Recipes, Special Diets on January 29, 2014 by

Embracing the Low Carb, Gluten-Free Lifestyle + Cranberry Orange Drop Scones

Starting a specialized diet is a huge lifestyle change that many people face with great trepidation. Whether the dietary changes are by choice or by necessity, it can rock your world to find that many of your old favorite foods are now off-limits. When you embark on a diet that cuts out sugar and gluten and limits carbohydrates, you will at first feel that your food choices are incredibly limited. And you may be very disheartened, thinking that cooking, baking and eating with such limited ingredients will lose all pleasure. I know that feeling all too well, as I was there myself a few short years ago. A diagnosis of diabetes and a desire to stay off insulin led me to the low carb, gluten-free lifestyle; I thought my days of cooking and eating delicious foods were over.

In reality, nothing could have been further from the truth. First, I had to get over the common misconception that low carb diets consist of little more than eggs, meat and cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those things, but I think anyone would tire of that menu pretty quickly. One can only eat so many cheese omelets before craving a different sort of breakfast. Thankfully, there is this little thing called the internet; perhaps you’ve heard of it? I will always chalk it up to the power of Google Search that I discovered early on a veritable goldmine of information about eating low carb and gluten-free. And my own experimentation with low carb cooking and baking has added greatly to my understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and how to stay focused and on track. I feel fortunate that I am able to share that knowledge with you.

Cranberry Orange Drop Scones | Bob's Red Mill + All Day I Dream About Food

Upon embarking on a low carb diet, you do need to be prepared to cook and bake a lot of your own foods at home. Low carb, gluten-free recipes tend to take rather specialized ingredients which, thanks to companies like Bob’s Red Mill, are becoming more and more widely available. Almond flour is available in many grocery store chains now, as are coconut flour, flax seed meal and chia seeds. Nut flours/meals and coconut flour form the basis of the vast majority of low carb baked goods. And believe me, baked goods made with these ingredients can rival their high-carb, gluten-filled counterparts in both taste and texture.

Don’t confuse gluten-free with low carb or vice-versa. This is a common mistake, and many well-meaning friends and family may offer you something that is gluten-free, but is made with high-carb ingredients like rice flour or contains added sugars. And many pre-packaged low carb items are actually made with wheat-based products, so if you need to be gluten-free, steer clear of these. The sugar-free or no-added sugar labels are also not a guarantee of a low carbohydrate item. When in doubt, read the nutritional information on the packaging. If it’s a homemade item, don’t be afraid to ask what’s in it. It’s not rude when your health is at stake.

Although you do need to limit your consumption of things like grains, legumes and potatoes on a low carb, gluten-free diet, you will be pleasantly surprised at the number of delicious foods that are naturally low in carbohydrates. Did you know chocolate is low carb? Well, the unsweetened variety is, and although few people like the taste of unsweetened chocolate, adding a little sweetener of your own can produce delicious results. Most vegetables are low in carbohydrates and even some sweet-tasting fruits like strawberries and raspberries are naturally low carb as well.

Cranberry Orange Drop Scones | Bob's Red Mill

All is not lost when it comes to enjoying decadent desserts either. The fact that sugar is the predominant sweetener in our culture is something of an historical accident. There are numerous other sweeteners out there, and you aren’t limited to artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. Stevia, erythitol, and xylitol are all naturally-occurring and have little impact on most people’s blood glucose levels. They all have their limitations in low carb, gluten-free baking, however, so I keep several of them on hand and often use them in combination to get the desired results.

Like any healthy eating regimen, you need to make sure you are getting enough fiber in your low carb, gluten-free diet. Fortunately, many high-fiber foods are also quite low in carbohydrates and dietary fiber can actually count against the carbs in any given food item. Although fiber is technically considered a carbohydrate (at least on US nutrition labeling), it largely passes through the system undigested and has little effect on blood glucose levels. In fact, a significant amount of dietary fiber can actually slow the absorption of other sources of glucose into the bloodstream. You will quickly become familiar with the term “net carb counts”, calculated by subtracting the total grams of dietary fiber per serving from the total grams of carbohydrate per serving.

If all of this sounds confusing and a little overwhelming, don’t worry. A little bit of effort in figuring out what does, and what doesn’t, fit the low carb, gluten-free lifestyle, and it will soon become second nature. And you won’t be limited to meat, cheese and eggs for the rest of your life, either. The foods available to you are much more varied than they first appear. Better yet, you are bound to discover new foods and new ingredients that you heretofore knew little or nothing about. You will find new ways to cook and bake, and you will enjoy your food all the more knowing it’s good for you.

 Cranberry Orange Drop Scones, Low Carb, Gluten Free | Bob's Red Mill

Cranberry Orange Drop Scones


  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/3 cup Swerve Sweetener or other erythritol (other sweeteners may be substituted)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup fresh Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 4 large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup fresh Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp Orange Zest
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Optional Glaze:

  • ¼ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or other powdered erythritol (if you substitute another sweetener here, it must be a powdered version)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp fresh Orange Juice

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, almond flour, sweetener, baking powder and salt. Stir in cranberries.

Add Greek yogurt, eggs, orange juice, coconut oil, orange zest and vanilla extract and stir vigorously until well combined.

Drop by large spoonful onto prepared baking sheet. You should get 10 to 12 scones in all. Bake 24 to 27 minutes, until firm to the touch and the tops are lightly browned.

Remove and let cool 5 minutes on pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze, whisk powdered sweetener and 2 tbsp of orange juice together in a small bowl. Add more orange juice if glaze is too thick.

Drizzle over cooled scones.

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.

Carolyn Ketchum | All Day I Dream About Food

Carolyn Ketchum is the writer, photographer and almond flour wizard behind All Day I Dream About Food, a low carb and gluten-free food blog. Her mission is to prove to the world that special diets need not be boring or restrictive and that healthy dishes can be just as good, or better, than their sugar and gluten-filled counterparts. It’s astonishing what you can do with a bag of almond flour, a stick of butter, and a willingness to experiment. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest for inspiring ideas for the low carb, gluten free lifestyle. 


Bob G says:

Ms. Ketchum, thank you for providing help to so many who would otherwise have such a hard time following a gluten free and low carb diet that they would give up. I have celiac disease and my wife has very recently developed a severe allergy to rice, so we have fewer options than many for gluten free living. However, this is actually working out pretty well for us because it also shed more light on low carb cooking and eating. Fortunately, I had many years of experience in foodservice and have been able to adapt readily to gluten free-low carb cooking and baking and am helping my wife to learn as well. We are taking this as a new adventure to experience together.

One thing that I learned many years ago when I first started cooking is that you should not be afraid to make food flavorful. Use ample herbs, spices, and other fresh unprocessed flavoring (such as freshly shaved citrus rind) and your finished food will delight your taste-buds. The best foods, if left bland, will be unappetizing and unsatisfying and can drive people back to the wrong stuff full of carbs, gluten, sugars and salt.

Thank you for making healthful eating enjoyable!

Carolyn says:

Hi Bob – I am sorry to hear about your dietary restrictions but as I too have learned, it’s often not nearly as bad as you think it will be in the beginning. I have learned so much more about ingredients than I ever knew before. And you’re right about spices and flavourings, it makes a world of difference to our taste buds. When our taste buds are happy, we’re happy!

Kelly says:

How fortunate that I discovered this post today through a link on Twitter. For some time now I have been contemplating the need to move to a sugar-free, gluten-free diet, but have been overcome with fears of sugar crabbing and a lack of options to satisfy my varied tastes. Couple that with my love of baking, and I have been stopped in my tracks at the mere notion of sugar-free, gluten-free foods. Thanks to you, however, I fell empowered to give it a try!

We are so happy to hear that this fit for you! We are working to bring more content like this.

Carolyn says:

I am so glad you found the article helpful, Kelly. Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding sugar free and gluten-free baking.

Laura cash says:

Carolyn, I love your recipes and visit your blog often. These scones sound amazing! Do you think I could successfully substitute dried cranberries, and if so, would I use the same amount? Also, I have issues with dairy products. Is there a good non-dairy substitute for Greek yogurt? I can’t wait to bake these! Thank you!

Carolyn says:

If you can find (or make) unsweetened dried cranberries, feel free to substitute. I have a good recipe for making dried cranberries on my blog. I am less sure of a good sub for greek yogurt but there are some coconut milk yogurts out there.

Kathy Jo Horan says:

Carolyn, these were delicious! All of your recipes are, so I was not surprised! I do have a question, though. When I make a glaze with the powdered Swerve (I powdered it myself from the regular) it turns beige, not stark white, as it is in your pictures. Any clue as to what has happened? Thanks!

Carolyn says:

Hmmmm, no mine stayed bright white, so I am going to guess it’s from the fact that you powdered it yourself. The confectioner’s Swerve is so finely powdered (like dust!) and the granulated may combine with the juice differently.

Maggie says:

I made these this morning. They have an amazing flavor! I am not sugar-free, so I used organic coconut palm sugar instead of the Swerve sweetener. My “scones” came out more like cookies rather than stand-up scones. Could it be the result of using the coconut palm sugar? I thought that since Swerve is measured spoonful-per-spoonful for sugar, that using the same amount of coconut palm sugar would behave the same, but maybe I was wrong? Either way, they taste amazing! (BTW, I used a 1/8 cup measure to make them, and came up with about 28 scones.)

Carolyn says:

Not sure if it was the coconut sugar or not. Several people said they found that they flattened out a lot. Mine were flattish too, but not like cookies.

Lolretta says:

Does coconut flour and coconut oil taste like coconut flavor. I do not like coconut flavor. Are there any other alternatives to use?

Coconut flour does have a light coconut flavor. I’ve not noticed coconut oil having much of a flavor. Coconut flour has very unique baking properties, so I’m not sure if you could use a substitute and have the scones come out properly.

Carolyn says:

I find that extra virgin coconut oil does have a strong coconut flavour. If you’re worried about it, I’d use melted butter instead.

Lorraine says:

I too, have never liked coconut, but have found that I don’t really notice the flavor when baking with coconut flour, oil, and milk. I’ve also noticed that unsweetened coconut flakes have a much milder flavor than the typical sweetened coconut found in grocery stores. I suggest trying it.

Also, like Carolyn says, you discover many more flavors and foods when moving to a low carb lifestyle. I’ve eaten, and enjoyed, many things I would have never thought I would like. Kale chips?

AmyO says:

I made these recently and really loved the flavor! The orange and cranberry flavors really come through (rather than almond and coconut).

I followed the recipe as stated but I too had the same result as Maggie where they really flattened out during baking, more than the pictures above (reminded me of a muffin top muffin), but the flavor and texture were still great! I would make them again.

I am single and knew I wasn’t going to have a chance to eat the entire recipe over the following days, so I baked a few on day 1 and scooped the remaining batter onto a cookie sheet and froze it (a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop yields about 10 scones).

Since then, I have baked the rest, just a few at a time, varying baking temps and times. I had the best results by lowering the temperature to about 325 and baking them from frozen for about 35-40. This had the added unexpected benefit of them baking into a more rounded “scone” shape. I think the texture suffers a little bit, but they are still delicious!

Thanks for the recipe!

James A. Davidson says:

Great site, but, what about those of us who need to keep saturated fats under control? It seems your recipes are great for low carb gluten free folks; I noticed your recipes don’t quote the saturated fats which can be just as deadly as the carbs and the gluten. Can you provide some recommendations for foods that won’t clog arteries but are also low carb and gluten free?

Carolyn says:

Hi James,

That’s a good question, but truth be told, most people on a low carb diet embrace all kinds of fat, including saturated, as healthy. And there is an increasing body of research that supports the idea that saturated fats are not the problem and don’t contribute to cholesterol levels, heart disease and other diseases as previously thought. I can only speak anecdotally for myself, but I eat copious amounts of butter, animal fats and coconut oil and I have great cholesterol and triglyceride numbers.

Lin says:

I made this with cranberries I had frozen at Christmas time. Hard to find fresh cranberries other times of the year. I thought they were fabulous. My husband liked them but thought they were dry, but I know that scones are supposed to be on the dry side. Next time, I’ll add more cranberries and I think that will solve his concern with dryness. I found these to be a great breakfast alternative the the same old eggs and bacon on our low-carb lifestyle.

Chris says:

Great recipe! I’ve made them twice now, the second time I made them a little smaller so they made more. Froze the extras and brought them out for company this morning, and they loved them! No one can believe they are low carb! Thanks Carolyn for all your wonderful recipes!

Carolyn says:

So glad you liked them!

Cynthia says:

I live in Malaysia and can’t always find all necessary ingredients, but I substituted and omitted away on this one and had delicious results. Fortunately, I *can* get most Bob’s Red Mill products, so this was pretty straightforward, and I had brought back Swerve from a visit to the States…I used organic, very lightly sweetened cranberries, half the quantity, and added chopped walnuts. Nothing orange in the house and I used coconut milk (fresh local) in place of the yoghurt. It worked a treat and we loved these. There are two hidden in the freezer and I can’t wait to make more…bit I’ll get an orange and some Greek yoghurt this week! Thanks, good stuff

Arwen says:

I have been on the hunt for this exact solution. I love scones. Thanks for putting this out there. I’m going to try this!

Deborah says:

I was wondering how they would come out using nuts instead of the cranberries? trying to cut down on sugar and dried fruit does have a lot of sugar.

Nuts would work just fine in place of the cranberries in this recipe.

Carolyn says:

I am sure that would be fine but please be aware that cranberries are VERY low in natural sugar and carbs. It’s why they are so tart!

Jessi says:

I have a recipe for scones and it calls for 2c all purpose flour, 2tsp baking powder, 1/3c sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/3c butter, 1 egg, 1/2 c milk, 1tsp vanilla. what would you recommend for substitutions. I have pre-diabetes and am trying to cut out sugar and lower my carb intake.

Tammy says:

I love scones and these sound great!! Can you tell me what the nutritional value is? I’m looking for calories & carbs at the very least. I’ve lost 17 pounds since I went low carb but I’m starting to get bored with the same old foods.

Thanks for your help!

Anne Marie says:

Thanks! GREAT scones. The yogurt really helps lighten these. I used honey as my sweetneer, so they widened a bit while baking, I’ll play with that, but overall a very nice almond flour scone (I’ve tried a few, best yet). Thanks again.

Michelle says:

Would you happen to know how many net carbs and what is a serving please?

Mattie R. says:

I am 6 full days into being GF and sugar free. It has been easy to a certain extent. When I crave something sweet I will try these. I have noticed that the less I have of refined sugars my cravings are subsiding. One thing that I am conflicted about is using the almond flour in my baked goods. Some say that using to much almond flour can be an overload of almonds and cause other problems. What do you think?


If you’re concerned about eating too many almonds, try hazelnut meal instead. It’s a great alternative and can be used the same way. If you are just making baked goods from time to time with it, though, we don’t think it’s cause for concern. Bravo for reducing your refined sugars, that’s always a wonderful step towards feeling well.

Donna W. says:

I made these scones this morning and they smell wonderful but they really spread out a lot and are pretty flat. So, I am wondering about the best way to measure coconut flour. I gently spooned it into the measuring cup and then leveled. I have tried the scoop and swipe method in other recipes and they came out too stiff, so I am wondering what the best method is for measuring coconut flour for recipes??


We typically recommend scoop and sweep. Coconut flour is such a tricky product. I’m sorry that you had problems with these scones. I’d love to send you some coupons/product vouchers to help offset the cost of the product. If you’re interested, please send your address to me at

Isa says:

Sounds delicious! But I’m still counting carbs on my diet, so do you have the carb count for 1 serving and, since it makes “10 to 12 scones,” how much 1 serving actually is?


I’ll post the nutritional info in the main body of the post above. If the recipe makes 12 scones, each one has 13 grams of carbs each. More info above.

Ellen Divers says:

Hi, there is a dramatic discrepancy between the carb count for this recipe on this site and what Carolyn notes on her web site (10 vs 5 net carbs). Although my count comes closer to hers, I’m wondering how you calculated it for this recipe. Getting to eat just one vs two of these makes a big difference 🙂

Hi Ellen,

We used a nutrition facts program. I would put more faith in what Carolyn has said on her site- she’s the expert when it comes to calculating carbs.

Ilona says:

I just made these this afternoon. I used frozen blueberries instead of the cranberries, and they were fantastic! I have really missed baked goods and this recipe turned out to be a real winner. This one will definitely go into the keeper file. 🙂

Jess says:

I don’t have to follow a low carb diet; however, I am looking for a gluten free scone recipe…could I substitute an all-purpose gluten-free flour in this recipe? Thanks for your time.


Because this recipe was developed with coconut flour, a straight substitution probably won’t work. We recommend this one instead:

Ann Ziajka says:

I have a nut allergy, would it be possible to only use the coconut flour. If so how much would I use? Thanks for your time!


We’re not sure how that would work. Coconut flour is a unique ingredient that cannot easily be replaced or added to a recipe. You might try this recipe instead:

Kristie Gionet says:

Is it possible to use orang extract instead of the juice to lower the net carb count? Thanks so much for all your efforts!

Beth says:

I made this this morning, followed the directions exactly and they turned out like big, flat cookies. I am very disappointed. Any suggestions if I decide to try again?


We’re so sorry. We’re not sure what went wrong. I’ll see if we can get an answer from the recipe author.

Carolyn says:

Hi Beth. Did you use Bob’s coconut flour? There can be variations in coconut flour, even within the same brand, so it sounds to me like perhaps you should increase either that or the almond flour. Not by a lot, but enough to make a stiffer batter. Maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons?

Angie says:

Wow!!!! Wow!!! Wow!!! First time and I doubled this recipe. I’m not a fan of artificial sweetner so I took a gamble snd used about 3/4cp of raw honey instead- I also did not use a glaze, but these are divine!!!! Thank you!!!

Jan says:

The flavor of these scones is fantastic! My first batch came out flat as well — delicious, but flat. The second batch I used an additional 2T almond meal, and that helped a little, but they were still not a rounded scone shape. I’m wondering if maybe it’s too much coconut oil?

Did you use all of the same ingredients as listed above?

Pam Roberts says:

There is no nutritional info in the main body of this article. I really need to know correct nutritional info. Would love to make these.

Nicole says:

Just pulled these out of the oven and they look great- not flat at all. I did, however, swap the coconut oil for cold cubed butter, which I hand mixed into the dry mix before adding the remaining ingredients. The scone recipe I’m used to calls for cold cubed butter this way, as do many other recipes for baked goods, and the cold butter helps keep the flattening at bay. As for taste, I’ve not eaten a whole one yet, but I did break off a small bite, and although the texture is a bit more mealy than I would like, they taste great!

Janet w says:

Something is wrong! My batter was like soup! I added probably more than another cup of flour. I rechecked everything. What did I do?

Susan says:

Hi Carolyn. The recipe sounds delicious. Only think is I don’t like the taste of coconut flour. Can I sub it with almond flour and if so, what quantity would you suggest? Thanks.

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