Basic Scone Recipe
A basic scone recipe for tender, moist, butter-y scones that are so quick and easy to make! Perfect as-is with just butter and jam, or you can get creative and add fruit, spices, or chocolate.
I have been wanting to share this basic scone recipe for so long! I’m so happy to have finally gotten around to it.
Scones are by far my favorite breakfast treat. I love how buttery and tender they are, and they’re so versatile! You can add all sorts of fruit, spices, or even chocolate to them, and really let your creativity shine.
Some of my favorite jazzed up scone recipes include these Raspberry Rose Scones, Double Chocolate Scones, and Cinnamon Peanut Butter Chip Scones with Maple Bacon Glaze.
There’s just nothing better than a freshly baked scone, warm from the oven, with a hot cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa!
And with this basic scone recipe, you can’t go wrong. They’re so quick and easy to make, and so moist, soft, and delicious.
WHAT ARE SCONES?
If you’re not already familiar with scones, they’re a little pastry that’s usually served for breakfast or brunch, but they make a really nice afternoon snack as well.
In the UK, scones come in a circular shape, and they’re light and fluffy. They are basically the same thing as what Americans know as a “biscuit.” If you are looking for a tall, fluffy biscuit, then you should definitely check out my Southern-Style Buttermilk Biscuits recipe. It’s pretty much exactly the same as an English scone.
Here in the US, we mostly make our scones in a triangle shape. They’re sort of like a muffin, but more dense. Even though they aren’t really fluffy, they should never be dry or hard. I love a soft, moist, tender, buttery scone, similar to what you would get at Starbucks (but better!). It should almost melt in your mouth.
And that is exactly the result you’ll have when you bake up a batch of these basic scones!
HOW TO MAKE SCONES
One of the reasons I love scones so much is because they’re so quick and easy to make. You can literally throw some flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into your food processor, work in some butter, stream in the cream, shape the dough, and bake them up in less than a half hour.
I never used to make scones in the food processor. I was convinced that it would overwork the dough and make the scones tough. But when I developed the recipe for these Petite Vanilla Bean Scones, I really had to tinker around a lot. They are a Starbucks copycat, and the scones at Starbucks never have that rough, nubbly texture on the outside. They have a much smoother appearance and the mouthfeel is also very smooth and almost creamy.
So I got to experimenting. I made so many batches of scones!
After many tries, I had the perfect food-processor scone recipe. It’s tender as can be, moist, and buttery tasting, with just a hint of sweetness. And I love how smooth and pretty they bake up.
This is my new favorite way to bake scones; from now on I will always start with this basic scone recipe, and always use my food processor to make the dough.
Just be really careful not to overbake your scones. If they stay in the oven too long, they could come out dry or hard. That is not a good scone experience.
You want your scones to be the best they can be, so pull them from the oven when the centers are set and they’re just barely beginning to turn golden on the bottoms.
HOW TO SERVE SCONES
This is a very basic, plain scone recipe. You can totally get creative and add anything your heart desires. Chopped nuts, berries, spices like cinnamon or ginger, citrus zest, or chocolate chips would all make delicious add-ins.
You can even ice them with a powdered sugar glaze, or drizzle them with Chocolate Glaze.
But they’re just as delicious as-is, with a little soft butter or jam. Or, my favorite way to top them: Homemade Lemon Curd.
So yummy with a cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa! Especially when they’re warm. Read on for instructions on how to re-warm scones.
CAN SCONES BE MADE AHEAD?
One of the things I really love about this recipe is that the scones can be made ahead. They keep very well for several days in a zip-top bag at room temperature.
If you think they’ll be hanging around longer than that, just pop them into the fridge. They should last at least a week or two in there.
Or you can freeze them for several weeks. Place them out on the counter to defrost and then re-warm them.
The best way to re-warm these basic scones, in my opinion, is in the microwave. They only need a few seconds. On my microwave 15 to 20 seconds is perfect. You don’t want to overdo it, because the microwave tends to make things chewy, but if you only keep them in there long enough to just get warm, they’ll come out moist, steamy, and tender.
If you don’t have a microwave or prefer not to use one, then they can be warmed in the oven on the lowest possible temperature. It’s best to wrap them in foil first so they don’t dry out. Again, don’t leave them in too long! They’re already baked so you don’t want to re-bake them- just warm them gently.
I hope you’ll give this basic scone recipe a try! I think it is going to become a favorite for you too. If you do, drop me a comment below, and let me know what kind of add-ins you used (if any), and how they came out!
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream cold
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to combine.
- Cut the butter into pieces, and add to the food processor.
- Pulse the food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- With the food processor running on low speed, stream in the cream.
- When the dough has gathered itself into a ball, turn off the food processor and divide the dough into two equal portions.
- Flatten each portion of dough into a disc shape, about 1 1/2-inches thick.
- Score each disc into 6 triangles with a knife, and pull the triangles slightly away from one another (allowing about 1/2-inch in between).
- Bake the scones for 14 to 18 minutes, or until set in the centers and slightly golden on the bottoms.
Serve warm, with jam and butter, clotted cream, or with lemon curd.
Try these variations on the Basic Scone Recipe: