Kitchen

How to Make Scones (basic scone recipe)

The recipe below will shares, step-by-step, how to make scones that are buttery with flaky layers.

Fresh scones are a welcome way to start your day and the perfect make ahead snack or breakfast!

They’re easy to make with pantry staples like flour and sugar and they can be flavored with fruits, extracts, or even cheeses. Serve them as a sweet side with tea and coffee or savory appetizers!

plated Scones

 

What is a Scone?

  • Scones are a British baked good, similar to an American  ‘biscuit’ in texture.
  • They are commonly formed with one large circular bread cut into triangles (like a pie).
  • They can be sweet or savory and easily break apart into flaky pieces that are perfect for dipping or for all kinds of spreads!
  • Easy to make, scones can be made in different shapes and sizes, from mini triangle shapes to round biscuit shapes.
  • Serve them warm for breakfast or with afternoon tea, or make mini savory scones and serve them as appetizers.

ingredients to make Scones with labels

Ingredients

DOUGH: All purpose white flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt are the basics.

BUTTER: Scones need a solid fat to create that perfect light and extra crumbly texture. Unsalted butter is the best choice for flavor and much like when making pie crust or biscuits, the colder the better!

LIQUID: Milk and cream give scones a rich and creamy flavor and a golden-brown color, buttermilk will add a bit of tang. Plant-based milk like oat, coconut, soy, and almond will work too!

IMPORTANT: Just like when making biscuits, it’s important that the butter is cold for scones. This creates little pockets of air giving the flaky texture we love so much! I like to place mine in the freezer for a little bit.

Flavor Variations for Scones

Use smaller amounts of fresh fruit as the liquid will disperse in the dough, making them dense. Dried or frozen fruit works well in scones (ex. frozen blueberries or cranberries).

Dried fruit, nuts, herbs, spices, and cheeses are ideal add-ins since they won’t weigh down the dough. Extracts and zest are also great for flavor.

Mix into the dough:

  • 1/2 cup cranberries, raisins, currants.
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese or 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
  • 1 teaspoon of orange lemon zest or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. If desired, sprinkle unbaked scones with coarse sugar.
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit or berries (like blueberries or raspberries), well-drained and patted dry. Frozen fruit does not need to be thawed.
  • 1/2 cup milk, dark, or white chocolate chips.

Scones can also be brushed with egg and sprinkled with coarse sugar or drizzled with glaze after baking.

To add fruit to scone dough, prepare the dough as directed. Before forming triangles add the fruit while gently folding the scone dough until the fruit is incorporated.

process of adding ingredients together to make Scones

How to Make Scones

Scones are as easy to make as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl & use a pastry blender to cut in the chilled butter.
  2. Mix eggs & cream (per recipe below). Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture until barely combined.
  3. Knead dough by lightly pressing & folding it on a lightly floured surface (this is the stage for add-ins).
  4. Shape dough into a circle & cut into 8 equal wedges. Brush with milk & bake until golden brown.

Make-Ahead & Freeze: Did you know you can freeze scone dough before baking? Prepare as directed and freeze on a sheet pan. Once frozen, store in a freezer bag. Bake frozen scones as directed, increasing the bake time by about 5 minutes.

process of rolling and making Scones

Tips for the Perfect Scones

  • Chilled butter is necessary to create light and fluffy scones whereas room temp butter will simply melt into the scones during the shaping stage.
  • Knead the dough as little as possible, the heat from your hands will melt the butter.
  • For best results, add optional ingredients and shape the dough quickly.
  • Use a pastry cutter and a spoon, not a mixer to break the butter into small pieces.
  • When patting out the dough, very lightly flour your surface if needed, I prefer to work on parchment paper. Additional flour on the surface can make the dough dense.

close up of Scones on a plate

Sweet & Savory Spreads For Scones

close up of cooked Scones in a baking sheet

Try These Favorite Variations

Did your friends like these Plain Scones? Leave us a rating and a comment below! 

How to Make Scones (basic scone recipe)

Tender & crumbly homemade scones are the perfect snack to go with afternoon coffee or tea!


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  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

  • Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  • In a separate bowl combine eggs and heavy cream. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

  • Knead dough by lightly pressing and folding it on a lightly floured surface for 10-12 minutes until a dough forms.

  • Pat dough into an 8 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges. Place on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

  • Brush with milk and bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Remove from the baking sheet and let cool.

  • Chilled butter is necessary to create light and fluffy scones whereas room temp butter will simply melt into the scones during the shaping stage.
  • Knead the dough as little as possible, the heat from your hands will melt the butter.
  • For best results, add optional ingredients and shape the dough quickly.
  • Use a pastry cutter and a spoon, not a mixer to break the butter into small pieces.
  • When patting out the dough, very lightly flour your surface if needed, I prefer to work on parchment paper. Additional flour on the surface can make the dough dense.

Any of the following can be added:

  • 1/2 cup dried fruit.
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese or 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit, well-drained and patted dry. Frozen fruit does not need to be thawed.

Calories: 313, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 86mg, Sodium: 161mg, Potassium: 686mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 624IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 289mg, Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Bread, Snack

Cuisine American

Scones on a decorative plate with writing
close up of Scones with writing
close up of Scones on a plate with a title
Scones on a plate and baking sheet with writing

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