Gluten-Free Scones with Quick Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream

These Gluten-Free Scones are made with buttermilk and without xanthan gum but instead a delicious blend of alternative flours for depth of flavour. A perfect afternoon tea served with a quick strawberry jam set with chia seeds and thick clotted cream.

Side shot of a gluten-free scone filled with clotted cream and strawberry jam on a wire rack

There is nothing more indulgent than going for a proper afternoon tea. The kind you have in a fancy hotel with a proper tea menu, huge fluffy white scones, delicate cucumber sandwiches and mile high slices of sponge cake. I haven’t been for ages. Luke and I wanted to go as my last treat before Beau was born but then I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes so that plan was nixed. We should really put it back on the agenda now the newborn days are over. Celebrating the first few months of Beau’s life seems a pretty good reason to treat ourselves.

side shot of a stack of gluten-free scones

It’s the proper presentation of the scones which I find so alluring, perched atop the tier of sandwiches and patisserie, wrapped in clean white linen, waiting to be discovered. I always go for the scones first. If it’s a first class establishment then these scones will be warm, fresh from the oven and that is when they are at their absolute best. They must then be layered high with thick golden Cornish clotted cream and vibrant strawberry jam. Whether you slather your scone with the clotted cream or jam first will betray whether you are of the Cornish or Devonshire persuasion.

Overhead shot of a plate of strawberries, a napkin and gluten-free scones on a wire rack

The presence of scones will always elevate an occasion. A pot of tea shared with my mum is suddenly made into a fanciful affair by the inclusion of scones. We might as well be partaking our cream team with the Duchess of Bedford at Woburn Abbey. The proper china must come out, including the teapot, and I feel an unexplained need to set the table properly with a tablecloth and decant the jam and clotted cream into bowls rather than dipping our spoon into jars and tubs.

side shot of gluten-free scones on a wire rack

Yet scones also feel rather homely. They are definitely a comfort to bake. You don’t need an expensive food mixer or a specific kind of cake tin. Just a cheap mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and a standard round cookie cutter. You can dive your hands in, rubbing the butter with the flour in your fingertips, feeling the texture of the dough in between your hands as you bring it all together. It’s so satisfying and they don’t take long at all from start to finish. Within 45 minutes you can go from a faint craving to taking your first bite out of your homemade scone without any fluster.

Side shot of a gluten-free scone on a wire rack

Gluten-Free Scones with Buttermilk

I have a few scone recipes on the blog but no traditional plain gluten-free scones, the kind I turn to frequently when a cream tea is required. This gluten-free scone recipe is made with buttermilk for a tender crumb and a slight tang.

Overhead shot of a gluten-free scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam on a wire rack with a plate of strawberries and flowers

Gluten-Free Flour

For the flour choice in these Gluten-Free Scones I have used a specific home blend of alternative flours. I try and vary my gluten-free baking recipes with ingredients that are easy to find like the plain gluten-free flour blend you can pick up at the supermarket and those that indulge my love of alternative flours. It’s not going to suit everyone that this scone recipe uses a mix of five different flours but flour is the main ingredient in a scone recipe and has nowhere to hide amongst the other ingredients. To achieve a very good gluten-free scone the flour choice needs to be right.

I am aware that I have a very particular obsession with alternative flours and it is not usual for a larder to be stocked with every single variation on the market. However a few choice alternative flours are so worth investing in even if you are not gluten-free. Sweet rice flour, oat flour and tapioca flour are my mainstays. To understand the use of every flour in this recipe I urge you to read through my guide to Gluten-Free Flours. The depth of flavour you achieve from specific combinations is surprising and you can aim for a greater control over texture, moistness and fluffiness than just using a plain ready-made gluten-free blend can provide.

Side shot of a gluten-free scone filled with clotted cream and strawberry jam on a wire rack

Gluten-Free Scones without xanthan gum

This gluten-free scone recipe is also without xanthan gum, a regular presence in a lot of gluten-free baking. It’s often used as a thickening agent or stabiliser to help prevent crumbly and dry gluten-free goods. It’s not something I particularly publicise but I never bake with xanthan gum. I don’t find I can digest it very well so steer clear. Instead I achieve my texture in baking from the right blend of alternative flours. Again, hence the need for so many.

Overhead shot of a bowl of strawberry jam next to a bowl of strawberries and gluten-free scones on a wire rack

Quick Strawberry Jam

Of course you can use a good strawberry jam bought from the farmers’ market to cut down on your labour but a quick fresh strawberry jam is easy enough and has less sugar. These July strawberries I have been buying recently have been so delicious, absolutely full of flavour. I use lemon juice to perk up the strawberry taste, a dash of caster sugar and chia seeds to create an instant luscious set.

overhead shot of a bowl of clotted cream next to a bowl of strawberries

Clotted Cream

Clotted cream is a fabulous ingredient, I could easily eat it with a spoon but the golden hued crust that you have to break through to get there is the real chef’s delight. Clotted cream is the only choice for a proper afternoon tea. I remember being served the most delicious homemade scones once in Brighton, utterly ruined by the airy canned whipped cream served with them. It’s the clotted cream that really achieves the high end cream team that we all hope for whilst enjoying our fresh homemade scones warm from the oven.

Side shot of a gluten-free scone filled with clotted cream and strawberry jam on a wire rack

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Scones with Quick Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream
These Gluten-Free Scones are made with buttermilk and without xanthan gum but instead a delicious blend of alternative flours for depth of flavour. A perfect afternoon tea served with a quick strawberry jam set with chia seeds and thick clotted cream.
Side shot of a gluten-free scone filled with clotted cream and strawberry jam on a wire rack
Course afternoon tea
Cuisine British
Keyword scones
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings
9 scones
Ingredients
Gluten-Free Scones
  • 175 g sweet rice flour
  • 125 g oat flour
  • 100 g millet flour
  • 50 g potato starch
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g cold unsalted butter sliced thinly
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs + 1 extra for glazing
  • 200 ml buttermilk
Quick Strawberry Jam
  • 500 g strawberries
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 250 g clotted cream
Course afternoon tea
Cuisine British
Keyword scones
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings
9 scones
Ingredients
Gluten-Free Scones
  • 175 g sweet rice flour
  • 125 g oat flour
  • 100 g millet flour
  • 50 g potato starch
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g cold unsalted butter sliced thinly
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs + 1 extra for glazing
  • 200 ml buttermilk
Quick Strawberry Jam
  • 500 g strawberries
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 250 g clotted cream
Side shot of a gluten-free scone filled with clotted cream and strawberry jam on a wire rack
Instructions
Buttermilk Gluten-Free Scones
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3/320°F.
  2. Whisk the flours together in a large mixing bowl then add the butter, rubbing together with your fingertips to create breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Pour the milk into a jug and whisk in the eggs until just combined then pour into the centre of the scone mixture.
  5. At first stir the liquid ingredients in with a wooden spoon then tip out onto a clean work surface and using your hands bring the dough together, turning and folding, until it is no longer sticky. Use a bit of extra gluten-free flour on the work surface if it is starting to stick.
  6. Once you have brought the dough together into a ball, press it down into an even circle 1 inch thick.
  7. Cut out the scones using 7cm cutter.
  8. Place the scones onto a clean baking tray. Whisk the extra egg with a splash of milk and brush onto the surface of each scone, making sure not to let it drip down the sides, else your scones will not rise evenly.
  9. Bake the scones for 18 minutes. Let the scones rest on the baking tray for 5 minutes then remove and let cool on a wire rack.
Quick Strawberry Jam
  1. Hull the strawberries then place them in a medium sized saucepan with the lemon juice and caster sugar.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes until the strawberries have broken down, then remove from the heat and stir in the chia seeds.
  3. Chill until needed.
  4. Serve the scones split open with the clotted cream and strawberry jam
Recipe Notes

These scones are best eaten straight away or a few hours after baking. They go stale rather quickly overnight.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Although the metal cookie cutters may look a bit more stylish I always use these KitchenCraft Double-Edged Plastic Biscuit/Pastry Cutters with Storage Box (Set of 7) – White. They are the perfect range of sizes, they are plastic so don’t rust and can go in the dishwasher. Anything that can go in the dishwasher makes my life so much easier.

I use this KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick Baking Tray, 35 x 25 cm (14″ x 10″) for all my cookies, biscuits, scones. It’s a great size and comfortably holds all of these 9 scones so you don’t have to bake in batches. It’s non-stick so the scones lift off easily from the tray and doesn’t require any baking parchment or greasing.

It’s not easy to buy sweet rice flour in the UK, but it’s a flour I use all the time. It is possible to pick up sweet rice flour in chinatown but it is not certified gluten-free so for the coeliacs among us and those that have a very strong intolerance it is not ideal. But I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

I order my millet flour through Amazon like most of my flours and the brand I like the best is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Millet Flour 500 g (Pack of 4). It’s more economical to buy it this way and I love Bob’s Red Mill as it’s certified gluten-free.

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g. The cost depends entirely on the brand you purchase. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.

I use chia seeds a lot in chia seed pudding, in my granola bars, sprinkled in my porridge and in smoothies so I buy them in bulk. I like RealFoodSource Whole Natural Dark Chia Seeds 2kg (2 x 1kg bags) with FREE Chia Recipe Ebook. They are just reliably good.

Some of the links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy your flour using the link then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this recipe you may like…

Strawberry Redcurrant Jam

Honey Apple Spice Scones

Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Gluten-Free Flours: An Introduction

text saying Gluten-Free Flours: how to start gluten-free baking, which flours to use and how to convert wheat recipes: fromthelarder.co.uk

Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

A beautifully vibrant gluten-free Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake is the perfect cake to usher in our summer baking.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

We don’t get to break out of our routine much these days. Luke is currently working every hour under the sun with his new job and I work from Thursday through to Sunday so if we’re not doing our own work thing then we are each running around after our non-stop toddler, accident prone dog and two crazy cats. Our house constantly looks trashed and the chores of laundry, washing up and tidying toys away are endless. We find it pretty exhausting just thinking about planning a break let alone organising one. When we do sit down together a hearty gin and tonic and an episode of Big Little Lies is about the only thing we’re capable of.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

I find it hard taking time off, mainly because I don’t want to. I love working at the cake stall, baking cakes for my customers and if I ever have a free day then I relish recipe testing or writing the blog. Lately we have been realising though that our little family needed to actually spend time all together, to give the illusion of liking each other at least. So, a couple of weeks ago Luke had a little break in his schedule and we loaded up the car, arranged for cat sitters and hurried down to Cornwall for a few days.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

The holiday may have been a Cornwall classic with long lazy walks on the beach in the beating down rain; plenty of Mr Whippy and fish and chips with seagulls circling ominously overheard. And of course Billy Buddy sanctioned a trip to a vet in Newquay as a must. Our dog is incapable of going a full week without some medical attention. This time it was merely another ear infection. However it was the break we needed and we have returned to the city afresh. We’re ready to take on June, which is pretty jam packed with toddler birthdays, including Cole’s who it turning 2 this month much to our disbelief.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

Number one to-do on my return was to bake this Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake. It’s not the first cake I’ve put basil in recently as I’ve been throwing it into my Blueberry, Basil and Lemon Drizzle Cake for years but I’ve really gone all in on it with this one.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

The sweet pesto is just that, a verdant basil pesto without the garlic but with honey instead. It still retains pine nuts which go wonderfully with strawberries, olive oil for its peppery notes and even a small grating of parmesan for savoury undertones.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

The cake is filled with a fresh strawberry basil jam which is quickly set with chia seeds instead of sugar. A teaspoon of freeze-dried strawberries stirred in is optional but I had them to hand for the strawberry buttercream so in they went. Freeze-dried berries are a brilliant way of injecting a pure intense fruity flavour and here it really amps up the jam. They are also invaluable in buttercreams as they mean you won’t lose any of the structural integrity of the buttercream like you would with a fresh strawberry puree or add any further sweetness if you were to use a strawberry jam.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

The sponge is one of my go-to gluten-free recipes. It makes a rich moist and flavourful cake with my favourite combo of flours: sweet rice flour, oat flour, millet flour, potato starch and tapioca flour. It’s quite a little community of flours but this blend works so well and I’ll be posting a little bit more about different gluten-free flours and the jobs they do in our baking very soon, so please stay tuned for that.

A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}

Don’t get me wrong, going away is brilliant but I’m now really excited to be home with all this extra energy under my belt. I’ve got some great new cakes for the stall and the blog and I can’t wait to share them.

Print Recipe
Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}
A beautiful gluten-free Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake with a fresh strawberry jam and basil filling and a light swiss meringue buttercream
A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
Cake
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 240 ml whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 120 g sweet rice flour
  • 85 g oat flour
  • 70 g millet flour
  • 35 g potato starch
  • 35 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Strawberry Basil Honey Jam
  • 200 g strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  • 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon freeze-dried strawberry powder optional
Sweet Pesto
  • 60 g basil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 g pine nuts
  • 15 g parmesan
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 4 egg whites (120g)
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 300 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberry powder
  • sweet basil pesto (as above)
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
Cake
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 240 ml whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 120 g sweet rice flour
  • 85 g oat flour
  • 70 g millet flour
  • 35 g potato starch
  • 35 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Strawberry Basil Honey Jam
  • 200 g strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  • 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon freeze-dried strawberry powder optional
Sweet Pesto
  • 60 g basil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 g pine nuts
  • 15 g parmesan
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 4 egg whites (120g)
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 300 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberry powder
  • sweet basil pesto (as above)
A beautiful Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake {gluten-free}
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line and grease 2 x round 8 inch cake tins.
  2. In a large bowl or food mixer whisk the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant.
  3. Add the butter one cube at a time and beat into the lemon sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed.
  5. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt in a separate mixing bowl until completely combined.
  7. Add the flour mix alternately with the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  8. Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 35-40 minutes when the sponge is coming away from the sides of the tin and an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes to rest then gently turn out onto cooling racks and leave to cool completely.
Strawberry Basil Honey Jam
  1. Place everything but the chia seeds and strawberry powder in a pan and turn on the heat, crushing the strawberries gently with a wooden spoon into the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Bring the jam to a low boil, then simmer for a couple of minutes.
  3. Stir in the chia seeds and strawberry powder, cook for a further minute then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Sweet Pesto
  1. Place everything in the food processor and whizz together until smooth.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Heat egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  2. Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  3. Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  4. Divide the buttercream so you have ¾ of the buttercream in one bowl and ¼ in another.
  5. Mix the strawberry powder with the ¾ amount of buttercream and the sweet pesto with the ¼ amount.
Assembly
  1. Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or stand.
  2. Pipe one circle of strawberry buttercream on the top at the very edge of the sponge. This will act as a dam for the strawberry jam.
  3. Spread the strawberry jam evenly on the top of sponge to the edges of the buttercream dam.
  4. Place the second sponge on top.
  5. Cover the strawberry buttercream over the top and the top half of the cake sides using a palette knife.
  6. Cover the bottom half of the sides with the sweet pesto buttercream. Use the palette knife to gentle blend the two flavours of buttercream together where they meet.
  7. Decorate the top of the cake with strawberries and basil leaves.
Recipe Notes

I am loving Nirvana Cakery’s beautiful blog at the moment and took inspiration for this Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake from her stunning Raspberry Matcha Cake, using the same colour palette. I also adapted her raspberry jam filling into my Strawberry Basil Honey Jam.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Recently I have been using a lot of products from Realfoodsource.com and have been really happy with their service and quality of ingredients. I was excited when I found out they also stocked freeze-dried fruit powder and so for this recipe I really would recommend using RealFoodSource Certified Organic Freeze Dried Strawberry Powder 100G. I am not sponsored by them, I just really love their products.

The cake tins I always use are these PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 8 x 4-Inch Deep which are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these links to buy your ingredients then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund my shopping list so if you do click through then many thanks!! To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes

I sell my cakes at local farmers’ markets in London but lucky for those who don’t live nearby I also love sharing the recipes for all the cakes I sell and if you want to receive more of my cake stall recipes then I have a FREE mini e-book of the top 3 Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes which are on my stall including Fig, Almond and Salted Honey Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes and Minted Brownies. The recipes are really special to me and if you want a copy of them then just click the button below!

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