When is a scone a scone and a cake a cake? Originating in Scotland, scones are a single serving quick bread that are lightly sweetened and is usually made with baking powder as its leavening agent, compared to a tea cake which is made with yeast.
Here in America, we know scones as a beloved coffee house treat. Whether blueberry, pumpkin, vanilla bean, chocolate chip, or plain, the scones we love are usually sweeter than the European varieties and topped off with a sweet glaze.
Cakes on the other hand are typically a baked dessert made from flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder or baking soda, butter, oil, milk, and water. Sometimes, but not always, cakes are made into layers sandwiched between fillings and frosted in buttercream.
Today I have a recipe for a coffee house style Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Scones with a Maple Cream Cheese Pecan Glaze. The texture is dense like a scone but it tastes like carrot cake except a little bit less sweet. Made with a blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, this scone has a lot less fat in it compared to most other recipes. Using a combination of apple sauce and butter to give the crumb a moist texture without compromising the structural integrity of the dough, the scone is finished off with a light maple cream cheese glaze and a sprinkling of chopped pecans. The overall texture is very scone-like but at the same time the overall flavor will have you thinking you’re eating carrot cake.
Make no mistake, these are definitely scones and would make a perfect addition to your holiday brunch this Sunday. Happy Easter!
Recipe: Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Scones with a Maple Cream Cheese Pecan Glaze
Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Scones with a Maple Cream Cheese Pecan Glaze. The texture is dense like a scone but it tastes like carrot cake except a little bit less sweet. Made with a blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, this scone has a lot less fat in it compared to most other recipes.
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, gently packed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots, gently packed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients together for 10 seconds. If you do not have a food processor, whisk the ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the butter to the food processor and pulsate on and off for 5 seconds at a time until the dry ingredients look like coarse meal. To do this by hand, use a fork or clean fingers and rub the dry ingredients with the butter between your fingers.
- In a separate bowl, mix the apple sauce, carrots, egg, and vanilla extract together.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir by hand until the dough barely pulls together but all of the dry ingredients have been worked in. The dough will be sticky.
- Generously flour a clean non porous surface like a countertop or cutting board.
- Transfer the dough to prepared surface. Gently work the dough into a round mound, dusting it with more flour if necessary so it doesn't stick to the countertop.
- Flatten the mound so it is one inch thick. Cut the round into 8 equal pieces to make coffee-house sized scones. If you prefer to make smaller scones, divide the dough into two balls and make 2 mounds cutting them into 8 equal pieces.
- Transfer the scones to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Bake the scones for 15 minutes until they turn a lovely honey golden brown.
- Remove the scones from the oven and allow them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a plate or wire rack.
- While the scones are cooling, prepare the glaze.
- In a small flat container that is as big as the scones (like a food storage container) whisk the cream cheese, milk, maple syrup, and fresh lemon juice until they are well mixed. Slowly add the powdered sugar whisking quickly to form the glaze.
- Pick up each scone with the rounded top facing down, gently drip the scones into the glaze and place back on the baking sheet. Do this with each scone.
- Sprinkle a 1/2 tablespoon of pecans over each one. Drizzle remaining glaze over each scone.
- Serve immediately or allow the glaze to set before serving.