How to Make Traditional British Scones

British scone recipe

The Spruce

  • 01 of 05

    Traditional British Scones

    A Cornish cream tea
    Loop Images / Simon Montgomery / Getty Images

    The classic British scone is one of England's all-time favorite baked goods. No self-respecting afternoon tea would ever be served without them. Try visiting Devon or Cornwall and not be tempted by a cream tea of delicious scones, jam, and clotted cream.

    Although it may seem daunting, whipping up a batch of scones takes no time at all. They are so simple to make, yet many shy away. Perhaps this is due to the fierce competition which surrounds the classic scone—are they light enough? Have they risen well? Are they crumbly? 

    In this essential guide to making scones, discover the hints and tips to help you master this delightful treat, as well as a few recipes for different flavors of scones—all popular and a great starting point. A scone is a lovely thing that it lends itself to many unusual flavors, both sweet and savory. From choosing and using the best ingredients, to the best ways to mix, shape, cut, and bake the scones, there are some tricks to follow to assure you will have the most tender scones that are worthy of an English tea.

    (Make sure not to confuse traditional British scones with Scottish Tattie scones, a sort of potato pancake served for breakfast.)

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  • 02 of 05

    The Classic Scone Recipe

    Scones at Afternoon Tea
    Cheryl Chan / Getty Images

    Sweet or savory homemade scones for afternoon tea (or anytime you fancy a treat) can be made both quickly and easily, as this classic scone recipe shows.

    The classic scone is plain and unadorned making it perfect for the addition of many different flavors and ingredients. The plain scone is also wonderful with freshly made jams and even a little whipped or clotted cream.

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  • 03 of 05

    Fruity Scones Recipe

    Blueberry Scone
    Hiroe Kida / Getty Images

    If you think the classic scone is lovely, then try the fruit version. A traditional fruit scone would be made with a mixture of dried fruits, and most commonly sultanas (a small seedless raisin).

    There are traditional dried fruits in this recipe, but you do not need to stop there. How about dried cherries, cranberries, dates, figs? The possibilities are endless. 

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  • 04 of 05

    Traditional Cheese Scone Recipe

    Cheese scones
    British Cheese Scones. Elly Schuurman / Getty Images

    Savory homemade cheese scones are delicious as a snack, with a cup of tea or as part of an afternoon tea. This recipe has grated Cheddar cheese, but you can make whatever flavor you wish (though you may want to avoid very soft cheeses as they melt too quickly). Stick to the slightly firmer cheeses like Cheddar or Cheshire, or the really hard types such as Parmesan, which—with the addition of buttermilk—makes an ​unusual and delicious scone.

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  • 05 of 05

    Accompaniments to Scones

    sliced scone with jam
    Jam and clotted cream go perfectly with scones. Debby Lewis-Harrison / Getty Images

    British scones are always served with something to spread in the middle once it is cut in half. Butter is a must on all, and for a traditional cream tea, the scones are accompanied by jam and cream, particularly clotted cream. Whether you put jam or cream on first depends on if you are eating your cream tea in Cornwall or Devon, as in Cornwall the jam is followed by the cream and in Devon, it is the reverse.