The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Scones and all

divinemabage's picture

Scones and all

Hi all, I am an African and scones are not so common in my country. I make them for friends and family. Of late, there has been a high demand for scones for those who are diabetic, high blood pressure etc. Can I replace sugar with honey? Can I use olive oil instead of butter? I really do need your assitance and advice.

Chausiubao's picture

You can certainly use honey instead of sugar, but the question of olive oil instead of butter is trickier.

Generally the fat in scones (just like in biscuits) is solid fat for the simple reason that the flaky biscuit requires solid fat almost like a lamination.

You won't get true lamination like a croissant but you will get distinguishable layers as in a pie dough. So if you use olive oil instead of butter you will be sacrificing the layers in the scone that many associate with it.

You can use vegetable shortenings instead, but I would never, as they are worst for you then butter is, even.


ananda's picture


not wishing to be deliberately contradictory, but I happen to know a few great professional scone bakers who use oil as the fat base in scones...although they use vegetable oil, rather than highly flavoured olive oil.

Fat is really there to denature the protein and interfere with the gluten matrix to give some shortness in the finished product.   Leavening, primarily, is provided in the oven [or on the griddle, if using a hot plate] by the chemical leavening agents.

Best wishes


clazar123's picture

It is very difficult to substitute ingredients in scones without losing their wonderful texture and flavor. The best thing for people on restricted diets is to  restrict the portion rather than the ingredients and plan it in with their daily intake.  I would make smaller scones of the most delectable nature. That way they are getting all the deliciousnes but only a portion of the calories.