Jul 26, 2011

Whole-grain vegan blueberry scones

When I lived in San Francisco many years ago, I was obsessed with the huge scones from a wonderful bakery called 101 Carl. Those rich, buttery scones with currants and a sweet orange glaze probably contributed to my high cholesterol … but oh my, they were amazing.

I regularly pestered the baker to give me their recipe, and he adamantly refused. Then I found out he had an obsession of his own – with a singer who I managed at the time (it’s true, I wasn’t always a copywriter/food blogger). Speaking in hushed tones, we arranged a trade: a rare demo tape in exchange for the scone recipe. Eureka!

Alas, I can’t make those scones today because of my @#!&#%! heart issues. But I can definitely make scones that are delicious in their own right. Today I made a vegan version with whole grains, nuts and dried blueberries – and not too much sugar or oil. I was worried they’d turn out like rocks, but that wasn’t the case at all. They had a crumbly, scone-like texture right out of the oven. In fact, I recommend eating them in the first few hours, because they get very soft after being wrapped or covered up overnight.

If you want scone satisfaction without the guilt, give these a whirl.

Whole-Grain Vegan Blueberry Scones

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cinnamon
1/3 cup pecan halves, toasted and ground
1/4 cup organic canola oil or other neutral oil
2/3 cup soymilk + 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup light brown sugar
grated zest of one small orange
½ cup dried blueberries

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. (You can skip this step and just lightly mix them, but I recommend the sifting.) Gently stir in the ground pecans.

Mix the soy milk and vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the sugar, vanilla and orange zest.

Drizzle the oil over the flour mixture and mix with your fingers until a bit crumbly.

Stir in the liquids and dried blueberries, mixing just until combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop ¼ cup of dough onto the sheet (I used my measuring cup) and gently shape into a round disc. Repeat with the rest of the dough, spacing the scones about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 16 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 8 or 9 scones

My blogger friends have some great scone recipes, too:

Chocolate Cherry Sea Salt Scones from Savvy Eats

Vegan Raspberry Scones from Eating Rules

Low Fat Cherry Cardamom Scones from The Verdant Life


  • I used to work just around the corner from 101 Carl in San Francisco. On my way to work in the early morning, I walked past the bakery and the scent of warm, just-baked scones would always lure me in. They were truly unforgettable. I was sad to see that bakery go.

    Will try your scones. Sounds like my kids would love them (us too).

  • Love how you got the original recipe!!! This healthy ones sounds delicious too :)

  • Brenda Jarrell

    Would you by chance be willing to share the original recipe too?

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Hmm, don’t know if I still have it, it was so many years ago. I’ll look, though!

  • Wow, scones that use oil that are actually crumbly! I’ve been looking for such a recipe for a long time. I’m definitely going to give these a try! We don’t have whole wheat pastry flour in Germany so I’ll try it with all whole wheat and see if it works. And how neat that you got the original recipe. :)

  • I made these for breakfast! They worked out just fine with no pastry flour, almonds instead of pecans and with fresh blueberries. I only made half the recipe and got 5, but I’ve already eaten three in a few hours. :) Thanks for the recipe! They’re lovely. I’d like to make a post about them in the future if that’s okay with you.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    I’m so glad you liked them, Erin. Did you use white flour instead of pastry flour? Of course, I’d be honored for you to write a post about them. Do try the dried blueberries sometime – they were really interesting!

  • Wow, I didn’t even notice that it said *white* whole wheat flour. I guess I’m just used to ignoring it because we don’t have that in Germany either. I used normal whole wheat flour. I added a little more oat flour, a little less whole wheat, and quadrupled the zest in hopes of them coming out a little less wheat-y. I think it worked! I ordered dried blueberries the other day and they’re on their way and I’ll definitely try the scones with them. Thanks for the permission! I’ll let you know when I post it. :)

  • that’s the best story of getting a secret recipe that I have ever heard. the scones look mightly good as well!

  • These look amazing. Can’t wait to try them out with the massive amount of blueberries I scored yesterday. Yum.

  • Suzette

    These look so good….can’t wait to make them! Would love to have the original recipe as well if you still have it. :-) My daughter LOVES the cinnamon chip scones from Panera Bread. Do you have a recipe similar to that?

  • lisa

    i have made these twice now and they are wonderful! i sub half the oil with apple sauce and use 1 cup of fresh blueberries. i also used walnuts since i didn’t have pecans on hand, and they are the perfect crumbly-soft texture with a hint of sweetness that isn’t overpowering. i have found that they also freeze well and are great for a quick breakfast – i just throw them in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes while i’m getting ready and i’m out the door with my warm yummy scone in no time.

    i think next time i’ll try to sub the orange with lemon and blueberries with cranberries!

  • aquaape

    Many years ago I lived on Frederick near Cole in San Francisco. I remember the 101 Carl scones well. Attempts to procure the recipe are legendary. Did you ever find your copy? Please, please pass it on!

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