These delicious vegan cheese scones are so light and 'buttery' no-one will believe they are vegan! A tang of mustard and dairy-free cheese makes them the perfect teatime treat or accompaniment to a steaming bowl of soup.
A cheese scone is one of life's simple pleasures. With a bowl of soup, or just a cup of tea, there's something about them that seems greater than the sum of their parts - for a mixture of flour, fat, cheese and milk they are incredibly more-ish, (especially whilst still warm from the oven).
And of course there's no reason why vegans should miss out on this teatime treat, especially as dairy-free 'cheeses' in supermarkets are improving all the time. These vegan cheese scones would definitely pass a blind taste test against the 'real deal'.
The most important thing to remember when making scones is to work the dough as little as possible. It is the exact opposite of breadmaking, where lots of kneading makes for an excellent loaf.
With scones, you want to rub the fat into the flour, add the flavourings, then bring it together into a dough by adding liquid, still using just your hands.
As soon as it has come together, tip it out onto the surface, and use your rolling pin as little as possible to flatten it out, and just tap the cutter through the dough (not twisting or turning), and place on your baking tray. This 'leave it alone' approach feels a bit counter-intuitive but really is the best thing you can do to get superb scones.
📝 What you need
Dairy-free block margarine Do make sure you use a good quality block margarine, rather than a tub of spread. It has a much lower water content than spread, which is really important for a scone dough like this. My current favourites are the new Flora Plant Butter and Naturli Vegan Block.
Vegan cheese Even if you're not a fan of vegan cheese on its own, do give this recipe a try! My favourite cheeses to use here are a mixture of cheddar-style (something like Violife Epic Mature or Applewood Smoked Vegan), mixed with a vegan parmesan (Violife Prosociano is the easiest to find in supermarkets),
Dairy-free milk I tend to use unsweetened soya in baking as it has the highest protein content of any of the plant milks, but any other plant milk will work fine. I would steer clear of anything with a strong flavour like coconut or hazelnut, and make sure it is unsweetened.
Self-raising flour If you don't have any self-raising flour to hand, you can use plain flour with 1.5 teaspoon baking powder to make your own.
Mustard powder This gives a superb flavour to the scones. If you can't find any in your local supermarket, you could either use a teaspoon of mustard instead (it will give a slight vinegar taste which is why I specify the powder, but nothing too overpowering). Or just leave it out, or try paprika or half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead for a slightly spicier twist.
There are all sorts of ways to mix up this recipe to make them different every time. How about...
- Make them spicy Stir through 2 tablespoon chopped jalapeños just before bringing together the dough for a spicy twist. I also love to add half a teaspoon of cayenne powder which adds a sort of 'cheesy' spice in the background too.
- Make them olive-y One of my favourite additions is some chopped green or kalamata olives through the dough - such a great pairing with the cheese.
- Make them mini Use a tiny pastry cutter to make mini scones and top with vegan cheese and chutney with chopped chives as a perfect vegan canapé.
❄️ Can I freeze my cheese scones?
Absolutely! These freeze really well so you can make up a double batch, pop them in a bag in the freezer and just defrost one every time you're tucking into a bowl of soup, or just fancy a teatime treat!
For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
"Brilliant! Chock full of easy recipes and great tips and advice" Hello! Magazine
⭐️ Reader Testimonials
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "I can’t believe how AMAZING these scones taste!! My first batch came out of the oven literally 10 minutes ago and I’m already thinking about when I’m going to make more!" Becca
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Just made your vegan cheese scones they are the best I've ever done. Next to try your vegan mince pies. Yum 🤗" Tracey
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Best vegan scone recipe I’ve tried and so simple too." Ashley
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Vegan Cheese Scones
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 50 g dairy-free block margarine
- 125 g vegan cheese (I used 50g vegan 'parmesan' and 75g vegan 'cheddar', but use whatever you have handy)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
- 60 ml dairy-free milk unsweetened
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Grease a baking tray with dairy-free margarine.
- Tip the flour into a large bowl. Cut the margarine into small squares or chunks and add to the bowl.
- Rub the margarine in to the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Grate the cheese into the bowl and add the salt, mustard powder and chives, then toss through the flour mixture to combine evenly.
- Add the milk and mix, then add cold water little by little (just a tablespoon at a time) until the mixture comes together into a dough. Try to work it as little as possible, just bring it together then leave it alone!
- Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, then gently roll it with a rolling pin until it is about 1.5cm thick, (about the thickness of your finger, if you don't have a ruler handy).
- Use a pastry cutter to cut out as many scones as you can from the dough and place them on the greased baking tray. Then re-roll the offcuts and keep going until all the dough has been used up.
- Brush the tops of the scones with a little dairy-free milk, (don't brush the sides as this will stop them rising), then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. These are at their best still warm from the oven, but also freeze well so why not make a double batch and keep some for a rainy day!