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Vegan Edinburgh Fruit Scones (Perfect For Afternoon Tea)

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Vegan Edinburgh fruit scones are an old-fashioned Scottish bake that originates in the beautiful capital city of Edinburgh.

Soft, crumbly, and sweetened with delicious currants these scones are perfect to enjoy with a nice cup of tea, coffee or glass of chilled oat milk.

Edinburgh fruit scones on circle cooling rack, with baking tray and one scone and spatula in distance, tartan background.

Quick Origin of Scones

Scones have a long history and evolved from the flatter quick bread that was prepared with oats and cooked on an open griddle during the 1500s in Scotland. This type of bread is termed a bannock and is a no-yeast bread, often containing wheat flour, water and some kind of fat.

Many recipes for bannock are flavoured with dried fruit such as raisins, currants or sultanas. Modern day bannocks are like a large flatter scone that is served just like a scone but divided into triangles or sliced into individual portions.

Some believe that the scone is named after the Scottish stone of destiny which is also know as the stone of scone. This sacred stone was where Scottish kings of old were coronated and officially made kings.

The practice of partaking in scones for afternoon tea is said to have begun with the Duchess of Bedford, England during the 1800s. The duchess was hungry at 4pm in the afternoon so the servants brought her some sweetbreads and scones along with her usual cup of tea. The afternoon treat with tea and scones became an everyday event and so the English afternoon tea was born.

Scones received a literal boost when baking powder was invented by Alfred Bird in 1843 which allowed the scone to rise, become softer and lighter.

Growing up in Scotland afternoon tea was not an actual occurrence with my family and I was unaware of its existence! However, somehow the practice is now part of my own family’s traditional which my older kids especially love. Who doesn’t love a cup of tea or coffee with a comforting scone freshly baked from the oven?

Vegan Edinburgh fruit scones

Vegan Edinburgh Fruit Scones

I lived in Edinburgh for many years with my family and loved all the wee bakeries and cafes that showed of wonderful bakery delights.

However, back then plant-based and vegan options where few and far between. But on more recent visits there are thankfully many vegan options in Edinburgh to enjoy.

Although, a good traditional vegan scone can be difficult to source so I have developed a tasty old-fashioned Edinburgh scone.

This recipe results in a satisfying rustic looking scone that is soft, light, crumbly, not too sweet and perfect with some vegan spread and a slather of jam.

If your feeling fancy add some vegan thick cream and enjoy with a cup of tea for a Scottish afternoon tea experience.

But don’t forget the cucumber sandwiches and to stick your pinkies out when your drinking your tea!

Fruit scones in long wicker basket, with white lining, tartan background.

How To Make Scones Step By Step

Vegan Edinburgh Fruit Scones Recipe Notes

Do you have any pro tips for making the best fruit scones?

* Make sure your vegan margarine is cold before rubbing it into the flour. 

* Work the scone dough as lightly as possible! Take care to not over mix or knead the dough too much. It should only be kneaded for a few seconds.

* When adding the milk add a tbsp at a time and use an ordinary cutlery metal knife to mix or similar.

* Never use a rolling pin to roll out your scone dough. Just gently pat down with your hands.

* When stamping out rounds of scones with a biscuit cutter don’t twist the cutter as you lift the scone up. Just gently shoogle the cutter up and down and pull away the scone mix from outside the cutter.

* Dip the biscuit cutter in flour between each scone to help the scone shift out the cutter easily.

* Try not to get the sides of your scone wet with too much milk when you glaze the top. And just glaze the top.

* Scones are best baked in a hot oven for a short time.

This might seem like a lot of tips to remember but once you’ve prepared scones a few times they are a lot easier to bake. I promise! And they are so worth the extra thought.

How do I store Edinburgh fruit scones?

Store these fruit scones in a covered container or cake tin for 3-4 days.

Or freeze for 4-6 months, and pull out one or two scones whenever you feel like one. They should only need a few hours to defrost completely on your work surface, not the fridge.

My fruit scone has gone a little dry or stale after a few days can I still eat it?

Of course!

Your scones will be at their freshest for 1-2 days.

After the 2nd day your scone may be perfectly fine but if stale then simply stick it back in a warm oven for a few minutes to revive and refresh. your scone will be as good as newly baked and any vegan butter or margarine spread over will melt and be delicious.

Or slice and toast your scones, which I love to do for a quick breakfast.

I have some leftover vegan buttermilk after preparing Edinburgh scones, what can I do with it?

This scone recipe can be easily doubled and I often do this if I want large scones or just more scones but often I have leftover buttermilk.

So sometimes I use the buttermilk to prepare some traditional Scottish pancakes which is a simple and easy recipe. Just add extra plant milk so that you have the correct amount for the recipe, and add an extra two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, as the pancakes require one tablespoon in total.

The pancakes can be frozen until needed and are tasty for breakfast, supper or even an afterschool snack.

A few extra ideas:

* use for a bread recipe. I have a bread machine and many recipes call for milk so I just add plant milk, but this milk can be substituted for the leftover buttermilk

* use some to mash potatoes

* measure the buttermilk and then freeze it until you need it

Fruit scones in long wicker basket, with white lining, tartan background.

Vegan Edinburgh Fruit Scone

Print Recipe
Enjoy a traditional Scottish bake that originates in the bakeries and cafes of the capital city of bonny Edinburgh.
Perfect with a cup of tea and some cucumber sandwiches for a tasty Scottish afternoon tea!
Course Afternoon tea, Party, pudding, Snack
Cuisine British, Scottish
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Servings 6
Calories 311
Author Jacq


  • Baking tray/ parchment paper if necessary
  • Biscuit cutter about 7cm diameter


Basic scone recipe

  • 285 grams self-raising flour (2 cups plus 3 tbsp) Sieved
  • 2 tsp baking powder Sieved
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar or use date/coconut sugar if preferred.
  • 57 grams plant-based margarine (4 tbsp) I use dairy-free Vitalite.
  • 1 pinch salt

For the filling

  • 110 grams dried fruit (¾ cup)

For the plant-based buttermilk

  • 250 ml plant-based milk (1 cup) Plus extra if needed
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 200 Fan/ 220 Celsius/ 428 Fahrenheit / gas 7.

To prepare the plant buttermilk

  • Add the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the plant milk and mix well.
    Set aside until needed.

Prepare the scones

  • Add the flour, baking powder, and sugar to a bowl.
    Tip in the plant-based margarine and using just your fingertips rub the margarine into the flour mix.
    Its done when the margarine is incorporated and the mix looks like breadcrumbs
  • Mix through the dried fruit.
  • Add a tbsp of plant buttermilk at a time and mix.
    You may need between 8-10 tbsp to achieve a dough.
  • Once a dough has nearly formed tip the dough onto a floured surface and gently work it together to a ball.
    It may be slightly sticky but that's ok.
    If its too dry and crumbly wet your hands with a little plant milk and try form the dough ball.
    Or sprinkle some plant milk over and work to a ball.
  • Gently pat the dough into a circular shape. For large scones just pat down until the dough is about 2 1/2 cm high or just under an inch.
    For smaller scones pat down to about 1/2 inch thick/1 1/2 cm.
    Measurements are just rough estimates so don't get to bogged down trying to achieve perfection!
  • If you want taller scones then they have to be quite tall going into the oven.
  • Place scones on a floured baking tray or use parchment paper if necessary to prevent sticking.
  • Lightly glaze the top of your scones with the leftover plant buttermilk.
    If you don't have much buttermilk left just use the drips or remnants left on the sides of your jug.
    A pastry brush is helpful here! But clean finger tips can also do the job!
    If you don't have enough plant buttermilk just use some extra plant milk.
  • Bake on the middle shelf or one shelf under your highest shelf, for about 10-14 minutes.
    I have a fan oven so smaller scones generally take around 10 minutes and larger scones about 12-13 minutes. Although fan ovens bake faster so other ovens may take a few minutes longer.
  • Scones will be ready when they smell lovely, have risen, are lightly golden brown and brown on the underside as well.
  • Enjoy hot from the oven or cold.


  • Its generally advised that fruit scones are best eaten the day they are baked.  However I have discovered that the flavour and texture of the scone can be better the next day. Scones will be good for up to 3-4 days.
  • For stale scones just toast and enjoy. Or re-heat in a hot oven for a few minutes. So good.
  • Scones cope well with being frozen for up to 3-4 months but possibly longer if well wrapped.
  • Add any variety of dried fruit to your scones. Such as just sultanas, or currants or raisins. Or a mix of all. Traditional Edinburgh scones would have commonly used currants.
  • Don’t like dried fruit? Just leave them out and maybe add some grated lemon or orange peel for a citrusy scone.
  • Love cherry scones? Add some chopped glace cherries in place of the dried fruit.
  • Edinburgh fruit scones are tasty for breakfast, mid-morning snack, afternoon tea or supper. Or anytime you fancy one.
  • Plain or fruit scones can be served with a wedge of vegan cheese on the side for a rustic lunch. Add some grapes or cherry tomatoes. Lovely for a picnic lunch.
  • Want to prepare a double batch? Simply double the ingredients, but only use 1 tablespoon of baking powder rather than 4 teaspoons as too much baking powder can affect the flavour. 


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 452IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 1mg

Want more traditional vegan bakes?

Try these vegan classic British traditional chocolate flapjacks. Always a family favourite and ideal for lunchboxes and morning snack breaks.

And a slice of old-fashioned vegan fruit loaf cake. So good with a nice cup of tea.

This Scottish border tart (Eyemouth tart) is a perfect alternative to Christmas mince pies. So fruity and nutty.

24 thoughts on “Vegan Edinburgh Fruit Scones (Perfect For Afternoon Tea)”

  1. 5 stars
    We had these Christmas morning while opening presents. They are delicious. We have been vegan for many years and I’m very glad to have found your recipes. Thank you so much!

    1. Your very welcome! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. So glad your family enjoyed the scones especially at such a special moment as Christmas morning. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Great with morning coffee. I tried them last weekend for the first time and getting ready to bake my next batch. Super quick and easy to make – very tastey. I did have to bake them for an extra 4 min – will try raise the temp on the oven this time. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Your very welcome. So glad you enjoyed the Edinburgh scones. Thanks for letting me know how you got on. Yeah it just depends on your oven as cooking time can vary slightly. I have a fan oven so my scones are ready faster. Speaking of scones I’m just going to prepare another batch for my afternoon coffee! 🙂

    1. Lovely! I’m sure your family will love these Edinburgh scones. The scones are surely a bite of Scottish history and culture 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Oh wow! My hubby and son absolutely loved this recipe! So delicious and very yummy! Excited to make these again very soon!

    1. Thanks! I love these wee rustic looking scones. Just how they would be a hundred years ago in a cosy Scottish kitchen with an open fire going:)

  4. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious! And I must say this might be the quickest and easiest scones recipe I’ve ever come across with. Might try it this weekend. Thank you for sharing this!

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