These scones are light and fluffy despite the quite noticeable flavour of the molasses and the plethora of familiar fall spices. With a warming combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and a touch of anise, Spiced Molasses Scones are sure to wake up your taste buds!
It has been seven years since I first shared my Sour Cream Scones recipe with you. Today, I am showing you how you can use that same recipe to change the flavour. These Spiced Molasses Scones are a variation of that original sour cream scone recipe. Why? Because, as soon as September rolls around, I begin to crave scones like they’re going out of style! I fix myself a very hot cup of coffee, slice my scone down the middle, and liberally smear on some butter. I take my coffee and scone to our backyard deck and enjoy the peacefulness while indulging in an afternoon treat.
When we first bought our house, there was no back deck at all – with the exception of a small three by three platform in front of the back door. Last November, our contractors built on a large back deck and I couldn’t wait until spring and summer to use it. But, Mother Nature had other plans. Our area was hit hard by an infestation of gypsy moths. Sitting out on the deck wasn’t fun when small caterpillars would fall onto your lap and in your hair from the trees above. That continued until July and then those caterpillars turned to moths. That’s when you couldn’t go out back without being hit in the face by them!
It’s been almost a year since that deck was built. At the beginning of spring, we bought a patio dining set with an umbrella, and a conversation set. We had high hopes of spending our summer evenings out there. So far, we have used the dining set three times, and we have never used the conversation set. Now that the moths are gone, I’m going to make up for it and sit out there with my coffee and a Spiced Molasses Scone. I might need a sweater and a blanket, but I’m sitting out there anyway!
A SCONE RECIPE WITH VERSATILITY
For the basis of this scone, I used my Sour Cream Scone recipe. I wanted to make a few versions of that recipe so that I could show you how easy it is. My Sour Cream Scone is perfect just the way it is, especially if you are looking for a simple scone that can be slathered with butter and jam.
Actually, I put butter on all of my scones before I eat them! It’s the way I was raised. Butter goes on bread, scones, and also cinnamon rolls! (But, not the cinnamon rolls with icing!) If I’m being completely honest, I think jam belongs on almost every scone as well. Maybe not so much when it comes to a Spiced Molasses Scone!
I love to slice these scones in half when they’re still warm and smear on a bit of salted butter. Depending on the time of day, I might have a little bit of sharp cheddar cheese with it. I think all of that makes for a great lunch or an afternoon snack. Oh, and a scone is no good without a hot tea or coffee!
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Flour – Any all-purpose flour will do just fine. I have not tested this recipe with any other types of flour.
- Butter – I used salted butter. If you’re using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your flour and whisk it through.
- Brown Sugar – Yes – with molasses too – it’s so good!
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – Quite a lot, like in most scones, to get that rise.
- Egg – Just one egg, but if you want a more golden, brown top, whisk one egg white with a tablespoon of water. Brush the tops with a pastry brush before baking.
- Sour Cream – This is basically the liquid that binds it all together. The sourness balances out the sweetness of the brown sugar and the molasses.
- Spices – You will need cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and anise.
- Coarse Sugar – Also known as sanding sugar. I sprinkle this on top of each scone before baking. It adds a bit of sweetness and a nice crunchy texture. It’s completely optional though.
SANDING VS GRANULATED SUGAR
I use coarse sanding sugar quite often, and I hope it hasn’t been too difficult for you to find. Sanding sugar is sometimes referred to as baking sugar, and there are some substitutes. You can use other sugars – which are basically the same, but named something differently – there’s pearl sugar and coarse sugar. You cannot, however, use granulated sugar. Let me explain why.
Whereas an individual granule of sanding sugar is large and hard, a single granule of granulated sugar is quite small. Sanding sugar will hold up to the heat in your oven without melting; granulated sugar will not.
If you can only find granulated sugar, you can either skip the sprinkling with coarse sugar step, or you can use turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar is a golden brown though, so it will throw off the colour of your finished scone. I used turbinado sugar in my Mixed Nut Sugar Cookies.
HOW TO MAKE SPICED MOLASSES SCONES:
This really couldn’t be easier! Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Starting with the dry ingredients first. In a large mixing bowl, sift and combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, and spices. Set aside. Next, separate the egg yolk from the white. Save the yolk for the last step before baking.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg white, butter, sour cream, and molasses. Once completely mixed through, add the dry ingredients. Use a hand-held mixer to beat the dry ingredients in until just combined. Don’t overmix – the dough will form quite quickly and shouldn’t be one complete, perfectly round ball of dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to push the dough together, gathering up the bits into a mound. Sprinkle the top lightly with flour and push the dough into a round shape about 1 inch thick. Use a knife to cut the dough into 8 wedges. Transfer those to the baking sheet.
Use a pastry brush to dust off any excess flour. Add one tablespoon of water to the egg yolk and whisk to combine. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each scone with the egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle over about a half teaspoon of course sugar, if using. Bake for 15 minutes depending on your oven, until the top is just slightly golden in colour. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack immediately. Now, wasn’t that easy? You can dig in while their still warm too!
LET’S TALK ABOUT MOLASSES!
There are basically three types of molasses – light, dark, and blackstrap. If you boil cane sugar once, you will get light molasses. If you boil it twice, you’ll get dark molasses. So, boiling it three times, must mean that you’ll get blackstrap molasses. Remember, the darker the molasses (blackstrap) the less sweet and more bitter it is.
Never use blackstrap molasses in a recipe unless instructed to do so by the author of the recipe. You can use light or dark without changing the taste drastically. There’s also sulphured and unsulphured molasses. The difference between the two is that the sulphured molasses has been chemically treated with preservatives.
If you buy molasses to make these cookies and have lots left over, there’s plenty you can do with it. One of my favourite sources of recipe inspiration is Taste of Home. Here’s a list of 33 Amazing Molasses Recipes!
CAN I USE TREACLE INSTEAD?
Yes. In essence, treacle is the British version of molasses. It comes in two forms: light treacle or golden syrup, which is very similar to a light molasses. Black treacle is similar to blackstrap molasses, but is lighter in colour and not as bitter. I use unsulphured fancy molasses and black treacle interchangeably.
STORING AND FREEZING
If you plan to eat all eight scones in the next two or three days, you can leave them sitting in a covered container on your countertop. Otherwise, you can freeze them. Once the scones are fully cooled, pack them into a food-safe, freezer-friendly container and set them in your freezer. They will stay fresh for about four to six weeks. To thaw, remove from freezer and place in a single layer onto a wire cooling rack. Once thawed, they will taste just as good as the day you took them out of the oven!
Personally, I think life with a freshly baked scone and a cup of tea or coffee cannot possibly get any better! When the weather gets a little cooler, there’s nothing more satisfying and relaxing than a scone smeared with butter. The question remains though, will you retreat to your spot on the couch? Or will you brave the elements and sit outside and soak up the beauty of fall?
Spiced Molasses Scones
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground anise
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sour cream, low fat
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 4 teaspoons sanding optional
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Starting with the dry ingredients first. In a large mixing bowl, sift and combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- Next, separate the egg yolk from the white. Save the yolk for the last step before baking.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg white, butter, sour cream, and molasses.
- Once completely mixed through, add the dry ingredients. Use a hand-held mixer to beat the dry ingredients in until just combined. Don’t overmix – the dough will form quite quickly and shouldn’t be one complete, perfectly round ball of dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to push the dough together, gathering up the bits into a mound. Sprinkle the top lightly with flour and push the dough into a round shape about 1 inch thick. Use a knife to cut the dough into 8 wedges. Transfer those to the baking sheet.
- Use a pastry brush to dust off any excess flour.
- Add one tablespoon of water to the egg yolk and whisk to combine. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each scone with the egg yolk mixture.
- Sprinkle over about a half teaspoon of course sugar, if using.
- Bake for 15 minutes depending on your oven, until the top is just slightly golden in colour. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack immediately.