English Scones: the easy recipe for perfect traditional scones

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
All-purpose flour
2 cups
Baking powder
4 tsp
1/2 tsp
1/4 cup
6 tbsp
Whole Milk
2/3 cup

Flaky, buttery classic English scones are such a delight, especially when enjoyed fresh out of the oven. This simple recipe for traditional English scones is easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients that you probably have at home. With a bit of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and butter, you can whip up a delicious batch of light, fluffy scones in less than 30 minutes.

While scones are a favorite with afternoon tea, but they're a fantastic way to start your day. Enjoy your homemade scones with some butter and jam or a bit of clotted cream. You won't be able to have just one!


What is a Scone?

English scones are a delicious baked good that is similar to the American biscuit, but with one key difference: scones are made with eggs. They're soft, fluffy, and light, thanks to the addition of baking powder which leavens them while they're baking in the oven. The English scone is slightly sweet and glazed with an egg wash, which helps them brown to perfection.


What is the Difference Between English Scones and American Scones? 

American scones are sweeter and denser than British scones and are usually cut into triangles. English scones are taller and round and have a wonderfully light texture.

American scones use much more butter and sugar than British scones and often have fruit added to them. British scones are usually enjoyed at tea time with a dollop of jam or clotted cream. Although a bit different from each other, both styles of scone are absolutely delicious!

How to Make English Scones

Making homemade English scones is quick and easy. Start by heating your oven to 425F. Pour your dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse them a few times to combine. Add in the butter and pulse until the butter is distributed through the mixture, then pour it into a bowl.

Next, whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl, making sure to save 2 tablespoons for the egg wash. Pour the rest of the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Combine until a rough dough begins to form then turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead it until the dough comes together – it'll be a bit sticky but you don't want to add too much flour to it. Roll the dough out to about 1-inch thickness. Using a 2.5-inch round cutter, punch out the scones. Roll up the dough and repeat until you've used up all the dough.

Put the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush them with the leftover egg wash. Bake them for 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown, then take them out of the oven to cool. Once they've cooled down slightly, serve them with some jam or clotted cream – and don't forget a cup of tea!

Tips for Classic Scones

Don't knead the dough too much otherwise the scones will become dense and won't rise properly.

Don't be tempted to add more flour to your dough. Doing so will make your scones dense. The dough should be somewhat sticky. If it's too hard to work with, you can lightly flour your hands to handle it.

Baking powder is the secret to get your scones to rise properly. Make sure your baking powder isn't out of date or else your scones won't rise.

Don't have a food processor? No problem! When adding the butter to the flour mixture, combine it with a handheld mixer.

To make these scones healthier, you can make them with whole wheat flour.

Scone Variations 

You can add all sorts of tasty ingredients to give your classic English scones more pizazz. Add in your favorite baking spices, dried fruit like cranberries or chopped figs, chocolate chips, fresh berries, lemon or orange zest, or vanilla.

You can also make them savory by adding in chives, bacon, cheese, pancetta, dried or fresh herbs, or sausage. The options are virtually endless!

What to Serve with English Scones

Classic scones are typically enjoyed at teatime with butter, jam, or clotted cream. They're also lovely with honey, lemon curd, marmalade, and whipped cream.


How to Store Classic Scones

Wrap the scones and keep them at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. 

Can You Freeze Scones?

Of course! Let the scones cool completely then place them in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months.

More Recipes You'll Like

Cheese scones

Chocolate scones

Apple scones

German currant buns


Preheat your oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to combine.

Add butter and pulse until the mixture takes on a sandy texture and the butter is evenly distributed. Pour the flour mixture into a large bowl.

Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Pour the rest into the flour mixture. Combine until a rough dough begins to form.

Lightly flour a work surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Knead until the dough comes together.

Roll the dough out to 1-inch thickness. Using a 2.5-inch cutter, cut out the scones. Roll up the dough and repeat until all the dough is used.

Arrange the scones on the baking tray. Brush with the reserved egg wash and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.


Use room temperature ingredients to make classic English scones.

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