This is the best scone recipe, showing you how to make the very best scones! Tender, flaky, buttery, and with plenty of tips on how to add your favorite mix-ins, this is the only scone recipe you’ll ever need!
For the best, flakiest scones, I recommend using a food processor, though I also include tips on how to make scones using a pastry cutter or box grater if you don’t have one handy. Today’s recipe also includes a video walking you through every step of the process and showing you how I make scones in my own kitchen!
I always thought that scones were unapproachable. I don’t know if it was the name, their unusual wedge-like shape, or what, but something about them just seemed too fancy and high-brow for my humble kitchen.
It wasn’t until college when I was procrastinating from writing a particularly tedious Psychology paper that I decided to first try my hand at them and was shocked to find that, hey, scones are actually really, really simple.
In fact, they’re just about the furthest thing from unapproachable. Scones aren’t much different from biscuits (and if you’ve tried my easy biscuit recipe, you know how humbly straightforward that recipe is), their fluffy, buttery interiors are just slightly sweeter and their shape is just a bit more pointed.
Let’s dig in to today’s scone recipe so you can learn everything there is to know about how to making scones in your own kitchen.
What are the Ingredients to Bake Scones
My scones are simple:
- baking powder
- heavy cream
- vanilla extract
I’d bet you already have most of these in your kitchen already, am I right?
Can You Make Scones in Advance?
Yes, you can store unbaked scone dough!
Make your scone dough as instructed in the recipe, cut it into wedges, and then wrap each scone in cling wrap and store in an airtight container (or Ziploc bag) in the freezer until you are ready to bake. Be sure to bake your scones within 3 months of freezing.
These scones can be baked from frozen (no need to let them thaw), and may need just a minute or two longer in the oven. I always wait until just before baking before brushing them with cream and sprinkling with sugar.
How do You Keep Scones Fresh?
For this scone recipe, I really recommend eating your scones the same day you make them, preferably still warm soon after coming out of the oven.
You can store them in an airtight container for 1-2 days, but in my opinion scones are always best enjoyed the same day that they are made.
Can You Freeze Baked Scones?
Yes! To freeze baked scones, let them cool completely after baking. Once they’ve cooled, transfer them to an airtight container (Tupperware or a Ziploc bag works well, I like to loosely wrap each scone in wax paper or parchment paper so they don’t stick together).
To defrost your frozen scones, you can microwave them from frozen. The time required will vary depending on the power of your microwave. Frozen baked scones should also be enjoyed within 3 months of freezing.
Can I make Scones without a food processor?
Absolutely, and all of my previous scone recipes that I’ve shared (like these chocolate chip scones) were made by cutting the butter into the dough using a pastry cutter or grater. Just be prepared to do a bit more manual work cutting the butter into the dough, and making the dough cohesive will take a little more effort and more working together (I promise my scone recipe doesn’t need more liquid than I call for!).
However, scone dough is pretty dry, and a lot of people had trouble getting the dough to cling together doing this manually. Even my sister and mom use their KitchenAid mixer to work the dough together until it’s cohesive, which is fine but does tend to make your butter softer than is ideal.
By using a food processor instead, the machine does all of the heavy lifting for us without overworking our dough, so I recommend using one if you have it!
This is the food processor I used for this scone recipe (affiliate). It was a bridal shower gift 4 years ago and it’s a workhorse, I use it all the time!
Pictured above are these perfect scones made with a lemony twist, I included notes in the scone recipe below on how to make your own lemon scones, too.
How Do You Make Homemade Scones Recipe
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter I like to place my butter in the freezer 15 minutes before beginning to ensure it is cold (113g)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup your favorite add-ins optional: frozen berries, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
- Additional heavy cream for brushing over scones optional
- Additional sugar for sprinkling over scones optional
- Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the basin of a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Cut butter into Tablespoon-sized pieces and scatter over flour mixture, pulse until butter is cut up into the flour mixture and butter pieces are no longer visible.
- Combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a measuring cup and pour heavy cream over your flour mixture.
- Pulse until dough begins to clump together.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and (handling lightly, as you don't want to over-work this dough) add any add-ins at this point, gently working them into the dough. Fold the dough in half over itself and use your hands to gently flatten layers together. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold in half again, repeating this step 5 times and taking care to not overwork the dough.
- Form the dough into a smooth disk about 1" thick by 6" round.
- Cut the disk into 8 wedges, pressing the knife straight down with each cut.
- Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet and place about 2" apart. Brush lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake on 375F (190C) for 14-16 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Don't over-bake your scones or they will be dry and tough.
- Allow scones to cool on baking sheet before serving and enjoying.
How to Make Lemon SconesAdd 1 Tbsp of fresh lemon zest into the scone batter with the butter Once scones have cooled, dip in a simple glaze made of 1 1/4 cup (160g) powdered sugar, 1 1/2 Tablespoons (20ml) lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.