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How To Make The BEST Scones

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 84 reviews
  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Chill Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: breakfast, snack
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American


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)


  • 12 cups add-ins (I used 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, 1/2 blueberries and 1/2 cup raspberries for this sweet scone version)


  1. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. 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.
  3. In a measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla (if making sweet scones).
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until JUST combined and all appears to be moistened.
  5. 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.
  6. Pat out into a 5″ circle if making plain scones, or 6″ circle if you have incorporated any add-ins.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).

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