These carrot cake scones are tender, flaky and so flavorful scones filled with shredded carrots and cinnamon. The scones are topped with dulce de leche cream cheese frosting. They are so easy to make and are the perfect special treat for Easter breakfast or dessert!
Carrot cake scones are warmly spiced and full of freshly grated carrots. They are topped with dulce de leche cream cheese frosting!
These scones are easy to make and full of carrot cake flavor. They will be a perfect Easter breakfast or dessert. They are a delicious spring recipe!
Why this recipe works
- Buttery scones- These scones have a buttery texture that you will love biting into!
- Warmly spiced- They are lightly spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- Dulce de leche frosting– This creamy frosting is sweetened with both powdered sugar and caramel-like dulce de leche!
- Dulce de leche- Dulce de leche is swirled into the frosting for the perfect extra finishing touch!
- Easy to make– This carrot cake scones recipe is super easy to make!
What are scones?
Scones are rich baked goods. They can be made quickly because they use baking powder instead of yeast.
Scones are similar to but different than biscuits. Biscuits are usually made without eggs. They are flakier and less sweet than scones.
Scones are most commonly made in triangle shapes. They can also be cut into squares like these or into circles using a biscuit cutter.
See recipe card below for complete list of ingredients and quantities.
- All Purpose flour: Measure your flour accurately. Scooping flour in a measuring cup into your flour leads to using too much flour. Use a spoon to sprinkle flour into your measuring cup and swipe off excess flour with the back of a knife.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder makes our scones rise.
- Unsalted Butter: It’s best to use frozen butter. I also like to grate it. You can chop the butter, but using grated butter makes it easier to incorporate it with the flour without having to mix it too much.
- Heavy Cream: Make sure it’s cold, not room temperature. Buttermilk or whole milk can also be used. For best results, use heavy cream instead of milk.
- One large egg: Make sure egg is cold. Grab one straight from the fridge.
- Brown Sugar: I use light brown sugar for this recipe. Light or dark can be used.
- Vanilla Extract: For extra flavor.
- Dulce de leche: Dulce de leche is a made from slowly heated sweetened condensed milk. Since our scones and frosting are both from scratch, I like to use store bought dulce de leche. For another amazing dulce de leche recipe, try my dulce de leche cupcakes!
- Cream cheese: The frosting has butter and cream cheese in it. Make sure both are at room temperature before making it.
STEP 1: Grate the frozen butter on a box grater. Return butter to freezer.
STEP 2: Mix the dry ingredients together.
STEP 3: Add butter and carrots to dry ingredients. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss mixture with a fork until the butter is completely coated with flour and is about the size of peas. Stir in the grated carrots.
STEP 4: Whisk together the wet ingredients. Combine the heavy cream, egg, sugars, and vanilla extract.
STEP 5: Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture. If dry there are some dry spots, add a bit more heavy cream and if it’s too sticky (sticking to your hands a lot), add a little more flour.
STEP 6: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a square. Fold it in half and flatten it again. This will very gently knead the dough until ingredients are just mixed together. Avoid overmixing! Shape the dough into a square or circle about 1-1 1/2 inches thick. Cut the dough into nine squares (if dough is square shaped) or 8 triangles (if dough is circle shaped). Place scones at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
STEP 7: Chill in fridge or freezer. Ingredients can warm up while out of the fridge and with contact with your hands. I highly recommend chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking.
STEP 8: Bake scones. Brush tops and sides with milk or cream. Bake scones at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 17-22 minutes or until golden brown. Allow scones to cool.
STEP 9: Top with the cream cheese dulce de leche frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamed and combined. Add the dulce de leche and mix for an additional 2-3 minutes until completely combined. Mix in the vanilla and salt. With the mixer on low, add the sifted powdered sugar gradually. Spoon frosting over the cooled scones.
- Top with coarse sugar– For this carrot cake scone recipe, I love the idea of cream cheese frosting. If you prefer to leave out the frosting, just sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top of the brushed cream or milk. It adds a little extra sweetness and texture!
- Lemon icing– Lemon also goes well with carrot cake scones. Drizzle some of this simple lemon icing over your scones instead of cream cheese frosting.
- Ginger substitute– Replace equal parts cinnamon for the ground ginger.
- Add raisins and or nuts- I like to make this carrot cake scone recipe without nuts and raisins. That said, you can definitely add either or both!
- Top with nuts – For a little extra crunch, top the scones with a little crushed toasted pecans or walnuts!
- Enjoy for breakfast or dessert – I typically go for scones for breakfast. The dulce de leche cream cheese frosting definitely make these perfect for dessert, too!
Butter is definitely the secret to good scones! In addition to adding flavor, it gives scones their flaky, crumbly texture, crisp edges and helps them rise.
Yes. You can use milk, but I recommend heavy cream or buttermilk. These thicker liquids will give you better flavor and texture.
They are very similar dairy products. They are both made by combining milk with milk fat. They both contain about 36% milk fat. They can both be used in this recipe. Be careful not to confuse whipping cream with heavy whipping cream. Whipping cream (minus the word heavy in front of it) contains less fat (around 30-36%). For more info, check out this post called Heavy Cream vs. Heavy Whipping Cream from The Pioneer Woman.
These carrot cake scones are best enjoyed the day they are made!
It’s best to frost them on the day you’re planning to eat them. Store unfrosted scones at room temperature in an airtight container.
Store the dulce de leche cream cheese frosting in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature and stir it before frosting the scones.
Freeze scones before frosting them. Freeze them in a freezer storage bag.
Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. Top with frosting once completely thawed.
Expert tips for making scones
Don’t Overwork the Dough: Overworking the dough will result in a dense, heavy texture.
Keep Your Ingredients Cold: Use cold eggs, milk or cream and butter. Cold ingredients help keep the butter from melting before it hits the oven. Cold butter will help make the scones nice and flaky.
Freeze and Grate Your Butter: Place your butter in the freezer the night before or a few hours before making the scones. Grate it using the large holes of a box grater. Place the butter back into the freezer for at least 15 minutes after grating it.
Chill Before Baking: Mixing and shaping the dough will cause the ingredients to warm up a bit. After cutting the scones, chill for at least 15 minutes.Print
This carrot cake scones recipe makes tender, flaky and flavorful scones filled with shredded carrots and cinnamon. The scones are topped with dulce de leche cream cheese frosting. They are the perfect, easy Easter and spring dessert or breakfast!
FOR THE CARROT CAKE SCONES
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar*
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen**
- 3/4 to 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream, cold, plus more for brushing the tops
- 1 large egg, cold
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE DULCE DE LECHE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1.5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons dulce de leche
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted***
FOR THE SCONES
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Return the grated butter to the freezer to stay cold as you measure out the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss mixture with a fork until the butter is completely coated with flour and is about the size of peas. Stir in the grated carrots.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the heavy cream, egg, sugars, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture. Do not overmix. Dough shouldn’t be too dry and should be somewhat sticky, but not too sticky. If dry there are some dry spots, add a bit more heavy cream and if it’s too sticky (sticking to your hands a lot), add a little more flour.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your hands. Shape the dough into a square. Fold it in half like you would fold a piece of paper then flatten it again. This will very gently knead the dough until ingredients are just mixed together. Avoid overmixing. Shape the dough into a square or circle about 1 to 1 and a 1/2 inches thick. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut the dough into nine squares if dough is square shaped (or 8 triangles if dough is circular).
- Place scones at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush tops and sides of the scones with milk or cream.
- Bake scones for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top.
- Allow scones to cool while you make the frosting.
FOR THE DULCE DE LECHE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium speed for one minute until creamed and combined. Add the dulce de leche and mix for an additional 2-3 minutes until completely combined. Mix in the vanilla and a pinch of salt.
- With the mixer on low, add the sifted powdered sugar a little bit at a time until you reach the consistency you’d like. Spoon frosting over the cooled scones. For optional swirls of dulce de leche, drizzle a little extra dulce de leche over the frosting! Enjoy!
* I recommend adding an extra tablespoon or two of sugar to the scones if you are not topping the scones with frosting.
**Place stick of butter in freezer for at least an hour before making the recipe. Alternatively, use cold, chopped butter from the refrigerator. If you use refrigerated, chopped butter, use a pastry cutter or two forks to cut the butter into the flour.
***Use a bit more or less powdered sugar depending on the consistency you want for the frosting.
Keywords: scones, carrot cake, carrots, brunch, breakfast, cream cheese frosting, cream cheese, dulce de leche, Easter, holiday