The BEST Scone Recipe (2024)

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by Danielle on Sep 9, 2019 (updated Sep 7, 2020) 415 comments »

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4.96 from 147 ratings

Learn how to make delicious, soft, light, and tender scones with this easy tutorial. This scone recipe is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

The BEST Scone Recipe (1)

Scones are one of those recipes that some people tend to think are dry or bland. But the truth is that when made correctly, scones are actually super soft, light, and can melt in your mouth!

So today I’m bringing it back to the basics and showing you exactly how to make homemade scones. These scones come together in about 15 minutes and they only take about 20 minutes to bake in the oven.

This scone recipe is also a perfect base for creating different flavors, so I’ve included options for different flavor variations.I’ve even included a few different options for glazes so you can really make this recipe your own!

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What You’ll Need For This Recipe

For this scone recipe, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients. Let’s break down each one:

  • All-Purpose Flour: When it comes to measuring your flour, make sure to spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife. Too much flour can lead to a crumbly dough and scones that don’t taste as good. I talk about this more in my post on how to measure flour.
  • Granulated Sugar: I typically stick with granulated sugar because I prefer the taste, but brown sugar will work too.
  • Baking Powder & Salt: There is one tablespoon of baking powder in this recipe and I promise it’s not a mistake! In order to get a good rise, you need a decent amount of baking powder.
  • Cold Unsalted Butter: Since the amount of salt in salted butter can vary quite a bit between different brands, I prefer to stick with unsalted butter. Also, cold butter is key to creating the perfect scones. As the cold butter melts in the oven, it creates steam pockets that help the scones rise and creates a lighter texture too.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: When it comes to soft scones that don’t dry out, heavy whipping cream is the best option. A little cream brushed on top of the scones before they go into the oven creates a beautiful slightly crisp and lightly browned exterior too.
  • Egg & Vanilla Extract: The egg helps to create a lighter texture and the vanilla adds flavor.

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How To Make This Scone Recipe

As I mentioned earlier, scones are INCREDIBLY easy to make and throw together. To start, you’ll whisk together your flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then, cube your cold butter into small pieces and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut it into the dry ingredients until you have small pea-sized crumbs.

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Next, whisk together the heavy whipping cream, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and stir the mixture together until it just comes together.

Then, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, work it into a ball, flatten it into a disc7 inches in diameter, and cut it into 8 equal-sized pieces.

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Lastly, you’ll want to place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes so that the dough is thoroughly chilled.

Once it’s nice and cold, brush the tops of the scones with a little heavy whipping cream. If you don’tplan to add a glaze on top, you can sprinkle them with a little coarse sugar or granulated sugar. Then, place them in the oven and let them bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re lightly browned and golden on top.

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Recipe Variations

As I mentioned earlier, this recipe is a great base for adding other flavors. Here are a few ways that you can change up this scone recipe. I suggest mixing in these ingredients right after you cut in the butter and before you mix in the wet ingredients.

  • Blueberry: Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • Cranberry Orange: Add 2 teaspoons of orange zest and 2/3 cup of sweetened dried cranberries (or 1 cup of chopped fresh cranberries)
  • Cinnamon Raisin: Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and 2/3 cup of raisins
  • Lemon Poppy Seed: Add the zest of 1 medium lemon and 1/2 tablespoon of poppy seeds

You can also find my chocolate chip scone recipe here and my apple cinnamon scones here.

I’ve also included a vanilla glaze option, but you can easily change up the glaze too. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Orange Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh orange juice instead of milk
  • Lemon Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh lemon juice instead of milk
  • Cinnamon Glaze: Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Baking Tips

  • When measuring your flour, make sure to spoon it into your measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
  • Cold ingredients are best for this recipe! Make sure your dough is as cold as possible before you place the scones in the oven. I suggest placing the baking sheet with the scones in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking them.
  • Brush the top of each scone with a little heavy whipping cream before placing them in the oven. This will create a slightly crispy exterior and help them brown too.

The BEST Scone Recipe (7)

The BEST Scones Recipe

4.96 from 147 ratings

Prep Time: 20 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

Total Time: 40 minutes mins

Learn how to make delicious, soft, light, and tender scones with this easy recipe and tutorial. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

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Ingredients

Servings: 8 scones

For the scones:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter cubed into pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream plus more for brushing the tops
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the vanilla glaze:

  • 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the scones:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cold cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut it into the dry ingredients until you have small pea-sized crumbs.

  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy whipping cream, egg, and vanilla extract until fully combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The mixture may be a little crumbly at this point, this is okay!

  • Scoop the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and work it together in a ball, then flatten into a 7-inch circle. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave a little room between each one.

  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the scones are chilled.

  • Brush the tops of each scone with a little heavy whipping cream. If you're not adding a glaze, you can top them with coarse sugar if desired.

  • Bake at 400°F (204°C) for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the scones are lightly browned and cooked through.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To make the vanilla glaze:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until well combined. If the glaze is too thick add more milk to thin it out and if the glaze is too thin add more powdered sugar to thicken it.

  • Top the scones with the glaze and allow to harden for 10-15 minutes, then serve, and enjoy.

Notes

Store scones in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Milk: Whole, 2%, 1%, skim, or almond milk allwork fine for the glaze.

Scone Variations:Here are a few ways that you can change up this scone recipe. I suggest mixing in these ingredients right after you cut in the butter and before you add the wet ingredients.

  • Blueberry: Add 1 cup (150 grams) of fresh blueberries
  • Cranberry Orange: Add 2 teaspoons of fresh orange zest plus 2/3 cup (105 grams) of sweetened dried cranberries (or 1 cup of chopped fresh cranberries)
  • Cinnamon Raisin: Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon plus 2/3 cup (105 grams) of raisins
  • Lemon Poppy Seed: Add the zest of 1 medium lemon plus 1/2 tablespoon of poppy seeds

Glaze Variations:You can replace the milk in this recipe to create different glazes too.

  • Orange Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh orange juice in place of the milk
  • Lemon Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh lemon juice in place of the milk
  • Cinnamon Glaze: Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Cuisine: American

Course: Breakfast

Author: Danielle

Did you make this recipe?Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.

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Breakfast

originally published on Sep 9, 2019 (last updated Sep 7, 2020)

415 commentsLeave a comment »

The BEST Scone Recipe (8)

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415 comments on “The BEST Scone Recipe”

  1. The BEST Scone Recipe (9)

    CamilleReply

    Can I make these dairy free?

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (10)

      DanielleReply

      Yes, you can! You can replace the butter with a dairy-free butter, like Earth Balance. The heavy whipping cream can be replaced with something like coconut cream. I believe Silk makes a plant-based heavy cream that would probably work too.

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (11)

      GeorgeReply

      Yes ! I SAW SILK PLANT BASED CREAM in my grocer’s dairy cooler.
      Wonderful recipe !!
      Thanks Camille

  2. The BEST Scone Recipe (12)

    GregReply

    So easy and so much better than boxed scone mix

  3. The BEST Scone Recipe (13)

    Susan KReply

    This scone recipe was fantastic!!! I wish I could give it 10 stars. 🙂 Crispy outside, yet soft inside. I added 1 cup of frozen blueberries (frozen berries hold their shape better when mixing). I used a lemon glaze for the topping. The only thing I would do different next time is to make them smaller. They are delicious but very filling. Side note- don’t cheap out by using margarine, butter is the key ingredient!

  4. The BEST Scone Recipe (14)

    BlessingReply

    Please what can i substitute heavy cream with???

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (15)

      DanielleReply

      You could use half and half, whole milk, or canned coconut milk. Just keep in mind that they will be thinner than heavy cream, so you may need to use 1 to 2 tablespoons less liquid so the dough isn’t too sticky.

  5. The BEST Scone Recipe (16)

    BlessingReply

    And also if i don’t have a baking sheet or paper to line my tray what can i use???

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (17)

      DanielleReply

      You could use another kind of pan like a casserole dish. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can lightly grease your pan with some butter/nonstick cooking spray.

  6. The BEST Scone Recipe (18)

    SholehReply

    Fantastic recipe! Worked beautifully, even I baked scones for first time.

  7. The BEST Scone Recipe (19)

    AnnieReply

    Dough was way too crumbly to work with. When I cut the triangles, they instantly fell apart. I even added a bit more cream and it didn’t help.

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (20)

      DanielleReply

      I’ve never had any issues with the dough being too crumbly to work with. Did you spoon and level your flour? And did you double check that you used the correct measurements for the wet ingredients?

  8. The BEST Scone Recipe (21)

    Christine SReply

    I’ve made this recipe twice in less than 24 hours the first ones I did exactly as the recipe stated the second batch I added half vanilla and half lemon flavored extracts in addition to a little lemon zest and halfway through. I put a raspberry on top of half of the batch. They were delicious.

  9. The BEST Scone Recipe (22)

    MiaReply

    What do you think, can I prep/shape the dough and toss them in the oven the next day? Would that not comprise the quality?

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (23)

      DanielleReply

      I haven’t tried just refrigerating the dough overnight, but I have frozen it and baked from frozen. I think that it would be okay to make it and shape it the day before, then refrigerate it overnight.

  10. The BEST Scone Recipe (24)

    Alexandra SheaReply

    I made these for a bunch of people at work for our Thanksgiving Bake sale ( union support !) and they LOVED them ! I don’t really cook so I loved how easy they were to make and how terrific they tasted ( even uncooked😝)!

  11. The BEST Scone Recipe (25)

    ElenaReply

    I baked them round, similar to English or Irish scones. They flattened immensely with no rise. Not too pleased with this recipe.

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (26)

      DanielleReply

      Did you happen to twist the cutter when you were cutting out the scones? If so, that will seal off the edges and prevent them from rising. If your butter wasn’t cold enough or the dough was overworked, it could cause that to happen as well.

      • The BEST Scone Recipe (27)

        KStewReply

        I didn’t know that about twisting a cutter, great info!

  12. The BEST Scone Recipe (28)

    LaurenReply

    Could I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh?

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (29)

      DanielleReply

      Yes, that would be fine. I wouldn’t thaw them, you can mix them in frozen.

  13. The BEST Scone Recipe (30)

    Lindsay GlasspooleReply

    These were perfect! I did a round shape with the dough then cut them into triangle shapes. I froze the individual scones then cooked them from frozen in the air fryer. Turned out perfectly my family loved them !

  14. The BEST Scone Recipe (31)

    Russell GrabowskiReply

    Great scones. Best I have made

  15. The BEST Scone Recipe (32)

    Gaylen MastReply

    My friends now call me the “Scone Queen.”

  16. The BEST Scone Recipe (33)

    DavidReply

    These turned out fantastic! Very light and fluffy.

  17. The BEST Scone Recipe (34)

    SusanReply

    Can I make these ahead of time and freeze? Do they taste as fresh defrosted?

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (35)

      DanielleReply

      Yes, that would be fine! They won’t taste quite as fresh, but they will still taste good.

  18. The BEST Scone Recipe (36)

    DelorisReply

    Can I use the dough hook on my mixer to knead the dough once mixed?

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (37)

      DanielleReply

      I don’t recommend it for this recipe. You’re not kneading the dough, just working it together into a ball with your hands.

  19. The BEST Scone Recipe (38)

    AdiReply

    I love them

  20. The BEST Scone Recipe (39)

    KarenReply

    Could I substitute almond extract for vanilla extract?

    • The BEST Scone Recipe (40)

      DanielleReply

      That would be fine! Almond extract is pretty strong though, so I would start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more as needed.

  21. The BEST Scone Recipe (41)

    LindaReply

    Wow! These were the best scones I have ever tasted! They were sooo easy to make too. I added a cup of dried cranberries and about 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Definitely a keeper base recipe. thank you!

The BEST Scone Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret to making good scones? ›

Baking tips for making the perfect scones

The colder the better when it comes to scones, we recommend a chilled bowl and pastry cutter too. Use pastry flour: This will create a noticeably lighter scone. However, self-raising flour works just as well and creates a higher rising scone that holds its shape nicely.

What type of flour is best for scones? ›

The secret is using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. It's lower in protein and makes for ultra-tender scones. If you don't have any on hand, you can easily make your own using all-purpose flour and cornstarch (see the FAQs below). For a kid-friendly twist, don't miss my chocolate chip scones.

What to avoid when making scones? ›

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Baking Scones
  1. Using anything but cold ingredients. The secret to the flakiest scones is to start with cold ingredients — cold butter, cold eggs, and cold cream. ...
  2. Only using all-purpose flour. ...
  3. Overmixing the dough. ...
  4. Not chilling the dough before baking. ...
  5. Baking them ahead of time.
May 1, 2019

What makes scones rise best? ›

To ensure taller scones, start with a thicker dough disc and place the scones on a tray with sides, allowing them to slightly touch one another. This arrangement encourages the scones to push against the pan and each other, promoting height.

Is it better to make scones with butter or oil? ›

For example, if you substitute oil for butter or margarine, you can significantly reduce the amount of saturated fat in your baked goods. This streamlined recipe for Light Scones uses just 3 tablespoons of canola oil, which contains a fraction of the saturated fat found in butter or margarine.

Should you chill scone dough before baking? ›

Not chilling the dough before baking: to really ace your scones, it helps to chill your dough again before it's baked. Using cold ingredients does help, but your hands will warm up the dough when you're working with it and the extra step of chilling will help you get the best result.

Is heavy cream or buttermilk better for scones? ›

Heavy Cream or Buttermilk: For the best tasting pastries, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream or buttermilk. I usually use heavy cream, but if you want a slightly tangy flavor, use buttermilk.

How thick should you roll out scone dough? ›

It is far better that the scone mixture is on the wet side, sticking to your fingers, as the scones will rise better. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it out with your hand, or use a rolling pin, to a thickness of 1-2 cm (1/2 – ¾ inch).

Is it better to sift flour for scones? ›

3. Don't forget to sift! Be sure to double or even triple sift your flour, as it takes away the clumps in the flour allowing for more air pockets in the scone dough - the result being a fluffier and more crumbly scone.

How long should you rest scones before baking? ›

Recipes for scones sometimes provide a make-ahead option that involves refrigerating the dough overnight so it can simply be shaped and then popped into the oven the next day. But now we've found that resting the dough overnight has another benefit: It makes for more symmetrical and attractive pastries.

What went wrong with my scones? ›

If the dough is too dry, the scones won't rise and will be crumbly. On the other hand, if the scones are too wet, they won't rise either, and will be too tough and chewy once baked. Don't hesitate to tweak the amounts and proportions to get the right texture.

Why are scones bad for you? ›

Although convenient and tasty, scones are a complete loss. They are typically extremely high in calories from the heavy butter and cream. And, although scones with fruit might seem healthier, most are even higher in calories and still high in saturated fat. Steer clear of scones.

Why are my scones heavy and dense? ›

My scones have a dense, heavy texture and poor volume

You may have used too little raising agent or over handled the dough before it was baked. The oven may have been too cool.

Why do my scones go flat and not rise? ›

Why Are My Scones Flat? Expired leavening agents. Your baking powder and/or baking soda could be expired. Most scone and biscuit recipes call for quite a large amount of leavening, and if either are expired, your scones simply won't rise to beautiful heights.

Why do you rub butter into flour for scones? ›

The Secrets of The Rubbing-in Method

When cold butter is rubbed into the flour, it creates flaky pockets of flavour (which soft, room temperature butter can't do). Once the cold butter and liquid (e.g milk) hits the oven, the water in the butter and cold liquid begins evaporating.

Why are my scones not light and fluffy? ›

Some common reasons for dense scones are not using enough baking powder, overworking the dough and not baking with the oven at the correct temperature.

How do you make scones rise and not spread? ›

Try placing your scones closer together on the tray as this forces them to rise upwards and not outwards.

What is the main reason for resting scones before baking? ›

This short rest relaxes the gluten, making scones more tender; and cold chills the fat, increasing flakiness.

References

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