While grabbing something out of the pantry one morning last week, a couple of cans of organic canned pumpkin caught my eye. I haven’t baked with pumpkin in ages, and it just hasn’t really been on my palate radar – but seeing the pumpkin that morning piqued my taste buds.
And out of my craving was born vegan pumpkin scones with dark chocolate chunks.
I love baking with fruit purees because of the moisture it adds to the dough – and when baking without eggs, it also adds a helpful binding element.
This recipe is also yet another reinforcement of my love of whole wheat pastry flour. As far as baking with wheat goes, it’s the best way to get the health benefits of a whole grain while maintaining the lighter quality of white flour (vs. regular whole wheat). And, together with the pumpkin and coconut milk, it makes for a deliciously tender and moist crumb – so long and farewell, dry scones!
It’s an uncomplicated recipe that yields impressive results and begs for a cup of coffee or tea as an accompaniment. Who cares that it’s summer – turn on your AC, or open your windows and switch on fans – whatever it’ll take for you to turn on your oven despite the heat – and get baking!
Here’s the recipe, and some notes on storage:
Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones
(high altitude baking modifications included below)
What You Need:
- 3 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
- 1-2 tbsp all purpose flour, for dusting/kneading
- 1/2 + 1/8 c sugar (preferably turbinado or cane)
- 2 tbsp turbinado/cane sugar (a sugar with larger crystals)
- 2 tbsp baking powder (NOTE: if you live at a high altitude like me -I’m at 5.5K feet – try reducing the baking powder to 1 3/4 tbsp)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (I added an extra pinch or two)
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ginger (I added an extra pinch or two)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c Earth Balance – cold and cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 c canned pumpkin puree
- 1/4 c coconut milk (from a carton; unsweetened/unflavored)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 – 1 1/2 c dark chocolate chips/chunks (dairy-free)
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 415 degrees (NOTE: I live at 5.5K feet and baked at 425, so it’s typically safe to say a 10 degree or so reduction would be better suitable for sea level)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients thoroughly
- Add the Earth Balance to the dry ingredients and incorporate using your hands or a wire pastry blender (that’s the method I went with – I have a wire pastry blender that is almost an antique and I just love it!)
- In a medium bowl, combine the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar, and whisk with a fork; it’ll thicken/curdle slightly
- Add pumpkin and vanilla to coconut milk/vinegar mixture, and stir to combine
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined
- Fold dark chocolate chunks into dough
- On a clean and cold surface, sprinkle a dusting of all purpose flour and place the dough on the surface
- Form the dough into a circle or rectangle (I made a rectangle); it should be about 1-1 1/2 inches thick
- Use a pastry cutter, knife or cookie cutter to slice dough into desired shapes (I cut across the middle of the rectangle and then made diagonal slices across the top and bottom row to make triangle-shaped scones)
- Place scones on cookie sheet about 1.5-2 inches apart and sprinkle some turbinado sugar over each
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden brown
- Cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
- Get your cup of coffee or tea ready for when you take your first bite!!
Notes on Storage:
- These refrigerate well to keep for a couple of days beyond what you’ll get with a counter-top airtight container
- You can also freeze baked scones and reheat in a 350 degree oven to thaw and warm
- Or, you can freeze the dough by individually wrapping pieces in saran wrap; when you’re ready to bake, follow the baking instructions above and enjoy!