Mini Strawberry Scones with Sweet Red Bean Paste

Soft strawberry scones are paired with a creamy, perfectly sweetened red bean paste. These seasonal bites are a great addition to your brunch menu!

Mini Strawberry Scones with Red Bean Paste |

In the past few weeks, I’ve done 2 big things:

1. I finally told a former mentor that I’ve become a food blogger.

2. I made my own sweet red bean paste from scratch.

Both big moments. Both worth talking about.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about personal connections—about how awful I am with staying in touch with friends. I moved around in the last seven years and have met so many fine people along the way. I now have friends and mentors all over the world, literally, but I am awful at keeping up from everyone. Strangely, I always think about them when I’m in a yoga class. During savasana, the final resting pose, my mind wanders. I wonder how E. and O. are doing in Iraq, whether P. is married yet, how my boys are doing in China and when the hell they are coming back to the U.S., and whether my old roommate K. needs another Chinese candy/cookie care package. All these thoughts are firing off in my head when I’m supposed to be resting. But I always find this to be the most peaceful time to ponder about my friends.

Last week, I finally decided to do the thing that a sensible person would have done a long time ago: send a damn message to my friends. Well, one of these people that I contacted was my former law professor and mentor. Boy, was I nervous sending her that message. How exactly do you convey this to your mentor: “You know all those years I invested into law school and the time you spent to help me be a good lawyer? I’m not doing that whole thing anymore. I’m a food blogger.”

Mini Strawberry Scones with Red Bean Paste |

A food blogger. Now, I have nothing but respect for the work that my fellow food bloggers put in, but I never know what other people think. With a slight bit of trepidation, I sent the link of this blog to my mentor with the following message: “You’ll have to excuse the conversational tone of my blog!” Bear in mind that the only writing of mine she’s read is my 30-page legal research paper. I felt like I had to prepare her for all the slangs and made-up words I use here. To my pleasant surprise, not only did she love my blog, but she also said, “What is there to excuse? You don’t want to sound like a lawyer on a food blog.” Ain’t that the truth.

Mini Strawberry Scones with Red Bean Paste |

Now, onto the other big accomplishment around here lately: this red bean paste. Have you ever tried red bean paste before? It’s quite popular in Asian desserts. You take a whole lotta adzuki beans, boil them down until they get mushy, smash everything together, swirl in some melted sugar, and you’ll be in for a delicious treat. The steps are simple but this paste will take a while to make. There’s no sugar coating it. I even added the extra step of pressing the cooked beans through a fine mesh to screen out some of the skin on the beans. It’s much easier to do push the beans through the screen by hand versus a sppon, so channel your inner Rosie the Riveter or Popeye—whatever works for you. This step is essential for a smoother paste, but you can just mix the beans up in a blender.

Mini Strawberry Scones with Red Bean Paste |

Since I’ve made this red bean paste, I’ve been putting it on anything where spreadable foods belong. I slap some on crackers, make a PB and red bean paste sandwich, and used it to add pizzazz to my scones. I was feeling a bit of an East meets West vibe to my cooking lately, hence the scone and red bean paste combo. It’s dangerously good with whipped cream and some fresh fruit.

Mini Strawberry Scones with Red Bean Paste |

We don’t talk a lot about life lessons, but here are two things I’ve learned:

1. It’s never too late to reconnect with acquaintances;

2. Homemade red bean paste should have happened in my life a looong time ago.

Hope you enjoy these scones as much as I did!


Mini Strawberry Scones with Sweet Red Bean Paste

Mini Strawberry Scones with Red Bean Paste |

Makes about 25 to 28 scones. (Prep time does not include time for soaking beans overnight.)

  • Author: Lisa Lin
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: breakfast, brunch, dessert


Red Bean Paste

  • 10 oz. dried adzuki beans
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 TBS coconut oil

Strawberry Scones

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (add 1/4 cup if dough is too wet)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 TBS butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk + more for brushing
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • turbinado sugar for topping (optional)


  • 8 to 10 large strawberries, sliced
  • whipped cream



  1. Soak the beans overnight. You can skip this step, but the cooking time will be longer.
  2. Pour the beans in a small pot and add enough water so that there’s about two inches above the beans.
  3. Boil water and turn it to a low simmer. Let it simmer for 50 minutes to an hour, until the beans are soft and easy to mash. If you didn’t soak the beans overnight, keep checking the beans at 15 minute intervals to see if they are ready yet.
  4. Drain water and let beans cool for about 20 to 30 minutes. Place a large fine mesh strainer or sieve above a medium bowl. Press the beans through the mesh with your hands. This helps separate the bean’s skin from the paste. You can also skip this pressing step and just blend the beans in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Mix the bean paste with the sugar on medium-low heat. Start stirring once you notice that the sugar has started to melt. Continue whisking until all the sugar is melted. Remove from heat. There were a few pieces of hardened sugar lumps in mine, so I pressed the paste through the strainer again.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the sugar and mix. Stir in the softened butter. I used my hands to mix the butter and flour. Keep incorporating ingredients until the butter and flour pieces are about the size of small peas.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the milk and vanilla together. Add the milk to the dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are well combined. Fold in chopped strawberries. The dough was quite sticky at this point, so I added 1/4 cup of flour (I used 3 1/4 cups flour total).
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough a little. Gather the dough into a disk, roll it out to about 3/4 inches thick. Use a small cookie or biscuit cutter to cut small dough circles.
  5. Place circles onto the baking sheet. Make sure to leave about an inch of space between each circle to prevent them from baking into each other. Brush milk on the top of dough and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
  6. Let the scones cool for 5 to 10 minutes before eating. Cut open the scones and spread some red bean paste over one half of the scone. Add a slice of strawberry and some whipped cream, and top with the other half of the scone.
  7. Store leftover scones in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days


Red Bean Paste recipe adapted from Chinese Sichuan Food. Scones recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.


29 thoughts on “Mini Strawberry Scones with Sweet Red Bean Paste

  1. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

    So glad to hear your law school mentor took the news well! I know a lot of ex-lawyers, including my father, sister, and to some extent my husband. You have to do what makes you happy and want to get out of bed in the morning! Those scones look delish btw, and definitely worth getting out of bed for 😉

  2. Min

    telling your former mentor is a BIG deal indeed! I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years now, and I’m still an undercover blogger. I try with all my might to separate all of my personal social media accounts from the ones for my blog and am petrified that there will be a glitch one day and the two worlds will collide haha. As for the sweet red bean paste…YUM! I’m def guilty of just opening up a can and mixing it into my baked goods, but you’ve inspired me to make my own for once ;).

    1. Lisa Post author

      I know exactly how you feel! I kept everything separate for a while (mainly because I didn’t want my family to know that I had started blogging instead of trying to find a legal job. Thankfully, nearly all my friends from law school are supportive of what I do!

      Definitely make some of your own! It’s sooo good!

  3. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    Go for you for making your big step to tell your mentor about your (awesome) blog! Also, I’m so glad to find this recipe! I’ve wondered about red bean paste (and I have some adzuki beans in the cupboard). Can’t wait to try this! Lovely recipe!

  4. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Lisa, I didn’t know you went to law school? My background is in advertising and digital marketing. . one day, maybe last year, my then 6 year old says to me, “I want to be a food blogger when I grow up!” and I was like “What?!” I felt like this isn’t really a profession that anyone chooses. . I felt like telling her to strive towards something more professional and “worthy” . . but just ended up saying, “just do something you love.” but that got me thinking about food blogging. . although I enjoy it, it’s my creative outlet now. . this is my job now, after being a mother. . it allows me to cook and write, two things I love doing. . but then all the other crap gets mixed into it. . as with any job right? anyway, congrats on your two big moments .. big moments indeed! and I personally love your blog and can’t wait to try this sweet red bean paste!! I have adzuki beans i my pantry now!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Yea, I did! I was in D.C. for that! I absolutely LOVE that your child wants to be a food blogger, but I totally understand all the other feelings that go along with that statement too. I definitely agree that doing something you love is probably the key to living a more fulfilling life.

  5. Julia

    It can be difficult to keep in close contact with friends, but as you mentioned, those connections are so important. My friends from high school and I made a pact a long time ago that we’d all visit each other when we can and not be offended when we don’t always talk over the phone or text. It’s amazing that when we see each other, it feels as though no time has passed.

    I’ve never heard of red bean paste, but it sounds amazing! I’ll gladly shmear it all over any and all scones/muffins/spoon feed it to myself. These scones look fab! Perfect for any brunch!

    1. Lisa Post author

      I feel the exact same way with my high school friends, too, even though we never made a pact about it. And it’s exactly the same as you are with your friends—we might not speak to each other for 9 months at a time, but when we get back together, we’re like our same old selves (minus the Charmed or Buffy chatter because we grew out of that phase.) I’m so glad you can relate!

      Girl, I could send some of this over to you! It’s delish!

  6. Alissa

    I had no idea you were a law student turned food blogger! I’m a part time lawyer, part time food blogger (hoping to be full time food blogger at some point…) I’m always a little paranoid that my lawyer contacts will find out about the food blog thing. A few have, and it never as big a deal as I thought it would be.

    I had a dessert with some red bean paste at a Chinese restaurant a while back and was pleasantly surprised. I’ll have to try making my own this recipe some time. 🙂

    1. Lisa Post author

      Alissa, I had no clue you’re a lawyer!! Oh my gosh, I know exactly what you mean by the paranoia! But at the end of the day, you’re doing what you love AND you are dishing up some awesome recipes. Nothing to be paranoid about!

      Definitely try making some red bean paste at home! Like I mentioned, it takes a while, but I love it more than the canned versions I buy sometimes!

  7. Anna @ Fresh The Blog

    Thank you for sharing your fears about the reactions others might have when you tell them you have a food blog – your entire thought process reminds me of my own. I still haven’t shared with quite a few people, including even some friends, the fact that I have a blog. In times when I have told people I was afraid to tell, they always reacted positively! I’m so glad you were able to take that weight off your shoulders. Also, there is nothing embarrassing about those delicious looking scones!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Anna, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! It’s true, most of my friends (including law school ones) respond positively. Some are still concerned about my decision, but they do support the idea that I’m doing what I love. I’m so glad I’m not the only person feeling this way!

  8. Linda @ Veganosity

    I love everything about this post Lisa, because I can totally relate to it. I too have a problem with staying in touch, even with my friends who live five miles away. What’s up with that? I also feel like I have to explain to people what I do and why I do it. And, I’ve never had red bean paste, but now I really want to. This recipe is pretty amazing!

    1. Lisa Post author

      So glad you can relate, Linda! I’ve made an informal rule that I need to commit to meeting with one of my friends at least once a month.

      Definitely try the red bean paste! I’ve been spreading it all over my toast and pancakes!

  9. Kelsey M

    What a wonderful idea of adding red bean paste to scones! I love it!

    I excitedly tell people I have a food blog but I look forward to the day when I can tell them I’m a blogger full-time…I was a fine arts major that never did anything with her degree and now I’m working part-time as a food blogger, trying to convince my family that you can actually make a living doing it. I’m glad to hear you were able to tell your mentor and that she was proud of you! Congratulations 🙂


    1. Lisa Post author

      Kelsey, thank you so much for your encouraging words! I still struggle with tell ing my family that I can make a living from it, but I’m sure over time they’ll understand.

  10. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    1. Sweet red bean paste from scratch?!?!?! Can I order a jar? 😉 Paired with strawberries? I’m in heaven.
    2. Sounds like we’re in the same boat with our mentors of late – it feels so hard to tell them that you’re not doing what they’ve invested so much time preparing you for, right?! I’m proud that you did it though!! And it’s comforting to know that the results were positive:)

    1. Lisa Post author

      Sarah, I’m making a jar of this for you when I see you!!

      You’re exactly right about the whole mentor thing, and thanks!! I still can’t believe how supportive she was!

  11. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine

    Those scones are gorgeous 🙂 And I totally relate to wondering what people will think when you tell them you’re a food blogger 🙂 I have a master’s degree, which I am using, but would love to just do this full time… and people always look at me like I am crazy when i say it’s a real possibility! Glad you have found a way to make it work.

    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Michelle! It’s definitely a struggle trying to figure out how food blogging works, but I’m definitely trying!

  12. Caitlin

    Hi! At what point in the recipe do you add the strawberries? I would guess to add them when combining all ingredients, just wondering. Thank you! These look delicious!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks for your question, Caitlin! I left out the chopped strawberries in the recipe, so thanks for pointing it out. I fold in the strawberries right after I mixed the dry and wet ingredients together. I’ve edited the recipe to reflect this. Thanks again!


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