Gluten-Free Date, Pecan and Lavender Scones

by amandapaa on June 16, 2014

Lavender, Date & Pecan Scones {glutenfree} Although this weekend was quite a wet one, it surely didn’t rain on my parade. There’s a solitude that comes with rainy day naps and comfort baking, one that I gladly welcome. I made these Date, Pecan & Lavender Scones as the pitter-patter of the big drops replaced the music I normally cook to. The cool breeze from a cracked window carried their barely sweet, lavender and rosemary aroma and down the hallway.

lavender, pecan and date scones Scones are tricky to master, especially when you add gluten-free to the requirements. I’ve tried several times, trying to balance the qualities that make a scone a scone – flaky, not too dense, and flavorful without being too sweet. They’ve always tasted good, but a little on the crumbly side and too thick. But thanks to this technique taught by the lovely Sarah from the Vanilla Bean Blog, these scones were finally what I’ve been looking for.

If you haven’t visited Sarah’s blog, do yourself a favor and hop on over. Her writing is among the best, her photography skills are brilliant and her recipes inspiring, the kind that make you want to get up and start baking a cake as soon as you’re done reading the post. In fact, the lavender extract (p.s.- how cool is The Hatchery?!) I used in these scones landed in my hands at a recent party to celebrate Sarah winning the award for Saveur’s Best Baking Blog. I couldn’t be happier for such a humble person.

pure lavender extract | the hatchery

Lavender, Date & Pecan Scones {glutenfree} But back to the key to these beautiful scones. It comes down to the grated frozen butter and a rolling/turning of the dough, creating the most perfect texture you could ever imagine. You can even see the layers of flakiness that bakes up around the dates and pecans. I’m not sure why I haven’t put those two together before. They’re really a wonderful balance between sweet and nutty, especially with the herbal tones of rosemary and lavender floating in the background.

Lavender, Date & Pecan Scones {glutenfree} Enjoy the week ahead and if you’re subject to a rainy day, I highly recommend filling the house with the aroma of these scones. And on another note, if you can’t find lavender for photos, lilacs are a good stand in too. ♡

Gluten-Free Date, Pecan and Lavender Scones

makes 8 scones
adapted from Sarah’s recipe & technique shown here, with excellent step-by-step photos

270 grams Cup4Cup gluten-free flour, a scant two cups (or your favorite all purpose gf flour)
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar + additional for sprinkling tops
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chopped dates (about 8)
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream + 2 tablespoons for brushing tops
1 teaspoon pure lavender extract (or vanilla)
1 egg

Position a rack in the center of the oven and the preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, heavy cream, lavender and egg. Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box cutter and add it to the flour mixture. Toss with your fingers until the butter is evenly coated. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and dust the top of the dough with flour. Knead the dough 6 to 8 times, until it resembles a ragged ball (add more flour if it is sticking too much).

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Fold the dough in thirds (a business letter fold). Lift the short ends of the dough and fold into thirds again, making a 4 inch square. Transfer dough to a baking sheet or plate dusted with flour, and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Bring the chilled dough back to your well-floured surface, and roll into a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle the dates and pecans over the dough, then press them down gently into the dough. Using a bench scraper or the flat side of the knife, loosen the dough from the surface, and roll it into a cylinder (roll it like a jelly-roll log to help incorporate the dates and pecans). Roll the cylinder so it is seam side down, and then press into a 12 by 4 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer the triangles to the baking sheet.

Brush the tops with a little heavy cream and sprinkle them generously with sugar. Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Alanna June 17, 2014 at 1:13 am

WOW! Those are just gorgeous. The flavors sound exquisite!


Kathryn June 17, 2014 at 3:57 am

I’ve never had much success with gluten free scones but these look absolutely and utterly wonderful – it’s such a lovely combination of flavours too, I never would have thought to put them all together but I can imagine that they work perfectly!


Millie l Add A Little June 17, 2014 at 9:04 am

Love how flaky these look and the combination of flavours sound amazing!


Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles June 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

So lovely. And I am instantly transported to the lavender fields I saw out in Carmel, wishing I could run my fingers through them once again. Beautiful post, Amanda.


Amanda Paa June 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

They have lavender fields in Carmel? Wow, like that place could get any more surreal. I was there about 9 years ago and was in awe of it all. Have a great rest of the week!


Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough June 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

Oh I LOVE these scones already. Those flavors!


tanna dean June 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

These look wonderful. I love scones and will have to try this.


Amanda Paa June 17, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Thank you Tanna! I appreciate you stopping by and hope you like the scones :)


renee (will frolic for food) June 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

well HELLO GORGEOUS! I can barely even believe these are gf! And look who’s got some lavender extract sitting around (yes, i really do have some sitting on my counter). love it!


Amanda Paa June 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm

this is why i love have friends who like food as much as i do… so awesome that you have lavender extract! oh, and totally trying the chevre quac. i actually have purple scallions sitting in my fridge!


Susan June 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm

So beautiful and sounds wonderful!


Amanda Paa June 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Thank you Susan! Hope your summer is off to a great start.


laurie June 18, 2014 at 7:24 am

I love the frozen butter technique. It’s easier than dicing and re-chilling butter and produces reliable results. I use it for biscuits too. BTW the teacup in the first photo is lovely.


Evangeline White July 21, 2014 at 7:46 am

Oh my goodness what a treat it is to stumble on your website! I am gluten free and am always on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes. Imagine my surprise when I see a photo of my lavender extract!! The scones look wonderful. I’ve never been a fan of scones probably because most have been dry and crumbly. Can’t wait to try these out! Thank you again for using my extract!


Amanda Paa July 22, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Evangeline, thank you for stopping by! I LOVE your lavender extract. It is so beautiful in many ways that I have used it. In fact, I also added it to a blueberry cinnamon buckle last week. If you would ever like to collaborate on recipe development, I’d definitely be interested. Have a great week! -Amanda


Evangeline White July 24, 2014 at 8:14 am

Hi Amanda,
Thank you for taking the time to reply! The blueberry cinnamon buckle sounds delicious! I actually have a blueberry extract that is very tasty in a vinaigrette. I hope you don’t mind but I put a link on my website to the recipe for the scones. Recipe development sounds very intriguing! I would love to talk about this.
Hope you’re having a wonderful week-Vangie


Audrey @ Unconventional Baker February 19, 2015 at 1:31 pm

This sounds lovely, Amanda. I’ve never seen lavender extract before — I’ve only ever used dried for my recipes, but the extract sounds good. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for some now :)


Amanda Paa February 19, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Yes, the lavender extract is so wonderful, made by a gal who lives in Oregon, her own small business, Meso Nutso. It really adds lovely flavors to baked goods, not quite as overpowering as the dried. Hope you’re having a great week!


Audrey @ Unconventional Baker February 19, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Yeah, I know what you mean about “overpowering”, Amanda. That’s why I’m so curious about the extract. I’ve been enjoying using dried lavender so far, but sometimes you don’t necessarily want to bite into a piece, you know? And I find grinding it makes it very strong, so it’s a bit limiting. The extract sounds great in that sense.


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