Strawberry Scone Short Cakes, Gluten Free


A good scone can make you whimper with happiness. And I’m not the only one who thinks that. Julia Child not only whimpered when eating a scone made by Marion Cunningham, she almost swooned right in front of the camera. Watch right here (pop forward about 8 minutes in).

Way back when Baking with Julia was published, we bought the book and immediately made Marion Cunningham’s buttermilk scone recipe. It was every bit as delicious as we thought. Later, I worked on revising the recipe to GF with mixed results. It was good but not quite the same. I’m sure you know what I mean. The same only very different.

But this recent version makes us happy. You will need to find some Saco Buttermilk Powder (it is excellent stuff and easy to locate in most markets). And I highly recommend you order some Penzey’s Powdered California Lemon Peel. Its addition really aids in the kicking up the flavor and it has so many uses – it won’t go to waste. Penzey’s is a great place for herbs and spices – not only are the prices reasonable but everything is exceptionally fresh.

The less you work the dough, the better the scone. When you work in the butter, leave large pieces – don’t work it all in. Resist. When you mix the dough with a fork, do that just until it comes together, almost. Again, resist making it look smooth. You can bring it together with your hands when you knead it. And when you knead it, pretend it is not bread dough, but a soft little bunny that you don’t want to crush. Seriously. Light touch. Just until it holds together. It’ll still be slightly sticky, but that’s gluten-free dough – always sticky-ish. Resist adding more flour.

The best way to shape these is to pat it into a squat rectangle and cut into 9 pieces.  Or you can use a 3 inch circle cutter.

Make sure to give your berries time to get all mushy and friendly with their flavorings. The flavor tastes best after at least a few hours marinating in the booze and sugar. Save some fresh berries for decorating the top if you want.

The best part? You can make these scones in the morning in no time at all, eat a couple with your early morning high-test coffee and save the rest for dessert with berries.  A two-fer recipe is always a good thing. Especially if you get to have some whipped cream and berries with one of them. Or both. I’m not judging.


Strawberry Scone Short Cakes, Gluten Free
  • 360 grams GF AP flour (about 3 cups spooned lightly) plus more for dusting the parchment when patting out scone dough (if needed)(180 g superfine brown rice flour, 90 g each superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch/flour)
  • 75 grams sugar (about ⅓ cup)
  • 60 grams Saco Powdered Buttermilk (about ⅓ cup)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel powder (Penzey's)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 140 grams unsalted butter, cold and cubed (5 oz.)
  • 170 grams buttermilk (about ¾ cup)
  • zest of two lemons
Scone Topping
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons Demerara or Large crystal sugar
  • 2 pints strawberries, sliced
  • about ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • about 2 tablespoons Framboise or Grand Marnier
Whipped Cream
  • 1 pint heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk to combine flour, sugar, buttermilk powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon peel powder. Add the egg white and stir with a fork. Add cold, cubed butter and work into the mixture with your finger tips just until it looks like coarse peas. Let large chunks of butter remain. Make a well and add buttermilk and lemon zest. Using a fork work the liquid into the mixture just until combined. Knead in the bowl just a little bit until it feels like it is well combined. The less you work the dough, the flakier the scone will be. Drop the dough ball onto a sheet of parchment. Pat into a small rectangle about 1.5 inches tall. Using 3 inch round cutter, make as many scones as possible. Or just form a rectangle and cut into 9 pieces. Place on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment about 1 inch apart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 12-14 minutes or until the top and edges look golden brown. Cool.
  1. Mix sliced berries, sugar and liqueur together. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours and overnight is even better.
Whipped Cream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer whip the cream, sugar and vanilla on medium low until blended and it thickens slightly. Turn mixer to high and whip until soft peaks form. Watch carefully so you don't make sweet butter instead of whipped cream.
  1. Cut scones in half. Place bottom half in a bowl or shallow dish. Top with berries, berry juice and then a generous dollop of whipped cream. Top with the other scone half at a jaunty angle like a hat. Serve with extra berries and whipped cream on the table if you wish.


  1. These look delish! I made your lemon scones last week (except I made orange instead of lemon) and they exceeded every expectation I had.

    Can I put in a recipe request? Beer bread? Every attempt I’ve made has ended up in disaster. I know using ratio I’d have better luck, so I figured you’d be the perfect person to ask.

  2. Those scones look so pretty and delicious!

  3. Wow, those look incredible!

  4. I was wondering what AP flour mix you used and whether it has gums in it? Just so I can figure out what to use when I try it. I like to make my own blends with mostly grains (so obviously that will change the results!), and I try not to use gums. Also, I made “mom’s brownies” from your blog. They’re awesome! I used all teff for the grain, and I like it a lot. You get some teff flavor, but it’s good, and the texture is wonderful.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Julie – I don’t use an AP mix. And most of the time, no gums. The flours are typically listed in each recipe and are usually superfine brown rice flour, superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch. I just updated the scones so you should be able to see what I used. Hope that helps. Glad you liked the brownies.

  5. Will Jules’s Nearly Normal Flour work for this or do I need to make a flour blend from scratch? My husband is demanding strawberry shortcake 🙂 Thanks!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Meg. It is strawberry season! Jules flour will behave differently than the mix in the recipe because its components are not the same. The texture will be different but all you can do is give it a try.


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