Carrot Cake Scones dotted with crunchy walnuts and chewy raisins are the perfect pastry to bake in the cooler Fall and Winter months.
Our easy Carrot Scones recipe is based on the classic cake, flavoured with festive spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Once the scones have cooled you can decorate them with your favourite cream cheese icing.
We love baking Carrot Cake Scones during the harvest season around the Thanksgiving holidays. Enjoy as a decadent breakfast pastry or dessert with a scoop of your favourite ice cream!
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What Are Carrot Cake Scones?
Most modern carrot cake recipes feature a white cream cheese frosting. Sometimes nuts such as walnuts or pecans are added into the cake batter, as well as spices such as cinnamon, ginger and ground mixed spice.
Many food historians believe carrot cake originated from “carrot puddings” enjoyed by Europeans in the Middle Ages, when sugar and sweeteners were expensive and many people used carrots as a substitute for sugar. Variations of the carrot pudding evolved to include baking with a crust (like pumpkin pie), steamed with a sauce, or molded in pans (like plum pudding).
This easy scone recipe features traditional ingredients you’d find in a slice of old fashioned carrot cake. Our Carrot Scones are flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The buttery dough is combined with chopped walnuts and chewy raisins.
Difference Between Scones & Biscuits
Recipes for biscuits and scones include minimal ingredients like flour, fat, some kind of dairy, leavener, salt, and sometimes a flavoring element or two.
Both get their rise from the addition of chemical agents like baking soda and/or baking powder — instead of a sourdough ferment or commercial yeast.
Cold fat is imperative for both, and they each benefit from not being handled too much, or they become tough. Both generally bake quickly, for only 15 to 20 minutes, in a hot oven.
The main distinction between biscuits and scones is their texture. Biscuits are flaky and buttery. Scones, on the other hand, are dense and crunchy, drier and crumblier than their fluffy counterparts. This is because biscuits have more butter, while scone recipes employ heavier ingredients like heavy cream or buttermilk.
My Family Loves Carrot Cake Scones
My grandmother from Edinburgh always had a box of scones at home, toasting them each morning and slathering them with cold butter and fresh berry jam.
As a professional food and travel writer I’ve unintentionally become an expert in Afternoon Tea. I’ve enjoyed high tea throughout the United Kingdom as well as at famous luxury hotels from Mumbai’s Taj Hotel to the many High Tea options in my native Toronto.
Scones are the centrepiece of any high tea 3-tiered service, typically served with clotted Devon cream and berry jam or marmalade. During special holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day many pastry chefs bake special recipes like Gingerbread Scones or Carrot Cake Scones to celebrate the season.
I love making Carrot Scones in October during the harvest season and for brunch on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. The sweetly spiced scones can be enjoyed at the start of Starbucks’ infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte season and throughout the cold winter months.
Our healthy Carrot Scones recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Whole wheat flour is rich in vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5, along with riboflavin and folate. It also has more iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients than white flour.
Rich in energy-boosting manganese, cinnamon is also antibacterial and may protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
Nutmeg is said to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, reduce insomnia, increase immune system function and improve blood circulation.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
An excellent source of vitamin A and the phytochemical beta-carotene, carrots help keep your eyes and bones healthy, and may help protect against several types of cancer.
Walnuts offer heart-friendly fats, immune-boosting copper, and manganese, which helps keep your brain and nerves healthy.
Research shows that raisins can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing blood pressure and blood sugar. The fibre in raisins works to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, which reduces strain on your heart. Raisins are also a good source of potassium.
Carrot Cake Scones Recipe Baking Tips
If it’s your first time making Carrot Cake Scones from scratch at home here are some helpful baking tips.
- The key to baking the perfect scones is to ensure the butter you are using is very cold. You also want to handle the dough with minimal touch and as quickly as possible to avoid having the butter melt. The desired flaky texture of scones is achieved when cold butter melts in the oven and steam escapes, similar to croissants.
- Traditional scone recipes often recommend slicing cold butter into tiny cubes before combining into the dry ingredients. Our favourite scones tip is to actually shred frozen butter using a cheese grater. This ensures the cold butter distributes evenly throughout the dough.
- We’ve used walnuts in this Carrot Cake Scones recipe but you can substitue with pecans if you prefer. Ensure they are roasted and cool before adding them to the batter.
- We like to bake triangle shaped scones, which can easily be made by rolling out the dough into a circle and then simply slicing into triangles. You can also use a circular cookie cutter to make a more uniformly shaped scone.
- Slathering the scones with cream cheese icing is optional. You can enjoy the scones hot out of the oven or wait until they have cooled to room temperature before icing them.
What To Serve With Scones
While Carrot Cake Scones are often served during the cooler Fall and Winter months they can be enjoyed year round.
The flaky pastries slathered in cream cheese icing are an eye-catching breakfast or dessert perfect for celebrating special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My family likes to serve scones for weekend brunch with a pot of hot tea or coffee.
You May Also Enjoy Baking Recipes…
- Festive Fresh Fig Frangipane Pistachio Tartlets
- Swedish Rhubarb Cherry Pie
- Creamy Lemon Angel Pie
- Old School Cheese and Onion Pie
- Savoury Pickle Pie
- Gianduja Lindt Lindor Chocolate Cake
- Caribbean Coconut Rum Banana Bread Bundt Cake
- Moist Baileys Banoffee Cake
- Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake
- Swedish Strawberry Meringue Cake
- Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Cheese Muffins
- Old Fashioned Cherry Custard Pie
- Flaó Ibizan Cheese Mint Tart
- Maulwurfkuchen German Mole Cake
Carrot Scones Recipe Video
How To Make Old Fashioned Carrot Cake Scones
Carrot Cake Scones
- baking sheet
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Rolling pin
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Bench Scraper
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup White Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter frozen
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk cold
- 1 Egg
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Carrots shredded
- 1/4 cup Walnuts chopped
- 1/4 cup Raisins
- Cream Cheese Frosting optional
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Grate frozen butter and toss into the dry ingredients. Refrigerate to keep cold.
- In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
- Toss shredded carrot, walnuts and raisins in flour mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir with a spatula until well combined.
- Turn out the dough on a floured surface. Using a bench scraper, being to fold the dough, pressing down after each fold, and flouring to keep from sticking.
- Form dough into an 8 inch round disk. Use bench scraper to cut disk into eight equal wedges. Transfer wedges to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush wedges with buttermilk and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake scones for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Schmear each scone with cream cheese frosting and serve.
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