Skill Level: Intermediate | Time: 35 minutes | Servings: 8 large scones
These vegan cheese scones are buttery, flaky, soft and delicious. Made with chives and shredded vegan cheese, this tasty pastry is something you don’t want to miss! Plus, this savory vegan scone recipe can be customized with a variety of add-ins.
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Are Scones Vegan?
Traditional scones are not vegan. they often contain butter, other dairy ingredients and eggs. However, with a few simple substitutions, scones can easily be made vegan!
Start by replacing milk with a plant-based alternative. Then, replace eggs with ground flaxseeds. Vegan butter is often easy to find and an ideal replacement!
You don’t have to miss out on savory baked goods just because you’re vegan. This recipe shows you how to make quick and relatively easy cheese and chive scones.
Ingredients to Make Vegan Cheese Scones
This scone recipe follows typical non-vegan scone instructions just with vegan substitutions for dairy products and eggs. These are not your average dry, hard scones. They are much more like a biscuit because of their soft, buttery and flaky texture.
To make this recipe you need:
- All-purpose flour: all-purpose flour is basic white flour that creates light, soft scones.
- Salt: since these are savory scones, salt brings out the flavors of other ingredients and makes sure the scones aren’t too sweet.
- Baking powder: baking powder is essential for the scones to rise and become light and flaky.
- Vegan butter: use a good vegan butter substitute for this recipe. Margarine won’t work, so select a vegan butter (I use Earth Balance as it’s easy to find!).
- Ground flaxseed: ground flaxseed mixed with water creates a lovely gel that adds moisture to the scones and helps hold the dough together. It’s a fantastic egg replacement.
- Lemon juice: Some lemon juice brightens the final product with fresh flavor and acid.
- Soy milk: soy milk is a great replacement for dairy milk in scones as it contains fat and protein to create the perfect texture.
- Sugar: despite this being a savory vegan scone recipe, sugar is needed. Sugar acts as a wet ingredient, providing moisture and softness to the scones. Don’t worry, the scones don’t taste sweet once balanced by salt, vegan cheese and chives!
- Vegan cheese shreds: this is the key ingredient for vegan cheese scones! You can use any shredded vegan cheese; it doesn’t even need to be a brand that melts particularly well if you enjoy the flavor.
- Chives: chives are optional for this recipe but add savory flavor and some green color for a pretty final scone!
Why this Recipe Works: Frozen Grated Butter
The key to making this scone recipe flaky is to use frozen grated butter. Cold butter is essential to a good scone or biscuit.
The colder the butter is when the scones go into the oven, the better the texture will be. To achieve this, I find it easiest to use frozen butter. Frozen butter is too hard to cut into flour using a fork or knife, but grating the frozen butter works perfectly.
Grating also ensures small pieces of butter evenly distribute throughout the dough, creating a more even texture.
The alternative is to cut cold vegan butter into the flour, then chill the scones before baking. You could either refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or place into a freezer for 10-15 minutes.
How to Make Cheese Scones Vegan: Instructions and Video Tutorial
Making cheese scones vegan is a simple process but may intimidate people who’ve never cut butter into flour or made a biscuit recipe before. Check out this video that walks you through the process.
Step 1: Freeze the Butter
You’ll need to start this recipe by placing a quality vegan butter into the freezer. Allow it to freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2: Preheat the Oven and Prep Ingredients
Sometimes you can get away with putting food into the oven before it’s hot, but this does not work for scones. The oven absolutely must be fully heated (to 350 F) before the scones go in.
This allows for the butter to melt right away. As the butter melts and becomes hotter, the water content evaporates, creating all those flaky, soft layers!
Before starting this recipe, it’s very helpful to have the ingredients prepped. Measure them ahead of time (or gather the ingredients with measuring cups and spoons at a minimum). When working with cold butter, it’s extremely helpful to be ready.
This is also a great time to dice chives and grate cheese if needed.
Step 3: Make a Flaxseed “Egg”
Next, mix a flaxseed “egg” by stirring together 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 5 tbsp water and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
Set this mixture aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. It will thicken and create a gel that acts in place of eggs.
Flaxseed eggs are typically made by just adding water, but the lemon juice brightens the flavors in these savory scones. Just note the lemon has nothing to do with making the “egg” and is just for added flavor!
Set 4: Mix Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder. Use the scoop-and-level method for measuring flour.
This means you’ll spoon flour into your measuring cup until it’s slightly heaping over the edges. Then take the back edge of a knife (or other flat surface) and scrape any excess flour (level it) so you have a perfectly measured unpacked cup!
Step 5: Grate Butter and Cut into Dry Ingredients
Now that your vegan butter is frozen, it’s time to grate it. Take a large piece of frozen butter and, using a box grater on the largest grating side, grate the butter. Try to work as quickly (and safely) as you can to keep the butter cold.
After the butter is grated, measure it by lightly packing grated butter into the measuring cup. The recipe calls for ½ C grated butter. That means grating the butter BEFORE measuring it (not measuring ½ C butter then grating it which creates more than ½ C grated butter).
Continuing to move quickly, add the grated butter into the dry ingredients and cut it in. If you have a pastry cutter you can use it; otherwise, a fork or two knives should do the trick!
The purpose of cutting butter into flour is to create small pieces of butter that are nicely coated. There will be chunks of butter and that’s perfect! This butter will become trapped in the dough and melt in the oven to create delicious, flaky and buttery scone layers!
Since the butter is grated, there isn’t too much cutting work to do because the butter is already in small pieces.
The mixture at this point is still primarily dry flour. A ball of dough will not form at this time.
Step 6: Stir in Wet Ingredients + Add-Ins
Add the flaxseed “egg”, soy milk and sugar to the flour-butter mix. Stir together until mostly combined.
When the dough is mostly mixed, but there’s still some dry flour, toss in the shredded vegan cheese and chopped chives (prepared earlier). Continue stirring until the cheese and chives are spread evenly and there’s no dry flour. Stop stirring at this point; you do not want to overmix.
At this point in the video I switch to using my hand to stir the dough together. This is because it’s quite a thick mixture, but I don’t recommend using your hand as the dough is far too sticky and you’ll waste bits that stick to your hand.
Your hand is also quite warm and can melt the butter which we’re trying so hard to keep cold! Just work the dough with a spoon and use some muscle if needed!
Step 7: Roll out Dough and Cut Scones
Add a generous layer of flour onto your countertop then bring the dough onto this flour.
Sprinkle some additional flour on top of the dough and roll it out to 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) thick. You could also press the dough down with your hands to get to this thickness.
Cut into 8 large scones or 10 medium scones.
Transfer the cut scones onto a parchment paper (or silicone mat) lined baking tray, then melt the remaining 3 tbsp of vegan butter and brush across the top of each scone.
Step 8: Bake
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Scones don’t brown much, so don’t wait for that as they’ll be way overcooked at that point.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before eating!
Savory Vegan Scones Tips, Substitutions and Variations
This scone dough is extremely versatile and can create several vegan scone variations.
Include up to 1 ½ C of add-ins! You can choose additional savory ingredients like vegan ham, jalapeno peppers, vegan cheeses, green onion, nutritional yeast (no more than 2 tbsp since it’s a dry ingredient) or vegan bacon bits.
If you want a sweet scone, try adding diced dates, blueberries, dry fruit or whatever else you’d enjoy in a soft, buttery scone.
How to Store Scones: Refrigerating and Freezing this Recipe
This vegan cheese scone recipe can be made in advance and frozen. There are two options for freezing this recipe:
- Freeze fully cooked scones: after baking, allow the scones to cool completely. Once cooled, freeze in an air-tight container, ideally in plastic wrap to keep them fresh. Cooked scones can last in the freezer up to 4 months.
- Freeze raw scone dough: if you want to bake the scones later, scone dough can be frozen. I recommend rolling out and cutting the scones before freezing. Separate the uncooked scones using parchment paper or plastic wrap before freezing. You can cook scone dough from frozen, just add 5-8 minutes to the cook time.
Scones can be kept on the counter in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or up to 7 days in the fridge.
What add-ins will you include when making these cheese scones? Are you sticking to the recipe or trying something more adventurous? Tag me @lettucevegout on social media so I can see your epic baking results and interact with you personally!
Vegan Cheese Scones with Chives
- Large bowl
- Box grater
- Fork or pastry cutter
- Baking tray
- Silicone baking mat
- Before starting this recipe, make sure the vegan butter is frozen (in the freezer for at least 2 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Mix 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 5 tbsp water. Set aside. This creates a “flax egg”.
- In a large bowl, mix 2 C all-purpose flour, ½ tsp salt and 1 tbsp baking powder.
- Using a box grater, shred some vegan butter. After it’s shredded, measure out ½ C and lightly pack the butter into the measuring cup.
- Cut the cold butter into the flour using either a pastry cutter or a fork. The goal is to break up the butter into small, flour-coated pieces. There’s a large amount of flour compared to butter, so the final texture is slightly crumbly but mostly still dry flour (dough won’t start to form).
- Next, add the flax egg with ½ C soy milk and ¼ C sugar. Stir until mostly combined.
- Add 1 C vegan cheese shreds and ¼ C chopped fresh chives to the bowl and stir until all the flour is mixed in (no dry spots) and the cheese and chives are mixed throughout. Do not over stir; stop as soon as it’s mixed through.
- Lightly dust a surface with flour and scoop out the dough. Lightly coat the top of the dough with additional flour.
- Roll out the dough to a 1-inch thick circle (using a rolling pin or just press with flour-coated hands).
- Cut into 8 large scones.
- Transfer to a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking tray.
- Melt the remaining 3 tbsp vegan butter and brush across the tops of the scones.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before eating!