I love nostalgic recipes. This recipe for Berry Almond Scones takes be back to a restaurant that used to be here in Salt Lake, the Cocoa Cafe. It was owned by a friendly Norweigan guy, just looking to live the simple life, enjoying family, cooking the foods he loved and making a living to support it all. Unfortunately, the Cocoa Cafe isn’t around any more but I still dream about their fluffy berry scones and rich hot chocolate.
I’ve tried replicating the Cocoa Cafe’s scones a few times. A friend of mine snagged the recipe (hand written on a torn napkin) from an old employee of theirs. It was fun to feel a bit clandestine, tracking down this long lost recipe and testing it out together. But we discovered there were a few problems with the secret recipe, it was for an enormous batch and used European measurements, so when we quartered the recipe it just didn’t turn out the same as at the old cafe. Since then I’ve been trying to find a recipe that would stand a chance against those fluffy scones in my memory. Sometimes food memories just can’t be replicated! But finally, I found just the one… and let me just tell you, these may even go beyond the scones at the Cocoa Cafe.
These scones are sweet and buttery, busting at the seams with a variety of juicy berries, and perfectly tender. Many scone recipes call for heavy cream, which I thought might be irreplaceable for a good scone but the mixture of the thick almond milk and creamy Greek yogurt made for perfect healthy replacements. You won’t miss the heavy cream one bit. Also, the mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and regular flour makes for a good balance. If you just have regular flour just use two cups. I wouldn’t advise using regular wheat flour or using all whole wheat pastry flour though. I always try to make healthy substitutions that don’t take away from the flavor of the recipe. And with this recipe I think the healthy ingredients only make them better. The scones are almost magical when you enjoy them hot right out of the oven!
I have had fun recently coming up with a series of ‘best recipes,’ taking time to find my favorite for some kitchen staples. Here are a few of my favorites so far: Best Granola Recipe, Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, Best Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Best Vegan Cookies, and Best Bran Muffin Recipe. Of course, all of these are subject to my preferences which you may disagree with but none-the-less, they are tried and true! What best recipes do you keep up your sleeve?
Best Berry Scone Recipe
- 8 Tb 1 stick butter, cold, plus 1 Tb melted, use cold coconut oil for vegan substitute
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup milk, almond milk also works here
- ½ cup Greek yogurt, vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, or substitute for more all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- tools: pastry scraper, optional
- Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425˚ F. Grate the frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater.
- Whisk together the almond milk and Greek yogurt in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. In another bowl, combine the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almonds in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
- Add the milk-yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined. Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times. Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Roll the dough into a 12-inch square. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter (a dough scraper really helps with these steps). Fold the short ends of the dough into the center in thirds, to form an approximate 4-inch square. Transfer the dough to a plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Return the dough to the floured work surface and roll into an approximately 12-inch square again. Sprinkle the berries evenly over the surface of the dough, and gently press down so that they are slightly embedded in the dough surface. Fold up the edges of the dough up so that all of the berries are concealed inside the dough. The dough should resemble a ball. Flatten the dough and gently form into a circle (about 7 inches by 7 inches). Using a sharp, floured knife, or a sharp dough scraper/chopper cut the circle into 8 equal triangles (like pie wedges). Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar or more sliced almonds. Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at 10 minutes before serving. If you can wait that long!
I so wish I could have one of these right now for breakfast. These look perfect!
The scones look fantastic!
These look delightful. I can't resist a good scone recipe.
These scones looks so drool-worthy 🙂
Oh my gosh, these look heavenly! I know what I'll be baking up this weekend!
I am always looking for a good blueberry recipe and I love the mixture of berries here (along with the Greek yogurt and almond milk additions). And, I really can safely say that I have never had a fluffy scone, so I am really intrigued!
BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS! I just love all of those colors!
Thanks for sharing eRecipeCards.com
Oh, I LOVED the Cocoa Cafe! I never tried their scones, but the hot chocolate was to die for. Your scones look wonderful, and the healthy substitutions are always appreciated.
Oooh, these sound amazing, and I have to check out your other "best" recipes!
Love the looks of these-thanks for sharing this recipe!!
Ooooh, those berries look perfectly "melted." Yum!
omg. these look so delicious and moist. my mouth is watering.
thanks for the recipe! i made these for day-after-valentine's breakfast, and they are killer!
These scones look perfect and absolutely irresistible! And I´m on a quest for a best-scone-recipe, so I´ll be trying this out very soon!
Please do let me know what you think after you try them!
I adore scones. These look so yummy!!
I’m a big scone fan as well and these are my very favorites!!
I´ve made them and can´t wait to make them again! They were great!!! 🙂
So glad you enjoyed them!! And thanks for coming back to the blog to let me know.
We had fun this weekend picking blueberries with our families and were looking for blueberry recipes. Thanks for sharing, we linked it up to our post Little Hands that Cook with Book and Blueberries. Can’t wait to make these with my daughter! . http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/05/30-ways-to-eat-blueberries.html
Thank you so much for this recipe! I made these this weekend using fresh strawberries and they were the absolute HIT of my party! They are so soft and fluffy and tasty. And I love that the ingredients are so healthy as well. I plan on making many versions of this throughout the year with whatever is in season. Have you tried making a savory version?
You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. They’re my hidden gems of the scone world 🙂
I haven’t tried making a savory version yet but that is a brilliant idea!
I used 2% milk and vanilla yogurt. It adds to the flavor of the dough. I have been mixing fresh berries with frozen when putting them in the pocket. I split it in half and did half of them with chocolate chips too. This next round I will add ginger bits. I enjoy them in the morning with coffee. Thanks for such a great scone recipe.
All of your variations sound delicious! I’m going to try the ginger next time. Thanks for the idea!
I made these this morning for breakfast and they were _____. I didn’t have yogurt or almond milk (a rarity in my home, but for some reason we didn’t) so I substituted them for 3/4 cup of milk, and I also substituted the whole wheat pastry flour for more all-purpose flour. I used cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. My family loved them! So will my neighbors… >,<
p.s. I also greased the baking pan with canola oil instead of using parchment paper because my family is trying to reduce waste. 🙂 You should totally try it.
I hope that ___ is a good thing?! Thanks for trying the recipe, it is one of my favorites 🙂
Do you use the berries while they are still frozen ? Also, if you used fresh berries would you make any adjustments? These look fabulous!
Susan, Yes you can use the berries when they are still frozen it will actually help them not to bleed into the dough making it turn blue. If you use fresh berries there are no adjustments. Enjoy
I made these today with the help of my 18 month old just an hour ago, and they are fabulous. Since I didn’t have the right flour on hand and since my husband has a milk protein allergy, we changed it up a little:
*coconut milk (in a carton from Trader Joe’s)
*plain coconut milk Greek style yogurt (from So Delicious)
* organic bread flour (didn’t have all purpose… weird, I know!)
* organic whole wheat flour (I did not have pastry flour)
So, I went with what I had and they turned out deliciously light and fluffy. I was able to use butter (husband is only allergic to the protein, and butter is all fat!), but before we put them in the oven I decided to use coconut oil to brush them, since it is so hot here that the oil was already melted. My toddler loved brushing the dough for me 🙂
Result – Delicious scones that my husband can eat! SOOoooo good! In fact, Husband ate two already.
Britta, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I’ll have to try then with coconut. I bet it gives them a new depth of flavor. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Oh for the love…just finished baking these and ate one – I don’t know how I will sleep knowing 7 more are waiting for me in the morning. I feel guilty, but not really. I tried these with sprouted wheat flour (1:1), macadamia nuts, and huckleberries – turned out great.
sounds delicious with macadamia nuts and huckleberries!!
I made these last night (with all the vegan substitutes) and they were wonderful! The coconut vegan yogurt went really well in them too. And you know you’ve done well when your husband comes home to them and doesn’t eat just one, but two! Thanks for the recipe! xox
So glad you enjoyed them! And your husband as well. My husband’s the ultimate taste tester in our house too!
I made them and they are excellent! They looked just like yours and the recipe was perfect! Thank you for these!
These are the moistest scones I have ever made! Thanks so much for sharing.
So glad you enjoyed them!!
I just made these, and they were delightful! I used coconut oil and coconut milk, and I loved the flavor it gave them. I also used fresh blackberries…scrumptious! Thanks for the recipe!
Next time I will be trying them with coconut oil and coconut milk – that sounds fabulous!!
when i freeze them, do i bake them first then freeze, or do i freeze the dough.
if freeze the baked scone, how should i heat it up and for how long?
ps, i made it with brown sugar, full cream milk, unsalted butter (i just cube them and hand mixed with the flour mixture. and used raisin instead of blueberry (i couldnt find it after i bought the can one) they turned to be pretty good.
Defrost the dough before baking. Thanks for stopping by the blog.
Just cooked these and they came out looking fantastic and they tasted devine! I added white chocolate melts as I wanted to make them like the scones we sometimes buy from a local baker. Well they were even better and I’m sure they were a more healthy version! We had them for dessert! very impressed and can’t wait to cook some of your other recipes… thank you
These look so delicious, I love scones and have never tried fresh berried ones before. Subscribing to your blog, it looks lovely.
Thanks so much Laura! I look forward to hearing more from you 🙂
Thanks for posting this. I now freeze and grate the butter for my biscuit recipes, pie crusts, and faux puff pastry- it’s like a secret weapon for the lightest and flakiest results! I love that this recipe works as well at high altitudes (we’re at 6400 ft.) as it does at sea level…a friend in CA had the same great results as I did. Thanks so much for sharing. Your photos are fantastic.
Sarah, thanks so much for the feedback!! Great to hear that the recipe worked at a high altitude as well! Take care, Becky
Seems I’m late to the party, but I wanted to add my two cents. These were great! I added some orange zest and used some Trader Joe’s berries and cherries, since it’s what I had during a snowy day. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
Courtney, I’m so glad you enjoyed the scones! Your additions sound perfect… I love anything with cherries!
Made this morning! Just fabulous!
So glad you enjoyed them!
Delicious! The recipe was pretty easy and the finished product was yummy. I wish the ingredients list had indicated that the butter should be frozen. I over baked mine a little, but everyone still enjoyed them!
I had never had scones until I tried this recipe–since then I’ve made them twice and tweaked them just a tad. I have been using 1/2 avocado, two tbsp of butter and two tbsp of coconut oil in place of the eight tbsp of butter. This saves a lot of fat and calories and you don’t even notice the difference. I also learned the lesson that there is such thing as too many berries and that dark chocolate chips in it are amazing. Has anyone tried using honey in place of the sugar? If so, how did it work out?
Stacy, I haven’t tried honey but I love the idea for avocado! Let me know if you try honey and how it works? You could also try coconut sugar!
You asked to let you know how things turned out if you substitute…I used for the flours 1/2 cup each of flax flour, oat flour, almond flour and gluten free flour and they came out really good.
Michelle, thanks for reporting back!! My mother in law in gluten free so I will definitely have to make these with your substitutions!
These turned out so well and so deliciously! I used baker’s sugar in the recipe, then regular sugar to dust the top with Kerrygold grass-fed butter. I doubled the berries which wasn’t too many at all. SUCH a rich yet fluffy scone!
yay!! You’re reminding me that I need to make these again soon!! Thanks Rebecca