How to Make Perfect Buttery Scones

A Step-by-Step Tutorial With Photos

  • 01 of 10

    Gather the Ingredients

    Scone ingredients
    Elaine Lemm

     Here's what you'll need to make delicious, buttery scones:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour (unsifted)
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup dried currants
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Cut Butter Into Flour

    Butter cut into flour in bowl
    Elaine Lemm

    To begin, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Then, add cubes of chilled butter and cut in the butter with a pastry blender.

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Beat the Eggs

    Eggs beaten in bowl
    Elaine Lemm

    In a separate bowl, beat two of the eggs until they are light and airy. Keep the third egg reserved for later—you are going to use it to brush the scones with an egg wash before you bake them to give the scones a beautiful, golden exterior.

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Add Cream and Stir to Combine

    Heavy cream added to beaten eggs in bowl
    Elaine Lemm

    Add the heavy cream and mix until thoroughly combined. It will not hurt to have a bit more cream reserved in case you need to moisten the dough later. You can use water, but the cream will give the scones a richer flavor and texture.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

    Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
    Elaine Lemm

    As soon as you add the wet ingredients, you will activate the baking powder, so you will be on the clock. Stir until the dough just comes together, then add the dried currants. 

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Bring the Dough Together

    Scone dough on floured surface
    Elaine Lemm

    Turn the dough out onto a floured board and press together until it barely holds together. You do not want to overwork it or the scones will be too tough. If you need a bit more liquid to moisten the dough, you can add it now—about a tablespoon at a time, just enough so that the dough holds together.

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  • 07 of 10

    Roll Out the Dough

    Roll out the scone dough
    Elaine Lemm

    Dust your rolling pin with a bit of flour to keep it from sticking and roll the dough out to about an inch thick. Once again, do not overwork the dough or your scones will taste leathery and tough.

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  • 08 of 10

    Cut Into Rounds

    Cut scone dough into rounds
    Elaine Lemm

    You can use either a fluted or plain round pastry cutter for this step. Or just cut the scones into triangles with a knife, which is a good technique because you will have fewer scraps.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Brush Tops With Egg Wash

    Scone dough topped with egg wash
    Elaine Lemm

    Now it is time for the egg wash. Beat the last egg in a small bowl along with a tablespoon or so of water. Then, paint the tops of the scones with the egg wash. Use just enough to make the scones appear glossy.

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  • 10 of 10

    Bake and Eat

    Baked Scones
    Elaine Lemm

    Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes. Scones should be eaten as soon after baking as possible. The perfect scone should be hot enough to melt butter without not quite burning your mouth when you bite into it. Feel free to play around with this recipe and substitute other ingredients like blueberries, lemon zest, or dried cranberries (especially great for when the holidays roll around).