This scones recipe will guide you, step-by-step, to making scones that are buttery with flaky layers.

This is a basic scones recipe that can be enjoyed with butter or jam – or you can add fruits, cheeses, or herbs to change the flavor.

They’re easy to make with pantry staples and are lovely as a breakfast or snack.

baked scones on a plate

What is a Scone?

  • Scones are a British baked good, similar to an American  ‘biscuit’ in texture.
  • Fluffy and flaky, they can be sweet or savory.
  • 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 with jam or with afternoon tea, or make mini savory scones and serve them as appetizers.
ingredients to make Scones with labels

Ingredients for Scones

Dry Ingredients – Pantry staples including all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt make up the base of these scones.

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!

Milk/Cream Milk and cream help the dough to bind, add richness, and help with browning. Buttermilk can be used in place add a bit of tang.

Flavor Variations for Scones

Use smaller amounts of fresh fruit as the liquid will disperse in the dough, making it dense. Dried or frozen fruit are great options like blueberries or cranberries. Herbs, spices, and cheeses can also be added for savory scones. Add any of the following:

  • ½ cup cranberries, raisins, currants.
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese or ½ 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.
  • ½ 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.

How to Make Scones

  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.

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

Bake from Frozen

Scones can be prepared, frozen, and baked without thawing.

Prepare the dough 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.

Tips for Perfect Scones

  • Use cold butter to ensure that scones are light and fluffy. The pockets of chilled butter create flaky layers.
  • Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut in the butter.
  • Knead just until smooth; heat from your hands can melt the butter.
  • For best results, add optional ingredients and shape the dough quickly.
  • When patting out the dough, very lightly flour the work surface if needed, I prefer to work on parchment paper. Additional flour on the surface can make the dough dense.

Sweet & Savory Spreads For Scones

close up of cooked Scones in a baking sheet

Did you make these homemade Scones? Leave us a rating and a comment below! 

close up of Scones on a plate
4.99 from 54 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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How to Make Scones (basic scone recipe)

Tender and flaky homemade scones are the perfect snack to go with afternoon coffee or tea!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 scones

Ingredients  

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup cold butter cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • milk to brush on scones

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour mixture until it has the texture of coarse crumbs.
  • In a separate bowl combine eggs and heavy cream. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently by pressing and folding for about 10-12 strokes to form a dough.
  • Gently pat the dough into an 8-inch circle. With a sharp knife, cut the circle into 8 even wedges.
  • Transfer the wedges to an ungreased baking sheet, placing them approximately 1 inch apart. Brush the tops with milk.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

  • Use cold butter to ensure that scones are light and fluffy. The pockets of chilled butter create flaky layers.
  • Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut in the butter.
  • Knead just until smooth; heat from your hands can melt the butter.
  • For best results, add optional ingredients and shape the dough quickly.
  • When patting out the dough, very lightly flour the work 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:
  • ½ cup dried fruit.
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese or ½ 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.
4.99 from 54 votes

Nutrition Information

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, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
homemade scones on a plate with text
a plate of homemade scones with text
baked scones on a plate with text
Top image - baked scones on a plate. Bottom image - baked scones in a baking tray with text

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. I love scones and have been wanting to try my hand at making them, I bake alot, was wondering if I can use just milk instead of heavey cream or half /half with good results? I don;t use either so not in my pantry. :)

  2. This look delish. Can’t wait to try. Just want to know if half & half can be used in place of heavy cream with same results. I never have heavy cream. Unless I plan in advance .
    Thanks for all the great recipes5 stars

  3. I just got mine out of the oven. It was the first time I have ever made scones and they look amazing. I put fresh blueberries in mine. They were so easy to make that I don’t know why it took me so long to make them. The recipe was easy to understand and turned out perfect.5 stars

  4. Can’t wait to try this. If you are making savory scones, do you still include the sugar? I noticed your recipe for the cheese ones has sugar. These look gorgeous!!!

  5. These are not scones. Recipe I use has been passed down by my husband’s grandmother who came from Edinburg. Scones are made with sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tarter, lard, and sour milk. There is no fruit or eggs or cream. My daughter took some scones with fruit to my father-in-law. He took one look at them and showed more life than we seen in days, and said “Those are not scones. Scones do not have fruit in them.” Our recipe has been passed down for generations.

    1. Thank you for sharing your version of scones Judy. I’m sure they’re delicious. While this basic recipe doesn’t contain fruit, I have shared variations as our family adds fruit or other flavors to our scones recipe.

  6. This base recipe was incredible. I added pecorino, scallions and jalapenos.

    I knew it was good because the recipe was well-written (chronological, etc.), and frankly, the photos looked awesome. I’ll be looking at your other recipes!

    Best!5 stars

  7. So far I am really impressed with your recipes and I can’t wait to try them out! I am really excited to try this scones recipie!4 stars

    1. Aww, thanks Mitta! We are so happy to hear you are loving them as much as we are.

  8. Hi Holly!

    I found your site recently and love it!
    Question re scones: the recipe calls for 4 TABLESPOONS baking powder, that is 1/4 cup. Is that correct? Seems like a lot. Can you let me know if that is correct?

    Thank you so much,

    Celestine

    1. Oh noo, that should read 4 teaspoons, 1/4 cup would definitely be too much. I’m sorry for the confusion.

      1. For the first time….EVER….when making one of your recipes, I was extremely disappointed. I printed the recipe for these scones about a month ago and made them this morning for what I hoped would be an enjoyable breakfast treat with my tea. Unfortunately, I did not see this updated recipe and put 4 TABLESPOONS of baking powder into the dough. I should have trusted my instinct in thinking this did not sound right. Since I went with the recipe amount, my scones obviously did not turn out well. A big pile of messiness. (Note: I still ate them, but am really eager to try them with the correct amount of baking powder next time.)
        P.S. I really do love your recipes though. I have made MANY of them and, until now, have never been disappointed. Thanks for making the correction.

      2. So sorry to hear that, Nancy. The correct measurements are 4 teaspoons, as I am sure you have discovered.

  9. I have a question about this recipe. It says to knead the dough for 10-12 minutes. Further on it says to knead the dough as little as possible. Am I missing something? It seems to me like kneading the dough for 10-12 minutes is too much, don’t you want the butter to be cold? Thanks!

    1. Sorry for the confusion Joy, the dough is kneaded for 10-12 strokes (not 10-12 minutes). You definitely want to keep the butter cold.