Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scones
Homemade apple cinnamon scones with crunchy tops, warm centers, and caramel drizzles. H-e-a-v-e-n.
Before I forget, I have a new post up in my photography section. Afternoons with Jude, pumpkin bars, art murals, and clothing freak-outs. You know, the typical stuff. Are you enjoying my photo blog so far? I can’t wait to share book tour photos there.
Moving along. So, here’s my first “it doesn’t feel like fall yet but I wish it did” post. By that, I mean I’m forcing fall into my household. I made cider over Labor Day weekend (I need need need to share that recipe soon), lit pumpkin scented candles, and even hung my leafy harvest wreath on the door. Hey, gotta enjoy Fall in my house while I can since I won’t be here for two months straight. I’ll be meeting YOU!
Scones of the caramel apple variety are here today. These gorgeous little numbers graced my breakfast table a few weeks ago when it definitely was still summer outside. If you’re not ready for caramel apple things just yet, hold onto these for a few weeks because they are something you have to try this Fall.
No excuses. Must make caramel apple cinnamon scones.
I have a signature recipe for scones. I started using it last year when I made strawberry lemon poppy seed scones. Since then, I’ve changed up the add-ins and flavors to make cinnamon chip scones, blueberry scones, chocolate chip scones, among others. (Here are all my scone recipes!) The basic cream-based scone recipe produces tender scones with irresistibly crumbly edges. The edges are my favorite part. They must be crumbly.
Making them is really, really simple. Scones, like muffins, don’t take long at all which is why I love preparing them. Mix up the dough, pop into the oven. Eat.
Sally’s Scone 101
(for fellow food nerds)
I prefer a scone made with frozen butter. Why? It’s imperative to use cold butter in my scone recipe because when the little crumbs of butter melt as the scone bakes, they release steam and create little pockets of air – this makes the scones a little airy on the inside while remaining flaky and crisp on the outside. The colder the butter (frozen style!), the better. I use shredded butter. I shred it with a grater OR you can process it a couple times in your food processor. I use 8 Tablespoons (1 stick; 115 grams) in my scone recipe, which gives the scones that incredibly tender, rich texture and buttery taste.
Avoid over working scone dough. When you overmix scone dough it will over-develop the gluten, which makes the scone tough. Trust me, you don’t want that. This applies for muffins, cakes, breads, cookies, etc as well.
Don’t think about substituting the cream! These are cream-based scones. It’s really important for flavor and texture.
Fill the scone dough with your favorite flavors. For this caramel apple cinnamon scone recipe, I added a healthy dose of cinnamon to the dough. Also, 1 cup chopped and peeled apple. Granny smith is typically my choice, but anything you have works. If you think you can squeeze in a little more apple, use up to 1 and 1/4 cups.
The caramel goes on top. A generous drizzle is encouraged for obvious reasons. I use homemade salted caramel because it is my love language. Errrrrrrr I mean because I love it. I put this salted caramel on nearly all of my desserts because I have no self control in the salted caramel world. Please tell me you know the feeling.
The caramel doesn’t really take away from the apple and cinnamon flavors– rather, it compliments both. You can leave it off or you can use your own favorite caramel sauce. Homemade or store-bought, doesn’t matter. If making my salted caramel, you can leave out some salt to make it regular caramel sauce. See my recipe note.
I gave these scones to my friend down the street (how ironic… I gave them to her when she picked me up for a gym date) and you’d think I gave her a pot of gold. I told her to warm one up in the microwave for a few seconds after dinner. She went NUTS.
Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! ♥
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scones
Homemade apple cinnamon scones with crunchy tops, warm centers, and caramel drizzles.
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly), plus more for hands and work surface
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup (125g) peeled and chopped apple (I use Granny Smith)1
- optional: 1 Tablespoon cream and coarse sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) store-bought or homemade caramel sauce2
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater; a food processor also works - here is the one I own and love). Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Slowly and gently fold in the chopped apple. Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. Dough will be a little wet. Work the dough into a ball with floured hands as best you can and transfer to a floured surface. Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into 8 equal wedges with a very sharp knife. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush scones with optional 1 Tbsp cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. (Makes them shiny and gives a little extra crunch!)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before drizzling with caramel sauce.
- Make ahead tip: Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 extra days. Scones freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up to your liking before enjoying.
- I say 1 "heaping" cup because this amount does not need to be terribly accurate. Anything from 1 cup - 1 and 1/4 cups works. Don't use too much or else the scones won't keep their shape from all the apple chunks and juices.
- If using my homemade caramel sauce, please keep in mind this is a salted caramel. For a sweeter caramel, reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon. You can make the caramel sauce in advance-- see make ahead tip in the caramel recipe.
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SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
Caramel Apple Brie Quesadillas. Salty & sweet. Perfection.
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