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Say goodbye to dry scones. A secret ingredient makes these light, tender and buttery.

Scones

Scones are a beloved baked good, but finding ones that are light and tender can be a challenge. Even at coffee shops and bakeries, scones are often dry and dense, leaving much to be desired. However, after experimenting with different recipes and baking numerous batches of scones, I discovered that one ingredient makes all the difference: cake flour. This finely-milled flour, made from soft wheat, has a lower protein content (7 to 9%) than all-purpose flour (10 to 12%), resulting in less gluten forming in the batter and a delicate, fluffy crumb. While cake flour is commonly used in cakes, it also produces incredibly delicious scones. For a classic treat, slather these scones with butter and jam, or try a kid-friendly variation with chocolate chips. Try making homemade scones with cake flour and discover the delightful texture that sets these scones apart from the rest.

What You’ll Need To Make Scones

ingredients for scones

If you don’t have cake flour, you can make your own: simply whisk together 1¾ cups all-purpose flour and ¼ cup cornstarch.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups cake flour, 2½ teaspoons baking powder, 2½ tablespoons granulated sugar, and a scant ¾ teaspoon salt.

whisking the dry ingredients for scones

Add 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces.

cold butter cubes added to dry ingredientsUse your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-size clumps of butter within.

butter rubbed into dry ingredientsIn a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together ⅔ cup heavy cream and 1 egg.

heavy cream and egg whisked together

Make a well in center of dry ingredients, then pour the cream/egg mixture in.

wet ingredients and dry ingredients together in bowlUse a rubber spatula to mix until the dough comes together into a mass. It should be a bit sticky but not so wet that you can’t handle it with your hands. If it seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream.

scone dough in bowl
Dust a work surface lightly with flour, then dump the scone dough onto the surface.

scone dough on floured work surface

Knead very gently a few times until dough comes together into a ball. (Sprinkle more flour, little by little, if dough is too sticky to work with.) Press dough into a flat circle about 7 inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick.

scone dough pressed into ballUse a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles.

scone trianglesTransfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with a beaten egg and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon demerara sugar.

scones on baking sheet with egg and sugar toppingBake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and firm to the touch.

baked sconesServe warm from the oven with softened butter or jam.

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Scones

Say goodbye to dry scones. A secret ingredient makes these light, tender and buttery.

Servings: 8 scones
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For The Dough

  • 2 cups cake flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off (see note on substitution)
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • Scant ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅔ -¾ cup heavy cream (do not substitute milk or light cream)

For The Topping

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon demerara sugar (also called raw sugar or turbinado)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, salt, baking powder and granulated sugar. Add the pieces of cold butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-size clumps of butter within.
  3. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together ⅔ cup heavy cream and the egg. Make a well in center of dry ingredients, then pour the cream/egg mixture in. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the dough comes together into a mass. It should be a bit sticky but not so wet that you can't handle it with your hands. If it seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream.
  4. Dust a work surface lightly with flour, then dump the scone dough onto the surface; dust the dough with a bit of flour as well. Knead very gently a few times until the dough comes together into a ball. (Sprinkle more flour, little by little, if dough is too sticky to work with.) Press the dough into a flat circle about 7 inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick, then use a sharp knife to cut into 8 even triangles. Transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet. Brush lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and firm to the touch. Serve warm from the oven with softened butter and jam.
  5. Note: If you don't have cake flour, you can make your own: simply whisk together 1¾ cups all-purpose flour and ¼ cup cornstarch.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: To freeze before baking, place the raw scones on a baking sheet, let set in the freezer, then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To freeze after baking, let the scones cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Before serving, remove the scones from the container and let them come to room temperature. (If you have the option to freeze the scones before or after baking them, you will get the best results if you freeze before baking.)

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 scone
  • Calories: 294
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 191 mg
  • Cholesterol: 93 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • The recipe is super easy. The only thing, I feel like this recipe is good for biscuits and not scones. I will definitely keep this recipe.

    • — Baker on May 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn I wondered can I brush the tops with cream rather than egg wash? Will it have the same result?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • — Chris on May 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • They won’t have exactly the same result, but it’s fine for you to brush the tops of the scones with cream. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I imagine it’s fine to store the shaped scone dough in the fridge overnight and bake the following day? Correct?

    Thanks,

    Nicole

    • — Nicole on May 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep!

      • — Jenn on May 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hello, Just a question… I want a savory scone, any suggestions for add in combinations?
    All you recipes are YUMMY!
    Thanks <3

    • — Nors on March 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Nors, So glad you like the recipes! I have a recipe for Cheddar Dijon Scones in my first cookbook. If you have the cookbook, it’s on page 234. If you don’t own the book and want the recipe, email me at jennifer@onceuponachef and I’d be happy to send you the recipe.

      • — Jenn on March 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • ive been wanting to make scones forever. i live in a country without heavy cream. can i use yogurt or sour cream?

    • — lena on February 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lena, You could substitute whole milk. You may need a touch less though as the milk is more liquidy/thinner. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2023
      • Reply

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