Irish Scones
Irish Scones

Enjoy these Irish scones with butter, jam or clotted cream along with a cup of black tea.

One of the things I remember most about my trips to Ireland are the scones! They’re tender and delicate – thanks to Irish butter, of course – and a dream to eat alongside a cup of strong black tea.

For this recipe, I make small scones (2 to 3 bites each) that are studded with redcurrants. It’s the perfect size for a quick snack or to be served with a selection of pastries and breakfast items for a casual brunch.

What are Irish scones?

Irish scones are close relatives of English scones. They are made with a simple combination of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and milk. Dried currants or raisins are a common addition and an egg is sometimes added to the batter to enrich it.

They’re not as sweet or rich as American scones because they don’t have as much butter or sugar. They are meant to be plain, simple and only moderately dense so that they can be enjoyed with butter, jam or clotted cream. I also like to serve them with lemon curd!

Although they are quite similar, Irish scones differ from English scones in that they usually contain slightly less sugar. They’re also made with less leaven, so they’re a bit flatter and smaller.

It’s important to note that no two Irish families prepare their scones the same way. Like so many things, especially in the kitchen, the smallest details are discussed. This recipe is just one iteration. No matter what, but they make the perfect treat at tea time or for breakfast.

With basic ingredients like these, making Irish scones is easy. However, these tips and tricks will help you get a tender pastry.

  • Freezing and Grating Butter: Cold butter is the secret to a flaky scone. I like to take extra precautions by freezing it and then rubbing it on the largest holes of a box grater. These frozen cutlets hold their shape in the batter, ensuring the scones are ultra-tender and fluffy. You typically add diced cold butter to the dry ingredients, and you can still use that method here if you’d like.
  • Reach for Irish butter when you can: Irish butter, like Kerrygold, tends to be richer in flavor than many common American brands due to the lush green grass that the cows graze on in Ireland. To really make these Irish scones, it’s worth looking into Irish butter, as your results will be richer in flavor and texture. Luckily, Kerrygold is easy to find in most grocery stores these days.
  • Try not to over-stir the batter. Tread lightly when you combine the dry and wet ingredients. You want to mix them until a shaggy dough forms without kneading. Kneading results in chewy scones.
  • Dip the dried fruit in the milk. Instead of mixing the dried currants or raisins with the flour, stir them into the milk and egg mixture. This will soften them before adding them to the batter. If they’re really dried up, leave them in the liquid for about five minutes to give them a little extra time to fill up.

Swaps and Substitutions

Typically, scones are made by “cutting” cold butter into flour—which is just a fancy way of saying that chunks of butter are pressed and incorporated into the dry ingredients. You can still use this method for this recipe if you like.

Add the cold diced butter to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Using your hands, brush all of the butter with the flour mixture. Gently press and rub the butter chunks into the dry ingredients by squeezing them between your finger and thumb until you have pea-sized chunks of butter throughout.

Make sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture before adding your wet ingredients. Don’t worry, whichever method you choose, you’ll end up with a delicious scone.

If you don’t want to add any dried fruit, feel free to leave it out – Irish scones are commonly made with or without dried currants or raisins.

You can also omit the egg if you wish. The end result will be a slightly less delicate pastry, but definitely no less tasty.

How to store and freeze leftovers

These scones taste best fresh out of the oven, but you can also enjoy them warm or at room temperature.

Store leftovers in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover baked scones, thaw overnight on the counter, and reheat in a 400°F oven.

If you want to make these scones ahead of time, you can also freeze them unbaked on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once frozen, place the scones in a ziplock bag and bake straight from the freezer, brushing with the milk as directed before baking. You’ll probably only have to add a minute or two to the baking time.

More satisfying scone recipes

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

Irish scones

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
20 minutes

total time
30 minutes

up to 10 servings

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 as needed

  • 1 tablespoon (13G) granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons (10G) baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2G) kosher salt

  • 2/3 Cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milkdivided

  • 1/2 Cup dried currants or golden raisins

  • 1 big egg

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butterfrozen


  • jam and butter

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. Put aside.

  3. Combine the wet ingredients:

    Measure out 2/3 cup milk. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together about half the milk, currants, and egg. You can use the rest of the milk later. Set bowl and remaining milk aside.

  4. rub butter:

    Place a box grater over the prepared baking sheet. Grate the frozen 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.

  5. Add butter to dry ingredients:

    Use the parchment paper as a slingshot to transfer the butter to the dry ingredients, then place the parchment paper back on the baking sheet. Use your fingers to toss the butter into the flour, breaking up any clumps, until the butter and flour are evenly coated.

  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients into a dough:

    Gently drizzle the milk, egg and redcurrant mixture over the butter and flour mixture in the large bowl. 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, continuing to mix with a fork or your hands until a rough and lumpy but cohesive ball of dough forms with no dry spots; do not overwork the dough. You must not use all of the remaining milk.

  7. Shape the dough:

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and pat into a rough 3/4 inch thick circle, about 8 inches in diameter.

  8. Cut the dough into scones:

    Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut the dough into rounds as tightly as possible to ensure you get as many scones as possible.

    Gently pinch the leftovers and cut out more rounds. You should have 8 to 10 rounds depending on how diligent you are squeezing the scratches.

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

    Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly, about an inch or two between the scones. Refrigerate the unbaked scones. Place the grate in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  10. Brush scones with milk and bake:

    Once the oven is preheated, use a pastry brush to brush the scones with the remaining 1 tablespoon milk. Bake 18 to 22 minutes until golden brown.

  11. 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 jam and butter, if you like.

nutritional information (per serving)
180 calories
6g Fat
28g carbohydrates
4g 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!