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
My favorite scones ever! I add brandied fruit to them and they are perfect.
That sounds amazing!
I would like to try this recipe with chocolate chips.
Hi Lee! You can add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of chocolate chips to the dough.
Love these scones! Would it be possible to prepare the dough at night and bake the scones the next morning?
I’ve had success freezing the scones and baking them later, so I think it would be okay.
Thank you! 🙂
Since this calls for a reactive leavening rather than live yeast it should be baked soon after assembling. Yeasted doughs are often enhanced by chilling overnight but baking powder depends on a chemical reaction. However, freezing baking powder dough quickly after assembly could stop the action and Danielle says she has had success doing this. I think she probably cut the scones so they were oven-ready when she froze them and needed no further handling.
Never made scones before but I just used this recipe for strawberry short cake…… they are easy and delicious… I’ll be making Scones now. Ty for a great easy recipe??
I made scones for strawberry shortcake and they were the bomb! Scones from now on instead of shortbread.
Love this recipe so easy and tasty! I made some according to the recipe and then some with freeze dried Strawberries and almonds, matcha and almond extract, and some with cinnamon chips! So delicious!
Where did you find cinnamon chips?
I add dried tart cherries and slivered almonds, delicious!
This truly is THE BEST scone recipe!! I made these for Mother’s Day; I kept the scone recipe plain and made lemon glaze as instructed (with 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice), and they turned out phenomenally!!! The best scones I’ve ever had — Danielle’s recipes have never been anything less than delicious, I’m constantly impressed and can’t wait to try more!!
Made them into turtle scones by adding pecans, mini chocolate chips and caramel bits ( found them by the chocolate chips). Amazing!
These just came out of my oven 15 minutes ago. DELICIOUS.
My 8th graders were supposed to head to Quebec for a class trip this week, but it was canceled. I made these for them to eat with maple butter, because obviously we have to try some!
Also, made these with an all purpose gluten free flour blend since we have a gluten free kiddo, and they’re still perfect!
Made this recipe twice – both times my dough was dry and hard to keep together – that is, didn’t seem to have enough butter to incorporate all the flour or enough wet ingredients. They were delicious but I’m obviously doing something wrong. I’d like them to look like your picture when you flatten them out! Any suggestions?
Hi, Jim! You could try adding another tablespoon or two of heavy cream and see if that helps.
Excellent recipe!! Have made numerous times and they always turn out great!! This time I added the cinnamon and used a maple glaze (just add 3 TBSP of maple syrup to the icing sugar and milk). Sooooo good!!! Thank you for a wonderful base recipe!!!
I pulsed a cup of frozen berries and made a white chocolate drizzle for these. Perfect tea party scones. They were delicious!
Your recipe sounds delicious. Do you back scones on the upper third rack ?
I bake them on the middle rack.
Would this recipe make for a good savory scone if I add bacon and cheese?
Yes, absolutely! I would reduce the sugar quite a bit and only use 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar. Or you could use my bacon cheddar biscuit recipe here.
The best scones I have ever had and so easy to make. I can’t wait to try other add-ins although they are perfect as is!
Truly the best scone recipe on the internet. I’ve been using it since 2019 to make a variety of sweet and savory scones, and gluten free scones.
I can’t wait to make them using this recipe. I sold my house & now am a full time RVer. My RV does not have a conventional oven but a convection oven. Are there changes I need to make to the recipe for a convection oven? I am discovering that just reducing the baking temperature isn’t always enough …
Hi, Elaine! I typically recommend either reducing the baking time a few minutes or reducing the oven temperature by 25°F. Since you’ve tried the first option, I would try reducing your oven temperature and see if that helps.
I love this recipe but do you really cook them at 400°F? Mine always look burned on the top and underdone. Besides that, great recipe
I forgot to say i even put them towards the middle-lower rack as well. Which is such a bummer because I used special ingredients for this batch. I always forget that 400°F is too high. :/
Yes, I do. If you’re having issues with them burning, I’d recommend checking your oven temperature with an oven thermometer to make sure it’s correct or reduce it by 25°F. You could also place a piece of foil over the scones towards the end of the bake time, to prevent the tops from burning and let them fully bake through.
Indeed, my husband and I agree that of the several scone recipes that I have made this IS the best! Thank you. We are looking forward to trying additions to it now that we now have best basic scone recipe! Have a blessed day.
I just made the scones for the 1st time using your recipe. Came out really well. Thanks so much for sharing everything in detail and clear 🙂
I have a variation for scones–Instead of making the like pizza where the little pointy end has a tendency to overcook or sometimes burn. I make the dough into a 5 x9 rectangle and slice crosswise.
Yoy wind up with nice scones about 1 1/2 x 5+.
No burned points–after all I’m going for taste not looks but if you like to pointed kind disregard this but try it at least once.
Another tip sprinkle with coarse sugar after brushing with milk and add handful of Nestles chocolate tip for a real treat.
Have made so many varieties of scones with this recipe and it always gets rave reviews! (My favorite: “I always thought scones just tasted of flour, but these are amazing!”) Our favorites are the cranberry orange and lemon poppy seed. Blueberry, chocolate chip, plain and cinnamon raisin have also come out well. Today I tried a pumpkin-cranberry scone. I decreased the heavy cream to 1/3 cup and added just over a third cup of pumpkin puree with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. The dough was wetter than normal, but they’ve come out really well.
Do these freeze after baking?
Yes, you can wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and freeze them in a large freezer bag for up to 3 months.
I don’t often post recipe reviews but this is truly the best scone recipe. They come out better if made with cream than milk, Sometimes I make them with dried tart cherries and a little almond extract. Skip the glaze, glazed scones are gross.
My family loves your recipe. I’ve made them twice with blueberries and I’ll try adding the zest of one lemon the next time. I can’t wait to try other variations. Thanks so much!
I felt like scones on Sunday and popped into Google, your recipe came up, so I went for it. Incredibly easy to follow, I split the recipe and added some chives and shredded cheddar to half the recipe, they were so savory/sweet delicious! Thinking of making them for holiday brunch!
This is the first and only scone recipe I will ever try! I make them all the time and have gotten rave reviews from family and friends. They taste even better when toasted the next day… The scone gets crispy and the glaze caramelizes, I’ll also freeze a batch before baking- thaw it while the oven heats and bake. These scones do not last very long in our household!
Perfect Scones!! Such a great recipe thank you!
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC !! For 15 years I drove a truck across the United States. I have had Scones from New York, Florida, Mississippi, California, Washington, Illinois and pretty much Every major City in between. I Love Scones and was on a quest to find the best. NOPE. Dry, over baked, crumbly, doughy and everything else that can be wrong. Now that I’m retired I was determined to find a good Scone recipe to make at home. I FOUND IT !! YOURS !! I Don’t consider my self a Connoisseur of Fine Scones, But, Your’s recipe IS EVERYTHING a Scone SHOULD BE. You now have a lifelong follower. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. These ARE Absolutely the “BEST” Scones !!
Thank you, Ronald! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I just made these and wow they turned out so good! I’ve never made scones before and was a little worried because they were quite crumbly when I was trying to shape it into a ball but they turned out perfect. Will definitely be making these again!
Thank you. Excellent. I made them twice: once adding chocolate ? chunks and some almond extract, and once making the lemon poppy with lemon glaze. The dough was easy to make, handle, and cut. To be sure, both times I had to add more liquid for the dough to come together. No worries: I simply drizzled in as much extra cream as I needed to press the dough together. The texture of the finished product was excellent, a little crispy and flaky on the outside, but still soft and fluffy in the middle.