The Best Cream Scones Recipe Ever

I’ve been trying to recall when I had scones for the first time. For some reason, I don’t recall being very fond of scones while living in Malaysia (which is strange being that we were a British colony at one time and scones should be something I’m familiar with). And when I got to the US, the scones I got at most eateries/bakeries didn’t leave me wanting more—they were always very big, dry and tasted like sawdust in the mouth. I guess I just preferred cakes and cookies then.

Then one day, I read an article in my Fine Cooking magazine on a multi-purpose baking mix and one of the things you could do with it was make scones. I tried it and it was lovely and more cake-like. I made it for several parties and gatherings and it got very good reviews. But this is not the recipe I’m going to share today…that will be another post. Why? Because, believe it or not, I found an EVEN BETTER recipe.

What’s the difference between the first recipe and the second? Well, the first one I always recommend to anyone who doesn’t like scones—the texture is not as crumbly, it’s just a bit more cake-like and so far most of my friends who also claim not to like scones have enjoyed that one. But for the people who like their scones to be more, well…scone-like (as in not a cake), this is the recipe for you. The added advantage of this second recipe is that it does not call for eggs so for many of you who have children with egg allergies, you can make this for them as a treat.

I’ve shared this recipe with many friends and posted it on a forum and it is probably one of my most shared recipes. Why is it so good? It’s all about the butter, baby! (Alright, the heavy cream helps too.) The ingredients are very simple but they are filled with wonderful fat that makes this scone lovely in the mouth. It’s really hard to stop at just one when you’ve baked them.

Another reason I love this recipe—it’s simple to make. I’ve got it down to an art where I can have scones to eat from start to finish baking in about 30 minutes. If you take the time to double the batch and freeze one batch at the point before you put in the liquid ingredients, then making them takes even less time.

Cream scones

(recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen and technique adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine)

2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar (more for sprinkling)
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp (2.5oz) cold, unsalted butter
1/2 cup dried currants *
1 cup heavy cream (more for brushing)

*Currants can be replaced with raisins although I’m not so keen on raisins. A variation that I like is to add 1 Tbsp grated orange zest and 1/2 cup dried cranberries instead of currants.

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal.

(At this point, you can freeze the mixture in a container for later.)

Add currants. Mix. Stir in heavy cream until it comes together in a shaggy ball. It will still have lots of loose, sandy pieces. If you think it’s too loose and sandy, you can add a little bit more cream to bind it a bit more — it shouldn’t affect the outcome if a bit more cream is added. *Note: I find that pouring the cream in slowly and mixing it little by little is more efficient than dumping the cream in all at once.

Place batter on a floured surface and roughly work it into a ball.

Press the ball down into a rectangular shape.

Fold the dough like you’re folding a business envelope (in thirds, first right fold to center, then left fold to center). Notice that it is still quite shaggy and loose. That’s ok.

Press the dough down again into rectangular shape in a vertical position. Do the business envelope fold again, this time top third to center then bottom third to center. The dough will still be a little sandy and loose–don’t worry about itthe less you work it, the flakier it will be.

Now, press the dough down into a circle. Cut it into 8 large or 16 small triangles.

Separate the individual scones and place them on a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of the scones with cream and then sprinkle each one with a little sugar.

Bake for 12-15 mins until golden brown on top.

I challenge you to eat no more than one at a time. Once you pop one of these babies in your mouth, it will be hard to resist taking another!

Cheers, Annie

62 thoughts on “The Best Cream Scones Recipe Ever”

  1. >hi ms.annie, i’m april a housewife and a mother..i found out scones are tasty and wonnderful for teas, thanks to my husband being british who introduced it to me.
    just wanna ask, what do u call that mat u used as ur working surface?and where can i buy one?i live in Philippines but my husband is based in the UK.
    if u can tell me, it will be appreciated so much.
    thank u

  2. >@April – hi, and thanks for your comment! The mat we are using is called a Silpat. It is a silicone-embedded fiberglass mat made in France. They come in various sizes. I’m sure your husband can find them in baking / cooking supply stores.

  3. >You're welcome, and thanks for the great feedback. Coconut cream instead of regular is a wonderful idea.

  4. >Got up this morning and made these scones for my wife. She liked them so much that I got dragged back into bed! For obvious reasons I liked them as well! Annie you are a genius.

  5. >Hey Nat and Annie,

    I made these tonight using the grated frozen butter and ziplok back method. Added the cream. Sprinkled top of dough heavy with cinnamon. Cut them round and used the bottom of a ladle to make a well in each one. When they came out of the oven I spooned butter fried apple and caramel sauce over each with a scoop of triple vanilla gelato. Was outstanding. Thanks for the push to make them. Ginsey wants to call them autumn apple shortcakes.


  6. >@Rich – you are too awesome! I'm honored you'd use our recipe.

    @Deeba – let us know how they turn out for you!

  7. What a great idea.. I was going to order a bunch of scones from Starbucks for the baby shower I’m hosting this weekend, but these look like much more fun to make! I can’t wait to see what mine turn out like.. maybe I should do a trial run just to make sure they are perfect for the big day. Kudos for the recipe.

  8. I keep meaning to tell you, every time I make scones, this is the only recipe I ever think of using, because I’m exactly like what you say in the recipe: I can’t stand scones that are like cakes! I need them to be crumbly, just on the edge of dry! And your recipe is perfect. THank you, every time.

    1. Cathy –

      thank you so much for leaving such a lovely comment! When you share your scones, make sure to tell them where you got the recipe from 😉

  9. This recipe is really good! I’ve tried several scone recipes and keep coming back to this one. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions and details!

  10. I made this twice. Is this mixed by hand or with a beater/mixer or both at different parts? My family still loved it but was wondering. Thanks!

    1. Becca,

      Thanks for your question!

      We mix the scone dough by hand. You don’t want to overwork your dough, so that it will stay flaky and light.

  11. Hi Annie

    Yr scone recipe looks interesting and easy to follow. However, I don’t have heavy cream. Can I replace it with evaporated milk? Pls advise. Thank you.

    1. JJ

      Thanks for the question.

      We suggest trying yogurt or sour cream before using evaporated milk as a substitute for heavy cream. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out for you!

  12. Hi Nate

    Thank you very much for the attention and quick response. I’ll try it out as advised and will let you know the results when it’s done. Have a good day ahead!

  13. These are the BEST scones ever! They are flaky and moist just like you said. Awesome!! I’m making some to take to work. The girls will love these. I put cinnamon chips in mine with a dash of cinnamon in the flour. Soooo Goood!!

  14. Hi Annie, Thanks so much for this recipe! I get up at an unGodly hour on Fri. mornings to make a treat for my beloved group, and this was a super hit with them! I like my scones sweet, so I doubled the sugar, and added dried unsulphered cherries and roasted hazelnuts. I LOVE the pictures showing how shaggy it was. They came out heavenly crunchy and light. I will be back to your website in future.

  15. Annie & Nate,

    I just recently discovered your blog while searching for the best cream scone recipe and I must say this is quickly becoming one of my favorite websites! Not only am I loving your recipes and great photos of everything you make but are also enjoying your stories. I did have a quick question regarding this scone recipe. I’ve made it twice in the last week. The flavor is great but My scones are not as thick as yours. They are much flatter…what did I do wrong? Please help!


    1. Thank you for your kind words Kimberly! I’m not sure what could be wrong but looking at my recipe, I realize that I did not state that the baking powder I use is double action baking powder. I’m sure that regular baking powder works fine too but perhaps the double action ones will cause your scones to rise more. The other possible problem could be that you’re making your circle too large thus flattening out the dough too much. Try creating a smaller circle of dough for a thicker scone.

      Hope that helps.

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