Learning how to make scones from scratch is a great way to experience the pastry in all its glory; fresh from the oven, airy but dense at the same time, hints of flavor and mix-ins catered to your liking. Note: remember, all of the ingredients need to be cold! So leave about 30 minutes before baking to prep the early ingredients and put them in the fridge to chill.
Keyword how to make scones
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 18minutes
Total Time 28minutes
1/3cupsheavy creamplus more for topping
30 minutes beforehand, preheat oven to 400ºF (204°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place in the fridge or freezer to keep cold.
Measure cream into a large liquid measuring cup, add eggs, and beat lightly. This will save you time later! Place the cream-egg mixture in refrigerator to keep cold.
Sift flour into large bowl. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until fully mixed. Set the bowl in the refrigerator to keep cold.
Once the butter is chilled, cut it into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two forks. (Here’s a video on how to cut butter into flour.) Continue to work butter into mixture until it's broken into pea-sized pieces. The mixture will become a coarse meal-like texture, but it’s okay to have some larger (bigger being pea-sized) chunks of butter. These chunks will create your gorgeous texture later!
Make a well in the center of the mixture with a wooden spoon. Pour wet ingredients into the center. Gently mix the dough just until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overmix! It’s not supposed to be mixed all the way. It should have a messy look to it. IMPORTANT!! Here’s the thing: you’re probably going to think it’s too dry at first. If you’re used to making muffins, cakes, and cookies, you might be used to dough that’s thoroughly moist and a little dense. This is not how scones work. The dough is going to be a little moist at best, and definitely lumpy.
Now put the whole thing in the fridge for 10 minutes, so it chills back up.
Turn dough over onto lightly floured surface. Gently knead once or twice to bring dough together. The goal is to take the dough just to the point that it doesn’t fall apart. Once it stays together, stop kneading. It should literally only need one or two pushes.
Shape the dough into a rough square, about 1 ½ inches thick. Grab a sharp knife, stick it into your flour container to coat it in flour, and cut the square into four equal squares. Re-flour your knife and cut each square diagonally to form a total of eight triangles.
Transfer the scones to the baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the tops of the scones lightly with heavy cream (don’t soak them!) and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Pop those babies into the oven for about 18 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Serves warm, topped with butter or cream, or allow to cook completely before putting in a sealed container. Should keep for 5 days if well sealed.
Scones are best served fresh out of the oven because they dry out quickly, giving them a dense texture. We recommend planning to share the whole batch as soon as they’re done! If you do want to save them, allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Aim to finish them off in the next day or two.