Filed Under: Brunch | How To

How to Make Perfect Scones

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
May 4th, 2017
4.92 from 156 votes
4.92 from 156 votes

How to Make Perfect Scones better than your favorite coffee shop in just 35 minutes! Easy recipe with make-ahead instructions and tons of baking tips below.

Yield: 16 scones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Truly the BEST recipe I've tried, and super easy!!! Make ahead instructions too. LOVE.

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The plain scones themselves are ultra buttery with a hint of sweet tanginess. There are so many flavors you can add directly to the dough, or accompany these with jam or flavored butter.
Texture: Extremely tender, flaky, and light. Every bite is heaven!
Ease: Super easy. They take less than 40 minutes from start to finish, plus you can make them ahead of time (specific instructions below)!
Pros: This is the perfect recipe to have in your back pocket for any special breakfast or bunch.
Cons: None! Maybe besides the fact that these are super rich 😉
Would I make this again? Absolutely, this is a go-to!

I never used to understand the obsession and appeal of scones. Not until I took a bite of a truly great one, that is.

How to Make Perfect Scones better than your favorite coffee shop in just 35 minutes! Easy recipe with make-ahead tips and flavor variations included

Many scones are bland and dense. Why would I want to waste an indulgence on that?!

How to Make Perfect Scones better than your favorite coffee shop in just 35 minutes! Easy recipe with make-ahead instructions and tons of baking tips included

It wasn’t until I perfected my own recipe that I realized how delightful scones can be. They’re somehow sturdier and heartier than biscuits, but without being overly dry or crumbly.

How to Make Perfect Scones better than your favorite coffee shop in just 35 minutes! Easy recipe with make-ahead instructions and tons of baking tips included

What I love most about them (besides all. the. BUTTER.) is that they belong on pretty much any breakfast or brunch table. You can dress them up by adding nuts, citrus zest, or chocolate chips. Or simply serve them plain alongside some local jam or homemade flavored butter.

How to Make Perfect Scones better than your favorite coffee shop in just 35 minutes! Easy recipe with make-ahead instructions and tons of baking tips included

Any way you serve these, they’re bound to be perfect if you follow my tips below!

Perfect Scone Baking Tips

Butter

It must be COLD. The cold butter creates that beautiful tall flaky texture. I like to cube then freeze my butter before using it. I also always prefer to use unsalted butter for baking, you can find out why here: Salted vs. Unsalted Butter.

Buttermilk

This is absolutely the preferred liquid for scones. It will result in tender taller biscuit because of how its acidity reacts with the baking powder. It also adds a lovely tang to create more depth of flavor.

I would highly advise using real buttermilk instead of a substitute. You can learn more about buttermilk here.

Dough

Whatever you do, do not overmix the dough or allow it to get too warm. Doing so will result in flatter, tougher, and less flaky scones. My absolute favorite tool for making biscuits or scone dough quickly and easily by hand (so I don’t have to lug out my food processor) is this OXO bladed pastry blender. LOVE.

Use a marble pastry board to help keep the dough cool. If at any point you notice the butter become greasy and melty, pop the dough into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before proceeding.

You can also pop the tray of shaped unbaked scones in the fridge or freezer while the oven preheats to ensure the butter remains nice and cold.

How to Make Scones Ahead of Time

The shaped unbaked scones can be covered and refrigerated overnight, or placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month. If baking from frozen, add about 2 minutes to the baking time.

Scone Flavor Variations

Feel free to get creative with your scone flavorings! Listed below are some ideas with specific ingredient additions. But you can add in about 3/4 cup of dried fruit, chips, nuts, etc. to the dough. If using fruit, dried fruit or frozen berries work best!

Cranberry-Orange

Blueberry

Use a spatula to gently fold in the 1 1/2 cups blueberries to the scone dough as a final step before shaping. Take care not to break the blueberries or their color will bleed. If using frozen blueberries, keep frozen and don’t thaw before using.

Lemon Poppy Seed
Add 3 tablespoons poppy seeds + 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest to the dough

Cinnamon Sugar
Mix 3 tablespoons granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and sprinkle on the egg-coated unbaked scones.

Scone Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water, milk, or citrus juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or other extract
  • Citrus zest, to taste, if desired

Whisk all glaze ingredients together until thick but still pourable. Spread over cooled scones and let stand until set.

How to Make Perfect Scones better than your favorite coffee shop in just 35 minutes! Easy recipe with make-ahead instructions and tons of baking tips included

4.92 from 156 votes

How to make
Perfect Scones

Yield: 16 scones
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
How to Make Perfect Scones better than your favorite coffee shop in just 35 minutes! Easy recipe with make-ahead instructions and tons of baking tips below.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (if desired)

Directions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat to 400°F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Add the butter and cut with a pastry cutter or a fork until the butter is the size of large peas.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, 1 egg, and vanilla extract.
  5. Make a well in the middle and add the liquid mixture. Mix until just combined. Don’t over mix. If adding in dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, or other flavorings do so now.
  6. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide into 2 equal parts. Lightly knead each into 3/4 inch thick, 6-diameter rounds. Cut each round into 8 wedges and place on your prepared baking pans. Space them out about 2 inches apart.

MAKE AHEAD

  1. At this point the unbaked scones can be refrigerated overnight, or sealed and frozen for up to 1 month. If baking from frozen, add about 2 minutes to the baking time.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush over the scones. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar, if using.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. The scones are best served warm, or within a few hours of baking.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American

Photos by Constance Higley.

January 2020 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the selection for our January baking challenge! Check out the entries submitted below:

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating




Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!

Instagram

As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed