Easy British Scone Recipe

British scones with cream and jam on a plate

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
247 Calories
7g Fat
39g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 247
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 831mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 213mg 16%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 98mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Scones are an intrinsic part of both British and Irish cooking. The classic scone in this recipe has been mixed, baked, and eaten on these islands for centuries and is as popular today as they ever were. They are simple enough to whip up quickly at a moment's notice.

Making both sweet or savory homemade scones for afternoon tea (or anytime you fancy a treat) is both quick and simple. To make the lightest scones, it's wise to work as quickly as possible and keep all the ingredients as cold as possible.

Scones are always best eaten on the day they are made, though gently warming them in the oven will freshen them up (never the microwave, though; that makes them tough) within a day or so. That is, of course, if there are any left; they are too delicious to keep for long. Serve them with jam and clotted cream, a healthy dollop of salted butter, or drizzled with honey. Or just as they are.

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"Scones are the perfect afternoon treat to serve with butter and jam, and this recipe will be sure to lead you to success. You can customize it with dried fruit or cheese; or enjoy with some fresh fruit. This recipe will walk you through all the steps, and you'll have homemade scones in no time." —Tracy Wilk

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Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups (400 grams) self-rising flour, plus more for the baking sheet

  • 2 ounces (55 grams) unsalted butter, cold, plus more for the baking sheet

  • 1/2 level teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar, if you want your scones a little sweeter, optional

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup (100 milliliters) milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for scones
    The Spruce 
  2. Heat the oven to 400 F/205 C/Gas 6. Grease and flour a heavy baking sheet.

    Grease baking sheet
    The Spruce
  3. Sieve the flour into a roomy mixing bowl then add the butter, baking powder, salt, and sugar, if using.

    Sieve the flour into bowl
    The Spruce
  4. Quickly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

    Rub butter into flour
    The Spruce
  5. Make a well in the center and using a dinner knife, stir in the beaten eggs and enough milk to make a soft, lightly sticky but pliable dough.

    Make a well in the center and add egg and milk
    The Spruce
  6. Turn the mixture onto a floured board and knead very lightly until just smooth then lightly roll out to 3/4-inch thick.

    Pat the scone dough out into a circle
    The Spruce
  7. Cut rounds with a 3-inch cutter. Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and milk mixture.

    Cut rounds for scones and brush with egg and milk mixture
    The Spruce
  8. Bake near the top of the hot oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.

    Baked golden brown scones
    The Spruce
  9. Cool on a wire rack before eating. Serve with butter, or jam and cream.

    Scones cooling on a wire rack
    The Spruce

Tip

If you don't have self-rising flour or have trouble finding it in the grocery store, you can make your own self-rising flour by substituting 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every cup of all-purpose flour.

Recipe Variations

  • The recipe here is for a plain scone, but these can quickly be changed to fruit, cheese, or any other flavor you may want to add, such as cherry, cranberry, lemon, orange, and so on.
  • Fruit Scones: Add 55 grams (1/4 cup) raisins, dried mixed fruit, or chopped dates to the dry ingredients in the basic recipes. Simple citrus zest makes a good addition, too.
  • Cheese Scones: Add 55 grams (1/2 cup) grated cheese (cheddar is great) and 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder to the mixture after rubbing in the fat and flour and continue with the basic recipe. Sprinkle the scones with 55 grams (1/2 cup) more grated cheese before baking.
  • Make them even more savory with a teaspoon of dried herbs or some chopped fresh ones, such as chives, parsley, or rosemary.

How to Store and Freeze Scones

Scones are best the day they are made but can keep for another day or two if stored, covered, at room temperature. They take well to either slicing and toasting on a skillet, or reheating in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes.


If you'd like, you can freeze scones. Individually wrap them in foil or plastic, transfer to a zip-close freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. You can either reheat them fully in the oven, from frozen, wrapped in foil, for 15 to 20 minute at 350, or defrost them at room temperature and then heat them for 5 to 10 minutes just to take the chill off them.

How Do I Get My Scones to Rise and Be Fluffy?

The butter and milk you use in scones should be as cold as possible, and you should handle them as lightly and as little as possible when you bring the dough together and form them.


If you are making scones in an especially warm kitchen, place the dough in the fridge, wrapped, for 10 to 15 minutes to chill it before making the scones. You can also quickly freeze the scones for 10 to 15 minutes once they've been formed and placed on the baking sheet, to further chill them. This helps the fat solidify and helps them rise.

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