Best Scones Recipe

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This is the best scone recipe! These scones are rich, buttery, and moist with hints of vanilla. They are slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the center. Learn how to make scones from scratch and add your preferred mix-ins!

a triangular scone with glaze on top


One chilly morning I made my kids scones and hot chocolate for breakfast. They thought it was the best breakfast surprise, and ever since that day, my 2 year old asks for “scones and hot chocolate” often (pronouncing it “cones”)!

I’m happy to oblige their request, because this truly is the best scone recipe ever. They are rich, buttery and moist, slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the center with rich notes of vanilla throughout.

In this post, you will learn how to make scones and chose from a variety of flavors and add ins – like chocolate chip scones, cinnamon scones, pumpkin scones, blueberry scones, etc.

one scone sitting on top of another with a bite taken out of it

Scones Recipe: Ingredients and substitutions

ingredients in this scone recipe
  • All-purpose flour. I have only tried this recipe with all-purpose flour, if you’re looking for gluten-free scones, I suggest using a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free baking flour
  • Granulated sugarI bake with organic cane sugar, but white granulated sugar works well.
  • Salted Butter. Both salted and unsalted butter work well in this scone recipe. TIP: we use frozen butter to make these scones – so be sure to put a stick in the freezer!
  • Half and Half. Heavy cream and whole milk are both acceptable substitutes for half and half.
  • Vanilla extract. For different flavors, substitute ½ tsp vanilla extract for different extracts (almond, orange, lemon etc.)
  • Raw Turbinado sugarI use organic raw turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top of the scones.
  • Add-ins. You can jazz up this simple scone recipe by adding some mix-ins. Some suggestions include (but are not limited to) fresh or dried fruit, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), baking chips, nuts, etc. Also, try our other scone recipes: chocolate chip scones, pumpkin scones, cinnamon scones, and mocha chocolate scones.
3 triangular scones

How to Make Scones

This simple scone recipe is easy to make! Follow along with our step-by-step instructions to learn how to make scones, and don’t forget to watch the video. =

Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a large bowl. You will be mixing everything in this bowl so make sure it has the capacity to hold all the ingredients.

two photos showing How to Make Scones - combining dry ingredients

Next, grate the frozen butter into the dry mixture and stir to combine.

This is the trick that I find makes these scones light, fluffy and irresistible! You can cut the cold butter in with a fork or pastry cutter, if you prefer.

two photos showing How to Make Scones - grating frozen butter

Then, add half and half, egg and vanilla extract and stir until combined.

two photos showing How to Make Scones - adding wet ingredients

The dough will look crumbly initially but will clump together when squeezed between your fingers and should easily form a circle.

At this point, you can add your desired mix-ins and stir until they are evenly distributed. Don’t forget to try our pumpkin scones or mocha chocolate scones! Here are some suggestions:

Mix-in Suggestions

  • Baking chips: chocolate chips, cinnamon chips (try these cinnamon chip scones), white chocolate chips, etc.
  • Dried fruit. We love adding dried cranberries, cherries, etc.
  • Fresh fruit. raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. (see this blueberry scones recipe for further guidance)
  • Chopped nuts. Walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.
  • Spices/flavoring. nutmeg, lemon zest, cloves, cinnamon, etc.
photo of the scone dough before shaping

Form the Scones

Once the mixture resembles the photo above, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface (or pastry slab) and form into a round circle about 8-9” in diameter.

Cut into 8 equal pieces. Start by cutting the circle in half from top to bottom. Then cut it in half from side to side. Then cut the remaining pieces in half diagonally.  (see video).

To Prepare in Advance

If making ahead: tightly wrap the circle of scone dough in plastic wrap and put it in an airtight container (or plastic bag) and chill in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to bake them in the morning, simply continue following the recipe.

two photos showing How to Make Scones - rolling the dough out into a circle and cutting into 8 pieces

Then, carefully separate the scones and evenly space them on the prepared baking sheet.

two photos showing How to Make Scones - lining triangular pieces of scone dough on a baking sheet.

Lightly brush the top of the dough with half and half, sprinkle with raw sugar and gently press it into the top of the scones. This is optional, but recommended.

Bake and Cool

Finally, bake the scones in the preheated oven for 14 to 17 minutes, or until they just look set and are barely starting to brown.

Remove from the oven and transfer the scones to a baking sheet to cool, or serve warm (which I highly recommend).

two photos showing How to Make Scones - brushing on cream and sugar, then after baking

Make the Glaze:

If you prefer, you can make a simple glaze for this scone recipe once they have cooled (or try this lemon glaze)!

To do this, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl, then immediately drizzle it over cooled sones.

Let the scones sit at room temperature until the glaze has hardened (about 30-60 minutes).

two photos showing How to Make Scone glaze, and drizzling it onto a scone

Serve

I suggest serving the scones at room temperature or slightly warm (my preference). Serve them with a dollop of cinnamon butterhomemade apple butter, or lemon curd for an extra special touch.

Store/Freeze

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

three scones with glaze drizzled on the top

Scones Recipe FAQs

Can scones be made ahead?

Yes! Make the scone dough according to the instructions, form it into a disc, but do not cut it (leave it as a round 9″ circle). Then, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and put it in an airtight container. Then, in the morning cut and bake the scones according to the recipe instructions.

How do you reheat scones?

There are two ways to reheat these easy scones:
In the microwave. Simply warm scones in the microwave for 15-30 seconds (depending on the power of your microwave and the number of scones you are heating up). Then enjoy!
In the oven. Wrap scones in foil or put them in a covered baking dish (to prevent drying out) and warm in the oven preheated to 300 degrees F for 10-15 minutes!

Are scones and biscuits the same?

No. Biscuits are savory and contain milk and sour cream instead of heavy cream or half and half. Biscuits rise more than scones and don’t contain vanilla.

Should scones have eggs?

Yes. Using egg in this scone recipe gives them a richer taste and an amazing texture. It also adds to the rise of the scone.

Are scones supposed to be hard or soft?

They should have a slightly crunchy exterior and moist, soft interior.

Why does butter and the wet ingredients need to be cold?

It is important that the butter and the rest of the ingredients are cold in the scone dough because the little “chunks” of cold butter throughout the dough are critical to the texture.
The cold butter chunks melt while baking, which creates flaky layers and pockets in the scones, making the perfect homemade scones!

two scones on a plate, one with a bite taken out of it

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Best Scones Recipe

Laura
This is the best scone recipe! These scones are rich, buttery, moist and flaky with hints of vanilla. They are slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the center. Learn how to make scones from scratch and add your preferred mix-ins!
5 from 2 votes
Course Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Scones
Calories 304
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Topping:

Glaze (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder and sea salt. Stir to combine.
  • Grate the frozen butter into the dry mixture and stir to combine. (This is the trick that I find makes these scones light, fluffy and irresistible! You can, of course, cut the cold butter in with a fork or pastry cutter, if you prefer.)
  • Add half and half, egg and vanilla extract and stir until combined. The dough will look crumbly initially but will clump together when squeezed between your fingers and should easily form a circle.
  • Add desired mix-ins and stir until evenly distributed.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface (or pastry slab) and form into a round circle about 8-9” in diameter. *see notes for instructions on making these the night before.
  • Cut into 8 equal pieces. Start by cutting the circle in half from top to bottom. Then cut it in half from side to side. Then cut the remaining pieces in half diagonally. (see video)
  • Carefully separate the scones and spread them out evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Lightly brush the top of the dough with half and half, sprinkle with raw sugar and gently press it into the top of the scones.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 17 minutes, or until the scones look set.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer scones to a wire rack to cool, or serve warm (which I highly recommend).

Make the Glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  • Immediately drizzle it over cooled sones.
  • Let sit at room temperature until hardened (about 30-60 minutes).
  • Serve at room temperature.

Video

Notes

To Prepare in Advance
Form the dough into a round disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in an airtight container (or plastic bag) and chill in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning before baking, proceed with the recipe. 
Ingredient Substitutions
  • All-purpose flour. I have only tried this recipe with all-purpose flour, if you’re looking for gluten-free scones, I suggest using a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free baking flour
  • Granulated sugarI bake with organic cane sugar, but white granulated sugar works well.
  • Salted Butter. Both salted and unsalted butter work well in this scone recipe.
  • Half and Half. Heavy cream and whole milk are both acceptable substitutes for half and half.
  • Raw Turbinado sugarI use organic raw turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top of the scones.
  • Vanilla extract. For different flavors, substitute ½ tsp vanilla extract for different extracts (almond, orange, lemon etc.)
  • Add-ins. You can jazz up this simple scone recipe by adding some mix-ins. Some suggestions include (but are not limited to) fresh or dried fruit, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), baking chips, nuts, etc. Also, try our other scone recipes: pumpkin scones, cinnamon scones, and mocha chocolate scones.
Serve
Serve the scones at room temperature or slightly warm (my preference)! Serve them with a dollop of cinnamon butter, apple butter or lemon curd. 
Store/Freeze
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1scone | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 447IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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