The recipe below 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 with jam 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 powder, 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:

  • 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.

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! 

plated Scones
4.97 from 29 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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How to Make Scones (basic scone recipe)

Tender & crumbly 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 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 strokes 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.

Notes

  • 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:
  • 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.
4.97 from 29 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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, Snack
Cuisine American

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Scones on a plate and baking sheet with writing

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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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.