When I want to enjoy a bakery-inspired snack without leaving my house, scones are always at the top of my list. (So are brioche buns, but that’s a recipe for another day!) These scones in particular are soft and buttery—yet totally vegan—and get topped with fragrant, slightly tart, sweetened-to-perfection, poached plums.
My go-to scone dough recipe starts with all-purpose flour—for that classic bakery-style scone flavor—with a touch of whole-wheat flour for a bit of a crumbly texture and fiber. Like any good scone recipe, this one has a hefty amount of butter; it just happens to be vegan. I used salted vegan butter here, which saves the step of adding salt to the dough (if you have only unsalted vegan butter on hand, feel free to use that, then add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to your dry ingredients). Solid refined coconut oil (plus the 1/4 teaspoon salt) also works as a vegan butter substitute here.
I recommend choosing plums that are more on the firm side, as opposed to soft and juicy ones (save those for snacking). Since the plum slices are poached, firmer plums will better retain their shape. As you are poaching them, assess their tenderness by poking the fruit with a fork. You do not want to overcook them, but you still want them tender. Keep your eyes out for the plum skins starting to peel back as well—that’s your cue to take them out of the poaching liquid.
By poaching instead of simply baking the fruit, we’re able to infuse comforting flavors like maple, vanilla, and cardamom directly into the plums, making them the perfect topping to crown each scone. Right before baking, sprinkle the scones with turbinado sugar to add some caramelization to the plums and a sparkly, golden finish to your scones.
These scones are best eaten the same day, but if you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. —Murielle Banackissa
- Prep time 35 minutes
- Cook time 35 minutes
- makes 8 scones
- Poached Plums:
plums, pitted and cut into 16 slices
vanilla bean, scored lengthwise
cardamom pods, slightly broken open
- Scone Dough:
unsweetened soy milk (or any other unsweetened nondairy milk)
apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 teaspoons
(1 stick) salted vegan butter
turbinado sugar (optional)
Cooking spray, melted vegan butter, or neutral oil, for greasing the pan
- Make the poached plums: In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, plum slices, vanilla bean, cardamom pods, and 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, remove the lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the plums are tender, but not mushy.
- Remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the plums to a bowl to cool. (Reserve the poaching liquid and use it like a syrup for sweetening anything from tea to yogurt. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)
- Make the scone dough: In a small bowl, mix together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle while you prepare the rest of the dough.
- In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and baking powder.
- Add the vegan butter and incorporate using a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture forms a soft, sandy texture that slightly sticks together when pinched. Alternatively, in a food processor, pulse together the dry ingredients, then pulse in the butter. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl before moving on to the next step.
- Using a rubber spatula, mix in the now slightly curdled milk and maple syrup until no flour streaks are left.
- Grease 8 slots in a muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Using a #16 cookie scoop (or a 1/4-cup measuring cup), scoop out the scone dough into the greased muffin pan. Top each scone with two poached plum slices. Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 375°F. Remove the muffin pan from the refrigerator and top each scone with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar, if using.
- Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the scone edges are just starting to brown, then broil at 500°F for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove the scones from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing the scones from the pan and letting cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.