The most INCREDIBLE Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon. Light, tender, buttery, risen proud and infused with citrus and little bites of juicy fruit. They are exactly the real deal… and no one would ever know they aren’t made with wheat. Optional dairy free.
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Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon – quite probably the best scones I have ever eaten
These Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon are INCREDIBLE. They are without doubt the best gluten free scones I have ever had the joy of eating… And (dare I say)… The best scones full stop. Gluten-eaters be jealous. Because in my search for the ULTIMATE gluten free scone, I have just struck gold.
It’s been a long (and winding) road. I’ve been testing and tweaking the recipe over several months, playing with moisture levels, fat levels, different liquids and ratios… I’ve even tested different ways to mix, cool, cut and bake them. And now I am here.
Tall, light, soft of crumb and lastingly tender… Infused with lemon and dappled with little bites of juicy blueberry… I am proud to call these my best scone ever.
Blueberry Scones or Blueberry biscuits?
While I don’t confess to being fully clear on the difference between the traditionally British Scone and the American Biscuit, I am nonetheless aware that to the untrained eye, they look mighty similar. But it gets even more confusing, given that Americans also have a flat round bake, cut into segments, that are equally known as ‘scones’. If anyone can give me a definitive answer to the relative difference between them, I’ll be very grateful.
Either way, the recipe for Blueberry Scones with Lemon that I share here, is (as a British Scone should be), baked as individual rounds, which have been cut or shaped from the dough. They are baked in a hot oven, where they rise and become buttery and golden, with a tender, lightly flaky crumb, that is still robust enough to break or cut in half ready to be filled or topped.
However… Should you prefer to call them Blueberry Biscuits, I won’t be offended.
Are these Gluten Free Blueberry and Lemon Scones easy to make?
Absolutely yes they are easy! They may have taken me months to perfect, but that doesn’t make them any more difficult to make than standard wheat scones.
But… as these are gluten free blueberry scones and because I want you to enjoy them at their finest, I would urge that you follow the recipe carefully and read the tips and explanations I have included in this post. When it comes to gluten free baking, sometimes it’s the minor details and understandings that make the difference between a great bake or one that has bombed.
What’s in my Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon?
There are no complicated ingredients in these Blueberry Scones, and they can be made with standard ingredients that are found in any good supermarket. Here’s what you need:
Plain gluten free flour blend
I used my own home-mixed gluten free flour (tested with blend A (white baking mix) and blend B (wholegrain)) that can be found at the bottom of my Gluten Free Flours and Flour Blending Page. However, it’s fine to use a standard good quality commercial alternative such as Doves Freee plain white flour, if that’s what you usually use. Personally, I’m not a fan as I find the Freee flour drying and quite gritty. But it should work well, if with a fractionally different texture.
I emphasise using gluten free plain flour when making Blueberry Scones, as this allows for greater control over the addition of raising agents. The trouble with gluten free self-raising flour is that it varies from brand to brand regarding the raising agents used and how much. When I bake, I therefore always use plain flour, to ensure greater consistency.
Xanthan Gum (or alternative)
The xanthan gum used in my Blueberry and Lemon Scones is there for both binding and to support structure, fluffiness and shelf life. For this reason, I would absolutely recommend that you include it in your bake.
If using a commercial gluten free flour blend, remember to check whether xanthan gum has already been included in the mix. Where it’s listed in the ingredients, adjust the recipe below to add only ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum.
However, if you are sensitive to xanthan gum and prefer not to use it, substitute with 2½ teaspoons of ground psyllium husk instead. Check the consistency of the dough and if it feels a little dry, add an extra tablespoon of milk.
Raising agents to make Gluten Free Blueberry Scones tall and fluffy
The recipe shared here for Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon uses a combination of baking powder and a little bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) for an extra boost. I have found that the combination of two raising agents gives the best and most consistent rise.
If however, you are someone who particularly picks up on the taste of bicarb, then sub for additional baking powder instead.
A small amount of caster sugar is added to the dough mix for blueberry scones, to bring a little sweetness. It is just enough that the scones do not become ‘sugary’. I use bog-standard white caster sugar, but other granular sugars are fine too.
Butter (or dairy free alternative)
When making Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon, it is essential that you use Butter (or a dairy free alternative) that comes as a block. Soft, spreadable fats won’t do the job. Why? Because the fat has to be firm enough to ‘rub into’ the flour. This breaks down the butter into little grains. When baked, these grains melt in even distribution throughout the dough and as they do so, create tiny pockets of air that support both the rise and flakiness of the scone.
Milk and lemon juice
To help make Gluten Free Blueberry Scones fluffy, light and softer for longer, we mix milk and lemon juice together to make homemade buttermilk. The resulting liquid looks clumpy and curdled… That’s exactly how it should be!
Why use egg in Blueberry Scones?
The scone recipe shared here uses an egg in the mix. This offers important binding, additional leavening and structure to the final bake.
While the recipe has not been created as a vegan recipe, it is likely that it will work using a flax egg as a replacement. At this time, I have not however tested it. So, if you do try making them as vegan gluten free blueberry scones, let me know how it goes.
The lemon and blueberries in Blueberry Scones with Lemon
As these are Blueberry Scones with Lemon, they of course need a good hit of both! The blueberries are simply fresh, uncut and thrown into the mix, so that they bake, beautifully dotted through each and every scone. The fruity bursts of moisture take scone eating to a whole new level.
The lemon comes in three forms…
- The lemon juice to make the buttermilk (above).
- Finely grated zest from 1 to 2 large lemons (depending on how zesty you like the flavour).
- A little concentrated natural lemon extract.
Are Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon safe for people with Coeliac Disease?
Yes. Absolutely. My Blueberry Scones are made with gluten free flour and there are no other gluten-containing ingredients. And that makes them 100% safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). As always though, be sure to check ALL ingredients for any risk from hidden gluten or cross-contamination… Baking powder in particular, can catch us out.
Can these Blueberry Scones be made dairy free as well as gluten free?
Yes. Providing you substitute the butter and milk for good non-dairy alternatives then they are also free from dairy.
However… because the fat needs to be ‘rubbed in’ to the flour, it is essential that you use a BLOCK butter alternative. I recommend either Stork Baking Block or Flora Baking Block, for both comparable texture and creaminess.
Any good dairy free milk should be fine to use. (It will be mixed with lemon juice to make ‘buttermilk’).
Can they be made vegan?
As I have never tried making these scones vegan myself, I honestly cannot be certain. However, using the dairy free subs noted above and switching the egg for a flax egg may well work. If you try making them vegan, let me know.
How to make the BEST Gluten Free Blueberry Scones – Tips for success
As usual, general rules apply when making these scones as they do for other bakes… Always weigh the ingredients (Cups don’t give enough accuracy for gluten free baking), don’t cut corners and follow the recipe closely. Beyond that… Here are my best tips for making perfect Gluten Free Blueberry Scones:
Tips to rub the fat into the flour
Make sure the butter is cold and hard
For the best gluten free scones, the butter (or vegan block) MUST be cold and hard at the point that it is ‘rubbed in’ to the flour. If too soft or warm, the fat particles break down too much and the scones won’t rise well or be flaky and light. To make the process as fail safe as possible…
- Chill the butter in the fridge before adding to the bowl and cut into small cubes.
- Make sure your hands are cold… Wash in cold water before rubbing in.
- Work quickly to avoid the mixture becoming too hot.
- With each ‘rub’, lift the mixture between fingertips and drop from a little height. This will help to keep it cool and airy.
- Don’t ‘over-rub’. The mixture should look like coarse sand when done.
If you are prone to very hot hands and struggle to keep them cold, you have 3 extra options…
- Freeze the butter and finely grate it into the mix.
- Pulse in a blender.
- Use a ‘Pastry Cutter’. Seriously. I discovered this existed recently and it has changed the way I rub fat in forever. Because I can ‘rub’ without touching the butter at all! And if you chill the pastry cutter in advance, it will stay extra cool for ages. It’s genius and I wish I’d discovered it years ago.
Chill the ‘rubbed in’ butter and flour (if you have time)
After the fat has been rubbed into the flour, chill the mixture in the fridge for half an hour or so, before adding the liquid. While it’s not essential, the extra chill helps to ensure the butter particles stay firm and maintain ‘fleckiness’. It also ensures the dough remains cool during the mixing and rolling process… Which boosts rise and flakiness.
Tips for rolling Gluten Free Blueberry Scone dough
The dough should be damp and sticky
Unlike standard scones gluten free scone dough should be very moist… A loose and ‘shaggy’ dough is what you are aiming for. If it feels very sticky, that’s exactly right.
Don’t over-work the dough
The ‘shaggy’ dough needs to be gently compressed into a ball, but must NEVER be over-worked or over-compressed. Simply tip it onto a lightly floured surface, lightly flour the top, pick up the dough and gently push together into a ball with your hands… It’s now ready to roll.
A good gluten free scone dough will be compressed enough to roll, but will still have ‘imperfections’ in texture. This supports the creation of air pockets, giving rise and lightness.
Roll and cut the scones tall
However careful you are, gluten free scones will never rise as efficiently as standard wheat scones, because they lack the structure and power that gluten offers. However, that doesn’t mean that gluten free scones should be either flat or dense…
To make sure your gluten free blueberry scones are as proud and light as any other, roll gently and don’t over-compress the dough… And cut the scones tall! About 5 cm is perfect.
Cut sharp and straight
Although technically, any round cutter will shape a scone, I’ve found that some work far better than others…
The cutter needs to be sharp-edged to avoid inadvertently squishing the dough (metal ones are particularly good)… And for tall-cut scones, the cutter works best if it matches the dough height at least. I use these tall scone cutters, which are perfect for the job.
Also… To avoid ‘wonky’ scones that rise unevenly, be sure to cut straight down and never twist the cutter as it is pressed!
Glaze the tops of your Blueberry Scones for a professional finish
For a shiny, golden bake, glaze the tops of your blueberry scones with egg wash. That is… an egg that has been fork-beaten with a little milk and brushed over the surface with a pastry brush.
Even better… sprinkle a very little caster sugar across as well, for a light sweetness and crisp texture.
Bake scones on a hot baking sheet
For the best rise, scones should be cut, glazed and then, when ready to bake (all together), be transferred to a HOT tray before baking straight away. The immediate contact with a super-hot base helps to push the scones upwards, giving extra rise. So…
Heat the tray in the oven while the scones are being cut. Then, when ready to bake, carefully take the tray from the oven, quickly transfer the uncooked scones to the tray and bake immediately!
How long do Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon last and how should they be stored?
Like ‘normal’ wheat scones, these Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon are at their very finest on the day they are made. However… unlike most gluten free scones (which are invariably stale within a few hours at most), they should still be soft and good to eat (without the need to ‘refresh’ or heat) for at least 36 to 48 hours. And actually, I’ve had them beyond this!
To get the best from your scones, store at ambient/room temperature if possible, in an airtight container. If placed in the fridge, they will firm up more quickly.
If you prefer your scones warm (or they have started to firm), simply pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to bring back to perfection. (Or wrap in foil and warm through in the oven for about 10 minutes).
Can these Gluten Free Blueberry Scones be frozen?
Absolutely yes. To freeze these scones, place in an airtight bag or container and freeze as soon as possible after baking and cooling for best freshness. They can be frozen for up to 3 months and simply defrosted at room temperature or popped in the microwave when ready to eat.
How to serve Blueberry and Lemon Scones
So, we’ve reached the fun part… How to eat your delicious homebaked gluten free scones. While it’s fine to eat them the standard way with jam and clotted cream, or straight butter (and yes, I’ve tried both ways and they are delicious), my best suggestion is this…
First slather them with deliciously tart lemon (or citrus) curd (homemade is always best, but shop-bought is still divine). Then generously top with softly-whipped vanilla cream. The combination of these three flavours and textures (a soft fruity scone, with sticky lemon curd and pillowy-light cream) is mind-blowing.
Ready to make my Gluten Free Blueberry Scones?
Hopefully, that’s all you need to know to make perfect gluten free Blueberry Scones. If there’s anything I’ve missed or other questions that need answering, just shout! Leave a comment at the bottom, email me or contact via social media. I can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter #glutenfreealchemist. A follow is always welcome too (to keep up to date with all our creations and progress). And sign up for my weekly newsletter update (via the box at the bottom, or on the Home Page).
You’ll find lots more gluten free baking inspiration via our massive Recipe Index. It has hundreds of tried and tested gluten free recipes of all kinds ready to inspire and guide. We even have a dedicated Scone Index! Although in the light of the strides made with this recipe, a few may be in need of a timely update.
Gluten Free Blueberry Scones with Lemon
- measuring jug
- flat-bladed knife
- 350 g gluten free plain flour blend Tested with either Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A (white) or B (wholegrain) – see NOTES
- 2 tsp xanthan gum (or 2½ tsp psyllium husk as preferred) – If using a commercial flour blend already containing xanthan gum, reduce this addition to ¼ tsp only.
- pinch fine sea salt
- 4 tsp baking powder gluten free
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda baking soda
- 35 g caster sugar superfine sugar
- 100 g butter or dairy free block alternative – cold and cubed
- 1-2 large lemons – zest only finely grated
- 200 ml/g milk preferably full fat. Optional dairy free.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 large egg UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 100 g fresh blueberries
Egg wash and rolling
- Extra flour for dusting and rolling
- I egg + a little milk to glaze beaten together
- caster sugar to sprinkle (superfine sugar)
- Lemon Curd
- Lightly whipped cream
- In a large mixing bowl, weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar, until all lumps are broken down and the mixture is well-blended.
- With finger tips, rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse sand. (for hot hands see NOTES).
- Add and mix in the lemon zest.
- If possible (although not essential), chill the rubbed-in mixture in the fridge for half an hour or so.
- When ready to finish making the scone dough, mix the milk with the lemon juice. Stir and leave to stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to make homemade buttermilk (It should become grainy/lumpy).
- Meanwhile, base-line a large baking sheet with baking paper and place in the oven to pre-heat.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Add the lemon extract and egg to the buttermilk and beat with a fork until blended.
- Add the liquid to the flour mix along with the blueberries.
- Gently stir the mixture using a flat-bladed table knife until it has become evenly damp and clumpy. Be careful not to overwork. It should be a very 'shaggy' dough.
- With lightly-floured hands, carefully bring the dough into a ball and press lightly together (do not over-work or over-condense). It should still be quite sticky, however if very wet, very lightly dust with a little extra flour to make it easier to handle.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly-floured surface.
- Gently press the dough down to flatten slightly and (if necessary) very lightly sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.
- Roll the dough out using a rolling pin to a thickness of about 5 cm.
- Using a round pastry cutter to the size of scones you require, cut the dough into rounds, by pressing straight down.
- As each scone is cut, set them to one side until ready to bake.
- Bring any remaining dough together and repeat the rolling and cutting process until all the dough has been used, trying hard not to 'work' the dough too much as you go.
- Using a pastry brush, glaze the top of each scone with a little egg-wash.
- Sprinkle the tops with a little caster sugar
- When ready to cook, carefully take the pre-heated baking tray from the oven and (either by hand or with a spatula) quickly transfer the dough-scones to the tray, ensuring about 3 centimetres space around each one for an even bake.
- Using oven gloves, put the tray back in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes for medium-sized scones (or 15 to 16 minutes for large scones) until well-risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist