some of the unbaked scones once they’ve been cut into rounds. Place them flat on a lined baking tray and cover the top with a bit of cling film before storing in the freezer. When you want to cook the frozen scones, remove the cling film, then transfer the prepared tray into a preheated oven and cook for a few minutes longer than the normal baking time. I’ve tried storing baked scones in the freezer, but I find that they don’t taste half as good as when they’re freshly baked, so for storage, I would highly recommend you store them unbaked. Baked scones are best eaten as soon as possible after they’ve cooled down, but if you have any leftovers the next day, they are also delicious split in half and toasted.
VEGAN SCONES INGREDIENTS:
Scones only require a few basic ingredients:
Self-raising flour - it's important to use self-raising flour to get an even rise.
Baking Powder - This additional raising agent will lighten the texture of the scones and will help them to rise better.
Caster Sugar - Caster sugar dissolves quicker in the dough so this is what I use for most of my baking recipes, but you could use granulated white sugar instead. I wouldn’t suggest using any type of brown sugar as it’ll change the colour of the scones.
Unsweetened Almond Milk - Unsweetened almond milk is my go-to plant-based milk when it comes to cooking and baking. Depending on which brand you use, the taste is quite mild so it’s great for both sweet and savoury dishes. You could substitute almond milk with other neutral tasting, unsweetened plant-based milks such as oat or soy milk.
Vegan block butter - I used the Flora vegan butter block, but any plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the scones a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using oil or margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Vanilla extract - the vanilla extract adds a lovely flavour, but it is optional. You could use other flavours or fruits in these scones.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN SCONES
Preheat the oven to 220C (425°F, gas mark 7), and line two baking trays with baking paper. Add all of the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the vanilla extract and gradually pour in the almond milk and mix to a soft, sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead very lightly until a smooth dough has formed. Roll out to a rectangle, about 2-3cm thick.
Cut into as many rounds as possible with a 6-7cm round pastry cutter. Re-roll the remaining pastry and cut out more rounds until all of the pastry is used. Place the scones on the lined baking trays and place the trays in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes, or in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Remove the scones from the freezer, brush the tops of the scones with some almond milk and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the scones are well risen and lightly golden.
To serve, split the scones in half and serve with strawberry jam and a dollop of vegan cream cheese or butter.
TIPS FOR MAKING SCONES
I find that storing the scones in the fridge for 20 minutes, or in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking helps the scones to rise better and more evenly, it also prevents the butter from melting before the scones have had a chance to rise. I would highly recommend that you do not skip this step.
Make sure to not overwork the dough, you just want to lightly knead it for a minute or two until it comes together
Dip the cutter in a bit of flour to make it easier to remove the scones.
When you glaze the scones with the plant-based milk, make sure that you only glaze the tops. Brushing the sides with milk can prevent the scones from rising well.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about 2-3cm thick – if the dough is rolled out too thin, the scones won’t rise.
Make sure your vegan butter and milk are chilled when preparing the dough.