So, May. How did that happen?

This is most likely going to be my last post for a month or so.  On a purely practical level, we’re moving in a couple of weeks and I’ve been told firmly and repeatedly that my normal technique of shoving my possessions in boxes and supermarket carrier bags as they are being loaded into a van is not going to cut it. We seem to have accumulated an awful lot of “stuff” in the last five or six years and most of my weekends are currently spent knee deep in bin bags and cardboard boxes rather than flour and butter, as I would prefer.

The more I’ve thought about it though, the more excited I am about having a month away from here. My only real aim for this blog has only ever been to ensure that every recipe I make, every sentence I write, every photograph I take is better than the last one and I don’t think I can honestly say that has been true recently.

I want to love it here again and be proud of what I do. The best way for me to do that is to take a step back, stop drafting blog posts in my head and actually just get on with my life for a few weeks. By the time June rolls around, I know I will be desperate to come back.

I’m leaving you with some scones inspired, as so many things have been recently, by our recent trip to California. I started most mornings with a “mini” (but really quite adequately sized) vanilla and espresso scone at one of our favourite coffee shops in Santa Monica. The sweetness of the vanilla was perfectly balanced by the bitterness of the coffee so that I didn’t feel like I was overindulging too early in the day but I definitely felt like I was on holiday.


Vanilla bean and espresso scones

Yield: Makes about 6 – 8 depending on size

As a note in the recipe, these scones are not particularly sweet as they only have a hint of maple syrup. I made a quick vanilla glaze with icing sugar, water and vanilla bean paste to drizzle on top of a couple and it made them feel a little bit more special which is sometimes what you need first thing in the morning. I bought my espresso powder in sur la table in the US. I’ve never seen it for sale here  but instant espresso or a strong instant coffee would probably work but may not be quite as strong. I made those with 100% whole grain spelt flour which was more do to with the fact that I’ve just finished the bag of white spelt flour and don’t want to buy another before we move than anything else. 

  • 225g (2 cups) whole grain spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 45g (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 120g (1/2 cup) plain yoghurt
  • Up to 1/4 cup milk
  • 20ml (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • A little more milk to brush on top before baking

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with a non-stick surface.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and espresso powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour quickly. You can stop rubbing when it is in pea-sized lumps.

In a separate bowl or, even better, a jug, lightly mix together the yoghurt, maple syrup and vanilla.
Pour the liquid into your dry ingredients and bring together with a fork until you have a rough dough. You might need to use your hands to just bring it all together at the end. If it seems a little dry, you can add a splash of milk.

Gather the dough together and squash it down with your hands (I don’t bother with a rolling pin). I use a fluted cutter to cut out my scones but you can use whatever you like or just shape the individual scones by hand. The secret is not to overwork the dough or twist the cutter too much as you use it as it may stop the scones from rising properly.

Brush with a little milk and then bake for 20 minutes or so until risen and golden.

If you want, you can make a glaze for the scones with a little icing sugar, hot water and vanilla. It’s a nice touch, especially if you prefer your scones on the sweeter side.

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88 Responses to "vanilla bean and espresso spelt scones"
  1. I’ll miss your wonderful posts! But it’s good to take a break and I hope your move goes smoothly! These scones are gorgeous.

  2. Will miss your posts I think your posts do get better and better but enjoy the break and get your new Kitchen just how you like it

  3. leaf says:

    Beautiful flavours! It would certainly add a little something special to the start of the day. Hope the move and everything goes well.

  4. nutmegs_seven says:

    I had espresso shortbread recently and it was DIVINE, so I can imagine the combination works really well in scone form too. These look like perfect breakfast food!

  5. Ashley says:

    You must be a mind reader; I just bought a bag of spelt flour YESTERDAY! And with vanilla beans and espresso? I’m a total sucker for these babies.

  6. Erin says:

    Good luck with moving! And I hope your blog break is refreshing…I can definitely understand the need to take a break. I’ve had similar thoughts, thinking that sometimes I need to step back in order to feel inspired.
    See you when you come back!

  7. Jenny says:

    These scones sound amazing, I love the idea of vanilla and espresso together! hope your move goes well – I’m glad I’m not the only one that packs like that! see you next month!

  8. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen says:

    Whatever works for you and your current life Kathryn! Enjoy moving into your new house and taking a break from blogging. These scones sound so perfect, not too sweet and with spelt flour!

  9. Great sounding (and looking) scones. Like the tip for glazing the scones, I will have to give that go. Good luck with the move :)

  10. DessertForTwo says:

    I fully support taking a month off of blogging. We will all be here when you get back. Sometimes we need a break to refuel our creativity. We’ll be here when you return. Good luck on the move :)

  11. Good luck with the move! We all need a break sometimes and it definitely helps bring back the passion. These scones look absolutely delicious!

  12. carey says:

    Wishing you guys lots of luck with the move, Kathryn! These scones look and sound awesome, and they’re a great way to leave off! A break is often an excellent form of rejuvenation, and I can’t wait to see what you create once you’re all settled into your new space. (:

  13. Laura says:

    Kathryn, these sound perfect. I love a good spelt scone and especially love the biscuit-cut edges of yours. Beautiful. Hope the little blogging break gives you some new inspiration and that your move/packing technique goes smoothly :) xo

  14. Kathryn says:

    Thank you so much Jennifer!

  15. Kathryn says:

    Ha, the new kitchen is enough reason for the break. I’m too excited about the new one to want to do anything in my grotty old kitchen!

  16. Kathryn says:

    Thank you so much : )

  17. Kathryn says:

    Oh, espresso shortbread sounds excellent. That’s definitely going on the make-list!

  18. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Ashley, glad they are so timely!

  19. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Erin : )

  20. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Jenny, see you in a couple of weeks!

  21. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Paula, I really appreciate it : )

  22. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Lauren!

  23. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Christina, having so much support makes it so easy to take the time off!

  24. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Jessica : )

  25. Kathryn says:

    Thank you so much Laura!

  26. Ali | Gimme Some Oven says:

    These scones sound completely wonderful.

    I am so excited for your move! Looking forward to hearing stories and seeing pictures, and hope all goes smoothly.

    And big cheers to taking a month’s break. Hope that it is relaxing and refreshing, and can’t wait for you to be back in June.

  27. Good luck with your move, so excited to hear more about your new place!

  28. well good luck with the move and continue to bake these yummy treats x (we’re moving into a new flat this weekend and i’m pretending like it’s not happening!)

  29. Dana Shultz says:

    ditto, ditto! have fun and thanks for the scones!

  30. nutmeggo0410 says:

    Megan {Country Cleaver} I am alread eager for you to return Kathryn! Have a wonderful month off and hopefully your move is easy and break-free. I hate that owrry of crushing prized things when I move. How more of my china hasn’t been crushed I don’t know.

  31. Katie (The Muffin Myth) says:

    Those scones look so good! Enjoy your month off (as best as one can while packing and moving) and know we’ll be here when you get back! My next month is looking all kinds of bonkers and I was just considering how the heck I was going to keep up the blog with everything that is going on. I might have to take a page from your book and take a time out. We shall see!

  32. I’m going to miss your lovely posts, but I think you are doing a great thing by taking a break and recharging (though I think all your posts have been fantastic lately!). I’ll just be over here munching on these delicious scones until you return. :) Best of luck with the move!

  33. Antonia @ Health Inspirations says:

    Good luck with your move Kathryn. Can’t wait for you to return!!

  34. Kasey says:

    Good luck with the move, friend! I will miss your words, but am sure you’ll enjoy a little time away..I can’t wait to see you back here :)

  35. Kate says:

    Gorgeous recipe and best of luck with the move! Looking forward to our celebrations in June :-)

  36. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Ali, I can’t wait to be back too : )

  37. Kathryn says:

    Ha, that is an excellent plan and one I might start to adopt as we count down to moving day!

  38. Kathryn says:

    Thank you Lauren : )

  39. Kathryn says:

    I’m trying not to think about that too much because I know if I do I’ll never want to move and just become the crazy china lady in my block!

  40. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Katie. I’ve also got a really busy month at work and I knew something had to give. It’s surprisingly liberating.

  41. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Stephanie!

  42. Kathryn says:

    Thank you Antonia : )

  43. Kathryn says:

    Thank you Kasey, that means so much to me.

  44. Kathryn says:

    Indeed! Roll on June is all I can say ;)

  45. Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    Good luck with the move! I know that you will come back in June refreshed and ready to go!

  46. southernsouffle says:

    Taking a break is good for the soul.. and so are these scones.. Good luck with your move. :)

  47. Rachel Cooks says:

    I always love your posts! Hope moving goes well. Enjoy your blogging break and can’t wait to see you back. :)

  48. Wishing you the best of luck with your move, Kathryn! I bet you’ll be baking lots of delicious treats, including these scones, in your new kitchen in no time!

  49. Shanna says:

    So inspiring, Kathryn. I admire this. (and best wishes with the move!)

  50. Master Chefette says:

    Wow they look so rustic and delicious!

  51. Eva | Adventures in Cooking says:

    They look just beautiful. And I hope you have an easy and smooth move and come back refreshed and inspired :)

  52. Can’t wait to see the photos of your new place! Best of luck, Kathryn!

  53. Oh my, I love any baked goods with espresso! This looks yummy! A cup of coffee with this and I’m a happy camper. :)

  54. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Lauren, that’s what I’m hoping!

  55. Kathryn says:

    It is indeed, thank you for your wise words : )

  56. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Rachel, you’re too sweet!

  57. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Georgia, I can’t deny that I’m probably most excited about my new kitchen!

  58. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Shanna, I so appreciate it.

  59. Kathryn says:

    Thank you very much!

  60. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Eva : )

  61. Kathryn says:

    Thank you Kiran, I can’t wait to share them!

  62. Kathryn says:

    Strangely enough, I don’t actually like coffee to drink at all but I really like the flavour it brings to baked goods. I’m sure they would go very well with a cup of coffee though!

  63. poiresauchocolat says:

    Good luck with the move! I think some time off can be really helpful every now and again – I hope you enjoy it and come back refreshed :) & these scones look lovely!

  64. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray says:

    Aww – I will miss your lovely posts, but I completely understand the need for blogging breaks sometimes. Good luck with the move, and I hope you show us pictures of the new place. :)

  65. Loooove the look of these! I haven’t done much spelt baking and this post has totally kicked my butt to get into it again :)

  66. Ashley says:

    You’ll be missed but I think taking a break is a great way to gain perspective. Good luck with the move!

  67. Aww I’ll miss you girl! But I totally understand. I was “that girl” who was busy pre-writing her posts and editing photos instead of packing. And I may or may not have gotten yelled at for it. :P These scones are the perfect mini indulgence to start your day with!

  68. Irina @ wandercrush says:

    Ooooh, vanilla bean and espresso—I can taste it already. The slight healthification is exciting, as scones are something that I’m always scared to mess with. Happy moving!

  69. Kelly Senyei (Just a Taste) says:

    These look fantastic! I love the combo of vanilla and espresso. Yum!

  70. Good luck with the move! Oh, and your moving style? That’s how I do things, too. :(

    I’m happy that you’re getting a break from the blog! It’ll be great to get away from it for a while and start fresh. :)

    And these scones look lovely! And whole spelt?! Woohoo!

  71. It’s amazing how much stuff we really have and you don’t realize it until you actually start packing!

    Love these scones btw. I could sure use a couple of them for breakfast tomorrow!

  72. Julie @ Table for Two says:

    good luck with moving!!!! sorry i’m late on that! these look delicious and i love the combination of vanilla & espresso – that’s so unique and there aren’t enough of that out there!! xoxox

  73. I took a blog break for a few weeks too (in fact, ending my hiatus tomorrow) and it really helped me clear my head and ground myself again. Good luck with moving. We’ll be here when you return :)

  74. I hope your moving is going along well, Kathryn. I cursed myself last year for having so much stuff when I moved five hours away… somehow I seem to have amassed even more since I got here. Good luck! These scones look and sound marvelous. Looking forward to more inspired posts of yours soon!

  75. real nutrition says:

    These are AMAZING!!!! Can you make these for me when I visit London in July!?

  76. Inês Oliveira says:

    Great blog with beautiful pictures, that I’ve just discovered ;) Good job! I’ll be following you!
    Have a nice week

  77. Although I understand the feelings you discuss, I’d just like to reassure you that I think your posts and gorgeous and your food delicious! I hope the move goes well, and am very much looking forward to your return to the blog, when you’re ready.

  78. Enjoy your time away! When I take a break from my blog, I always return rested, inspired and ready for more.
    And I hope your move goes well. Best of luck to you.

  79. Marie says:

    Going away its the best specially to think and to take a time for yourself! Loving this reccipe! I really like your blog! I would love if you could check out mine and say what you think! THANKS

    Xo from Mexico!!!

  80. Tiff says:

    I really hope you enjoyed your visit to California! I’m just a few miles away from Santa Monica, but I haven’t tried their coffee shops yet. I’ve heard an awful lot of good things of them though & I’m quite delighted that these trips have inspired you to leave us with a delicious recipe for scones! :D I will have to try these out some day.

  81. I think you should be proud of what you do Kathryn! Your photography is beautiful and your writing even better. You’re an inspiration.

    I hope the move goes well too :)

  82. Mercè says:

    First of all congratulate you on your wonderful blog is the perfect recipes.

    Next month I will travel to London and I would like you to tell me where there are shops in central London to buy Kitchenaid accesories, cookie cutters, cake pans etc.

  83. Averie Cooks says:

    I didn’t know you were in Santa Monica – just about an hour away from me! I hoped you soaked in all SoCal had to offer and by now, that your move is done or almost done. So many big things happening for you right now! I know what it’s like to be spinning with being busy with life and hope that things are going to calm down for you a bit now!

  84. Daytona Strong says:

    I hope that the move has been going well. Moving is such a huge endeavor! Best of luck as you continue to settle in to your new home, and I hope that as you get settled you also continue to be inspired to bake, cook, and write. Looking forward to your return!

  85. kale says:

    happy move~! these look perfect. :)

  86. Hey Kathryn! it’s been a while since I’ve read your blog… and now that i’m preparing a scone roundup for Parade Magazine I thought you might have some scone recipes and digging in your archives I found this!

    I’d love to include your vanilla bean and espresso spelt scones in the scone roundup, and if you’re fine with it, could I use one of your photos with a link back to this original post (

    Thank you so much!!

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