Scones (gluten free / low carb)

Scones (gluten free / low carb)

Having stable blood sugars is something many people living with diabetes dream of. Not having to think about the carbs in foods; being able to be spontaneous and just indulge in delicious treats or drinks without so much as a second thought. But, as a type one diabetic (of 17 years), not giving the food I eat a second thought is impossible.

Following a lower carb lifestyle makes the management of my blood sugars, alongside the insulin I inject, more stable. I have fewer highs and very few hypo’s which are slow drops rather than great plunging ones, like they used to be when I followed a “normal” diet (mostly higher carb, low fat) of eat “anything I wanted because I had insulin”. While this might work for some people living with diabetes, it didn’t for me. It left me with a higher HBA1C, plunging hypos, constant rollercoaster blood sugars, constantly correcting with more insulin, weight fluctuation, infrequent periods, feeling low and resenting my condition and making me turn to food even more as an act of comfort. Oh, and to top it all off, I also had terrible insulin resistance!

I have the fortune of having found ingredients that work alongside insulin to help me maintain a non-diabetic range HBA1C and blood sugars, that 8 years ago I could have only dreamed of. Swapping out a few high carb ingredients with their lower carb contemporaries does make all the difference for my management and so many 1000s of you following my recipes. So here is another!

I made this (along with some normal flour based scones) for the Jubilee weekend. We had some great friends over for a little party in the garden. I made a jam from 1 punnet of strawberries + 2 tsp powdered sweetener. I boiled them up, mashed them and then reduced them until slightly thickened. Popped into a jar and honestly, the most divine jam. Of course, great additions for thickening are adding things like chia seeds or xanthan gum (you will only need 1/4 tsp). The children loved the jam so much that they were eating it out of the jar with a teaspoon. As you can see in the picture Clemmie loved hers!

Anyway, back to the scones. They are so easy to make. Same method as normal ones. They bake very easily and hold together beautifully. They are a little more dough like than normal scones -which I find quite dry and crumbly by comparison. They can be frozen and keep in a tin on the side for 5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days. I have since taken the scones as gifts to two separate events and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Just be mindful of not adding too much milk as you don’t want your batter to be too wet.

Why Xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is a great food additive used within the low carb / gluten free community for baking or thickening sauces. It is fantastic for mimicking gluten in baking and helps to bind ingredients together. A little goes a long way, as you will have seen in the ingredients for this recipe. I really urge that you do use it in this recipe as it binds the scones together beautifully. You can buy it in most supermarkets (£2.65 in Sainsburys) and it is usually found next to the baking powder or in the gluten free aisle.  Also available on Amazon, here.

To be technical, Xanthan Gum is a the coating from a particular bacteria called, Xanthomonas campestris. This bacteria grows a protective coating. Think of it like an orange peel or the skin of an onion. It’s a protective layer. When fed a particular food, this bacteria’s coating becomes very sticky and makes a great binding and thickening agent in baking.

Xanthan Gum is a good substitute for gluten (A binding that is used in wheat). Xanthan Gum helps trap the air bubbles when used in conjunction with baking powder and yeast. It helps thicken liquids as well as preventing baking goods from crumbling by holding them together.

Xanthan gum works well in place of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that some people cannot tolerate). Xanthan gum helps trap the air bubbles created by leavening agents (baking soda, baking powder, yeast) to allow your breads and baked goods to rise. It helps thicken liquids, which is why it is often found in salad dressings and sauces. This thickening action helps hold gluten free baked goods together and keeps them from becoming too crumbly. (Explanation from Groovy Keto)

Do you need to use sweetener?

No, you don’t need to. You can leave it out. I do find that a little sweetener + a pinch of sea salt makes a positive difference to my taste buds. But, not necessary. If you are using sweetener then I really recommend a powdered erythritol by NKD Living. I buy it in 1kg bags from Amazon and it lasts a long time, here.

Can I make cheese scones?

Yes! A fantastic idea. I would suggest adding 60g full fat mature cheddar or a decent parmesan. Adding it in and mixing just before you add the milk. Obviously leave out the sweetener!

Does the scone taste of coconut?

No, not at all. Everyone that has tried them have agreed they cannot taste it. Let me know what you this in the comments.

Devon scones or Cornish?

Well, my husband is from Devon so of course we do it that way! However (uh oh, controversial!), I do think it’s the way that makes the most sense, because, the cream is just acting like a deliciously thick butter- and you’d never put butter on top of jam?! But…whatever works for you!

Low carb scones (gluten free / keto)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious, simple scone recipe. Low in carbs, perfect served with a homemade jam and clotted cream.
Recipe type: dessert, pudding, baking
Serves: 8
  • 100g coconut flour
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 8g xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp powdered sweetener(optional)
  • 35g unsalted butter
  • 180g milk (best if warmed a little)
  • 1 egg, whisked for egg wash
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 350°F.
  2. In to a deep mixing bowl add your dry ingredients, coconut flour, ground almonds, baking powder, sweetener (optional) and xanthan gum.
  3. Add in the butter and using clean hands, rub the butter into the dry ingredients to create a crumb.
  4. Add in the warm milk, little by little. You may not need to use the full 180g milk. Continue to stir until you form a solid dough. One you can mould. If you use too much milk it will be too wet, so be mindful and careful with the amount you use.
  5. Pop some coconut flour on to a clean surface and add the dough. Roll out to approximately 1 inch thick.
  6. Using a scone cutter, cut out and repeat until you have used up all your dough.
  7. Pop an egg into a jar and whisk up. Using your finger or a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the scones.
  8. Pop onto some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until slightly risen (note: no gluten in this, so don't expect a huge rise), golden on top and cooked through.
  9. Keep an eye on them, as you do not want them to burn.
  10. Remove from the oven, pop on a wire wrack to cool. Enjoy slathered in clotted cream and some homemade jam.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 238kcal Carbohydrates: 4g Protein: 8g


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8 thoughts on “Scones (gluten free / low carb)”

  • OK, so this is a general comment, rather than attached to this recipe (which I’m making as we speak!) because I am so inspired by Emma – your wonderful cookbook is brilliant, colourful and enticing!. My family went low carb and cut out sugar in April 2021 simply to be healthier and lose some weight. It’s NOT a diet, it’s a lifestyle as I tell so many people who just don’t get low carb eating! During 2021 my husband and I both lost 1 1/2 stones each & felt amazing! Sadly, a month in Cornwall in the summer of 2021, along with many weekend trips away, socialising with friends and family & weddings meant we fell off the low carb wagon because it’s so hard to eat low carb when you’re on holiday and eating out! We both put on all the weight again! But we’re back on it now. At home, I bake fabulous real yeast rolls, bread, cakes, cookies, scones etc., (although I admit I use Longevity’s special low carb bread and Carbalose as Dr Jerry [Longevity] is another low carb superhero!). We’re not diabetic but having done masses of research, it’s the healthiest way to eat, as high carbs and sugars actually poison the body. Emma’s wonderful book takes pride of place in my kitchen, along with all of Giovanni Caldesi’s low carb cook-books. So, Emma, this is just a general thank you for inspiring me and getting me back on the low carb wagon! Now I’m off to make your scones and jam to take down to our Cornish home.

    • Oh Heather! What a message. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. Your honesty is incredibly refreshing. Low(er) carb can be a bit of a struggle to jump back onto esp if you’ve “fallen off the wagon”…but as soon as you’ve done 24 hours it’s easy to be back into the swing of things. For me, as soon as I start eating higher carb I immediately feel unwell as it has such a negative effect on my blood sugars. It’s funny how much of an impact food can have on our bodies and mind. You seem to have all the tools and know exactly what to do, I hope the scones were a success and you have a wonderful time in Cornwall, I am very jealous! It is my favourite place to explore, so say hello to the sea from me! Emma xx

    • Hi, approx 4g carbs per scone. I always suggest checking your ingredients especially if you have diabetes, just in case. I used almond milk. Emma x

  • Lovely scones and very easy to make! I rustled them up after work I’m not time! Kept my sugar levels very stable as well!

    • Thank you so much for letting me know. Thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Emma x

  • Sadly these didn’t work for me, were hard and more like biscuits. Suggest making them much thicker than normal scones might make them more scone- like.

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