The scone is a traditional favourite that is so quick, easy and rewarding to make, but there are a few scone tips and tricks to bake the perfect scone. Try these recipes for lemonade scones, smoked pumpkin scones, Earl Grey scones, lavender scones, lemon curd scones
There are stories of good country cooks who can whip up a batch and bake the perfect scones between the time they hear a car approaching and its arrival. Granted, country drives are often long, but this sort of skill comes from plenty of practice using a tried and true recipe.
There is an old argument about whether jam or cream goes first on your scone. Like Queen Elizabeth, I prefer jam first because it sits better on the scone, but cream first definitely looks prettier.
Basically, it depends on whether you are from Devon or Cornwall in England. The Cornish tradition is jam first while in Devon they like to spread clotted cream onto the scone and top with a dollop of jam. If you have delicious clotted cream at your disposal, then definitely do the cream first.
Here are some tips on how to get it right and five recipes for scones from the traditional to those with a twist.
10 scone tips to bake the perfect scone
Whether you want to make a lemonade scone, pumpkin scone, lemon curd scone or lavender scone, the same basic rules apply.
- Make sure you start with quality cold ingredients. Your scones will only taste as good as what you put into them. On a hot summer’s day, chill the butter in the freezer and keep the flour in the fridge.
- Sift the flour or for a really light scone, double sift the flour. Some scone experts like to sift the flour five times. I have tried this and it really does result in a light and delicious scone.
- Drain any fruit really well so it doesn’t add unnecessary moisture to the mixture. If you are using frozen fruit, pop it in the mix frozen.
- Use a flat blade knife, not a spoon or spatula, and a light cutting motion to mix the ingredients.
- Handle the dough as little as possible using your fingertips rather than hands. You don’t want to heat up the mixture.
- When forming your scones – if the mixture is too crumbly add more milk, too sticky add more flour.
- Make a clean cut when you press out the scones – no twisting or they will not rise evenly.
- Keep the scones close, but not overcrowded on the baking tray for a moist scone. Larger scones are moister than smaller scones.
- If you use an egg wash or milk to top off the scones, don’t let it run down the sides.
- Use your fingers to pull the cooked scones apart rather than a knife. This will help keep the texture light.
NOTE: You can freeze the dough in a sealed plastic bag until you are ready to bake. Allow to defrost naturally. Do not use a microwave.
How to bake scones in an air fryer
When the weather is hot and turning the oven on seems way to hard, try making your scones in an air fryer. If you don’t have an air fryer you are really missing out as these are very handy gadgets. Here’s how to use one for scones.
- Preheat the air fryer at 170 for three minutes. This is important as you want to put your dough into a hot oven.
- Use a round 6 cm cutter and make scone shapes that are about 2.5 cm thick.
- Spray the air fryer basket with oil and put six scones into the basket so they are side by side.
- Put the basket into the air fryer and cook for 15 minutes. The scones should sound hollow when tapped on the top and be slightly golden in colour.
- Do a second batch with your remaining scones.
Basic Lemonade Scone Recipe
Lemonade scones are a great recipe to use as practice for making the perfect scone. It is so simple but the results are impressive. If you want to keep things interesting, try adding a half a cup of dried fruit for variation.
Makes 9 medium scones or 6 large scones
- 4 cups of self-raising flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 300 ml lemonade (you could substitute another type of fizzy drink if you wish for a flavour alternative)
- 1 cup cream
- Preheat the over to 220 C and line an oven tray with baking paper
- Sift the flour and baking power into a large bowl.
- Add the lemonade and cream and mix lightly with a knife until all is combined. It is important not to overmix the scones or they will be tough.
- Gently pat out on a floured surface until about 4 cm thick. Cut into round shapes with a cookie cutter which you dip in flour before each cut.
- Put the scones on a tray with a small distance between each round. You can brush the tops with milk. Bake for about 12 minutes until they are golden.
Smoked pumpkin scones are a delicious twist on a traditional recipe. Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash
Smoked Pumpkin Scones
Here is a recipe from Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort which updates the traditional pumpkin scone recipe with a smoky twist to help you bake the perfect scone.
- 1kg Plain flour
- 120g Butter
- 10g Salt
- 50g Baking powder
- 100g Sugar
- 300g Sour cream
- 260ml Milk
- 4 Eggs
- 250g Pumpkin
- Bake pumpkin in the oven at 160 degrees for 15 minutes with a smoker or use smoke essence. You could also try smoking the pumpkin in a Webber barbecue with a few wood chips. Taste the pumpkin before you add it to the recipe to ensure you have a good smokey flavour.
- Mix flour, butter, salt, baking powder and sugar with a hook attachment until it comes together, and then add milk and sour cream after until combined.
- Finally, add the smoked pumpkin and mix until it is blended in.
- Bake at 165 for 12 minutes using a fan forced oven.
Earl Grey Scones and Berry Sensation Tea Jam
The earl grey tea in these scones is another delightful twist on the normal scone recipe. It also comes with its own tea-infused jam.
- 500g self-raising flour
- 1 egg
- 50g caster sugar
- 60g butter
- 200ml Dilmah Earl Grey brewed tea
- 50ml milk
- Mix well all the ingredients together, pat into a 4 cm thickness and use a round cutter to obtain scone shape, brush with milk and dust with a bit a caster sugar.
- Bake at 180°c for 12 minutes.
- 500g berries
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 500g caster sugar
- 120ml strong brewed Dilmah
- Exceptional Berry Sensation tea
- 1 packet fruit pectin
- Brew 4 Berry Sensation tea bags in 1 litre of water and reduce it by simmering to 120ml.
- Add all the ingredients and simmer for 1 1/2 hour. Pour into sterilised jar.
Earl Grey fans might like to try this recipe for Earl Grey chocolate pots.
Lavender Scone Recipe with lavender or rose cream
Sweets For Tilly have put a flower twist to create a lavender scone using lavender and rosewater.
For lavender scones you will need about a tablespoon of edible lavender. You can use lavender from your garden or find it at speciality food shops such as food providores.
Use rosewater essence, often found in speciality food shops or even sometimes in the baking section of the supermarket, for the rosewater scones.
- 3 cups of self-raising flour (sifted)
- 1 cup of cream
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1 tablespoon of milk
1 cup of thickened cream
- Preheat your oven to 220c.
- Lightly grease a baking tray.
- Put the flour, cream and lemonade in a bowl. Stir until just combined.
- Place dough on a lightly floured bench. Knead lightly until combined and the dough is soft.
- Try not to over-knead, as it will make the scones hard once baked.
- Flatten the dough to the height of your round cutter.
- Cut out the dough using a round cookie cutter to any size you like.
- Place them close together on a baking tray, brush with a small amount of milk.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are light brown.
While the scones are baking make your cream topping.
Whip the thickened cream until it is nice and fluffy using an electric beater. Once the cream is beaten, add the edible lavender and gently fold into the cream. We suggest adding a teaspoon at a time as the lavender can be strong. Add the lavender until you are happy with the strength of it in the cream.
Same as lavender cream except add rosewater essences 1/2 teaspoon at a time to the beaten cream. Serve the cream with the warm scones straight from the oven.
Option with serving
Feel free to add a small dollop of jam on the scones before adding the cream. Just don’t add too much as the lavender and rosewater cream can be quite strong on its own
Lemon curd scones made with Melinda’s gluten free flour
Lemon Curd Scone Recipe
You don’t have to miss out if you are gluten free! Gluten-free guru Melinda Trembath, founder of Melinda’s Gluten-Free Goodies has devised a recipe that will give you everything you need to bake the perfect scone.
- 1 1/2 cups Melinda’s Gluten-Free Self Raising Flour or substitute self raising flour.
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 cup lemon-flavoured soft drink
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Whip cream and set aside.
- Sift flour into a large bowl, stir in lemon zest.
- Stir whipped cream into the flour.
- Add a soft drink, mix thoroughly to form a firm dough.
- Lightly dust a surface with flour. Turn dough out & press out to 2cm thick. Cut 5cm rounds with scone cutters.
- Place on a tray, glaze with a little milk.
- Bake for 15 mins or until golden.