These cinnamon oat scones are the most delicious dessert for breakfast recipe there ever was. With a gluten free and dairy free option that freezes incredibly well, they’re perfect for company or a cozy holiday weekend. The cinnamon sugar topping gives these fluffy scones a great crunch!
This original recipe was created by Nicole Hampton, the author of Sugar High: Sweet and Savory Baking In Your High Altitude Kitchen and the owner of the blog Dough Eyed. Nicole and I collaborated on this recipe, which she developed keeping both vegan and gluten free constraints in mind, along with migraine-friendly ingredients….it’s no easy feat, y’all!
The Story Behind Cinnamon Oat Scones
As you all know, I’m not an excellent baker, which is why I recruit Jennifer Bragdon to help me out as The Dizzy Baker. However, I’m trying to branch out a little bit more with my baking because that’s how you improve and get better. I was introduced to Nicole through the publisher of my upcoming book, and we chatted on instagram. A first-time author herself, Nicole gave me tips on what I can expect with the publishing process.
Nicole then expressed to me how fun it would be to try some of her recipes at or near sea level and I told her that I would love to be her guinea pig! We quickly tried to think of ways we could collaborate and went back and forth on the limitations of a migraine diet. She was patient with me as I had to test these many times to get them perfect.
Making High Altitude Scones at Sea Level
When Nicole sent me her recipe, I couldn’t wait to get started. She gave me a few recommendations on how to edit the recipe to sea level, but I would have to play around with it and see how it worked. My first try was good, but the dough was entirely too wet. I’ve never made scones in my life so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.
My second and third times I struggled with the same problem - my dough was too wet. It was getting to the point that I had to add too much flour and it was changing the flavor of the scones. That’s when I got my a-ha moment to decrease the liquids as well because at high-altitude things are so incredibly dry, you need more moisture. Do you see why I don’t bake?! It’s like science!!
After that little change, the recipe worked out perfectly. The scones are light and fluffy with a slightly sweet flavor and a delicious cinnamon oat crunch on the top.
The only thing I forgot was to add oats to the topping for these pictures. But good grief, I was out of flour at that point and could not make these again so use your imagination guys…or look at Nicole’s perfect photos.
Gluten Free and Dairy Free Scone Ingredients
During my testing I tried these with both gluten free and all purpose flour and they’re fairly easy to change out. Nicole recommends using a 1 to 1 gluten free flour (contains xanthan gum) for this recipe, and I used Bob's Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour for the times I made it with regular AP flour.
To make these dairy free, you can easily substitute oat milk like from Oatly. I used Spectrum Brand Organic Shortening, but the scooping process was a little tough because you need the shortening cold. Therefore I had to scoop my 6 tablespoons when the shortening was at room temperature and place it into the fridge. You can bypass all of this headache by getting shortening that's in stick form. Nicole has also used vegan butter instead of shortening for these as well, but it is not considered migraine-friendly if you're following the Heal Your Headache diet because of the "natural flavoring".
Now I did not try to make these without egg for vegan scones, but our recommendation would be to use a flax or chia egg as a substitute.
How to Make Gluten Free Cinnamon Oat Scones
A few tips I found along the way were:
- Don't be afraid to play around with the flour to liquid ratio. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not enough that you can't pat it out to about a 2 inch thickness. I found on some days if it was rainy, I had to use more flour...baking...yay!
- Make sure you're working with cold shortening. It will be easier to work into the dough. You can use a pastry cutter or your fingers (I used my fingers). Also don't skip chilling your dough. This will help prevent spreading in the oven.
- You can make your own oat flour out of pulsing gluten free rolled oats in the food processor.
- This freeze and reheat SO well. Often I just left them at room temperature to thaw, but you could warm in the oven as well.
Cinnamon Oat Scones (Gluten & Dairy-Free)
Gluten Free Scones
- 2 cups all purpose flour *Use 1:1 gluten free
- ¼ cup oat flour
- 1 tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled shortening
- ⅓ cup oat milk
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 cold large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- ⅓ cup shortening
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- ½ cup oat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or a nonstick mat. In a large bowl, stir together the all purpose (GF) flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add in the cold shortening and using a pastry cutter or clean hands, combine the shortening into the flour mixture until crumbly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat milk, white vinegar, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour this into the dry mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. If the dough appears too dry, you can add a little more oat milk.
- Lightly sprinkle some additional flour over the prepared sheet pan. Place the dough onto the prepared pan, and form into a disc. Don't overwork the dough here, but you can sprinkle on more flour if the dough is too sticky to work with. You want the disc to be about 1 ½ inches thick. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the shortening, honey, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, oat flour, cinnamon, oats, and salt. Using a fork or your hands, work in the shortening until crumbs form. Be sure to mix this thoroughly so there's no big lumps of shortening. Pile the crumb topping on top of the scone dough. Press it evenly into the disc, reaching the edges, and creating a fairly even layer. This will make your dough disc a bit thinner- about 1 inch thick. Cover the dough disk with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare a second pan with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge, and use a knife or bench scrapper to cut the disc into 8 even triangles. Place onto your parchment lined sheet pan, leaving an inch or two between each scone.
- Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until the scones are puffed and golden brown on the edges and top. Let the scones cool on the sheet pan for about 5 minutes, and then use a spatula to move them to a cooling rack. The topping will have bubbled over the sides of the scones- and that’s ok!
- For a vegan option, use a flax or chia egg and replace the honey with maple syrup.
- Play with the mixture a little bit - you may need to add a little more flour or oat milk depending on the humidity that day. Use the pictures for a representation of how it should look.
- Use a 1:1 flour for gluten free baking and note it may take a little bit longer to bake.
- The cinnamon sugar topping with fall off the edges a little bit when baking and that's normal.