Best Scones Recipe – Easy and Fluffy
Scones are readily available in many stores but there is nothing like homemade scones with jam and some whipped cream. We all want our scones to be light, fluffy and utterly delicious but that is not always easy to achieve. Baking is sometimes as much of an art as a science and it can take time to build up your skills.
So, what are scones and how can you guarantee fantastic results every time? Scones are a quintessentially British dish that is a small, unsweetened baked cake. They usually contain flour, baking powder, a fat (often butter) and milk but there are many variations on the basic recipe. The best scones have risen well during baking and taste light, fluffy and a little crumbly.
Here in the US, scones tend to be irregular or may look a little like a cookie. Sweet scones are served with tea or coffee. Savory scones are also popular and are eaten in the same way as a bread roll – often with breakfast. They are a very popular food in coffee houses and they can contain fruits such as blueberries or spices such as cinnamon. Here in the US, scones tend to be drier and crumblier and have an irregular shape. Read on and find out the best recipe for scones that we recommend.
Best Recipe for Scones
Here’s our best scone recipe that will give you a delicious and fluffy bake.
- 2.5 ounces chilled butter
- 12 ounces self-raising flour (you can use gluten-free flour if desired)
- 1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ounce caster sugar
- 2.5 ounces sultanas
- 5 fluid ounces milk
- 2 large eggs
Chill a mixing bowl and cut the cold butter into chunks. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Use some butter to lightly grease a baking sheet and add some baking parchment.
Weigh out the flour and sieve it into the chilled mixing bowl with the baking powder. Add the cubes of butter but try not to touch them. Now, using a very light touch and minimum handling, rub the butter and flour together to give a crumbly breadcrumb texture. Add in the sieved sugar and sultanas. Pour in 3.5 fluid ounces of milk and some of the beaten egg. Retain about 2 tablespoons for later.
Mix all of the ingredients together using a round-blade knife until it makes a slightly sticky dough. If the mixture seems to be too dry, add a little more milk. This will make sure that no bits of mixture are left at the bottom of the bowl. If you need to, you can refrigerate or even freeze this mixture until you need it.
Lightly cover a flat surface with some flour and place the scone mixture on top. Again, with a light touch, gently knead it a few times but be careful not to overdo it. Gently coax the mixture into a rectangle and pat it down until it is about three quarters of an inch thick.
Using a plain cutter with a diameter of 2.5 inches, cut as many scones as you can. Lay them on the parchment, leaving at least half an inch between them. Collect up what is left and repeat the process until you have no mixture left.
Carefully brush each of the scones with the remaining beaten egg and pop them in the oven. They will need around 10 minutes to bake and should rise and turn a lovely golden color. Let them cool on a wire rack before serving. Using this recipe, each scone will contain around 238 calories.
Top Tips on How to Make Scones
If you want to know how to make scones like a pro, you need to do more than just follow the recipe. Here are our top tips for achieving the best baking results every time.
- Don’t soften the butter. The colder the butter the better the scone! If you have a hot kitchen, you could freeze the butter before you start.
- Be careful how you measure your flour. Spoon it into the measuring cup or onto the scales. If you pour it out of the packet it will be too dense and you will end up using too much flour.
- Don’t over handle the mixture. Too much stirring will ruin the mixture.
- Sticky dough can be handled by using a little flour. This makes it easier to shape.
- Think about how big your scones are. Larger scones are more moist and smaller ones are drier.
- Always roll out the mixture thicker than you think you need. Everyone overestimates how much the scones will rise.
- Bake scones on a parchment sheet for the best results.
- Once the scones can be lifted off the baking sheet easily, you know that they are cooked.
What Are the Best Scone Flavors?
Traditional British scones contain raisins but there are many other flavors that you can use. Here are our best scone flavors for sweet scones.
- Date and walnut. Include 1/2 cup chopped and pitted dates and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- White chocolate and cranberry. Include 1/3 cup dried cranberries and some white chocolate chips.
- Orange choc-chip. Include 1/2 cup dark choc chips and 1 tablespoon orange zest.
- Blueberry and cinnamon. Include 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Some delicious savory best scone flavors include:
- Herb and cheese. The sugar content is reduced to just 1 tablespoon. 1/2 cup fresh herbs and 1/4 cup grated cheese is added. You can also put some grated cheese on the top.
- The sugar content is reduced to 1 tablespoon. Add 600g steamed butternut pumpkin after it has been mashed and cooled.
- Sun-dried tomato and chive. The sugar content is reduced to 1 tablespoon. Add 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped), 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup chopped chives.
- Feta, olive and basil. The sugar content is reduced to 1 tablespoon. Add 1/3 cup chopped black olives, 70g feta cheese and 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves.