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Carrot cake scones are loaded with carrots, plump raisins, and walnuts. They’re just like the classic cake, but made for the brunch table!
I always feel like Easter creeps up on me, no matter when it falls on the calendar. Because we live so far away, we don’t have a big family gathering for the holiday.
That’s why I like these carrot cake scones. They’re a special treat that bring you all the flavors of carrot cake, but don’t leave you with lots of cake leftovers to deal with.
(Yeah, I know cake leftovers aren’t a problem but if you also have small kids you probably don’t have time for that situation.)
Scones are really easy to make, so we have them at my house quite often. Between cherry walnut scones in the summertime, pumpkin scones in the fall, and piña colada scones when I’m wistful for the beach, I’m set for every season.
When it comes to making scones, the most important thing to remember is to not handle the dough too much. Just like when making pie crust, you want the butter to stay nice and cold to ensure a perfectly tender result.
How to add butter to scones
I use a pastry cutter to blend in the butter, or two knives. It makes fast work of the task and also keeps the butter nonuniform, which is what you want.
Larger pieces make the scones flaky, while the smaller pieces add the tenderness. The best of both buttery worlds!
Another great method for adding butter is to use frozen butter and a box grater.
With this method you grate the butter right into the dry ingredients. Then, all you need to do is give it a quick stir to incorporate.
No matter which method you use, be sure to keep your butter as cold as possible.
What do you add to carrot cake scones?
For carrot cake scones, you’ll need some additional mix-ins from the standard scone. Be sure to only use fresh grated carrot — do not use the kind you find prepackaged at the grocery store!
I also add raisins, nuts, and a few spices to the scones. I like golden raisins best, as the milder flavor works really well with carrot.
For the nuts I use walnuts, but pecans would also be good if you want a more pronounced flavor.
If you like, you can also add shredded coconut, unsweetened or sweetened.
Be sure with any additions that you stick to a total amount of no more than 2 cups. Too many mix-ins will prevent you from making a cohesive dough and you won’t get that buttery, flaky scone.
As I like to have scones for breakfast, I try to avoid making them overly sweet.
I added a simple cream cheese glaze to the tops of the scones just for a hint of the classic cream cheese frosting taste.
The recipe makes just enough for a drizzle, but you can easily double or triple the glaze recipe to coat the entire tops of the carrot cake scones.
How do you shape scones?
Scones can be shaped a number of ways, depending on your preferences.
For wedges, pat your dough into one or two circles, then cut all the way across into triangles. You can separate the scones if you like crisp edges, or keep the scones together for a softer texture.
If you’re making mini scones, simple divide the dough into multiple smaller circles before cutting into wedges.
If you want square scones, pat the dough into a rectangle and cut into squares. Place the squares about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
You can also cut out scones using a round biscuit cutter. Be sure to not twist the cutter as you press it into the dough. This can seal the edges and prevent a good rise.
A scone pan is also an option for perfectly formed scones. Divide the dough by the number of wells in your pan and press it gently into the pan. Be sure to grease the pan generously with butter to prevent sticking.
Can I freeze scones?
One of the great things about scones is that you can make a big batch and freeze them for later.
Scones can be frozen unbaked or baked.
To freeze unbaked scones, cut the dough into your preferred shape. Place a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on a baking sheet.
Place each scone onto the baking sheet, leaving space between. Put the sheet into the freezer and freeze until solid, about 1 hour.
Transfer the scones to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. If you need to stack the scones so they fit, place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper between them to prevent any sticking.
Unbaked scones will take slightly longer to bake from frozen and won’t rise as much as fresh baked, but will have the delicious flavor you want from a freshly baked scone!
To freeze baked scones, let them cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag.
The carrot cake scones keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days — if they last that long!
Carrot Cake Scones
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375?F. Place a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat liner on a baking sheet and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture, leaving some of the butter chunks larger. Stir in carrot, raisins, and walnuts.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix to combine until a cohesive dough forms and there are no loose dry bits. It might seem a bit sticky; that’s ok.
- Dump dough onto prepared baking sheet and use a bench knife or chopstick dipped in flour to score dough into 8. Slightly separate triangles or keep the circle together.
- Bake scones for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Cool on a rack.
- To make the glaze, beat together softened cream cheese and butter until smooth, then mix in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and a little milk at a time until the glaze is pourable. Drizzle over cooled scones.