Our best ever scone recipe - and 10 flavours to make at home

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 June 2019

Celebrate National Cream Tea Day with a cup of tea, scones and the trimmings  Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Celebrate National Cream Tea Day with a cup of tea, scones and the trimmings Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto


Get baking for National Cream Tea Day on Friday and recreate this favourite teatime treat.

The ultimate scone recipe


(the recipe will make eight large or 12 to 16 mini scones depending on cutters)

500g plain white flour

1tbsp butter or oil

1tsp vinegar or lemon juice

4tsps baking powder

350ml full fat milk (see method)

Optional - 2tbsps icing sugar for sweet scones


Set the oven to 220C and line two baking trays.

In a large bowl rub the butter or oil into the flour and baking powder until it disappears. Make a well in the centre and pour in the vinegar or lemon and half the milk. Cut it in with a knife. Add the milk, a splash at a time, until you have a craggy dough that's very slightly sticky but not wet. You may not need to use all the milk.

Add any flavourings at this point.

Tip onto a very light floured surface, roll to 2cms thick and cut out with round pastry cutters. Turn each scone over after you've cut it out and place, with 3-4cms between each, on the prepared trays. Bake for 10 minutes for larger scones (6-10cms) or around eight minutes for smaller scones (around 4-5cms). They should be golden, risen and spongey.

Try our flavour combinations

Cherry and coconut: Add 75g desiccated coconut and 2 heaped tbsps of glace cherries, finely chopped. Serve with whipped coconut cream and cherry jam.

You may also want to watch:

White chocolate and blue cheese: Grate in 100g white chocolate and crumble in 50g blue cheese. Serve with butter.

Strawberry granola: Add 2tbsps freeze dried strawberries or cut up strawberry fruit leather and 3tbsps honey Munchy Seeds. Serve with strawberry jam.

Blueberry and liquorice: Add 100g blueberries and 1 stick black liquorice (pencil sized) finely chopped. Serve with blackcurrant jam.

Lemon and lavendar: Add 1tsp edible lavender and the zest of 1 lemon. Serve with lemon curd.

Chocolate orange: Add the zest of two oranges and 100g milk chocolate, finely chopped. Serve with cream and marmalade.

Smokey bacon: Add 6 chopped rashers of crispy cooked smoky streaky bacon and 150g grated smoked cheddar. Serve with cream cheese or salted butter.

Cajun: Add 1tsp each garlic granules, ground paprika, dried thyme, and 1/2tsp each cayenne, ground black pepper and fine sea salt. Serve with soup, chilli, cheese or pulled meats.

Smoked salmon and herbs: Add 100g chopped smoked salmon, 1 bunch fresh chopped chives and 1/2tsp dried dill. Serve with salted butter and cream cheese.

Stilton, onion and walnut: Add 3tbsps crushed toasted walnuts, 100g stilton crumbled, 2tbsps caramelised onion chutney. Serve warm with salted butter and soup.

Top tips

1. Ensure you thoroughly rub the fat into the flour so it completely disappears.

2. Don't overknead- once the liquid is added you only need to bring the dough together. A lightness of touch is key.

3. Don't introduce a lot of flour when rolling out - you'll get dry, solid scones.

4. Include the turning phase - it really will make them rise better.

5. If you like to glaze your scone tops, only brush the very centre of the tops - runny egg down the sides will prevent an even rise.

6. Get the oven really hot 20 minutes before baking to help them rise.

7. Don't miss out the vinegar which activates the raising agents - a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will do instead.

8. Check your baking powder first. Put a little in warm water. If it doesn't fizz or bubble it's dead and you need some more.

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