These adorable mini blood orange scones are gluten free, sweetened with maple syrup, and topped with a blood orange glaze – perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat!
Winter citrus has my heart. That bright beautiful color is always a ray of sunshine during these dark and gloomy winter months.
But winter, like actual winter, is the worst. Honestly if my body could tolerate the cold, I wouldn’t mind winter at all – the snow is beautiful and I do enjoy some winter sports. But my Raynaud’s really keeps me from enjoying any part of it. The second my body temperature drops – even if I am in my heated apartment – the blood drains from my fingers and toes and they go numb.
But winter citrus?! There is nothing better.
And now that I have been diagnosed with Celiacs, baking is a little more difficult. But baking is something that I love and find very therapeutic, so I am excited to experiment with different ingredients and types of flour. These blood orange scones are made with an all purpose gluten free flour blend. I have used this flour a handful of times and have had no issues subbing it in to recipes 1:1.
But being someone who is health focused and ingredients conscious, I made some other important ingredient choices:
- Almond milk + apple cider vinegar. Traditionally scones are made with buttermilk which is important from an acidity level. In an effort to make these dairy free, I added 2 teaspoons of ACV to my almond milk and gave it a good stir. Additionally, if you don’t have buttermilk but aren’t avoiding dairy, you can squeeze lemon juice into whatever milk you have for a similar effect.
- Maple syrup. I am doing by best to remove any refined sugars from my diet and have found that maple syrup is such a great alternate sweetener.
- Olive oil. The olive oil was subbed in place of butter, again trying to keep the recipe dairy free. If you haven’t used olive oil in baked goods before, don’t be scared. I love it in banana bread and granola.
- Cacao nibs. You could easily use dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips here, but I like the slight bitterness of the cacao. It brings just enough of that chocolate flavor that you so desperately want in these blood orange scones.
When you mix up these scones, they will be very ‘wet’ compared to normal scone batter; and the mixture will appear oily due to the olive oil. This is normal and totally okay. Just go with it.
I tested these recipes at two separate temperatures and both with and without freezing the dough before you bake. I found that baking at 400 degrees F, while freezing the dough for 13 minutes is key to the scones maintaining their adorable heart shape and baking so that they are baked through without becoming too dry.
You must bake these for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day! For me, baking is one of the most sincere ways you can show someone you love and appreciate them. And that is why I baked them for you!
Tell me: Are you a winter person? What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
If you make these blood orange scones or any of my recipes, post a picture on social media and use the hashtag #imhungrybynature for a chance to be featured!
- 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon blood orange zest
- ½ cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and zest.
- In a small bowl, combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Add almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and olive oil to dry ingredients, stirring to combine, fold in cacao nibs. The mixture will be oily - much more than traditional scones make with cold butter.
- On a lined cookie sheet, roll or press mixture until it is ¾ inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out your hearts and place on a separate lined cookie sheet. Continue to do so until you have used the entire dough. Mine yielded 16 miniature scones.
- Place scones in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Bake scones, straight from the freezer, for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, make glaze: start with powdered sugar and add blood orange juice one teaspoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. I used a full tablespoon. Dip scones and allow glaze to set.
Are you baking anything sweet for Valentine’s Day?