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Starbucks Scone

So, they used to have this wonderful cinnamon chip scone. It was the main reason -- often the only reason -- I would go to Starbucks. Then about two years ago they didn't have it anymore. One "barrista" told me they'd changed bakeries here in Toronto. Lately, though, I am craving that scone. Any ideas? Somewhere else that has them? A recipe perhaps? Thanks!

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  1. I've had really good scones from St. John Bakery on Broadview, just north of Queen. Also, Ideal Coffee at Ashdale and Queen have some really good, lemon/cranberry ones.

    1. They do shift bakeries every now and then.
      When they first opened here they had a killer butterscotch scone that I have not seen in years.

      The scones etc. are very different in the USA outlets I've been to.

      10 Replies
      1. re: fleisch

        It's been a number of years since Starbucks have been using the same bakery for the scones. What Starbucks does is change the product every now and then. So if you can’t find the cinnamon chip scone, I would assume that Starbucks have discontinued the cinnamon chip scone. Wow, I was not aware that Starbucks has 286 retail locations in Ontario. That’s about the same amount of Tim Horton’s in Hamilton!
        Since the baked goods are baked fresh daily, what you find here in Ontario and I believe Quebec, you will not find elsewhere.
        Have you tried the Vanilla Bean Scone? They are small but it’s nice to see real vanilla bean for a change. I know I pay $6.00 for two beans these days, so I’m surprised to see vanilla bean at Starbucks.

        1. re: Pastryrocks

          The Vanilla Bean Scones are really tasty and not bad in terms of pricing for something you buy at Starbucks. Hopefully they don't get rid of these too!

          1. re: Pastryrocks

            Are you sure they're baked fresh daily? They (at least the cookies) are individually wrapped in plastic and I get the idea that they've been around a while (though I still love the ginger molasses cookies).

            1. re: torontofoodiegirl

              I'm not convinced every branch is throwing out day old stock either.

              1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                I can tell you that most pastries are saved (not "marked out") for three days, except for the breakfast pastries, like the bear claw danish, scones, croissants and muffins. All the cookies, cakes, loaves, etc are sold for three days after they recieve them the night before.

                Also, you can get a lot of the same pastries in the states, not just in ontario and quebec as Pastryrocks says. They get a lot of their stuff from bakeries in the united states.

                I know all this because I used to work there.

                1. re: pinkprimp

                  I stand corrected. What I should have said was that the viennoiseries are made fresh daily along with the scones, muffins and sliced coffee cakes (which included lemon poppy seed). I know because I use to work where it was being made. Of the above the coffee cakes have the best shelf life, two maybe three days. But viennoiseries i.e. danish, croissants etc..., have a very poor shelf life, one day at the very best. Day or two old croissants make the best bread pudding. Despite there ingredients muffins also have a very poor shelf life. The above goods could come from the states, heck even France or Austria. But they would have to be frozen and then baked ‘fresh’ at the store. Not unlike the god-awful ‘fresh’ baked bread at those sub shops.
                  The cookies are not made fresh daily, however, the shelf life of most cookies are quite good. I can’t remember where they are made.
                  This same bakery also has done some patisserie for Starbucks in the past, but since I’ve not been at the bakery for a few years, I’m unsure what if any cakes are being made for Starbucks by this bakery anymore.
                  Unsure who makes the bear claws, I’ve never eaten a bear claw, but since they look like they are based on something like laminated dough or maybe even a brioche style dough (probably with much less butter than brioche, food cost rules!), I would assume the shelf life is no very long. They do look interesting.
                  What Starbucks does with their old or day old food I would not know. I do know that each Starbucks store can refuse goods that are sent/ordered if they are ‘not up to there (Starbucks) standards’. I also know that Starbucks management here in Canada are not easy to deal with, they have standards that are not easy to follow. HACCP and food safety aside, which all food producers should follow rigorously, those who decide what will be sold in Starbucks stores, are a picky bunch.
                  In my mind when I saw Helina’s post it brought back a great deal of memories of the bake shop. This is when I wrote my above post while remembering some fond memories.

                  1. re: Pastryrocks

                    They are shipped to the stores, already made, in various types of packaging.

                    With food that is past it's date (as i said, three days on the shelf) we "mark them out" which is taking them out of the computer system and throwing them out or giving them to charity.

                    As far as I know, we only sent back items if they arrived broken, or if it wasn't something we ordered.

                    1. re: pinkprimp

                      Yes of course they are made and then packed when they are shipped to the store! Like I said I use to work where some of the baked goods are made. In fact when you arrive at work in the morning you’re baked goods that where ordered the pervious day are on trays in the store waiting for someone at the store to unpack. All the goodies on the trays or even one tray are not from one bakery.
                      As far as the US, it would be difficult to bake viennoiseries and have them fresh in the store if the store is further from the oven by truck, than say half a day or more. So yes you can get croissants in every Starbucks in the US or the world for that matter. But it would be impossible to have fresh croissants each day from an oven that is more than a day away. That’s why I used the example of croissants from Austria.
                      In the past when a new bakery has taken over making a product that a different bakery used to make, a very few of the stores would send the product back. Because the product did not look ‘exactly’ like it did from the old bakery, a few stores would send it back claiming that something was wrong, or for whatever reason. I’ve seen this happen a few times. Since we dealt with many stores pinkprimp (there’s much more now), you might not have seen your store manager send anything back.
                      As far as getting a lot of ‘stuff’ from the states as pinkprimp said above. I believe that at least 80% or more of the fresh foods that are sold at Starbucks here in Ontario and maybe Quebec are not from the US. Again I have not baking anything for Starbucks for a number of years.

              2. re: Pastryrocks

                They don't use a whole vanilla bean, they would just use vanilla bean paste.

              3. re: fleisch

                Ooh La La, the café on the main floor of the CBC Building at Wellington and John carries a really delicious butterscotch scone if you're ever near there. But it just doesn't match that cinnamon one, sigh. I will try the Vanilla Bean when I see one at my next trip to Starbucks. Thanks.

              4. I'm a huge fan of Starbucks' pumpkin scones. They are just killer.

                3 Replies
                1. re: magic

                  ohhhhh how i love the thick icing!

                2. I'm pretty sure that Starbucks has changed their sourcing so that now all stores get baked goods from a central supplier. The baked goods are made, then flash frozen and are delivered to the stores. They are certainly not baked fresh every day, nor are they necessarily locally made.

                  This is different from a few years ago, when each metropolitan market had its own suppliers and you would find different baked goods in Toronto than in Vancouver or Chicago. Just take a look at the Starbucks website's nutritional info and you'll see the exact same scones and muffins across Canada. So that is probably why you don't see the cinnamon chip scone anymore, and probably won't see it ever again - at least at Starbucks.

                  I used to like some Starbucks muffins and scones but the past couple years have found them mostly inedible. I've even returned a scone because it was stale - not because I cared about the $2.50 or whatever but to make sure the store knew how bad the product quality was.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: VP of Feeling Groovy

                    VP of feeling groovy what do you mean by ‘pretty sure’? I’m 100% positive that you are unsure. In fact I was at the bakery two Friday’s ago and production was running normal. No flash freezer in the joint.
                    IMHO I also dislike the scones, but what a large paying customer like Starbucks wants, they get. As far as product quality goes, food and labour cost are the determining factors. Labour cost is as a rule higher in a pastry kitchen.

                    1. re: Pastryrocks

                      I don't give a damn if the pumpkin scones are flash frozen or made out of hay. They are delicious and that's all I care about.

                    2. re: VP of Feeling Groovy

                      When i worked there (half a year ago), they weren't flash frozen when they arrived. Also, as an example, you can get the pumpkin scone here and in the states, but they are different (the one in the states has thinner icing and a different orange scribbling pattern on top)

                      1. re: pinkprimp

                        Is the pumpkin scone only available in the fall? I'm assuming so....pity!!! I guess I will just have to wait it out to try it!

                        Note to all - I find the lemon cranberry muffin at Starbucks to be disgusting...if you haven't tried it and were meaning to...my suggestion is to save your money!

                        1. re: Sandybandy

                          I just had the pumpkin scone last week (Dundas/Elizabeth Starbucks) and it was fantastic!! I was trying to wean myself off of those highly addictive chocolate donuts..

                          1. re: Sandybandy

                            They used to be an Autumn pastry (with the pumpkin spice latte) but since they became so popular, a lot of stores now order them all year round.

                            1. re: pinkprimp

                              Do you know who supplies their chocolate covered pretzel sticks? Are they imported from the US or made here?

                              1. re: ParsleySage

                                No, I'm sorry, I don't. I haven't worked there in half a year (moved on to better things, lol) but if you go in the store, you can just ask them to check the box for you. The policy is "just say yes" (to everything the customer says)

                      2. Interesting discussion about industrial bakeries. Thanks all. Meantime, I may have answered part of my own question. Seems Hershey's makes cinnamon chips! Who knew? Now, where to find them.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Helina

                          It’s funny but I’ve been thinking this over and I never though of the bakery being an ‘industrial bakery’. They are mechanized (mixing bowl that can hold 3-4 people), which helps keep down labour cost, but I’m unsure that it could be called ‘industrial’.

                          You still have to mix, fold, whip, etc, etc… just at larger amounts. Stood in front of the oven and made 1200 brandy snaps bowls. When I was there I have cooked sugar to make Italian meringue for butter cream, and so on… You can’t use egg whites from a pail to make meringue, the whites must be from fresh eggs, and egg whites in a pail don’t work.

                          Made puff dough on many occasions, to make Pate Sucre the ingredients are just butter, icing sugar, AP flour and egg yolks, and this was the basic pie dough. However, I did use a sheeter to fill 24-26 pie tins at one time and of course to make puff dough, though there are rolling pins.

                          We always made ganache (lots of places purchase this in a pail), all mousses where made from scratch, most everything was made from scratch; even the chocolate had 71% solids.

                          No machine to pipe cream or butter cream onto a cake. No belt that cakes move along where one person does one thing, say like a car plant such as Ford or GM. I always thought of some place like Christie's or Dare to be industrial.

                          1. re: Pastryrocks

                            Thought about it some more, and yea what the heck, it's industrial. Food and labour cost rule, and as such, well just look at the ingredients that are listed on Starbucks web site. The above is true, however, what Starbucks would order and other customers would order is not the same. Now with 286 locations in Ontario, well food and labour cost rule, what else can be said?
                            You know you can’t edit your post on this site. Otherwise I would have changed the above post.

                            1. re: Pastryrocks

                              Well, have you noticed how basic the pastries are at Starbucks? Muffins? Scones? Loafs? those take very little work, compared to meringues and such, so they cost a lot less in terms of labour per unit

                              1. re: pinkprimp

                                Update - I had a pumpkin scone was not excited about it at all. The small vanilla bean scones however are BRILLIANT!

                                1. re: Sandybandy

                                  Vanilla Bean Scones....sprinkle on some of the cocao or cinammon on the way out!!! YUM

                                  1. re: deelicious

                                    I have never sprinkled cocoa or cinnamon on them! Gotta try it!