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 these scones , I have made them numerous times. I am wondering if you can refrigerate or freeze after baking.
Yes, either way is fine! You can store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I made these this afternoon and they are the best scones we’ve ever tasted. The texture and sweetness were just right. Thank you for posting the recipe. These will quickly become a family favorite!
Quick question can you make the dough ahead of time and freeze so you can bake them as needed? If so potentially add a couple more minutes to when baking since they are coming straight out of the freezer?
Hi, Desiree! I haven’t tried it with this recipe, but I have with my pumpkin scones (which are pretty similar) and it worked just fine. You will probably need to add 3 to 5 extra minutes to the baking time if you bake them from frozen.
These are the best scones! I’ve used this recipe with lots of different add ins. So good every time.
I made these today. Testing recipe for tomorrow, when I’m hosting a small baby shower for my daughter. I made the blueberry ones. The dough is definitely a little hard to manage but I figure the more I make them the better I’ll get at handling it. I made mine using Williams Sonoma scone pan which has the built in diviner’s for the the scone dough (eight ) – perfect for your recipe. Love your recipe – taste is excellent. I will definitely make them again tomorrow for the bright baby shower.
I love these scones! Best recipe I’ve ever used. Moist delicious scones.
After reading a bunch of recipes I grated my butter for easier mixing and when I add the wet ingredients I use a butter knife to stir it up.
Just this week I have made, lemon poppyseed, blueberry lemon and right now I’m making Apple cinnamon.
My family LOVES these
We have a vegan in the family now.
Can I substitute a vegan “egg” (3 tbsp warm water & 1 tbsp flaxseed) for the egg in your scone recipe?
I haven’t tried it, but I think it may work.
can I use half and half instead of heavy cream?
Yes, that would be fine. You may need an extra tablespoon or two of flour though.
I love these scones! Started making them during the lockdown and it continues! Every batch is a little different. I put the butter in the freezer for a few minutes and have considered cutting it up first then freezing it.
I haven’t tried to bake it yet but I have few questions.WHat is the ratinale of this recipe that it has to be cold prior putting it in the oven.You just mentioned that this recipe good when it is cold.Just wanna know the reason behind.Is it the texture?
I explain it some in the post, but you want the small pieces butter in the dough to be very cold when it goes into the oven. As they bake, the butter melts, and creates steam pockets which is what gives you a soft and light scone instead of a dense one.
Haven’t tried this yet, but it looks yummy. You have variations but I don’t see pumpkin, Could this be done and how? Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Hi, Jenny! I actually have a pumpkin scone recipe here.
Can either almond flour or coconut flour be used instead of the all purpose flour?
They’re quite different than all-purpose flour, so I don’t recommend it for this recipe.
Hey I was wondering if you can puts nuts in this scone recipe?
Yes, absolutely! You can use 1/2 to 3/4 cup.
Can I use whole milk instead of cream? Or full fat coconut milk? Also, would Bob’s red mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour work in place of all purpose?
Whole milk or coconut milk would be fine, but you may need to reduce the amount by 1 to 2 tablespoons since it’s not quite as thick as heavy cream. I haven’t tried these with gluten-free flour, so I can’t say for sure on that one.
Love this … new breakfast item specially now during quarantine – love to cook but not much of a baker. This is easy & tasty. Thank you. ?
Love the scones … yum. Not too sweet & great flavor. I was wondering if I want to make garlic flavored scones what would I add to this recipe. THX!
So glad you enjoyed the scones, Tina! I haven’t tried them with garlic, but I would probably reduce the sugar quite a bit and incorporate some minced garlic or garlic powder.
Love the recipe, have made it a bunch of times! Was going to make them for a friend, but they have an egg allergy. Have you tried making them without the egg? Thanks.
I haven’t tried them without an egg yet. You could possibly use a flax egg or omit the egg and add a little extra heavy whipping cream.
Can the uncooked dough be frozen for later use? If so how long to thaw and any change in baking time or temp?
I’ve had success freezing my pumpkin scone recipe, so I think it would be fine. I would just bake them from frozen and add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Love this scone recipe! It is actually very much like my friend’s amazing biscuits, minus the sugar. She shared the grated frozen butter idea with me. Being a little fearful of grating my fingertips, I tossed the frozen butter in my electric Presto Salad Shooter with the grating attachment. It was amazing and quick! I have also used half and half with a little lemon juice to create a thick ‘buttermilk’ when I don’t Have whipping cream on hand. Friends and family rave about how moist and delicious these scones are!
Can you prepare the dough the night before, refrigerate on baking sheet and put straight in the oven?
I haven’t tried it, so I’m not quite sure. They may not rise quite as much, but I’ve had success freezing my pumpkin scone recipe which is similar so it may be okay.
Girl. You need an AWARD for these scones. But at the same time…these need to be outlawed because they’re so addictive! I like to have them for breakfast with syrup. Very melt in your mouth, just a touch of sweetness, and SO VERSATILE. These will be added to my breakfast rotation for sure!!
I loved all of the options for variations, but it would have been helpful to have a quick reminder in the baking instructions to add in those ingredients.
Wow, these worked out great! I customized it with dried cranberries and brie and it came out *chefs kiss* beautiful. I will be using this recipe again, it was highly popular in my house, all two people. Because ya know, social distancing. Thank you! 🙂
Can you substitute the cream for almond milk in the dough?
I really recommend using heavy cream. Almond milk is much thinner so the dough will likely be sticker and the scones won’t be quite as moist once they’re baked.
These scones are so simple yet taste soooo amazing! Question, how should they be reheated after being frozen? Oven at 350 F for 10 minutes?
So glad you loved the scones, Jessica! Do you mean if they’re baked and frozen? If so, I would reheat them at a lower temperature like 300°F for about 10 minutes or so.
Recipe sounds great. I have a Nordic Ware scone pan. Can I put the scone dough in the pan and put it all in the freezer to get cold? How will a cold pan affect the baking?
That would be fine. You do place the dough in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill it, so it shouldn’t affect the baking time. If you leave them in the freezer longer, you may need to increase the baking time just a few minutes.
Can I use home made Greek yogurt instead of the heavy cream in this recipe? I have not made it yet and am just wondering, because since the confinement, I have been making my own yogurt . Thank you very much.
I imagine that you could, but Greek yogurt is much thicker than heavy cream so you may need to use a little more.
Made these today. First time making scones with an egg. Used a blend of heavy cream and whole buttermilk as I was short on cream. Also added in grated lemon zest and a cup of rough chopped pecans. I make a lot of scones but these were one of the best I’ve ever made. Had them with mixed berries and whipped cream and they’re fantastic.
I followed the recipe but my scones turned out tough, not soft. The texture was not very appetizing either. So with so many people giving this high marks, please coach me on what I may have done wrong. I spoon measured all purpose organic unbleached flour and leveled with a knife. Cut the frozen butter in and made the crumbly dough. I combined the first ingredients with the flour and then the egg, heavy cream etc until just mixed until combined, formed up the circle, put it all in the freezer for 10 minutes and then baked as directed. Any ideas on where or how I goofed appreciated.
If you followed the recipe, the only other thing I can think of that would cause them to be tough would be that the dough may have been overworked. I gently mix in the wet ingredients and once they start to come together, I work it together a little with my hands into a ball, then just pat it down into a circle.
I just made these over the weekend as cinnamon raisin. The density of the dough is perfect with the right amount of crumb. Definitely NOT cake-like as some other recipes. I did not use a food processor, but only a pastry cutter and my hands. Cold butter is key to getting a good flaky crumb. The trick of chilling, brushing with cream, and sprinkling with sanding sugar is a really nice touch. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve already shared it with a few other people, and I look forward to trying a few other options with dried oranges, cranberry, and blueberry.
I made these scones today and they were fantastic!
I didn’t have heavy cream so I used sour cream and diluted with water. Turned out great.
I’m thinking about making smaller sized scones. Maybe 16 small ones instead of 8 big ones. If I do this, should I bake for less time? How long?
Thanks very much!
I’m not sure on the baking time for smaller ones, but you would want to reduce it.
Danielle fantastic recipe thank you. I don’t keep any heavy cream dairy products. So I mixed nonfat milk with a tablespoon of ricotta cheese. They came out fantastic. I will definitely think about purchasing that heavy cream product for my next attempt!
I spooned and leveled 2 cups of all-purpose flour and it came out to 271 grams.
Did you happen to shake the measuring cup as you were measuring the flour? If so, that can cause the flour to settle and you can end up with more.
Hi DANIELLE! I absolutely loved this recipe! I am actually 11 years old and just made it today, I gave it too my parents and they really loved it to! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! bye!
I tried this recipe to bake my 1st batch ever of scones. It was totally a success. I LOVED it!!! Thanks for posting and sharing. Will definitely do this recipe again and again…♥️