Healthy Orange Poppy Seed Scones
Yields: 8 scones
These scones are such a fun flavor twist on the usual lemon poppy seed combo! They’re supremely moist and tender on the inside with a hint of a crust on the outside, and they’re full of bright sunshiny orange flavor. They’re best if served the same day they’re drizzled, but leftovers will keep for at least five days, if not longer, if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (Undrizzled scones also freeze really well!)
  • for the scones
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 4 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp (12g) orange zest (about 1 large)
  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) freshly squeezed orange juice (see Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp nonfat milk
  • for the drizzle
  • 5 tsp confectioners’ style erythritol
  • 1 – 1 ½ tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. To prepare the scones, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the orange zest. 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, orange juice, and vanilla. Stir until just incorporated.
  3. Divide the dough in half, and transfer each half to the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, shape the dough into two ¾” tall circles, and brush with the milk. Slice each circle into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. (No need to separate them!) Bake at 425°F for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops are deeply golden. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  4. Just before serving, prepare the drizzle by stirring together the confectioners’ style erythritol and orange juice in a small bowl. Transfer the mixture to a zip-topped bag, cut off a tiny piece of one corner, and drizzle on top of the cooled scones.
Notes: Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

For a gluten-free version, use the following blend: 1 cup (120g) millet flour, ¼ cup (30g) tapioca flour, ¼ cup (30g) brown rice flour, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) will work as well, if they’re measured like this.

Remember to measure the flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much will dry out your scones and make the dough crumbly.

Don’t skip or skimp on the orange zest! It actually provides the majority of the citrus flavor. I love my handy (and totally affordable!) zester. It works much better than the smallest holes of a cheese grater!

It’s very important that your butter is cold, straight from the fridge. (Freezing it isn’t necessary for this recipe!) With very cold butter, it won’t heat up until you put the scones in the extremely hot oven, and it will create little air pockets and a very tender crumb when it melts.

Honey or agave may be substituted in place of the pure maple syrup.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

As written, these scones aren’t overly sweet. If you prefer sweeter scones, substitute an additional 1-2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup for an equal amount of orange juice. (They won’t have as strong of a orange flavor though!)

In a pinch, coconut oil may be substituted for the butter, but the texture of the scones will be affected. Very cold butter is required to achieve their tender texture, and since coconut oil melts at a much lower temperature, the results will not be the same. Instead, I recommend the vegan version below!

For a vegan version, I recommend Earth Balance sticks in place of the butter, your preferred non-dairy yogurt in place of the Greek yogurt, and non-dairy milk in place of the nonfat milk.

In the drizzle, I buy my confectioners’ style erythritol online here. In a pinch, regular confectioners’ (powdered) sugar may be substituted for the confectioners’ style erythritol. However, regular powdered sugar is more absorbent, so start with ½ teaspoon of orange juice and add more as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

If you’d like to fully coat your scones with the drizzle instead, you definitely can! Just make 3-4 times the amount of drizzle, and dip the tops of your scones directly into the bowl instead of transferring the glaze to a plastic bag and snipping off the corner.

When refrigerating leftover scones that have already been drizzled, the drizzle will turn brittle and crack if made with erythritol, or it will dissolve into the scones if made with powdered sugar. Neither will affect the flavor—only the appearance!

{gluten-free, clean eating, low fat, vegan option}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at