Classic Scones

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Yield: 12 scones

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Here's a basic scone recipe just waiting for you to add your own personal touches. With a cup of whole wheat flour (which, trust us, you'll never notice), they add a touch of fiber to your breakfast, along with great flavor.

Classic Scones

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 scones
Published: 04/23/2012


Tips from our bakers

  • The name "scone" probably comes from the Gaelic word "sgonn" (which rhymes with gone), meaning a shapeless mass. And the early scone probably was. Because wheat doesn't grow well in Scotland, scones were originally made of oat or barley flour — both of which, lacking gluten, made dough that was probably just plopped onto a hot griddle without shaping.
  • What's the difference between a biscuit and a scone? It seems in this country, in most cases, that when a baking powder biscuit is either plain or savory, it remains a biscuit; and when it's sweetened with sugar and fruit (or chocolate, or cinnamon, or...), it becomes a scone. Whatever you decide to call them, biscuits or scones are unbelievably easy to make; they bake in minutes, and, if we slow our lives down enough to enjoy them with a leisurely breakfast, a savory supper, or with a cup of tea in the afternoon, we'll have adopted a tradition worth keeping.
  • Suggested additions
    Fruit: A traditional British scone contains an added cup of currants or raisins. An American counterpart might be 1 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen; cranberries, fresh or dried; chopped apple, or peaches.
    Spices: To use alone or to vary the flavor of a fruit scone, add up to a tablespoon of spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves or a combination) to the dry ingredients.
    Nuts and/or seeds: A cup of halved or chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds, either alone or with fruit, add great flavor and texture. So will sunflower or pumpkin seeds or pine nuts or pistachios. Add these as you would the fruit.
    Lemon or orange zest: Add a teaspoon of grated lemon or orange peel to your dry ingredients. If you want the flavor of lemon or orange but not the grated knuckles, use our orange oil or lemon oil.
    Cheese: A cup of grated sharp cheese, such as Cheddar or Parmesan, is a great addition. A teaspoon of dry mustard blended with the dry ingredients, or prepared mustard beaten into the liquid, adds to and intensifies the flavor. Use just 1 teaspoon sugar for this version (or any other savory scone).
    Herbs: Two teaspoons of dried or a tablespoon of fresh herbs, alone or in combination with cheese, makes a wonderful variation.
    Savory combinations: Add 1/2 to 1 cup chopped ham, hard sausage, or crumbled bacon to your dry ingredients as you would fruit or nuts.
    Chocolate or other chips: Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (or other flavored chips), and 1 teaspoon vanilla.


1) Preheat your oven to 500°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

2) In a large mixing bowl, blend the dry ingredients together thoroughly.

3) With a pastry blender, pastry fork, a mixer or, most easily, your fingertips, work in the butter until the mixture is unevenly crumbly. If you're adding any "extras" (see tips below), toss them in, stirring to distribute.

4) Take about 20 seconds to stir in the liquid. The dough will be rough and shaggy but that's the way it should look.

5) Turn it out onto a well-floured board. Flour your hands and the surface of the dough well. Knead it very gently about 10 times, just enough to bring it together. It is not supposed to be smooth and springy like bread dough. Sprinkle on more flour as you need it to keep the dough from sticking.

6) Cut the dough in half, and press or roll each piece gently with a well floured rolling pin into a circle about 6" x 1/2". You can tidy up the edges with the palms of your hands if you want, but do it gently. Half the charm of scones is their "shagginess."

7) Cut each circle into 6 wedge-shaped pieces with the edge of a bench or bowl scraper (or spatula), pressing down firmly without sawing. You'll find it easier if you dip your cutter in flour after each cut. Make sure you press it into the dough quickly, without twisting or sawing. This shears the dough cleanly rather than pressing it together, which allows the scones to rise higher.

8) Transfer each piece gently to the prepared baking sheet, leaving a half inch or so between them. Put them in the oven, reduce the temperature to 450°F, and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes, until they're a light golden brown.

9) Remove the scones from the oven, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store several days at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.

Yield: 12 scones.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 plain scone (60g) Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170 Calories from Fat: 50 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3.5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 15mg Sodium: 350mg Total Carbohydrate: 26g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 3g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 03/28/2015
  • mary Lou from Boylston ma.
  • I made these for an Irish baking And I won 1 st. Prize added bacon . To die for.
  • star rating 08/23/2014
  • from
  • star rating 12/25/2013
  • Little Duke from KAF Community
  • I had never made scones before, nor do I bake much, but Christmas morning I was craving some homemade baked goods. I followed this recipe exactly, using 8 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of sugar. I added a cup of craisins and lightly glazed with a milk and powder sugar glaze. In the words of my kids they were amazing.
  • star rating 12/05/2013
  • Rebecca from Boston
  • I was very happy with the results- I didn't use whole wheat flour because I didn't have it on hand and only 2 tablespoons of butter, and the recipe turned out great. 'Shaggy' was a good way to describe the scones throughout the baking process, and they didn't look the absolute prettiest when they were done, but they held their shape well. I think adding a colorful fruit like blueberries to the recipe and dusting them with powdered sugar at the end would solve the problem of presentation, so that's what I'll do next time. Regardless, they taste delicious and I think it would be a fun recipe to play around with some more.
    Whole wheat flour will absorb more liquid than all purpose flour, so your shaggy soft dough is the result of using all purpose alone. We're glad you found a way to make the best of this recipe using the ingredients you had on hand. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
  • 06/06/2013
  • Carol from Los Angeles County
  • I'm uncertain about rating this recipe but I have a question. What is meant by well beaten egg whites? Can white's only Eggbeaters be used? Bread was denser than I like but may be my fault. Bread was quite good toasted with a bit of strawberry jam. Will retry when I figure out egg white issue.
    Hello - I am not seeing any egg whites in this recipe for Classic Scones. We would love to help so please give our toll free Bakers' Hotline a call (1-855-371-2253). We are here everyday. Maybe you were referring to another recipe? Elisabeth
  • star rating 12/18/2011
  • articulatbills from KAF Community
  • I never made a scone before this evening. I made two batches...bacon, onion and cheese and a lemon/blueberry (I added fresh-frozen blueberries and increased my cooking time by about 2 minutes). They were awesome! I also used the glaze recipe from the mini-scon recipe on my blueberry ones. I made my glaze a bit thinner (I don't like things too sweet) and I added a bit of my lemon extract. Whoa nellie...I will never pay for a scone again. My roommate said it was good and "not dry like the scones you buy at the coffee shop" LOL! I often make bread...the description about leaving it "shaggy" helped. It is a bit counterintuitive but they work and they turned out perfect.
  • star rating 11/14/2010
  • schisler5 from KAF Community
  • This is definitely my "go to" recipe for scones. ! Everyone loves them. My friend who was going through chemo would ask for them each time she had a treatment. She said they felt right for her stomach when she didn't feel like eating anything else. :>)
  • star rating 05/16/2010
  • Olivia from SC
  • I think these scone are good but I can never get the consistency right. They are always to gooey and stick to everything, so I have to add more flour, which makes them taste to much like flour. I have been making the chocolate chip recipe that adds the egg, and maybe that is what makes it so gooey. Next time I will try without the egg.
    Scone dough should be a bit on the wet side, if they are too dry, your final scones will be dry. Try using a little water on your hands to help you deal with the stickiness rather than adding more flour. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 04/09/2010
  • Rani from Allentown, PA
  • I used 8 tbsp Smart Balance Butter Blend and whole milk yogurt to make the plain version. Scrumptious!
  • star rating 09/04/2009
  • Ruth from Illinois
  • I made the plain, nothing added scones for breakfast and served with butter and jam. My husband fell in love with me all over again! I love these so much that I am making gift jars for my daughter's families with different additions and giving a copy of the printed recipe. Thanks for the great recipe.
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