Last month, a solid week of cool and drizzly days interrupted our typically mild Southern California weather. As the rain fell outside, gently tapping against the window next to my desk, I grabbed a fleece blanket and brewed a big mug of herbal tea to keep me warm while I worked.
Weather like that always reminds me of our family vacation to England and Scotland. Although we visited during the summer, we still experienced overcast skies and regular rain showers most days during our trip… And we even started joking about rolling down the car windows as we drove through the Scottish countryside, just to stick our arms out and soak up a few brief moments of sunshine and Vitamin D before the clouds returned!
As those childhood memories started floating back through my mind, I decided to play the Harry Potter movies in the background while I baked and edited recipe photos, just to hear those same British accents that I remembered from our vacation. But because the rain continued to fall for another six straight days, I finished watching the entire series before the showers stopped…
So I turned to the Great British Bake Off on Netflix next! I started with the early seasons, smiling as the contestants prepared their best and incredibly creative recipes for Mary and Paul to taste, ranging from simple cookies and bars to more extravagant made-from-scratch puff pastries and multi-tiered cakes with intricately piped chocolate decorations.
Towards the end of each hour, Mary and Paul retreated to a little table in the judges’ tent to discuss the three challenges, select a winner, and decide which baker to send home. Nearly every single time, mugs of tea and plates of sweets sat in front of them, and after watching a few too many episodes in a row…
I started to crave afternoon tea — and pastries to go with it too! But instead of making any of the recipes that the contestants, Mary, or Paul shared on the show…
I baked these Healthy Almond Scones! With no eggs, cream, refined flour or refined sugar, these are much healthier than any of the ones from the Great British Bake Off, but they’re still incredibly moist and tender on the inside. No dry scones here — I promise!
This easy recipe also requires very little time to prepare (just half an hour!), making it perfect for lazy, slow-paced weekend brunches — and even quick weekday breakfast treats!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HEALTHY ALMOND SCONES
Let’s go over how to make the best almond scones! To make this recipe as easy as possible, you just need one mixing bowl to make them. It seems like you’ve really been enjoying my one-bowl recipe series, and I do too… Partially because those kinds of recipes usually result in fewer dishes to wash!
To start, you’ll whisk together white whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. I know it sounds a little strange or contradictory, but white whole wheat flour actually exists — and it’s not just a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and regular whole wheat flour!
Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They both have the same health benefits (like extra fiber!), but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… Which lets the moist and tender texture of your healthy almond scones truly shine!
Tip: If you’d like to make your almond scones gluten free, then see the Notes section of the recipe. I’ve included how to do so there!
Next, you’ll work in a small amount of very cold butter. Yes, the butter must be cold — not softened or at room temperature! There’s a nerdy reason for this…
When you put your scones in the oven, the butter melts and creates tender little pockets in the dough. If your butter starts to soften or melt ahead of time while you’re making the dough, then you miss out on those luscious little pockets that create the best tender texture in these healthy almond scones!
Therefore, I highly recommend against using coconut oil. Coconut oil has a much lower melting point, around 76°F (just a little above room temperature!), which means that it will definitely start to soften and melt as you prepare the scone dough… And your scones won’t have that same irresistibly moist and tender texture!
Tip: Just grab your butter straight from the fridge! Freezing your butter isn’t necessary for these healthy almond scones.
Hint: For a vegan alternative to the butter in these healthy almond scones, stick-style vegan butter works best. This one and this one are two of my favorites!
Instead of the cream that many traditional scone recipes use, you’ll use one of my favorite healthy baking ingredients instead… Greek yogurt! Greek yogurt adds the same moisture as cream (and even extra butter!) but for a fraction of the calories, and it also gives your healthy almond scones a protein boost.
Hint: Because of the Greek yogurt, you only need 1 ½ tablespoons of butter in these scones… Compared to the ¼ to ½ cup typically found in traditional recipes. That really helps keep your healthy almond scones low calorie and low fat!
Tip: To make these healthy almond scones dairy-free and vegan, you can easily substitute your favorite non-dairy yogurt. I’ve had great success with soy-based and almond-based yogurts, and coconut-based and even oat-based ones should also work!
Just like the scones I saw contestants make on the Great British Bake Off, I didn’t add very much sweetener to the dough. Traditional scones aren’t very sweet at all, and that’s exactly how I like mine! (However, if you’re the opposite, I included how you can achieve sweeter scones in the Notes section of the recipe!)
So to make these healthy almond scones, you just need a few tablespoons of pure maple syrup. That’s the kind that comes directly from maple trees, and the only ingredient on the label should be “maple syrup.” (It generally comes in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs like this!)
After adding a little milk to your bowl (any kind will work — both dairy and non-dairy!), you’ll also stir in another one of my favorite ingredients… Almond extract! It’s my all-time favorite baking extract. I love its sweet and sophisticated flavor, and I think it makes these healthy almond scones taste like they came from a fancy, gourmet bakery!
For even more almond flavor, you’ll fold sliced almonds into the dough too. I broke mine up into smaller pieces in my palm before sprinkling them into the bowl. I found that made it much easier to fold them in, and it also helped these healthy almond scones bake more evenly.
Hint: I only added the sliced almonds for this batch that I photographed… I actually hate nuts in my scones, so I’ve omitted them in every other batch I’ve baked. (And I picked out all of the almonds when I ate this batch in these photos!) If you’re not a fan of nuts in your baked goods too, feel free to do the same — the almond extract alone still adds plenty of yummy almond flavor to these healthy almond scones! 😉
It’s almost time to bake! First, shape the dough into a flat circle using a spatula. (I use this mini spatula! Isn’t it cute??) The dough is too sticky to use your hands, so don’t bother to try!
Next, brush the tops and sides of the dough with a bit more milk. This seals moisture into the dough, so the centers of your healthy eggless almond scones stay moist and tender. It also creates a hint of a crust on the outside. I love that texture contrast!
Finally, slice the dough into 8 wedges, and press a few more sliced almonds into the top of each wedge for a pretty finishing touch. (Unless you’re like me and hate nuts in your scones!) I leave my dough just like that, sliced into wedges but not separated, because I love how that ensures the sides of my healthy almond scones still stay really moist and tender.
Then slide your baking sheet into the oven, set a timer, and…
Enjoy your healthy breakfast pastries! 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 almond scones!
Healthy Almond Scones
- 1 ½ cups (180g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tbsp (21g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed (see Notes!)
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp (45mL) pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp + 2 tsp (55mL) nonfat milk, divided
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 ½ tbsp (19g) sliced almonds, slightly crushed or broken (see Notes!)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (highly recommended!) or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, 3 tablespoons of milk, and almond extract. Gently fold in 2 tablespoons of the sliced almonds.
- Shape the dough into a ¾” tall circle on the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the remaining milk. Slice the circle into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. Gently press the remaining sliced almonds into the tops. Bake at 425°F for 21-24 minutes, or until the tops are deep golden and the center feels firm to the touch. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Pecan Scones
♡ Healthy Cinnamon Scones
♡ Healthy Blueberry Almond Scones
♡ Healthy Spiced Chocolate Chip Scones
♡ Healthy Almond Joy Scones
♡ Healthy Raspberry Almond Scones
♡ Healthy Copycat Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy scone recipes!
Nice recipe. Can i use castor sugar or cane sugar instead of honey or maple syrup?
Thanks in advance
Yes! If you’d like to substitute castor sugar or cane sugar for the maple syrup, then use 3 tablespoons (36g) plus an additional 1 ½ tablespoons of milk to compensate for the missing liquid volume. For the best results, I’d recommend tweaking Step 2 just a bit and, after cutting in the butter, following these instructions instead…
Make a well in the center. Pour the Greek yogurt, sugar, 4 ½ tablespoons of milk, and almond extract into the well. Gently stir them together with a fork until well combined; then gradually stir in the flour mixture surrounding the well. Gently fold in 2 tablespoons of the sliced almonds.
If you do this, then the sugar should dissolve into the Greek yogurt and milk, which should then achieve the same consistency and texture! Does that make sense, Jewel? 🙂
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these scones if you try making them!
I have followed you for a log time. Lately, the font you are using is illegible. I know you use it to make the photos stand out, but it makes it too much effort to read your blog. Feeling frustrated to tears.
I’m so honored by your readership and interest in my recipes, LeAnna! What specifically about the font is illegible? Is it the size? The pink or blue color? Something else? I’m going to bring this up the next time I speak with my website designer, so the more details I know, the easier it’ll be for us to address it! 🙂
Thank you for your reply to my comment. The issue I have is the very light gray color of the type font. The size is OK, but the only way I can get enough contrast to read the words is to highlight the article one paragraph at a time so there is contrast between the black background and the light gray letters. It is most noticeable on a Windows 10 PC. I did electronic publishing for Boeing, and we always tested our final pages on every possible device and screen before we went live. The pale pink font is larger on your pages and slightly easier to read. The best solution I have found for your pages is to select all of the article and then copy and paste it into a Word document.
It’s my pleasure, LeAnna! Thank YOU so much for your detailed response — this is incredibly helpful! I’ve made notes of everything that you’ve mentioned, and I’ll be sure to bring it up with my website designer the next time we meet. 🙂 I truly value your readership and feedback, and I appreciate how kindly and respectfully you’ve shared it with me. Thanks again, LeAnna!!
Can I use almond milk?
I’ve actually covered this exact question in the Notes section of the recipe (located directly underneath the Instructions!). I know it can be easy to miss! 😉 I can’t wait to hear what you think of these scones!
nungnadda wannasuk says...
love your recipes! May i ask you is it ok if i make it like small one ? Thank you
I’m so honored that you’re enjoying my recipes and that you’d like to try making these scones! I just want to make sure I fully understand your question. 🙂 Are you asking if it’s possible to make these mini-sized, like with my petite vanilla bean scones recipe, where you’d make 16 mini scones instead of 8 standard-sized?
Yes I mean Mini sized. Thank you so much for your replied. I really appreciate it and I really love all your recipes. I didn’t bake anything yet just I really enjoyed just by reading all your recipes.
It’s my pleasure, Jibby! I’m always happy to help. 🙂 I’m still honored that you’ve been reading my blog and recipes! If you’d like to make this recipe but 16 mini-sized scones instead, then divide the dough in half at the beginning of Step 3. Shape each half into a ½”-tall circle. (You should be able to fit both dough circles onto one large baking sheet!) Slice each circle into 8 triangular wedges (for a total of 16 triangular scones). The mini-sized scones typically take a little less time to bake, so I’d recommend starting to check on them after about 16 minutes. They may take 2-5 minutes longer than that, but it’s much easier to bake them longer than save burnt scones! 😉 They’ll be done when the tops are deep golden and the center feels firm to the touch. Cool them on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I’m so excited to hear what you think of these scones!!
Made these today and they turned out good! I sprinkled a little confectioners sugar on top just for a hint of sweetness and now they are perfect! I used regular whole wheat flour because I could not find the white kind at my grocery store. So my scones are a bit dense but thats okay, I still enjoyed them:
I’m so glad you enjoyed these scones, Varsha! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know — that truly means a lot! 🙂
Hi Amy, Thank you for sharing your healthy recipes – I love to bake and LOVE your ‘swaps’. Would I be able to make the scones with ALMOND FLOUR instead of white whole wheat flour (even maybe 50/50 of each) or would that change the consistency or baking time. When baking, I’ve figured out that Almond Flour reacts a little differently….
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe, Eva! You’re exactly right — almond flour behaves differently in baking recipes, especially ones that rise. Therefore, I typically don’t recommend that substitution in my scone recipes, including this one. This is because gluten is the protein in wheat-based flours that helps baked goods rise and maintain their shape while cooling. Almond flour lacks that, so when you substitute it for wheat-based flours in my recipes that rise (like scones, cupcakes, cakes, muffins, quick breads, etc!), your baked goods will often turn out denser and may collapse while cooling.
However, if you don’t mind that texture difference with almond flour (where your scones will collapse and turn out denser), the flavors will still remain the same! If you try a 50/50 blend of white whole wheat flour and almond flour, your scones wouldn’t collapse as much, but they would still sink some while cooling and turn out denser too.
I’d love to hear what you think if you decide to try making these scones!
Thank you for your quick & in-depth response, Amy. Who knew knowledge of chemistry would play such an important role in our baked goods!! I look forward to trying the Almond Scone recipe. I will probably also throw a small portion of almond flour, for an enhanced almond flavor – though, some Amaretto may achieve the same result!
It’s my pleasure, Eva! I was a chemist before I became a baking blogger, so I absolutely LOVE nerdy baking chemistry like that. 😉 I think your idea of amaretto is a slightly safer bet to achieve an enhanced almond flavor, but you can also add in more almonds to the dough, if you prefer, to boost the almond flavor as well. (I covered that in more detail in the Notes section of the recipe!)
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these scones!
Science and creativity – that’s why you’re such a successful baker, Amy! Thank you for your additional tips. I will certainly let you know how my tweeks turn out on your lovely recipe.
You’re too sweet — thank you, Eva!! ♡ I can’t wait to hear how your scones turn out!