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Jan 25, 2007 04:51 PM

Looking for a low(er) fat scone - is the search worth it?

This month's quest is for a scone that I can eat on my low-cholesterol diet. (Actually, it's my husband's diet, but it's a good idea for me, too.)

I've given up the scones I love, which are loaded with butter and cream (or sour cream). I'd like to find a recipe that's lower in saturated fat, perhaps even with whole grains - like whole wheat pastry flour, although that's not a requirement.

Has anyone tried any of the scones at Cooking Light's web site?

I'm particularly interested in this Tomato-Parmesan scone that's made with olive oil and buttermilk instead of butter and cream:

Or this sweet scone with dried pears and cardamom:

Then again, Cooking Light has this scary recipe for cherry-vanilla-cornbread scone that contains crisco and butter extract. Ewww!

If they'd do this to a defenseless scone, can I trust any of their recipes?

And is it even worth trying to make low-fat scones? Perhaps, ice cream or poundcake, it's better to eat a tiny amount of the real thing, rather than waste calories on a substandard light version.

I'd appreciate your advice and experience.


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  1. I'm not sure whether it's worth trying, so won't address that question. On the question of whether cookinglight's recipes are reliable, I think it's very catch as catch can. Some of them are definite duds (e.g. crisco and butter extract! I'm with you--EWWW!). Others are winners. I try to use the ingredient list and my knowledge of baking/cooking as a guide to whether the recipe even has a prayer of being decent. I would compare the recipes you're considering to a T&T recipe to see if they look sufficiently similar that they will be decent. How has the CI recipe made up for the fat that is traditionally found in a scone recipe? If you think it's a possibility, I say give at least one recipe a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained?!

    1. My favorite bakery makes their scones w/ cream, but no butter. The baker calls cream "liquid butter". They could not be any more delicious. I attempted to reproduce them a few times, using only the baker's hints that he used brown sugar and cream. I never got them right, although I did make a few edible batches and everyone at my office got used to having scones everyday one week.

      So...I conclude that removing the butter is not a problem. I would try finding a cream scone recipe and substituting buttermilk. When I make buscuits, I try to find reduced fat buttermilk, but not fat free. Please report your results!

      2 Replies
      1. re: danna

        Removing the butter is not a problem IF you're using cream, which has plenty of butterfat - cream scones are my standard, but not something I make very often. A scone recipe where the only source of fat is low-fat buttermilk is going to turn out pretty sorry, texture-wise.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          I'm not sure the cream ones are going to be that much lighter - I'd bet on it being whipping cream.

          I think your satisfaction with lighter versions is going to be determined by how you picky you are about what you consider a scone. :-)

      2. If it's just the butter you want to avoid, you could try this 'quick-mix' recipe - I like it because it's so simple. 2 cups flour in a bowl, and mix in 1/3 cup oil (olive oil works fine) and 2/3 cup water.
        Otherwise try date/pumpkin scones... regular scones without the fat would just be rocks!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kajikit

          Thanks for the recipe and the tip! It makes sense to replace the fat with a rich, thick, moist ingredient - pumpkin sounds yummy. And I love the idea of olive-oil scones with savory ingredients - caramelized onions are calling to me!


          1. re: Kajikit


            recipe please for the date/pumpkin scones, please!

          2. I've made one of Cooking Light's low-fat scones. It was, i believe sundried tomato and something. It was good, but a bit dense. I'd make them again. On the other hand, or maybe it's the same hand since i'm still arguing pro this recipe, i don't mind the textural changes you can get from lowering the fat content... I imagine that if you search CL, you should be able to find the recipe--it was from about 2003, i think.

            1. actually, Anne, I miswrote. I made these, which are the red pepper ones, not sundrieds:

              1 Reply
              1. re: brownie

                Ooooh, this recipe sounds good. I'll give it a try...