Tea and Scones, Baking on a Boat (GF)

(Or more than you ever wanted to know about biscuits!)

Mary Berry’s scone recipe, https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/tea_time_scones_77839

Lock-down. Too many British detective shows. Too many Cozy Mysteries. Too much “British Baking Show”. Even though it’s 80F outside and we don’t have air conditioning, we must BAKE!

I prefer baking from scratch, but we suddenly find ourselves without gluten-free flour. How to adapt a recipe using pancake mix?


What is pancake mix? It’s really just an expensive mix of flour, baking powder and various other ingredients. Each brand is different. For example:

  • Bisquick Baking & Pancake Mix. A staple of my childhood. Sunday morning pancakes and Impossible Pie. The interesting ingredient I didn’t expect was OIL, which I discovered while researching how to make a copycat gluten-free version: Enriched Flour Bleached, Partially Hydrogenated Oil, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Dextrose, Salt.

  • Pamela’s GF Baking & Pancake mix. My preferred mix, if available. It includes buttermilk powder: Brown Rice Flour, White Rice Flour, Cultured Buttermilk, Natural Almond Meal (may appear as brown flecks), Tapioca Starch, Sweet Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Grainless & Aluminum Free Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Potato Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate), Baking Soda, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum
    • Maple Grove Farms GF Pancake Mix. This is our only option right now. It already contains SUGAR, so I’ll need to take that into consideration when adapting: Long Grain Rice Flour, Soy Flour, Dextrose {sugar}, Leavening (Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate) {baking powder}, Salt, Corn Starch, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum.
    Step 2: PICK A RECIPE

    What is a scone? Or as we Americans call it, a biscuit. It can be sweet or savory but I’m going for an afternoon tea sweet biscuit. It doesn’t use yeast and rarely egg, making it a denser than other baked goods. It can be served with butter, jam, or a dollop of honey.

  • 1) BBC Scones:
  • 29 British scone recipes from the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/scone

    A simple, plain scone recipe without egg: “Plain Scones with Jam and Cream”

  • 2) Bisquick drop biscuit recipe: You have to dig to find the old recipe from the box.
  • https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=246416
  • 3) Pamela’s GF biscuit recipes:
  • 35 Gluten-free scone recipes: https://www.pamelasproducts.com/recipes/biscuits_scones

    Pamela’s easiest biscuit recipe, “drop biscuits” (see recipe after link):


    Yield: 5 – 6 biscuits, 1 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, ¼ cup shortening, ⅓ cup plus 1 TBSP milk

    4) A gluten-free scone recipe:

    King Arthur Gluten-free scones:



    I like the “it looks too easy” version of Pamela’s biscuit recipe, but I have the Maple Groves mix. So let’s break down the full-blown King Arthur recipe:

    • Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
    • sugar
    • baking powder
    • xanthan gum
    • salt
    • cold butter
    • egg (optional?)
    • cold milk

    Once I cross out the ingredients already in my pancake mix, I’m left with butter and milk (egg seems to be optional in a biscuit recipe, according to my research). This closely resembles the “easy” Pamela’s recipe, so I’ll try that recipe.

    Step 4: BAKE!
  • Scones or biscuits are best served hot, so scale down the recipe, if needed.
  • Any substitutions are tricky in such a basic recipe, but using what we had and trying to lower fat:
  • Sub 1/2 apple sauce & 1/2 coconut oil for the butter
  • Sub soy milk (and added 1/2 Tbsp vinegar for “buttermilk”, also helps to activate the baking powder)
  • I went plain the first time, but I’ll be adding 1/4 cup candied ginger or dried fruit for the next batch.
  • If you are using Bisquick or Pamela’s, you’ll need to add a little sugar to make your biscuit a scone.
  • Enjoy & happy baking!