Often I have friends that send me recipes to try out or ask if I could make something for them. Scones are an especially popular request. Last week I received a request for scones, and not just my wonderful and tasty apricot scones or cheddar & bacon scones. Carrot Cake Scones.
Naturally I said I could make them. They are scones after all. And I am always up to trying new variations.
While I took stock of the ingredients I made a startling realization. I could not recall a single point in my life where I had tried carrot cake before. Which meant I had no idea what the scones were supposed to taste like when done. I had no reference. Over dinner with another couple I asked them if they liked carrot cake. The response was essentially, “Yes, even if it tends to be a bit on the dry side.”
In my mind that meant the scones already had a strike against them, given my complete dislike of dry scones, however, since I promised I would make them I was still going to do a trial run before sending a batch off to the requester.
From the onset I only made a few changes to the recipe. I replaced half a cup of regular flour with cake flour – which necessitated a slightly longer baking time (by about 10 minutes give or take – was gauging by sight and toothpick) and I used a tablespoon or so extra of buttermilk in addition to the stated amount.
I didn’t actually shred the carrots the way I think the recipe actually intended either as I used a potato peeler instead of a grater. And I am certain that my fingers are grateful for this. I could have simply purchased shredded carrots and then chopped them finer if I was concerned about consistency, but to be honest I didn’t think about this when I picked up the ingredients.
These were also the first scones I made with an icing. A cream cheese icing. At one point I was almost convinced that the scones were simply a way to not feel guilty for simply eating the icing with a spoon. (Oddly enough it reminded me a little of the icing on Cinnabon cinnamon rolls in flavor, since I am allergic to something in their icing it was a pleasant surprise to have this and my lips NOT go numb.)
My changes to the recipe created a dense yet moist scone that are quite tasty. The only thing I would change the next time I made them for myself is to omit the ginger – for me it is a jarring flavor competing with the rest of the flavors.
Carrot Cake Scones
2 1/2 cups (13 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (2 1/3 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup grated carrots, squeezed between two paper towels to get out excess moisture
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup diced candied ginger
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease pan with butter. (I just sprayed it with some Pam.)
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter until it is the size of peas. Add buttermilk and stir until dough forms. Stir in carrots, raisins, walnuts, and ginger. Pat dough evenly into prepared pan. Score top lightly with a knife to make 8 wedges. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to completely.
For Icing: In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add milk by the tablespoon if too thick, until desired spreadable consistency is reached. Cut scones along score marks then top with icing.