Learn how to make the best scones of your life! These scones have a dark-golden and crunchy outer crust. They are tender, moist and buttery on the inside. Plus you can easily adapt this recipe with your favorite add-ins.
There is a local farm bakery near my kids’ karate that makes the best scones. They are worth getting up early for on a Saturday. They have different flavors every weekend, so it’s always a nice surprise. When we do make it out to karate class on Saturdays, I make sure we get there early enough so I can swing by the bakery to grab myself a little treat to enjoy while the kids are in class. I’m always in amazed by how crispy the outside of their scones are, yet the inside is incredibly moist and tender.
So I really wanted to duplicate that in a simple-to-follow recipe. And with the help of King Arthur Flour, I did.
Some people might think of scones as dry, hard, and bland bricks of pastries, but I guarantee you this recipe is not like that at all. It’s quite the opposite actually. With this recipe, you get a very buttery and moist scone with a soft and tender inner crumb. The exterior is crunchy and baked to a dark golden perfection.
The one secret trick to this recipe is to let the scones chill in the fridge for 20 minutes while your oven preheats. This allows for the gluten in the flour to relax, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which makes the scones flakier.
This recipe will serve as your basic go-to scone recipe with instructions on how to adapt it for sweet or savory, and mix-in options. What you see in the photos is a sweet scone with white chocolate chips, blueberries and raspberries as mix-ins.Print
- 2 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and kneading
- 2 tbsp (for savory) or 4 tbsp (for sweet) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp (for savory) or 1/2 tsp (for sweet) salt
- ½ cup (114g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ⅔ cup (167ml) cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing top of scones
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla (for sweet only)
- 1-2 cups add-ins (I used 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, 1/2 blueberries and 1/2 cup raspberries for this sweet scone version)
- In a large bowl, toss together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal. Mix in any add-ins at this step if using.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla (if making sweet scones).
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture and gently stir with a rubber spatula until all is moistened.
- Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. With floured hands, gently knead the dough into a ball. Then pat out into a 5″ circle if making plain scones, or 6″ circle if you have incorporated any add-ins.
- Cut into 8 wedges and place 2″ apart onto a parchment paper/silicone mat lined baking sheet. Chill uncovered in the fridge for 20 minutes while you preheat your oven to 400F.
- Brush the tops of the scones with more buttermilk and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Scones are best enjoyed the day of. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge (depending on type of add-ins) for 2-3 days. To re-heat, place on a baking sheet, lightly tent with foil, and warm for 10 minutes at 350F.
Here are some suggested variations from King Arthur Flour.
Sweet scone variations:
White Chocolate, Cherry, and Pecan Scones: Add 1/2 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup pecans.
Chocolate Chunk Scones: Add 1 – 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chunks (milk, semi-sweet, dark or mix).
Double Chocolate Chunk Scones: Substitute 1/4 cup cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour; add 1 cup chocolate chunks and 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder.
Toasted Coconut Lime Scones: Add 3/4 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut and 1 tablespoon lime zest. For extra coconut flavor, use coconut milk in place of the dairy called for in the recipe.
Roasted Strawberry and Pistachio Scones: Toss 2 cups sliced or quartered strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar. Spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 425°F for about 20 minutes, or until jammy-looking. Let the berries cool before stirring them into the dry ingredients with 1/2 cup chopped pistachios.
Lemon Blueberry Scones: Add 2 cups blueberries and 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
Triple Cinnamon Scones: Add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to the dry ingredients) and 1 cup cinnamon chips.
Savory scone variations:
Cheddar, Basil, and Sun-Dried Tomato Scones: Add 1 cup grated cheddar, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 2 tablespoons dried basil), and 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil).
Cheddar, Bacon, and Chives: Add 1 cup grated cheddar, 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives (or 2 tsp dried).