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
So simple, so fast, so versatile. Perfection.
hey love this recipe and i’ve made it before! i’m pretty new to baking but just wondering if the cook time/temp would be any different if i’m making them any smaller? i’ve done without any modifications and turned out delicious!! thank you in advance :))
If you make them smaller, you will just want to reduce the baking time. The oven temperature will stay the same.
This recipe was super easy and I really appreciate that it doesn’t require large amounts of each ingredient. I added fresh blueberries to the mix. The scones were fluffy and flavorful. Great for a late night pregnancy craving!
This is a fabulous recipe. It’s a wee bit cakey. Just a wee bit. But the family loves it. It is not dense like the other scones I’ve made.
I have used it with blueberries, cranberries, maple walnut, mixed with self rising flour, and mixed with wheat flour. (Can you tell that I love this recipe as a base?
I love these scones and make often. They are so tender and flakey, delicious with jam or plain.
Thanks for a great and easy recipe.
I have a small 20″ oven and the scones got burned on the bottom. I put them on foil over a metal baking sheet on the top shelf.
They tasted great after i removed the burned part, but were very flaky and didn’t hold together well at all.
I’m thinking of backing off the temperature a bit and putting them in a glass casserole dish to bake.
Hi, Rina! Did you use a dark metal baking sheet? If so, a light colored baking sheet would help. I’d also suggesting reducing the oven temperature to 375°F.
If I’m baking from frozen dough (so I can make ahead), what temp and time do you think I should bake at? Thanks! Love this recipe!!!
Hi, Savannah! You can keep the oven temp the same and just increase the baking time by a few minutes. If they start to brown too much before they’re fully baked, you can place a piece of foil over the top of the scones.
Love this recipe. I bake them with blueberries and blueberry/lemon. Make them whenever I have a little time just to keep in my freezer for when I want a little snack or to bring a little snack to a friend. Best scone recipe I’ve tried.
Planning to make them for a shower this weekend. I plan to make the orange cranberry and also wanted a fall combination like pumpkin or apple or maple or a combination. Any suggestions of how to make that would work with this recipe?
Hi, Sarah! I actually have a pumpkin scone recipe here (it uses a maple glaze) and an apple cinnamon one here. I hope that helps!
I have made my own scones and I enjoyed.
Made these for a cream tea. I’ve been making scones and biscuits for years and this recipe is far and away the best one I’ve ever tried. It will stay in my recipe book.
Made these for breakfast this morning. So tender! Not dry at all. Loved them.
I’ve tried several recipes for scones and these are definitely the winner!
I’ve managed to screw up making scones every other time I’ve attempted it. This recipe is awesome!
FYI: grating frozen butter is easier to my brain than my pastry cutter.
Exquisite! Such a lovely crumb and texture. Made them plain, but they were delicious and perfect with jam.
This recipe had my British son-in-law raving. So glad you published it. The scones are perfect, not too sweet, but still with flavor. The glaze was a delightful touch, but not at all necessary.
This recipe sounds like a perfect foundation for variations of a sweet variety.
I’d like to try cheddar chive scones. Would you recommend reducing the sugar for a savoury scone?
I would probably reduce the sugar to just a couple of teaspoons.
Marvellous, super easy, I added blue berries and lemon zest.
I’m pretty sure the recipe should say 1 TEASPOON baking powder and I used 1 tablespoon as the recipe calls for and these did not turn out right. They still tasted good though.
1 Tablespoon is correct.
This recipe was amazing and delicious
These are super delicious scones! My family are scone tasters, any chance they get and we all voted these the best we have had in a very long time. Just plain, no icing and no berries, etc. I couldn’t quite understand the storage instructions – we never have any left over!
I have made different recipes of scones, but these are my favorite by far!
This recipe is very easy, and the scones are amazing! And I don’t bake.
Same! Not a baker and these made me feel so proud I actually did something right for a change. Gonna have to make double next time, because they were gone before I knew it.
This recipe is great! I have celiac and am always looking for recipes that also work with gluten-free flour, I have tried this one a few times and it does! Delicious. Thanks!
Stretch to 12 servings.
Once all combined, roll/pat into a log and cut into 12 disks. Open bake on sheet OR put in muffin tin, thumb print it and put a dollop of a jelly or preserves in the dent.
Makes a GREAT alternative to icing.
Is there any way to make the butter cut down process easier? Would a food processor work on pulse possibly?
You can pulse it in a food processor, just be careful not to over mix it. Or you can use a cheese grater and grate the butter into the dry ingredients.
My go to scone recipe now! The texture is perfect!
I’ve never tried the glaze as I usually serve with clotted cream and jam, but I’m sure it’s good too!
OMG these were SO delicious and so easy to make. I followed the recipe to a tee (except I made round scones) and they turned out perfectly for my Mom’s 70th birthday high tea! They were such a hit! I wish I could post a photo of how beautifully they turned out! Thank you so much!
I made these scones today and was somewhat disappointed. The flavor was very good but they were hard and crumbly. Could it have been my ingredients, I followed the recipe exactly.
If you followed the instructions and measured your flour correctly, you may have just over baked them. You can try reducing the baking time slightly next time. If you happened to use a darker baking sheet, that can cause them to cook faster as well.
Just made cinnamon glased scones. They were wonderful even my 2 1/2 year old gramdson aye onr and likef it
I had the opportunity of eating scones – the way the English make them – while I was in London a few years ago, complete with clotted cream. Simply scrumptious. I’ve always wanted to make my own ever since. Now with the help of your recipe, I hope I’ll be able bake my own scones. Unfortunately, heavy whipping cream is not easily available in this country. Is it possible for me to use cooking cream instead? Thank you for the recipe and for your help.
Do you know how much fat is in your cooking cream? I think it would be fine to use, but if it’s thinner than heavy whipping cream you may want to reduce the amount by 1 to 2 tablespoons.