Having a master scone recipe allows you to make any flavor variation you can think of when it comes to creating these yummy treats! This basic scone recipe is where it all begins then add in fresh or dried berries or fruit, chocolate chips, cinnamon, or even bacon and cheese to create perfectly baked scones that are fluffy, flakey, and soft every time.
If you have questions about scones, then we have found the answers for you! After making this recipe and all its variations for my family & friends over the years, I have tried to answer all the questions I'm asked the most. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask and I will get the answer for you!
Want the master recipe without all the helpful tips? You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post, but I hope you will see something useful in our post before you get there!
What you need to make perfect scones
- Pastry Cutter – I will have this in every single recipe I share because I feel it is THE tool that helps to make the best scones recipe.
- Parchment Paper– I use this because I like how it makes the bottoms of all my scones smooth and golden brown and it is easy to clean up.
- Baking Sheet– The best baking surface is flat and a baking sheet pan or cookie sheet is perfect.
- Measuring cups– to measure the ingredients
- Mixing bowl – a large mixing bowl is best. I’ve even kneaded my dough right in the bowl when pressed for time! It works great!
Important ingredients to make soft scones easy
- All-purpose flour– I use King Arthur flour because I like how it bakes. Flour can be quite different from brand to brand, so for all recipes, this is the brand we use unless noted otherwise.
- Baking Powder– is the ingredient that gives the lift to your scone. Without it, your scones will be flat.
- Butter– The secret ingredient. Butter makes everything better and that goes for scones too! The one rule with butter is it MUST BE COLD.
- Sugar– granulated sugar for inside your scones, powdered sugar for dusting, or making icing.
- Half and Half– This is my preferred liquid ingredient. Many recipes you will find have heavy cream, buttermilk, or even whole milk, however, I found the happy medium to be half and half.
- Salt – is what brings out the flavor in every baked good. A little goes a long way!
Did you notice a missing ingredient? You guessed it, no eggs! This is an eggless scone recipe that still bakes soft and delicious!
Now that we know the tools and ingredients you will need to make perfect scones, let’s dive a little deeper into how these come together to make a scone from scratch that will rival any bakery in town!
What is a scone
First and foremost, the question most people ask is what is a scone exactly?
Scones originated in Scotland and are a baked good made with oats or wheat and baked on a sheet pan. Most folks across the pond serve their scones (which look very much like a round biscuit) with butter, jam, or clotted cream on top along side a hot cup of tea.
What is the best shape for scone
Should you make a triangle or round scone? The best shape for a scone would be dependent on whether you are making a sweet or savory scone. Most of our scones are in the triangle or wedge shape and that is because it’s easy to cut into this serving. You can make round or square scones as well by using a shaped biscuit cutter.
I like to make our snickerdoodle scones round because they remind me of cookies. I would probably do the same for a super savory scone because the flavor can be intense.
There is no right or wrong shape scone!
How do I get scones to rise & be fluffy
There are a few tricks to making mile-high scones that are fluffy and soft on the inside with a slight crunchy crumble on the outside. Here are the tips to follow to get the results you are looking for.
- Preheat your oven. Putting scones into a cold oven as it heats up will not provide enough heat to activate the baking powder. Make sure your oven is to temperature before baking scones.
- Use COLD BUTTER– It is so important to use cold butter when making scones because when you cut into the flour, small chunks of butter will be left behind. When these melt in the oven while baking, the results are flaky layers.
- Use Baking Powder– Scones are like quick-bread or biscuits and require a leavening agent. Since this recipe doesn’t have yeast, baking powder is used to give it its rise.
What makes a good scone
This is a preference thing for sure. For me, I like a scone to be fluffy, soft, and have an edge that crumbles gently to the bite.
For years, I would get excited when seeing a scone in the bakery case only to be disappointed when taking the first bite. Who wants to bite into a hard and brittle baked triangle that has no flavor?
I do not think scones should be dry, they should be soft and melt in your mouth.
So, I tend to make scones that resemble more of a biscuit texture. To me, this is what a special treat should be. Full of soft pillowy layers of flavor, not one that is going to break your teeth.
Why are my scones not soft
So, you like soft scones just like me, but now you are wondering why are your scones not soft?
Here are a couple of reasons why:
- Too much flour – Scone dough will be slightly sticky. In fact, when made with fresh fruit like peaches or strawberries, the dough will stick your fingers. If the scone dough is too wet, only add 1 tablespoon of flour and that should do the trick.
- Over mixing the dough– Do not knead your scone dough like a bread bole. This will break down the butter and flour and create a very tough dough. Gently knead 4-5 times. This should be plenty in order to incorporate all the flavor and make it manageable enough to pat into a 1-inch thick disc.
What to add to make a sweet scone
To the master scone recipe, you can add
- Chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips
- Peanut butter
- Nuts, click to go to our delicious almond scone recipe
- Fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, peaches, clementines, lemon, cranberries
- Dried fruit like figs, dates, raisins
What to add to make a savory scone
- Meats like bacon, ham, roast beef, pepperoni
- Cheese like cheddar, goat, swiss
- Herbs, like rosemary, basil, thyme, lavender
How do you make scones from scratch
Making scones from scratch using this master scone recipe is really easy! We’ve walked through all the steps of scone ingredients, the best tools for making scones, and trouble shooting issues you may encounter the first time you make scones.
Use our step by step process to make scones and I promise you will have the best tasting scones every single time!
The master scone recipe below is your starting point. What you add to it is what creates the sweet or savory option you are looking for.
TIP: For savory scones, decrease sugar to 1-2 Tablespoons.
Master Scone Recipe (add in variations)
2 Cups all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp sugar (for sweet scone 1-2 Tbsp for savory scone)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 C half-and-half, plus 1 tbsp.
1/2 Cup add-in of choice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half until just moistened.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently 5 to 10 times.
Pat into a 1-inch-thick round.
Cut into 8 wedges; place on a (ungreased) baking sheet, 2 ” apart.
Brush tops with 1 Tbsp half-and-half, sprinkle each with sugar.
Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Let cool on wire rack.
This recipe is easily doubled.
So, there you have it! The secret scone recipe is out in the world for you to bake all the flavors you can dream of.
I would love to see what you create, so please share! You can leave a comment below, or give us a follow on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest and be sure to tag us #thesconeblog so we can see and drool over your masterpieces!
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 5 Tbsp sugar (for a sweet scone, 1-2 Tbsp for savory scone)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2/3 C half-and-half, plus 1 tbsp.
- 1/2 Cup add-in of choice
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half until just moistened.
- Mix in your add-in ingredients.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently 5 to 10 times.
- Pat into a 1-inch-thick round disc.
- Cut into 8 wedges; place on an (ungreased) baking sheet, 2 " apart.
- Brush tops with 1 Tbsp half-and-half, sprinkle each with sugar.
- Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Let cool on wire rack.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 331mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g