English Scones
English Scones

English scones are the perfect pairing for your next afternoon cup of tea. They’re light, flaky and barely sweet – serve warm with clotted cream and your favorite jam.

These are the ultimate scones to pair with your afternoon cup of tea!

English scones are light, flaky, and barely sweet. This means that slathering with clotted cream and strawberry or raspberry jam is practically mandatory.

English scones are more like American biscuits than American scones.

While American scones are dense, rich, and sweet, English scones are lighter, flaky, and only lightly sweetened. English scones contain less butter and sugar, and are usually only enriched with regular milk and not the cream and sometimes egg often used to enrich American scones.

Traditionally, English scones are served with butter, clotted cream, fruit jam, or a combination of these. They’re intentionally plain and simple so they can be a vehicle for these spreads, whether they’re enjoyed at breakfast or at tea time. You’ll also find that English scones are traditionally cut and baked into tall rounds (like American biscuits) rather than wedges.

Tips and tricks for making English scones

There are many different scone techniques! However, these tips and tricks will help you bake successfully.

  • Freeze and Grate the Butter: To get a flaky texture, you want cold bits of butter spread throughout the batter. My favorite way to achieve this is to freeze the butter and then grate it on the largest holes of a box grater. Then you can just toss the frozen chunks of butter into the flour without worrying that it will heat up and melt too quickly.
  • Use a light hand. It’s easy to rework the dough if you combine the dry and wet ingredients. However, if you mix and knead everything too much, your scones will end up being chewy. Instead, knead the dough lightly until it forms a rough ball. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy.
  • Chill the scones before baking. Instead of baking the scones right after you shape them, let them sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats. This allows the gluten in the flour to soften, resulting in more tender scones.

Scone Swaps and Variations

Scones are notoriously versatile. Feel free to get creative with flour swaps and dried fruit.

  • Replace up to half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. You’ll probably need to use the full amount of milk (2/3 cup) to assemble the batter since whole wheat flour needs a little more liquid.
  • Add 1/3 cup redcurrants, raisins, crackers, or chopped dried apricots. Add the dried fruits to the milk before adding to the dry ingredients. This will help bulk up the dried fruit slightly before mixing it into the batter.

The best way to store and freeze scones

While these scones are best eaten freshly baked, either warm or at room temperature, leftovers can be stored on the counter in an airtight container for up to three days.

Freezing Baked Scones: You can also freeze baked scones for up to 2 months. Freeze on the parchment-lined baking sheet until firm, then place in a zip-lock bag. Thaw them at room temperature overnight, then reheat them in an oven at 400°F.

How to freeze unbaked scones: After cutting them into rounds, freeze them on the parchment-lined baking sheet until set, then place in a ziplock bag. Bake the frozen scones—no need to thaw them—as directed, brush with milk and add a few minutes to the baking time.

More satisfying scone recipe

  • ginger cakes
  • Lemon Blueberry Scones
  • Queen Elizabeth Drop Scones
  • Spicy scones with goat cheese and chives

English scones

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
20 minutes

Freezing time
15 minutes

total time
45 minutes

up to 10 scones

This recipe calls for grating frozen butter. Place a knob of butter in your freezer for at least 15 minutes while you work on other steps of the recipe, or you can save a pound of butter in your freezer for just those occasions.


  • 2 cups (257G) all purpose flourplus more for dusting the surface

  • 3 tablespoons (39G) granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon (fifteenG) baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2G) kosher salt

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butterfrozen

  • 2/3 Cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milkdivided

  • Clotted Cream and jam for serving (optional)

special equipment

  • 2 inch cookie cutter


  1. Lay out a baking sheet:

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Combine the dry ingredients:

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

  3. rub butter:

    Place a box grater over the prepared baking sheet. Rub the butter on the large holes of a box grater. When you come to a small piece of butter, chop that piece into a few small pieces.

  4. Add butter to dry ingredients:

    Use the parchment paper as a slingshot to add the butter to the dry ingredients in the large bowl.

    Then place the parchment paper back on the baking sheet. Use your fingers to toss the butter into the flour, breaking up any lumps until evenly coated.

  5. Add milk and form a rough ball of dough:

    Drizzle about half of the whole milk over the butter and flour mixture. Use a fork or your hands to combine and mix lightly. The mixture will start to look sandy.

    Add the remaining half of the reserved milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, continuing to mix with a fork or your hands until a rough and lumpy but cohesive ball of dough forms. You must not use all of the remaining milk.

  6. Shape the dough:

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and pat out into a rough circle, about 20 inches in diameter, 1 inch thick.

  7. Cut dough into scones:

    Use a 2 inch cookie cutter to cut the dough into rounds. Cut them as close together as possible. You want to get as many rounds as possible on the first pass through the dough.

    Gently press the leftovers back together and cut out more rounds.

    You should have 8 to 10 rounds depending on how diligent you are in squeezing the scratches.

  8. Place scones on prepared baking sheet, place in refrigerator and preheat oven:

    Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, keeping them about 1 inch apart.

    Cool the unbaked scones while arranging a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

  9. Brush scones with milk and bake:

    Once the oven has preheated, brush the scones with the remaining 1 tablespoon milk using a pastry brush and bake 18 to 22 minutes until golden brown.

  10. Cool and serve scones:

    Allow the scones to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before enjoying warm or transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve with clotted cream and jam, if you like.

nutritional information (per serving)
190 calories
5g Fat
33g carbohydrates
3g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!