Thursday, June 20, 2013

Better Than Starbucks Cinnamon Scones

Homemade Starbucks Cinnamon Scones (copycat recipe)

Among coffee drinkers, there seems to be a really clear divide in opinion regarding Starbucks. People seem to either love it and go there religiously, or hate it and avoid it like the plague. Where do you stand on this important issue of our time?

Homemade Starbucks Cinnamon Scones (copycat recipe)

Me, I'm pro-Starbucks, but it has nothing to do with the coffee. I used to hate them and avoid them whenever possible until I started my current job, which requires me to travel on a semi-regular basis. When you're traveling, especially for work, the last thing you want to be stuck with is terrible food. I also have an irrational fear of getting food poisoning from unknown restaurants, but that's a different story. Starbucks is reliable: they always have semi-healthy options, large bottles of water, and Kind Bars, which I have recently become obsessed with. And whenever I have a particularly early flight, and need a jolt of sugar, I can always count on a Starbucks cinnamon chip scone to turn my day around. I adore them, and have to suppress the urge to buy ten one every time I see them in the pastry case.

So, naturally, I wanted to try to make them at home. It has been a work in progress for a long time. There are plenty of copycat recipes out there, but nothing seemed quite right. Plus, it took me awhile to track down cinnamon chips.

But it was well worth the wait because these scones turned out so much better than expected. You know how, often, when you try to recreate a favorite food at home it's never quite as vibrant in taste and texture as the restaurant version? It was the opposite with these.

Homemade Starbucks Cinnamon Scones (copycat recipe)

These scones came out much closer to the buttery, flakey, homemade variety you'd find in a B&B (or, given that I've never been to a B&B, the kind I once saw in a fake B&B on Gilmore Girls), but with the same delicious cinnamon-sugary taste of the mass-produced kind you don't want to admit you adore.

Homemade Starbucks Cinnamon Scones (copycat recipe)

Scones are easy to make, and very forgiving. The one thing you MUST do is to use cold butter, and work it into the dough slowly and gently until it is broken into small (pea-sized) crumbs. Also, don't overwork the dough. "Over" is defined as any more than absolutely necessary. So, as soon as the butter is the right size, move on to the next step.

And don't worry about achieving an even consistency when you add the wet ingredients. Get it about 75% of the way there, and then turn it onto a floured surface where you will knead it 4-5 times to pull everything together. As soon as it adheres, more or less, shape it into a disc, slice it up and bake it. See? Easy as can be. Not at all as intimidating as most people assume scones can be, and actually perfect for beginners. Impress your friends! Trick them into thinking you're a secret pastry chef! Whatever you do, just don't over think, or over knead it, and you'll be in business.

Homemade Starbucks Cinnamon Scones (copycat recipe)

Cinnamon Scones
Adapted from A Kitchen Addiction

For the scones:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for cutting board
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

For the glaze: 
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a cookie sheet with nonstick spray, parchment paper or nonstick pad.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tarter, salt and cinnamon).

Cut in butter, using a pastry cutter or fork until the butter is the size of peas.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and yogurt. Add to the dry mixture and mix until just combined.

Turn dough out onto floured cutting board. Knead a few times to bring the dough together, and shape into a ball. Gently press down to make the dough into a disc, approximately 8-9" in diameter. Use a sharp knife to cut (like a pizza) into eight triangles.

Transfer scones to the prepared baking sheet, making sure to space about 2" apart (they will increase in size as they bake). Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

While the scones are cooling, make the glaze by whisking all ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over completely-cooled scones just before serving and allow the glaze to dry slightly before serving.

Makes eight scones, or four large scones if you prefer. Store the un-glazed scones in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Keep the glaze refrigerated. Or, store the prepared scones in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.


If you're in the mood for a tasty breakfast, give my Cherry Almond Granola a try!

Homemade Cherry Almond Granola

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  1. These look SO good. Perfect really! I am a huge fan of cinnamon chips, and I know I would love these. Awesome recipe! :)

  2. Thanks so much, Colleen! Cinnamon chips are really surprisingly awesome...I hope you like them if you get a chance to make them!

  3. Oh my, look at these scones! And with the cinnamon, pretty perfect! Definitely will be trying to make these soon, thanks!

  4. Cate @ Chez CateyLouJune 26, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    I am a Starbucks lover for sure. These look exactly like the ones from sbux! I can't wait to try out the recipe - the scones tempt me almost every morning.

  5. Delicious! I used a vanilla bean Greek yogurt and also added a Tbsp or so of milk and formed dough into loose round biscuit shapes which made 12 scones.

  6. I was basically trying to avoid washing more things and didn't want to knead/turn out dough;)

  7. Your adjustments sound wonderful! I'll bet the vanilla yogurt made the flavor of the scones that much more robust. And I love any adjustment that minimizes the time and effort needed to make great food!

  8. These scones are absolutely delightful! I didn't have WW flour so just used AP flour, and they still turned out great. When the scones were still warm, the middle was soft and cakey. However, the next day, they adopted the crumbly (yet still moist) signature scone texture that I love. I didn't do the glaze, and honestly didn't miss it! Great recipe, so thank you for sharing!

  9. I'm so glad you liked them Julie! I will have to try these without the glaze next time. And I'm sure they were just unbelievably light without the WW flour . Great tip about letting them rest overnight to develop their "scone-iness". Definitely one to keep in mind.

  10. These are absolutely delicious! I made them for company and they inhaled them. Thank you for sharing recipe!

  11. Thanks for letting me know Julie! I'm so excited that you and your company liked them so much. Inhaling is the sincerest form of flattery!!

  12. These look absolutely delicious!! I live in Europe, and we don't have cinnamon chips here, is there a substitution for it?Love to hear from you!!

  13. Hi Darlene! I'm so glad you asked that question. In case you can't find cinnamon chips either at your local store or online (I actually found mine on Amazon), you can actually make your own!

    I admit I have never tried it myself, but I have seen several recipes for a DIY version that seem simple and straightforward. I would recommend starting with this one:

    Please let me know how it goes!

  14. I recently made these and they are FANTASTIC! So, so good. Way better than Starbucks' version! :)

  15. Wow, thank you, Colleen! I actually just opened my feed reader and saw these a few minutes ago, and wondered what recipe you used. I am so thrilled that you liked them!!

  16. These are AH-mazing. Maybe the best scone I've never made...and I make a lot of scones because I love them. I used all white wheat flour and probably because of that I had to add two tablespoons of milk to get the dough consistency correct. Didn't have any confectioner's sugar on hand, so I made some with honey granules in the blender. Worked great. :-)

  17. Thank you so much Stacy! What a huge compliment! Great job adapting them to the white whole wheat flour, and I love your idea of using honey granules instead of confectioner's sugar. I will definitely have to check that out. So glad you enjoyed these!

  18. Just made these like thirty seconds ago! They are the first scones I have ever made, and they are beyond excellent. This is a wonderful recipe, and in the interest of having them more often, I plan on spreading it around as much as possible! :)
    Thank you!

  19. I'm so thrilled these were such a success, Mikayla! Thanks for giving the recipe a shot! Enjoy! :)

  20. THANK YOU for this recipe! The cinnamon chip scone at Starbucks was the first scone I've ever had and I fell in love immediately. Finally found cinnamon chips in my neck of the woods - I ended up making 16 small ones because I am diabetic, and well, I could eat them all! So good - thanks!

  21. You are so welcome!! I'm thrilled to hear that these scones were such a success for you, and yes I totally agree that they are so dangerously delicious :)

    If you are looking for sugar-free, diabetic-friendly recipes, you might find some additional recipes you like on my other blog A Clean Bake ( No cinnamon scones, yet, though, I'm afraid! :)

  22. Thanks, I'll check out that site. I actually subbed in flax milk for the yogurt, and made 16 mini scones instead of 8 - the stats ended up being 166 calories each and 20 grams of carbs, not bad!

  23. That's great to know! Sounds like the mini scones are the way to go!

  24. Made these last night - WOW! I did all the mixing in my food processor and they turned out fantastic even without the glaze. I stuck them in the freezer for after baby comes in a few weeks :) Grand slam recipe, thank you!

  25. I'm thrilled to hear that they were such a success for you, Tiffany! I can only imagine that you will need quick, yummy snacks very soon. Congratulations on your new baby!!


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