This Easy Scones Recipe will ensure your afternoon tea or cream tea is just like being at a tea house in England. These light and fluffy scones are irresistibly good.
This simple English scone recipe will hit the spot if you’re craving some tender scones with clotted cream and jam! English scones are such a delight. Warm and soft inside that makes just the right base for almost any topping or add-in.
My family generally makes scones with chocolate chips. Some of our other favorite flavors are cranberry, orange, lemon, and these apple scones with maple cinnamon glaze.
But to be honest, nothing beats just plain English scones with jam and clotted cream.
Slathering on a homemade jam and clotted cream takes this scrumptious baked treat up another notch. The delicious flavor and fluffy interior is perfect for afternoon tea.
How to Make Classic English Scones
The ingredients are given in grams for this recipe because the measurements need to be precise. It’s always best to weight the ingredients with a food scale rather than using cups.
Start by combining the flour, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the butter in chunks and cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, or rub it in with your hands, until the mixture resembles course sand.
You can also combine these ingredients in a food processor, if you’d rather not mess with the pastry cutter. It will save some time. If you do the mixing in the food processor, take the mixture out at this point and add it to a mixing bowl for the rest of the mixing. Using a machine to combine the rest of the ingredients will surely overmix it and result in dense scones.
Next, add the sugar and stir it in. Then add the milk to the bowl and stir with a spatula just until combined. Do not over stir. The mixture should be a wet dough now. It should be quite sticky, but not tacky. This is important because too little or too much liquid will affect the rising.
Transfer to a lightly floured countertop and pat it until the dough comes together. Don’t knead the dough, just pat it together.
Press or roll the dough to about 3 cm thick and use a floured cutter to cut circles. Be sure not to twist the cutter. Press down firmly in one push.
Twisting will hamper the rise. Re-roll the scraps if necessary to cut out 8 scones.
Place the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat.
There’s no need to wait for the scones to rise. You should put the scones into the oven right away. Make sure the oven is properly and fully preheated before putting them in.
Bake the scones for 10-12 minutes, until about tripled in height, and golden brown on the tops and bottoms.
Tips for Making Light & Fluffy Scones
To make flaky, fluffy scones, you need to start with cold butter. Just take it out of the fridge right before you make this recipe.
Cold butter allows you to keep little globs of butter within the flour when you mix it. When the dough is baking the butter will melt inside the scone and leave a perfect buttery and flaky scone.
Three other things contribute to high-rising scones. One is the baking powder you use. It needs to be fresh. If it’s more than 6 months old, it may not work well. You can add an extra tsp to the mixture, if it’s a bit older, to ensure the scones will rise.
Secondly, the amount of mixing you do can greatly affect the scones. Once the liquid is added to the dough, you need to do the least amount of mixing possible. The dough will be crumbly and somewhat chunky. It should not be smooth and elastic, like pizza dough.
When you turn it out on the countertop, don’t add extra flour to it, unless it’s too actually too wet. It will be sticky. That’s how it’s supposed to be. If you add more flour to take away the tackiness of the dough, it will affect the final product.
Finally, when you’re cutting the scones out with the cutter, be careful not to twist the cutter. This has a big affect on the rising ability, because it sort of seals the sides together, so it doesn’t rise as much.
Reasons Your Scones Don’t Rise
As stated above, there are a number of reasons scones don’t rise. Unfortunately, some batches just don’t rise like they should, even if you seemingly did everything right.
Some things that can affect the rise of your scones are:
- Altitude and humidity – higher altitude helps with rise
- Letting the dough sit out too long before baking
- Using warm or melted butter
- Too wet or too dry dough
- Not mixing in the butter with the flour properly before adding the milk
- Using old baking powder or flour
- Overkneading the dough
- Twisting the cookie cutter when cutting out the circles
- Putting them into the oven before the precise temperature has been reached
You can see that making scones is rife with problems. If you’re counting on a super fluffy and well-risen scone, you may not get that on your first try (or every time you make these).
The good news is that even when the scones don’t rise, they are still really tasty and are usually still fluffy inside. While I have times when the scones don’t rise, they are always still fluffy and light. The only time they won’t be is if you overmix them.
Adding Fruit to Scones
There are many different ways you can change up these scones, if you want. Some of our favorite additions are:
- Dried cranberries
- Lemon zest
- Chocolate chips
If you decide to add fruit to this recipe, it’s best to use dehydrated fruit, like raisins or dried cranberries. Fresh fruit, with the exception of berries, usually contains too much water, which will change the consistency of the scones.
Mixing in chocolate chunks also adds a sweet twist to this classic. Just make sure to take into account the sugar content of the chocolate and add less sugar if you don’t want a super sweet scone.
Can I Freeze These Scones?
The dough of this recipe freezes well. Once all ingredients are combined you can freeze it in a sealed plastic bag. Make sure that when bringing the dough back up to temperature that you do not use a microwave as this will compromise the texture of the dough.
It’s also possible to freeze the already baked scones. Make sure they’ve cooled completely before sealing them into a freezer bag with all the air squeezed out. They’ll keep for up to a month.
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- 250 g plain flour
- 20 g baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 50 g butter
- 25 g sugar
- 125 ml milk
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt through a sieve into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the cold cubed butter to the mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter into the flour until it is in small crumbs.
- Whisk the sugar, milk, and egg in a separate bowl. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix gently, just until a soft dough forms. Do not over mix.
- Press or roll out the dough into a circle on a lightly floured cutting board. The dough should be about 2 cm thick.
- Using a round cookie cutter, cut out 8 scones, being careful not to twist the cutter.
- Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with milk.
- Bake for 12-15 mins until golden brown.