Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean SconesYou know how sometimes parents will go to Starbucks and get themselves a coffee and then get their kid, like, a treat. Like a cake pop or something? Well, I might have been inclined to do something like that when my son was just a wee thing, but … no gluten free cake pops. And no two-bite, light and sweet Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones.

Have you ever had one of the Starbucks Petite Vanilla Bean Scones? Oh, my. They’re good. Starbucks does know how to serve up a baked treat like nobody’s business. Let’s make our own, k? I wasn’t gonna buy my kid one from Starbucks for, like, a million bucks anyway. And since my new new cookbook is all about copycat recipes, it’s good for me to flex my copycat muscles.

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

The technique for making these scones light and flaky is just like the technique for our Gluten Free Biscuit Donuts—and for any pastry we make. Large chunks of chilled butter get tossed with the dry ingredients. No “small peas” here. Small peas make for flat pastry. You heard it here first.

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

These aren’t exactly like my typical gluten free scone recipe, as there’s an egg in the dough. The Starbucks petite vanilla bean scones have eggs. I know this because it’s in their list of ingredients. My copycat recipes always begin with the original product’s ingredient list. Sometimes, what’s in there surprises me.

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

Since these babies are “petite,” we get a full 16 scones from the recipe. I think these would be perfect for a ladies lunch. Or a baby shower. Or someplace else you might find something petite and fancy.

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

You only bake them for 10 minutes, which is just enough time for these sweet little scones to become puffed and pale golden. They should be cold before they go in the oven. It really helps them to puff. And don’t skip the folding and the puff-pastry-like turns in the recipe instructions. They make all the difference. Well, the real vanilla bean seeds don’t hurt either. :)

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16 petite scones


1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (227 g) all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

5 tablespoons (30 g) nonfat dry milk, ground to a fine powder (in a blender or food processor)

3 tablespoons (27 g) cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, chopped into large chunks and chilled

1 egg (60 g, out of shell), beaten and chilled

Seeds from half of a vanilla bean

2 tablespoons (42 g) Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or honey)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled (can use milk instead—just not nonfat)

Seeds from (other) half of a vanilla bean

1 1/2 cups (173 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk (any kind), plus more by the 1/4 teaspoonful, if necessary


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • First, make the scones. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, nonfat dry milk, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat it in the dry ingredients. Flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger. Whisk the egg, seeds from half a vanilla bean, Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or honey) and vanilla extract  into the milk or cream. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk or cream mixture. Mix gently until the dough begins to come together. If necessary, press together into a dough with floured hands, handling the dough as little as possible.

  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper and press into a disk. Place another piece of unbleached parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Once more, remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper and roll out the dough, but this time into a 7-inch square that is about 3/4-inch thick. The dough should have a smooth, even surface. Peel back the top piece of parchment paper, and with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 4 equal squares. Cut each square into 4 equal triangles by cutting an “X” through the center of the square. Place the wedges about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet, and chill in the freezer until firm (about 10 minutes).

  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the scones are puffed and very pale golden (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • While the scones are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the seeds from the (other) half of a vanilla bean into the confectioners’ sugar until the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the sugar. Add 2 tablespoon of milk, and mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the 1/4-teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly, in a thick but pourable glaze. Add milk very slowly, as it is much easier to thin, than to thicken, the glaze. If you do thin the glaze too much, add more confectioners’ sugar a teaspoon at a time to thicken it. Either dip the tops of the cooled scones into the glaze, or spoons it on top of the scones and spread into an even layer. Allow to set at room temperature before serving.


Comments are closed.

  • […] Starbucks-style petite vanilla bean scones. […]

  • Theresa Maben-Todd
    March 22, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    What can you substitute for tapioca flour in the flour mix? I am allergic to tapioca.

    • March 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      I haven’t tested the recipe with any substitutions, Theresa. Feel free to experiment!

  • Michelle
    March 20, 2014 at 3:44 AM

    I buy all of your books and recommend your books to all people who come to me for GF advice. I just wanted to thank you for the wonton wrapper recipe. I missed having chinese food so much. I always get sick at PF changs when ordering from the GF menu so I stopped going there. Your wonton wrapper recipe is going to scratch a serious itch. I heart you!

    • March 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Thank you so much, Michelle! I had a bad experience at Chang’s years ago with my son, too, but I had heard they had gotten a lot better. Shame. But at least you don’t have to be without your wontons!

  • Elisse Hay
    March 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Oh no! Cornflour! I think I might cry. I was so excited until I saw that. Does anyone have any easy subs for cornflour?
    I’ve only been GF about a month and Nicole, you saved my birthday and my sanity (and your super fudgy brownies are utterly ahhhhhhmazing). My mum and I have ordered your books, but they don’t arrive until May! Meanwhile, plenty of time to stalk your blog! And as for measurements, you’ve taught me the joy of kitchen scales, and I’m getting a candy thermometer asap to make your licorice! :D

    Now…corn free scones? ;)

    • Elsa
      March 19, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      I usually sub potato starch or tapioca starch for corn starch. Arrowroot will work in some recipes too.

      • March 19, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        Thanks for jumping in, Elsa! I think potato starch would work here, Elisse. So glad you’re loving those brownies, too!

  • Kat
    March 19, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    I have these baking right now for dinner- we are having them with eggs, bacon and hot chocolate. The dough smells so good! I can’t wait to try them! Thanks!

    • March 19, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      Love it, Kat!

      • Kat
        March 20, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        These are outstanding! And so pretty! We will be making them often. Also just to show some love – I have all of your books and cannot wait for the new one!!

      • March 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Thank you, Kat!!

  • Lara
    March 19, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    My husband has been diagnosed with gluten intolerance 2 years ago and I’ve been struggling with cooking for him, the beginnings were for the least disastrous! I got better since and I just bought your book on Amazon.fr (I live in Belgium) I can’t wait to have it and I’m very excited about it, hope I won’t be disappointed It’s the first Gluten free cook book I have ever bought and the raving comments drive the expectations high! :) Wish you all well and success!

  • Ligea
    March 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    How large is a “chunk” of butter? I definitely want to make these!

    • March 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      About 3/8-inch square, Ligea. Good question. :)

  • Got2bFree
    March 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    NIcole, If these are anything like your pumpkin Scones…WOW, becasue my family and guests LOVED them…anyway, can Karo syrup (light not dark) be use in place of Lyles? I see you subbed honey in there…just wondering, thanks!

    • March 19, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      I honestly think that light Karo syrup would work better than honey, Got2b, since it won’t lend any flavor like honey would. Go for it! P.S. I love those pumpkin scones, too! So glad they’re a hit in your house. :)

  • Erin Lowery Baerwaldt
    March 19, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    These go together SUPER fast, especially since nothing needs to be room temp! I’ve been hoarding vanilla beans waiting for this very moment. :) My house smells delicious and the scones taste amazing. Nice and flakey scones with yummy sweet icing (and not dry like i remember the Starbucks ones)! Awesome job! I’m having a baby in a week and had decided not to do any more baking before then but couldn’t resist these!

    Nicole, of course after i baked ALL 16 i had a thought. Could this dough be kept in the freezer like we do the biscuits and pulled out to bake as needed?

    Thanks again for all your hard work! You make GF delicious!

    • March 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Wow, Erin, congratulations on that baby-to-be! I love that you made these already, not even 3 hours after I posted them. And yes – you could absolutely make and shape the dough, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake as the need arises. :)

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    This looks seriously delicious. I’m coming back to this when I need to make some GF scones!

  • Jennifer S.
    March 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    YAY! YAY! YAY! Love these little buggers. Is it okay to use the vanilla bean paste? If so, what would you recommend?
    Also, can you describe the business letter folding for me. I know I’m a pain. I made the cheddar biscuits last night (YUM!) and here’s how I interpreted it: fold rectangle in 3 folds and then fold it over the long way and then roll again. WOW – were they flaky!!! loved it.

    • March 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Sounds perfect, Jennifer! Your folding is clearly top notch. ;)

      You could definitely use vanilla bean paste in place of the vanilla extract and seeds. I haven’t made them that way, but it isn’t going to change the chemistry of the baked good much at all, so I wouldn’t worry a lot about exact amounts. Maybe try replacing the vanilla extract with bean paste 1:1 in the scones. For the glaze, it’s just going to be a moisture issue, so cut back on the milk initially and add it very slowly.

  • Anneke
    March 19, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    I need to make these. Like, right now! Luckily, I will right by the store with the vanilla beans this morning, so this looks like breakfast for tomorrow!

  • Jamie
    March 19, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    WHat if you don’t have vanilla beans?

    • March 19, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      These scones are very reliant on vanilla seeds, Jamie. You could leave them out, I guess, but you won’t have much of a vanilla flavor. Sorry!

  • Joy
    March 19, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    I am curious why your recipes contain ingredients measured in such small increments? I never see a cookbook author do this. I was taught in school that you always convert the ingredients to the largest measurement. Why would you say 1 cup 10 tablespoons when you could have converted it to 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons. I have to say it is the one reason why I have not purchased your cookbooks, because I don’t want to have to do all that converting. Not to just be negative because you do a great job and make super recipes. But I have heard other people on celiac chatrooms talk about your inconvenient measurements being the drawback to your recipes.

    • Michelle
      March 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      I know Nicole weighs all of her ingredients and encourages us to do the same, so converting from weight to volume for those who want volume measurements makes the measurements not always an even number. After almost eight years gluten-free, I agree with Nicole. It’s so easy to weigh ingredients, a food scale is very inexpensive, and I find my baked goods come out so well when I do. It’s too bad people would not buy the book because they don’t want to weigh ingredients- they are missing out on some wonderful recipes!

    • March 19, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      I’m sorry you’re so unhappy with the way I write my recipes, Joy. I develop my recipes with weight measurements, as it is much, much more reliable and accurate, and then have to back into volume measurements. If you use a scale, you don’t have to convert anything.

      • fcar
        March 19, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        I do not mean to be rude but I cannot believe someone would comment not only on how they feel but add others to her thoughts on the measurements and why the cookbook was not purchased . I have no problem with your recipes at all, and the detail in measuring is what makes a recipe a good recipe. I have to compliment you on the fact that when I had to first go gluten free I was on an endless search for recipes. Most especially bread recipes and since your cookbook my search has ended. In fact my niece and nephew who cannot eat gluten either are tickled pink when I make them a recipe from your bread book! I will also have to say when I first had to go gluten free last year, I purchased a book from a Chef that came out with a book from the Culinary Institute on Gluten free baking. His recipes were not good at all, I tried them over and over again with no success and with your recipes I have success each and every time. I truly believe that you have 1000 times better recipes than someone with a Culinary degree!!!

      • March 19, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        That gluten free book from the CIA is unfortunately a real disappointment, fcar. Thank you so much for the kind words, and I’m so glad that you are enjoying the bread book!

    • Anneke
      March 19, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      If you have read Nicole’s blog in any detail, you would know that she advocates pretty much exclusively the use of a scale in measuring. Many of us have converted our baking to measuring by weight with great success, so the “complication” of which you speak is not a problem. I am not sure how 1 cup, 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons is any less complicated than 1 cup plus 10 tablespoons anyway. Seems to me you are dirtying 3 tools with your method instead of two. And weighing right into the bowl prevents dirtying any measuring spoons and cups! Sounds much simpler to me! If that is the only reason you aren’t purchasing Nicole’s books, then you are really losing out on some great recipes for a pretty minor reason.

    • John Lachett
      March 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      I bake by weight. If you are concerned about the cup/tablespoon amounts I’d suggest you do as well. It’s far more accurate. Avoiding a recipe because you don’t want to count is a bit silly.

    • Donia Robinson
      March 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Ultimately, and unfortunately, baking is work. Cooking is far less precise and you can wing it. Alton Brown measures by weight as well, and he’s pretty popular. As in life, though, you get out what you put into it. And in all honesty, the recipes look daunting at first. But once you’ve made a few different recipes, you become very used to it. And I second Michelle’s comments about a scale. Throw the bowl on, zero it out, add your first ingredient, zero it out, etc. You don’t even have to add the values. And you only end up dirtying some measuring spoons. Perhaps give a few recipes from the blog a test drive before committing to a book. I think you’ll be converted! Naysayers will always be out there, and speaking bitterness invites more bitterness. You’re among friends here, and we want you to enjoy the delicious gluten-free goodness contained on these web pages!

    • Jennifer S.
      March 19, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      I agree that weighing your ingredients is the way to go and the layman’s measurements (cups, Tbs, etc…) in GFOAS recipes are so that Nicole can reach everyone. I also have tried tons of other GF recipes that do not weigh ingredients and they are mostly poor tasting and of horrid quality.
      With all of that said, GF baking is no where near traditional baking, we’ve all had to relearn several skills in order to become successful with GF baking. Once you are no longer resistant to change, you’ll flourish with Nicole’s recipes – they are by far the best out there.

Back to Top

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.