Last year, about two days after Christmas, my parents and I loaded our suitcases, their two golden retrievers, and the dogs’ beds into their car to drive from their house in Northern California to visit my grandma in San Diego. To miss as much traffic as we could getting out of the Bay Area, we left dark and early before 7 am… We even saw the sun rise from the road!
Since all of our alarms rang before 6 am, we decided to briefly stop for coffee and a restroom break about two hours into our drive. Mom navigated us off of the freeway and to the nearest Starbucks, but as we eased into the teeny parking lot, we gasped.
The line of people stretched out the door of Starbucks and wrapped halfway around the parking lot. And there were even more cars in drive-through line, which spilled out into the adjacent street. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who needed coffee for our post-holiday road trip!
We quickly came up with a Plan B, and as my parents inched out of that parking lot, narrowly avoiding two near accidents, I watched as customers occasionally slipped out of the shop, big mugs of steaming coffee or tea in one hand and a little brown pastry bag in the other. I laughed as more than one person reached into their paper bag and pulled out festive holiday sweets like gingerbread cookies and cranberry bliss bars—definitely more desserts than breakfast foods!
But these Healthy Cranberry Bliss Scones combine the best of both worlds! You taste those same iconic holiday flavors as in Starbucks’ cranberry bliss bars: cozy ginger, bright cranberries, rich white chocolate, and a sweet cream cheese drizzle. Yet these contain no eggs, refined flour or sugar — and they’re healthy enough for breakfast!
Kind of like a holiday miracle, right? 😉
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CRANBERRY BLISS SCONES
So let’s go over how to make these healthy white chocolate cranberry scones!
You’ll start with whole wheat pastry flour (like this!) and ground ginger. Although Starbucks’ cranberry bliss bars don’t seem to contain too much ginger, just enough to taste, I love its cozy flavor, so I added a teeny bit more. It makes a big difference in the flavor department!
As for the whole wheat pastry flour, it has a lighter taste and texture than regular whole wheat flour, which makes it perfect for these healthy cranberry bliss scones! It lets their soft and tender texture truly shine, along with their classic holiday flavors. Yet it still has the same health benefits (like extra fiber!) as regular whole wheat flour. I call that a win-win!
Next, you’ll mix in a small amount of very cold butter. Although many traditional scone recipes call for a full stick or more (plus heavy cream!), you just need 1 tablespoon for these healthy cranberry bliss scones. That really helps keep them low calorie and low fat!
And yes, the temperature of your butter does matter! It should be cold and straight from the fridge. (Freezing isn’t necessary for this recipe!) When the butter melts after you put the scones in the oven, it creates tender little pockets in the dough. If it softened or melted ahead of time, you’d miss out on that supremely moist and tender texture!
Then instead of heavy cream, like in many traditional recipes, you’ll actually use Greek yogurt in these healthy cranberry bliss scones! If you’ve browsed through my recipes before, then you probably know how much I love baking with Greek yogurt. It adds the same moisture as extra butter to your dough but for a fraction of the calories, and it gives your scones a protein boost too!
You’ll skip the refined sugar and sweeten your healthy cranberry bliss scones with pure maple syrup instead. It should be the kind that comes directly from maple trees! The only ingredient on the label should be “pure maple syrup,” and it usually comes in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs (like this!).
Time for the mix-ins! You’ll gently fold fresh cranberries and white chocolate into your scone dough. Although Starbucks’ cranberry bliss bars use dried cranberries, those usually contain a lot of added sugar, and I actually prefer the tart taste of fresh cranberries. (But I’ve added an option in the Notes section, if you prefer to use dried!)
Once you’ve transferred the dough onto your baking sheet and shaped it into a circle with a spatula, you’ll brush the tops and the sides with milk. This seals moisture into the dough, and it also creates a hint of a crust on the outside. I love that subtle texture contrast!
Time for to decorate! Instead of cream cheese frosting, you’ll make a cream cheese drizzle for your healthy cranberry bliss scones out of neufchâtel cream cheese, milk, and a little liquid stevia. Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). I love this one because it doesn’t have a strange aftertaste like some other stevia products, and I buy it online here because that’s the best price I’ve found. (You’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
Note: I went pretty minimalist with my drizzle because I wanted the cranberry and ginger flavors to shine. If you prefer more drizzle, you can easily double the ingredients to add more—or completely cover the tops of your scones in it instead!
Now how’s that for a festive holiday breakfast? And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy cranberry bliss scones!
Healthy Cranberry Bliss Scones
FOR THE SCONES
- 1 ½ cups (180g) whole wheat pastry flour or gluten free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp (45mL) pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup + 2 tsp (70mL) nonfat milk, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (55g) fresh whole cranberries, diced
- 2 tbsp (28g) diced white chocolate
FOR THE DRIZZLE
- 1 tbsp (14g) neufchâtel (⅓-less fat) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp nonfat milk
- 8-12 drops liquid stevia (or adjusted to taste)
- To prepare the scones, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (highly recommended!) or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center. Add in the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, ¼ cup of milk, and vanilla. Stir until just incorporated. Gently fold in the cranberries and white chocolate with a spatula.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, shape the dough into a ¾” tall circle, and brush with the remaining milk. Slice the dough into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. (No need to separate them!) Bake at 425°F for 26-29 minutes, or until the tops and sides are lightly golden. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- To make the drizzle, stir together the Greek yogurt cream cheese, milk, and stevia in a small bowl. Transfer the mixture to a zip-topped bag, and cut off a tiny piece of one corner. Just before serving, drizzle on top of the scones.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars
♡ Healthy Cranberry Chocolate Chip Scones
♡ Healthy Dark Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Scones
♡ Healthy Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy cranberry recipes!