The BEST Scone Recipe
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
You can also find my chocolate chip scone recipe here and my apple cinnamon scones here.
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 the oven to 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
I love to make scones! Can you make a recommendation for a Pumpkin Scone? With fall upon us, it only seems right! 🙂
Oh, great question! I haven’t tried one with this base recipe yet, but you may be able to take out the egg and substitute it with 1/4-1/2 cup pumpkin puree and mix in some pumpkin pie spice.
A dear friend from New Zealand taught me to make scones. Her addition? Chopped dates! I also love a little cream cheese as a spread. She split the scones and put a layer of the dates before baking so that every bite had one. You can also blend the dates into the cream cheese spread as well.
That sounds delicious!
I only have frozen strawberries and frozen cherries can I use them? Also can I use them frozen or do I have to defrost?
Love your recipes
Yes, you can use frozen berries no need to defrost them. Just be careful not to mix them in too much because they can bleed their color into the scone dough.
This sounds like the recpe Tyler Florence shared on Food Network years ago except yours has an egg in the recipe. I really like his and I am so looking forward to trying yours because it will have more protein. Thank you so much for sharing. ml
I find that the egg helps to make them lighter and softer. Hope you enjoy the scones!
I have been baking with your recipes for a while now and they are always a hit! With so much on the internet, it can be very disappointing to choose a recipe that just doesn’t work or taste good. Yours always get rave reviews . I definitely am the hero in my family when I have you behind me with your delicious recipes. Can’t Thank You Enough.
So happy you’re enjoying the recipes, Giselle! Thank you!
These are the BEST scones, and I’m very picky about scones. I only had one from my first batch because my husband and son ate them all!!! Made more for my office and they keep asking me to make more. Love these scones.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. They are informative, easy to follow and delicious.
Thank you, Lorraine! So happy to hear that everyone loved the scones!
This was the best info about baking I’ve found, thank you !! Lucy
So glad you found it helpful, Lucy!
These scones tasted just like the ones I buy at the fancy coffee shops in town! Very easy to make too. They got rave reviews at work and when I reached to take the pan home with a few leftovers on it everyone begged me to leave them for the next day! That was fine with me since I know I would have eaten the rest myself!….
So happy to hear that everyone enjoyed the scones, Susan!
Hi, I have a brunch party, how long before my party I can make these? Thank you.
I would recommend making them the day of the party if you can, but the day before would be okay too.
These scones exceeded my expectations!! I used brown sugar and added cinnamon, and made a brown sugar glaze. The recipe base is soft, flaky, and perfectly baked. One of my new favorite recipes!
So glad you enjoyed the scones, Kayci!
Mine came out a bit dry. I think they are actually over back, and I only baked them for 16 1/2 minutes. The flavor is good. I might try again.
How about over baked not over back!
Hi, Judy! If you pressed them out the same size I did and made 8 scones, your oven may just be a bit too hot. You can reduce the temperature slightly or cut back on the baking time a few minutes and that should help 🙂
is it okay if i use half & half instead of the heavy whipping cream?
That should be fine!
Very excited to make these! Can I safely double this recipe and make two 7″ rounds, or should I make in two separate batches?
It should be fine to double it, I would just be careful not to over mix the dough.
I’ve always wanted to make scones but for some reason, I thought they would be difficult to make. I made this today, and wow! Super easy to make. My family loved them. I used lemon zest and lemon juice for the glaze and they turned out better than some I’ve had in cafes. I can’t wait to try different variations. Thanks for this awesome, simple, and delicious recipe.
My 14 year old made these for breakfast for us. She added zest from 2 Cuties and they were delicious!
Can I use whole milk instead of the heavy whipping cream?
Thanks! Can’t wait to try this recipe!
That would be fine, just keep in mind they won’t be quite as moist.
I have them in the oven now and I can’t wait to taste I loved how you gave baking tips and explicit directions before the recipe! I’ll tell you how it comes out. Thank you
I put lemon glaze on the sconces and I think I’ve died and went to heaven! It was the best concerts I’ve ever had! In the best directions. Thank you so much
So glad you enjoyed the scones, Joella!
I made these yesterday with the lemon poppyseed version. They are excellent with a perfect texture. I have made different scones for years but these are my new go to scones. Just lovely!
Is there a possible replacement for the heavy whipping cream?
You can use half and half or whole milk, just keep in mind they won’t be quite as rich or moist.
Excited to try these per a friend’s recommendation!! However, my daughter is allergic to egg. We typically use applesauce as a substitute for her. Would that be a good option for these scones?
I haven’t tried it, but you could probably use apple sauce or just increase the heavy whipping cream to 3/4 cup.
I just tried out this recipe because I was missing the scones from my favorite cafe. This recipe is easy and delicious! I can’t wait to try different variations! Thank you!
So glad you loved the scones, Gretchen!
Thanks for this recipe. My kids helped and everyone loved them. We made the vanilla and lemon glaze – both were hits! Is there any nutritional information on these?
So happy to hear that, Michelle! I’m not sure about the nutritional information, but you can plug it into an app or online website to get an estimate.
I just made a batch & I’m so pleased! I’ve never made scones before & these are beautiful & delicious! Even my picky teenager loves them. Thank you!
Have you made a savory scone with maybe bacon, cheese and green onions?
I actually have a bacon cheddar biscuit recipe here, you can easily shape that into scones if you prefer!
Going to try these today! Wondering if you have ever made a batch, froze and baked at a later time? I’d love to make some for family and freeze them so they can bake and eat fresh from the oven. Thanks! Can’t wait to try?
Hi, Kari! I haven’t tried it that way, so I’m not quite sure. If you make them and then freeze them before baking, they may not rise quite as high when you do bake them.
Hi I was wondering if I can use Half & Half or whole milk instead of Heavy Whipping cream.? Thanks!
Yes, half and half would be best if you have it on hand.
Hi! Loved the recipe. Easy and quick. Now, for some reason they had an after taste like baking soda? I double checked how much I put but I followed the quantities you give. Is there anything else I might be missing? I am no baker or cook so I might as well have messed it up.
I hope you can help me.
Did you accidentally use baking soda instead of baking powder? If so, that’s likely why they tasted that way.
I tried the lemon poppy seed scone and it was delicious!!!! My family is in love !! Thanks for the recipe!
These were wonderful! Can they be made as mini scones? If so, do you have any idea how big the rounds should be and how long to bake?
Hi, Mary! I would probably divide the dough in two, press each one out to about 1/2-inch thick, then slice each one in 6-8 scones. You’ll probably need to reduce the baking time too.
I can’t wait to make these scones. I don’t have enough room in my freezer for a baking sheet. Can I cut and shape the scones and stack them in a ziplock bag? Will it have the same effect?
Hi, Katrina! Do you have room in your refrigerator? If so, I would just place the baking sheet in there. It’s also not 100% necessary to chill them. As long as your dough is cold enough after you could it out and place it on the baking sheet it should be fine.
Hi there! I was thinking of using some left over cultured buttermilk I have in place of the heavy cream – will it turn out the same? I realize the acidity in the buttermilk is normally mixed with baking soda to help with rise, but I’m assuming it’ll be fine to use with the baking powder in this recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
That would be fine! Just keep in kind they will have a slightly different taste with the buttermilk.