Learn how to make delicious, soft, light, and tender scones with this easy tutorial. This scone recipe is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
Scones are one of those recipes that some people tend to think are dry or bland. But the truth is that when made correctly, scones are actually super soft, light, and can melt in your mouth!
So today I’m bringing it back to the basics and showing you exactly how to make homemade scones. These scones come together in about 15 minutes and they only take about 20 minutes to bake in the oven.
This scone recipe is also a perfect base for creating different flavors, so I’ve included options for different flavor variations. I’ve even included a few different options for glazes so you can really make this recipe your own!
What You’ll Need For This Recipe
For this scone recipe, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients. Let’s break down each one:
- All-Purpose Flour: When it comes to measuring your flour, make sure to spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife. Too much flour can lead to a crumbly dough and scones that don’t taste as good. I talk about this more in my post on how to measure flour.
- Granulated Sugar: I typically stick with granulated sugar because I prefer the taste, but brown sugar will work too.
- Baking Powder & Salt: There is one tablespoon of baking powder in this recipe and I promise it’s not a mistake! In order to get a good rise, you need a decent amount of baking powder.
- Cold Unsalted Butter: Since the amount of salt in salted butter can vary quite a bit between different brands, I prefer to stick with unsalted butter. Also, cold butter is key to creating the perfect scones. As the cold butter melts in the oven, it creates steam pockets that help the scones rise and creates a lighter texture too.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: When it comes to soft scones that don’t dry out, heavy whipping cream is the best option. A little cream brushed on top of the scones before they go into the oven creates a beautiful slightly crisp and lightly browned exterior too.
- Egg & Vanilla Extract: The egg helps to create a lighter texture and the vanilla adds flavor.
How To Make This Scone Recipe
As I mentioned earlier, scones are INCREDIBLY easy to make and throw together. To start, you’ll whisk together your flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then, cube your cold butter into small pieces and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut it into the dry ingredients until you have small pea-sized crumbs.
Next, whisk together the heavy whipping cream, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and stir the mixture together until it just comes together.
Then, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, work it into a ball, flatten it into a disc 7 inches in diameter, and cut it into 8 equal-sized pieces.
Lastly, you’ll want to place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes so that the dough is thoroughly chilled.
Once it’s nice and cold, brush the tops of the scones with a little heavy whipping cream. If you don’t plan to add a glaze on top, you can sprinkle them with a little coarse sugar or granulated sugar. Then, place them in the oven and let them bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re lightly browned and golden on top.
As I mentioned earlier, this recipe is a great base for adding other flavors. Here are a few ways that you can change up this scone recipe. I suggest mixing in these ingredients right after you cut in the butter and before you mix in the wet ingredients.
- Blueberry: Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries
- Cranberry Orange: Add 2 teaspoons of orange zest and 2/3 cup of sweetened dried cranberries (or 1 cup of chopped fresh cranberries)
- Cinnamon Raisin: Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and 2/3 cup of raisins
- Lemon Poppy Seed: Add the zest of 1 medium lemon and 1/2 tablespoon of poppy seeds
I’ve also included a vanilla glaze option, but you can easily change up the glaze too. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Orange Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh orange juice instead of milk
- Lemon Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh lemon juice instead of milk
- Cinnamon Glaze: Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- When measuring your flour, make sure to spoon it into your measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Cold ingredients are best for this recipe! Make sure your dough is as cold as possible before you place the scones in the oven. I suggest placing the baking sheet with the scones in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking them.
- Brush the top of each scone with a little heavy whipping cream before placing them in the oven. This will create a slightly crispy exterior and help them brown too.
The BEST Scones Recipe
For the scones:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter cubed into pieces
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream plus more for brushing the tops
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the vanilla glaze:
- 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the scones:
- Preheat oven too 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cold cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut it into the dry ingredients until you have small pea-sized crumbs.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy whipping cream, egg, and vanilla extract until fully combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The mixture may be a little crumbly at this point, this is okay!
- Scoop the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and work it together in a ball, then flatten into a 7-inch circle. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave a little room between each one.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the scones are chilled.
- Brush the tops of each scone with a little heavy whipping cream. If you're not adding a glaze, you can top them with coarse sugar if desired.
- Bake at 400°F (204°C) for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the scones are lightly browned and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the vanilla glaze:
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until well combined. If the glaze is too thick add more milk to thin it out and if the glaze is too thin add more powdered sugar to thicken it.
- Top the scones with the glaze and allow to harden for 10-15 minutes, then serve, and enjoy.
- Blueberry: Add 1 cup (150 grams) of fresh blueberries
- Cranberry Orange: Add 2 teaspoons of fresh orange zest plus 2/3 cup (105 grams) of sweetened dried cranberries (or 1 cup of chopped fresh cranberries)
- Cinnamon Raisin: Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon plus 2/3 cup (105 grams) of raisins
- Lemon Poppy Seed: Add the zest of 1 medium lemon plus 1/2 tablespoon of poppy seeds
- Orange Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh orange juice in place of the milk
- Lemon Glaze: Omit the vanilla extract and use fresh lemon juice in place of the milk
- Cinnamon Glaze: Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon