Lightly sweetened, whole grain moist and tender apple scones made with fresh grated apple and applesauce are wonderful on their own. Or make them extra special with a drizzle of an easy caramel glaze. Perfect for fall breakfasts and snacks - or any time of the year!
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Apples and caramel are such a delicious combination - whether it's a fall tradition of apple tasting night with homemade caramel apple dip or drizzling a crumb-topped apple pie with a bit of caramel, you can't go wrong.
So when a scone is full of both apples and applesauce, it seems like a no-brainer to top them with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
After tasting the scones with the caramel I briefly thought about calling them "Double Yum Apple Scones," but in the end decided on a more descriptive title.
Whatever - the only thing that matters is that these ARE totally yummy and even though the photos may look decadent, they aren't too sweet. I known - crazy, right?
And although that glaze is so fun, these actually are really good with out it, too, because they are moist and tender - no dry, crumbly scones here!
Plus they are made with whole wheat flour, just 1/3 cup of sugar (for 12 pieces) and fresh apples, so you don't need to feel bad about eating them at all.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Whole wheat pastry flour - all purpose pastry flour would work, too. Regular all purpose may work, but your scone will be a bit less tender.
- Brown sugar - you can use coconut sugar, though the flavor will come through a bit.
- Sea salt
- Baking powder - a full one tablespoon because using enough baking powder is one of the ways to get a lighter, fluffier scone.
- Cinnamon - you can omit, but cinnamon and apples are like PB&J. A nice substitution would be powdered ginger for a different flavor.
- Butter - the coldest butter results in the best scone. If you need to replace with a dairy free product, make sure it is cold, too.
- Apple - any type of apple would work for this recipe. Readers have substituted other fruit like berries.
- Eggs - I haven't tried the flax-egg substitute with this, so I don't know if it would work or not.
- Vanilla - pure vanilla extract.
- Unsweetened applesauce - store bought or homemade. Yogurt has been used as a substitute successfully as well.
- Milk - optional for brushing the tops.
- Sugar-cinnamon mix for optional topping
- For optional caramel glaze: butter, brown sugar, milk or cream
- Large mixing bowl (I use this glass set of three bowls all.the.time.)
- 1-quart measuring cup (or medium bowl)
- Wooden or bamboo spoon
- Measuring cups
- Large baking sheet pan (I've transitioned over to USA baking pans because they are really the best - almost non-stick, easy to clean and don't warp)
How to Make Double Apple Scones
Note: I adapted these scones from a recipe on the King Arthur Flour site and one thing they recommended was to freeze the dough on the cookie sheet after shaping and before cooking. They've found that this relaxes the gluten and allows for a higher rise and a more tender scone.
Detailed quantities and instructions are included in the full recipe box below, but here are a few extra tips to help with each step:
Step 1: Make dough. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and cut in the butter. You can do with with a pastry cutter or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer. If you use the mixer, just be sure to not overmix - you want to see lumps of butter still in the dough. Add the grated apples and wet ingredients, and stir with a spoon only until the flour is fully incorporated.
Step 2: Shape the dough. To make it easy, shape the dough into 2 rounds directly on a lined baking sheet. Cut each round into six pieces, but don't separate. Brush with milk/cream if using.
Step 2: Top and freeze. Sprinkle the tops of the rounds with a cinnamon-sugar mixture, if using and place in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Step 4: Bake. Slide the dough from the freezer into a preheated oven at 425 degrees and cook for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are browning. To be sure the centers are cooked, you can pull apart the pieces a bit to check.
Step 5: Cool. Transfer scones to a rack - place a piece of waxed paper under the rack if you plan on glazing them.
Optional Step 6: Glaze. Combine the glaze ingredients and bring to a boil - boil 2 minutes stirring constantly and then remove from heat to cool a bit. That's it - super easy!
So easy you may find yourself adding it to all kinds of goodies: apple pie, bars, and cakes, as well as things like ice cream, cookie bars, and chocolate cakes.
And with only 1/3 cup of sugar between the twelve scones, this recipe really isn't too sweet with the caramel glaze.
I guess there's no doubts about which side of "to glaze or not" that I'm on. But as with everything you make yourself, tailor it to your tastes and go without the caramel if you want.
Because these apple scones really are wonderfully tender and moist - with or without the glaze. Maybe it's the freezing step, or maybe all the apples and applesauce - I'm just glad it works.
What is the secret to making good scones?
My biggest tips for the best homemade scones that are not dry and crumbly are:
- use cold butter
- do not overmix the batter
- use pastry flour
- don't overbake them
More Quick Breads To Try:
- Easy Cinnamon Oat Apple Bread (Whole Wheat, Honey Sweetened)
- Zucchini Cinnamon Freezer Muffins
- Bread Recipes Using Cranberry Sauce
"Oh my goodness are they delicious:) absolutely the best ever scones I have eaten. Crunchy around the outside and moist & rich inside. This will be my "go to" scones for ever!!! " -Teresa
Moist Double Apple Scones with Caramel Glaze Recipe
- large and medium bowls
- pastry cutter
- Wooden spoon
- large baking sheet
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar coconut sugar, or sucanat
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cold butter cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup peeled and grated apple about 1 sm. to med. apple
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- milk for brushing the tops
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon optional topping
Easy Caramel Glaze:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk or cream
- For the scones:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five scone ingredients and then mix in the butter pieces just until the mixture is crumbly - you will see some larger butter pieces, which is okay. Stir in the grated apple.
- In another bowl combine eggs, vanilla, and applesauce. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment or silicone liner (or ungreased pan), sprinkle some flour over the center and scrape the dough on top. Pat into a rough circle and divide in half (if it's sticky, sprinkle with a bit of flour). Gently shape each circle into a 5"- 6" round, flouring hands as needed. Use a knife to cut each round into six pieces, flouring knife before each cut.
- Brush the cut rounds with milk (and sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar if you're not making the caramel glaze). Place the baking sheet into the freezer, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees while scones are in the freezer.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown (make sure they are baked in the middle - if unsure, pull a section apart to see the center).
- Transfer scones to a rack over a piece of wax paper or another cookie sheet (to catch any caramel drips) and let cool a bit.
- For the caramel glaze:
- While the scones are baking, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk or cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. Set aside to until scones are baked and have cooled 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the scones and the back of the spoon to spread evenly, as desired.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in 2012, and updated in 2016 and 2023.Disclosure: affiliate links in this article will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. Click here to read our full disclaimer and advertising disclosure.