Pumpkin Date Scones (Gluten-Free & Vegan)
As soon as fall rolls around, my body starts craving anything and everything made with pumpkin. And when I say everything I really mean it: I’ve made fresh (or canned organic) pumpkin the star of all sorts of recipes from granola to smoothies. Though I don’t eat gluten-free and/or vegan 100% of the time, I really enjoy developing healthy recipes for baked goods that meet these criteria: these pumpkin date scones are my new obsession.
I suggest using a very well drained homemade pumpkin puree here (it needs to be “dry” so the scone batter doesn’t end up with too much moisture) or do as I did and rely on canned organic pumpkin (available in natural food stores). You could also substitute any kind of fresh or canned winter squash puree.
I made these with a combination of almond flour (which I love because it’s nutritious and yields excellent gluten-free baking results) and coconut flour (because it’s low in carbohydrates and high in fiber). I find that the two of these together, along with the organic coconut oil, yields a scone with a very tender, albeit somewhat crumbly, texture (hey - scones are supposed to be crumbly, right?!). These are sweetened with certified vegan, USA-grown Demerara sugar (the coconut flour, pumpkin, plus the dates or raisins all provide some sweetness, as well), but any unrefined granular sugar (like coconut sugar) could be substituted.
When I am baking with gluten-free flours, I like to weigh them out for the most accurate results. If you don’t want to use the flours I’ve chosen, you should still get a good result by substituting the flour(s) of your choice and sticking to the weight measurements (not the cup ones: all flours will measure differently if you use cups) below (ie use a total of 10.5 ounces of flour). I’ve included the cup measurements here for those of you who don’t have a food scale, but again, you may not get as good a result if you measure this way. Note that I have not tested these with organic all-purpose flour, but I believe it should work out just fine should you decide to use it.
Recipe for Pumpkin Date Scones (Gluten-Free and Vegan)
Yield: 8 scones
- 9 ounces almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill brand finely ground almond meal/flour, and for those who prefer to measure in cups, this was about 2 ½ cups)
- 1 1/2 ounces coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill brand, and this was equal to just under 1/2 cup)
- 2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons demerara sugar plus another 2-3 teaspoons for sprinkling on top of the scones before baking
- 3/4 cup packed canned organic pumpkin
- 1/4 cup organic coconut oil, warmed so it’s a liquid, if necessary (coconut oil will melt in hot weather, but will be solid when the ambient temperature is cooler)
- 1/4 cup chopped organic pitted dates (I soaked my dates in water for about 10 minutes to soften them before removing the pits) or raisins
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Combine the almond and coconut flours in a medium bowl and whisk with a fork. Add the baking powder and the salt and whisk again.
3. Add the pumpkin, the coconut oil, and the dates or raisins to the flour mixture. Combine all the ingredients with a wooden spoon (or your clean hands) until a ”shaggy” dough forms. If the dough seems too wet, you can add a bit more almond or coconut flour.
4. Turn the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silicone baking pan liner) and flatten it into a thick circle. Cut the dough into eight equal triangle-shaped pieces, and then sprinkle the top of the scones with the additional organic sugar (press the sugar down a little so it adheres to the scones).
5. Move the pieces apart a bit so the scones are separated from each other by an inch or two, then bake until they are starting to brown on top. Start checking at 15 minutes, but these should take 18-20 minutes to bake. Transfer to a rack to cool before serving.