Best Scone Recipe (video)
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.
What is a scone?
A scone is a pastry typically made with flour, butter or heavy cream, milk, eggs, baking powder, sugar, and salt. They can be sweet or savory. They are commonly served for breakfast, as a snack, or with your afternoon tea. American scones are usually triangular in shape and loaded with mix-ins and flavorings. They are also usually topped with coarse sugar or glaze for extra sweetness. British scones are generally round in shape and kept plain because they are customarily served with clotted cream and jam.
Why this recipe is so great:
- 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.
- This recipe is easy to make and you can customize it any way you want. You can use this recipe to make sweet or savory scones. It works with any combination of your favorite mix-ins.
- Here are some reviews:
“Love this recipe! I can’t stop making blueberry lemon scones. I find I have to leave mine in the oven a bit longer, but they come out perfect! I top them with a bit of butter and honey. Oh my goodness! So tasty!” – Monica
“Best scones I ever made! I usually use heavy cream but feel the buttermilk made the difference. After I brushed them with buttermilk, I sprinkled the top with sanding sugar and then made a vanilla glaze…only because I can’t leave well enough alone! I used 2 cups of frozen blueberries as an add-in. Excellent recipe!” – Julie
How to make scones:
(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)
- Start by tossing together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Then add in the cold butter.
- Using a pastry cutter, fork, or two knives, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some larger pieces remaining.
- Toss in your add-ins.
- Whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla (if making sweet scones).
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix just until all is moistened.
- Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface.
- With floured hands, gently knead the dough into a ball. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth. Rough and shaggy is actually better.
- Flatten into a 6″ circle and cut into 8 wedges.
- Transfer onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Brush the surface with buttermilk and bake in a 400F oven for 20 minutes.
- Use cold ingredients. Using cold butter, milk, and egg is essential for this recipe because you want the butter to remain solid while you work the dough. The small pieces of butter in the dough are what gives the scone its desirable texture. Cold butter creates steam as it melts in a hot oven. The steam from the melting butter expands between the layers of dough yielding a soft and fluffy interior, while the fat on the surface of the dough coats and creates a crispy outer shell.
- Be gentle and work quickly. When mixing your wet and dry ingredients together, gently mix until JUST combined and all appears to be moistened; that way you don’t create too much gluten. When kneading the dough into a ball, work quickly, so you don’t melt too much of the butter with your hands.
- Chill the dough. The key 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 enables them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which makes the scones flakier.
Can scones be made in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the dough the night before, cover and store in the fridge overnight, and bake fresh in the morning. Baked scones will last in the fridge for up to 5 days, so you can also bake them in advance, and just reheat when ready to serve. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet lightly tented with foil, and warm in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
Can you freeze scones?
You can freeze them baked or unbaked. To freeze unbaked scones, place the wedges in the freezer until frozen solid, put them in a ziplock back, return to freezer and store for up to a month. When ready to bake, let thaw overnight in the fridge, and bake as instructed. To freeze them after baking, let cool completely, place in a ziplock bag, and freeze for up to a month. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet lightly tented with foil in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
How do I get my scones to rise and be fluffy?
Make sure you are using enough baking powder and make sure it’s fresh. Don’t add too much flour when you knead the dough and don’t overwork the dough. Be very gentle and just work it enough to gather it into a shaggy ball. Letting the dough rest before baking also helps.
Do scones need eggs?
The answer is no. However, scones that contain eggs are fluffier and rise higher than scones that don’t because eggs serve as a leavening agent in baked goods. Eggs also add flavor, moisture, and richness to the scones so I highly prefer recipes that contain eggs.
Are scones supposed to be dry or moist?
Scones are supposed to be crunchy on the outside while soft and moist on the inside. They should not be dry or crumbly.
Why are my scones hard?
Scones can turn out hard for a number of reasons like overbaking, overworking the dough, the oven temperature being too high, not enough fats or liquids. However, it’s usually due to overbaking.
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 are sweet scones with white chocolate chips, blueberries, and raspberries as mix-ins. I used this same recipe to make my chocolate chip scones. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make.
You might also like:
- Chocolate Chip Scones
- Best Blueberry Scones
- Feta Cheese & Blueberry Scones
- Flaky Butter Biscuits
- Bakery Style Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.
How To Make The BEST Scones
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 8
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.
- 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.
- Work in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal with a few larger pieces remaining. 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. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until JUST combined and all appears to be moistened.
- Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. With floured hands, gently and quickly knead the dough into a ball (sprinkle more flour if needed as you’re kneading). It doesn’t have to be smooth. Rough and shaggy is good.
- 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 or 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 for 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, place on a baking sheet, lightly tent with foil, and warm for 10 minutes at 350F.
To make in advance: prepare the dough the night before (up to step 5), cover and store in the fridge, and bake as instructed the next day. Baked scones will last in the fridge for up to 5 days, so you can also bake them in advance, and just reheat when ready to serve. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet lightly tented with foil, and warm in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
To freeze unbaked scones: place the wedges in the freezer until frozen solid, put them in a ziplock back, return to freezer and store for up to a month. When ready to bake, let thaw overnight in the fridge, and bake as instructed.
To freeze them after baking: let the scones cool completely, place them in a ziplock bag, and freeze for up to a month. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet lightly tented with foil in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
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).
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Category: breakfast, snack
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: how to make scones, scone recipe, savory scone recipe
252 Comments on “Best Scone Recipe (video)”
I have never made scones before. These were so good! I’m sure I’ll be making them a lot from now on. I’ve usually made tea biscuits as a special morning breakfast but these might just bump the tea biscuits! I made plain as they are for an afternoon tea with clotted cream and jam. Also cut 12 instead of 8 so they wouldn’t be as big for a tea.
I baked for 20 + 5 minutes and still found them a bit mealy but very tasty. Where did I go wrong? For fruit I added fresh rhubarb sprinkled with strawberry jello because no strawberries lol
It’s hard for me to say since I was not there to see what went wrong, but I have no idea why it would be mealy. Sorry I could not be of more help.
These freeze so well unbaked to always have scones to pop in the oven when ever u want. I have made blueberry, raspberry white chocolate. They are delicious!!
No, but I plan to, the recipe is easy but I would add raspberries and white chocolate chips, both my favorite!
I’ve made this recipe 3 times in the past 3 days and they came out amazing each time. I am no baker and even I can do this… I added mini eggs for Easter and also made cheddar and bacon.
I want to try white chocolate and matcha… how much matcha do you think I should use?
Thank you for your kind words, Patricia! I’m glad you like the recipe so much. I suggest adding one tablespoon of matcha powder. I think that’s a good amount compared to the recipes I’ve seen. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out:)
Made these scones today, easy and delicious. I added dried cranberries.
I love this recipe and I get raving reviews from my Airbnb guest. I too have a little butter seaping, but I like that it gives a little crunchy edge. I grate my butter and freeze it before using. And I’ve had a little trouble with the dough not forming. Today I used my hands to toss it instead of a spatula and it was perfect. Lastly, I could use help when using raspberries. The dough got too wet and they spread instead of rised. When baked. My favorite has been the cranberry orange. Thanks!
Hi Sherrie, thank you for your review! Try adding another 1/4 cup flour when using raspberries and that should help hold the dough together. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Can I ditch the egg?
Yes, just add another 1/4 cup of milk. Enjoy the scones!
This recipe is amazing! I’ll never buy blueberry scones again (unless I can’t make them for some reason)- ha! If I would have known I could mAke bakery quality scones I would’ve been making these years ago!
Ah thanks, Anna for your rave review! Enjoy the scones and have a wonderful day!
Made these yesterday. Added 3/4c mini chocolate chips and 1/2c dried cherries. They are fantastic. Thank you for your recipe
You’re very welcome, Juli! Glad you enjoyed them and thank you for your kind words:)
It’s 4 am and I was searching Pinterest for something fun to make for my wifey when she gets up in a few hours. It’s funny how many recipes you see that all claim to be “the best whatever”, well your scones really are “THE BEST!” I followed the instructions as written and I mixed in white chocolate chips, blueberries and Craisins, wow this absolutely did not disappoint. Thanks for posting this, wifey was very surprised and loved the result.
Hey Ron, thank you for your kind words, and how nice of you to wake up early to surprise your wife with some freshly baked scones. She’s one lucky lady!
Tried these this morning & I’m thrilled with how they turned out. Very, very delicious. Read all the tips, good advice. I’ll for sure make this recipe again. 🙂
I’m so happy you like it and thank you for your lovely comment!
I have these in the oven as we speak….. I feel like there may be too much butter??? It’s melted all over the parchment paper. I followed the recipe exactly…..
Hi Leslie, just work the butter into the flour mixture a bit more. When too large of butter pieces remain it melts and seeps out onto the baking sheet. It should resemble coarse meal with just a few larger pea-size chunks of butter remaining. I hope this helps and I hope they still tasted great!
Absolutely delicious….can’t wait to make again
I am so confused on this recipe. I have made it 3 times using blueberries and I find that after adding the wet ingredients it still is very dry snd not forming a ball. I think 2/3 cup of buttermilk needs to be 3/4 instead. There is not enough moisture in the dough to form. Is there something I am doing wrong.
I added exactly what the wet ingredients say but no luck.
Hi Bonnie, I’m sorry you are having trouble with the recipe. If it seems too dry, add another few tablespoons of buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Good luck and let me know if that helps:)
Excellent. They turned out perfectly!
This is my go to scone recipe, it’s perfect! Always come out bit toasty on the outside, soft, and moist inside…I have made it several times, thank you for sharing it!
You’re very welcome, Ana! Glad you like it and happy new year to you!
I chose to freeze my unbaked Scones as I was baking in preparation for Christmas. Baking after freezing was a complete fail despite having followed your instructions. The butter melted out of the Scones and essentially fried them.
This happens when there are too many large butter chunks remaining. I know because it has happened to me whenever I’ve made scones or biscuits and I didn’t cut the butter into the flour mixture well enough. Just work the butter until finer chunks remain and that should fix it. Thank you for your feedback and happy New Year to you and your family!
Recipe is super easy but I used salted butter Will that make a difference in rising?
No, not at all. Just a teeny-tiny bit saltier. It will still be delicious!
I made scones for the first time using this recipe, and they were amazing! I had a tea party last Christmas and it all turned out so well, I’m doing it again this year and trying some different flavors!
Thank you for your kind words, Lucy. There are so many variations you can make with this recipe. Enjoy and have a great day!