These deliciously spiced caramel apple cinnamon scones will give you major Fall vibes! They’re buttery and moist with crisp crumbly edges and soft flaky centers. Crunchy coarse sugar and salted caramel are the perfect finishing touches!
Scones. They can taste REALLY good or they can taste REALLY bad. It all depends on the recipe and mixing method.
I learned how to make absolutely delicious scones few years ago when I attended a cooking event in the Panera Bread test kitchen. Turns out that I had been making all the wrong scones up until that point! Since that fateful afternoon, I’ve conquered chocolate chip scones, cinnamon scones, blueberry scones, and even ham & cheese scones. I use the same basic scone recipe for each flavor.
By the way, I wrote an entire post devoted to my favorite base recipe for scones. Today we’re making caramel apple cinnamon scones inspired by real caramel apples. These will definitely become your new favorite flavor. Here’s why you’ll love them:
- Sweet crumbly edges
- Soft, moist centers
- Crunchy golden brown exterior
- Buttery cinnamon flavor
- An overflow of sweet apples
- Drizzles of salted caramel on top
Let’s make them!
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scone Ingredients
- Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is my standard amount for homemade scones, but set extra aside for the work surface and your hands.
- Brown Sugar: Stick with around 1/2 cup of brown sugar for this scone dough. Feel free to slightly decrease, but keep in mind that the scone flavor and texture will slightly change.
- Baking Powder: Adds lift.
- Salt, Cinnamon, & Vanilla Extract: These 3 ingredients add flavor.
- Cold Butter: Besides flour, cold butter is the main ingredient in apple scones. It adds flavor, flakiness, crisp edges, and rise.
- Heavy Cream: For the best tasting pastries, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream. Buttermilk works too! For a nondairy option, try using full-fat canned coconut milk. Avoid thinner liquids such as milk or almond milk—the result is often dry, bland, and flat scones.
- Egg: Adds flavor, lift, and structure.
- Apples: Use your favorite apple variety. I love Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Fuji here.
Before baking, brush the scones with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. These extras add a bakery-style crunch and lovely golden sheen.
Frozen Grated Butter
I’ve learned that frozen grated butter is key to scone success.
Like when we make pie crust, work the cold butter into the dry ingredients. The cold butter coats the flour. When the buttery flour crumbs melt as the scones bake, they release steam which creates pockets of air. These pockets add a flaky center, while keeping the edges crumbly and crisp. Refrigerated butter might melt in the dough as you work it, but frozen butter will hold out until the oven. Timing is KEY! And the finer the pieces of cold butter, the less the scones spread and the quicker the butter mixes into the dry ingredients. Remember, you don’t want to over-work scone dough.
I recommend grating the frozen butter with a box grater.
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Scones
Since there’s no yeast, these apple cinnamon scones go from the mixing bowl to the oven relatively quickly. First, mix the dry ingredients together. Second, cut cold butter into the dry ingredients. You can use a pastry cutter, 2 forks, or your hands for this step. A food processor works too, but it often overworks the scone dough. To avoid overly dense scones, work the dough as little as possible. I always use a pastry cutter.
Next, whisk the wet ingredients together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the apples, then gently mix together. Form the dough into a disc on the counter, then cut into 8 wedges.
One of my recent tricks! To obtain a flaky center and a crumbly exterior, scone dough must remain cold. Cold dough won’t over-spread either. Therefore, I highly recommend you chill the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes prior to baking. You can even refrigerate overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning.
After that, bake the scones until golden brown.
Video Tutorial: Apple Cinnamon Scones
Here I’m making blueberry scones, but for the apple cinnamon variety, switch the granulated sugar for brown sugar and add apples.
The scones are INCREDIBLE right out of the oven, but taste even better with salted caramel on top. 🙂 What doesn’t?!
More Apple Recipes
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups
- Apple Crumb Cake
- Homemade Apple Cider
- Apple Cider Donuts (baked not fried)
- Apple Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
- Apple Bundt Cake & Apple Cake
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scones
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 scones
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
These caramel apple scones are buttery and moist with crisp crumbly edges and soft flaky centers. Crunchy coarse sugar and salted caramel are the perfect finishing touches! Read through the recipe before beginning. You can skip the chilling for 15 minutes prior to baking, but I highly recommend it to prevent the scones from over-spreading.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), 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 (plus 2 Tbsp for brushing)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup (125g) peeled and chopped apple (I use Granny Smith)*
- optional for topping: coarse sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) store-bought or homemade salted caramel*
- Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. See video above for a closer look at the texture. Place in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
- Whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, the egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the apples, then mix together until everything appears moistened.
- Pour onto the counter and, with floured hands, work dough into a ball as best you can. Dough will be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1-2 more Tablespoons heavy cream. Press into an 8-inch disc and, with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges.
- Brush scones with remaining heavy cream and for extra crunch, sprinkle with coarse sugar. (You can do this before or after refrigerating in the next step.)
- Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your fridge has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before topping with caramel.
- Leftover iced or un-iced scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
- Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Box Grater, Pastry Cutter, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Pastry Brush
- Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.
- Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones before topping with icing. I usually freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container. To thaw, leave out on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
- Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
- Over-spreading: Start with very cold scone dough. Expect some spread, but if the scones are over-spreading as they bake, remove from the oven and press back into its triangle shape (or whatever shape) using a rubber spatula.
- Apples: 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.
- Caramel Sauce: 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.
Keywords: caramel, apple cinnamon scones
Reader Comments & Reviews
A commenter from 2021 mentioned that her scones had a more cake-like consistency. Mine also did, and I was wondering if that was because I used pastry flour. They were still really good.
Hi- can I use frozen apples if I thaw and drain them before adding to the recipe? Thanks!
I’m sure that would be fine!
I have made these scones about half a dozen times now and love them. BUT the dough is always WAY too sticky and requires an extra 100g flour (at least!). I cannot fathom why, but all the versions of these scones have the same issue for me. It’s very annoying! I measure everything on scales- my Dad also found the same problem. They still taste good with the extra flour but it’s a real pain trying to gauge how much and the dough remains sticky even with the extra.
These are officially my favorite scones! So delicious and the caramel sauce pairs so well with these. I will say that since I already had my box grater out for the butter, I decided to also grate the apples and squeezed as much of the liquid out as I could. My guess is this step eliminates the need for sticking them in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking. They turned out amazing!
The scones did turn out tasty. I was expecting them to rise a little more than they did. Dough was very sticky making it a bit hard to manage. Good flavor
Made two batches today with the caramel sauce and they are just fabulous! My coworkers are going to be happy tomorrow
I’ve made a lot of different scones (including your Master Scone recipe, which is also excellent!) and these are by far the most requested! The homemade salted caramel is also 100% worth the effort. My MIL loved it so much, she just eats it by the spoonful. Excellent recipe!
Can i use 1 to 1 flour in this?
Hi Lauree, we haven’t tested these scones with a 1:1 gluten free flour, so we’re unsure of the results. Let us know if you do give it a try.
I’ve used 1 to 1 flour with these and they turned out perfect 🙂
Excellent! My husband is a scone fan plus he loves cinnamon and apples so this seemed to be the perfect recipe. It was very easy to follow. I always read the recipe and have my ingredients measured and ready to add before I begin. Initially, I did not plan to make the caramel sauce. My husband liked the scones a lot ; he loved the flavor but did not think they were sweet enough. I thought the sweetness level was good. I decided to make the caramel sauce and drizzle it on a scone to see if he preferred the scones with caramel sauce. He did; with the caramel sauce the scones had the right level of sweetness for him. The caramel sauce made plenty for both the scones and future ice cream sundaes.
This scone recipe will go into my recipe file to be used for many future brunches.
Mine tasted really good, but had a more cake like consistency than what I would expect from a scone. Is that how it is supposed to be, or did something go awry?
Wow, these are amazing! So light and fluffy! I will definitely be making these again! And will be checking out your other scone recipes as well! Thank you! So yummy!!
Does this recipe double easily?
Hi Amanda! For best results, we recommend making two batches instead of doubling. Enjoy!
Has any tried making this omitting the egg? We have egg allergies in our household. I know eggs can be successfully omitted in pancake and waffle recipes, just have never tried in a scone recipe. Thanks to all who can answer my question.
Also, anything I’ve ever made from Sally has always been delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipes!
Hi Lisa, we haven’t tried this recipe with any egg replacements, but hopefully other readers can chime in if they have. Thank you for making and trusting our recipes!
I use a flax egg to good effect in these scones.
1 tbsp flax meal + 2.5 tbsp water. Mix and let sit 10 mins before adding per recipe.
This recipe was my first attempt at scones, at it went really well! They did start spreading a bit in the oven, but I took them out after five minutes and pressed them back into shape, and I didn’t have any other problems. I also used a baking powder substitute and left off the caramel, and they were still delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!
Yay! My first time making scones! These are delicious! Moist, tender scone. I will be making these again!
This is simply amazing! I thought it would be somewhat difficult because of the the butter, but they came out perfect. I used green apples instead, and loved the taste. You have the best dessert recipes I’ve ever seen, it’s kinda impossible to mess it up. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. A lot of love from Brasil.
I just made these and they are wonderful. I’ve always liked scones but never liked any recipes for them until now. They are moist and flavorful. I put the caramel sauce on one of them and it was very good. I’m going to try without next. Thanks Sally!
Delicious! Just made these without the icing but with sanding sugar on top. My house smells amazing!
Have you ever tried adding in caramel chips instead of using the caramel sauce on top? I have some in the pantry and wondered if that would work…
Hi Simone, You can see how we add them to these Cinnamon Chip Scones, but they definitely work here as well. Happy baking!
I just made these for the very first time and I added 1/2 c of caramel bits. How did your scones turn out? Mine oozed out on the bottom and darkened the bottom of the scones.
I just realized you use unsalted butter in the recipe. I only have salted butter here. Before I make a trip to the store for unsalted, can I use what I have and omit extra salt from the recipe? I can’t wait to try these. I am doing a trial recipe for home before taking some to work next week.
Hi Teresa, no problem! If using salted butter, reduce the added salt to 1/4 teaspoon. Hope they’re a hit!
Hi sally, what happens if you don’t add the cinnamon, will the consistency change?
Hi Maria- if omitting the cinnamon, you shouldn’t notice any consistency changes. Cinnamon does add excellent flavor though, so we highly recommend using it!
delicious – 1st time making scones
Could i use stawberries in your banana/walnut recipe instead?
And by the way i’m a scone Nut,…
Hi Craig, I suggest using my Master Scone Recipe for ways to incorporate strawberries and many other add-ins!
I just finished baking the Apple Caramel scones, they are the most amazing scones I’ve ever had. I would rather make these than go to the coffee shop. Thank you soo much for making this recipe available! Next batch, blueberry scones… mmm mmm
Is it possible to replace the brown sugar with regular white granulated sugar?
You can! They will be more like my blueberry scone recipe.
I have made the blueberry scones, the cranberry orange scones and now these. I love them all! I do make 12 scones out of the recipe as the others are a bit too big for my husband and I – or shall I say we limit ourselves better?
I love the frozen grated butter as it makes the scones come together so quickly. The chilling really does keep the spreading to a minimum as well.
This is my favorite basic scone recipe and a real go to for us!
Thank you so much!
If I were to make these scones “mini” sized, what should my baking time be? Also, what thickness should the dough be at?
I loooooove your site. You are my go to!! 🙂
For smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 wedges. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top.
This was a difficult scone to make. Dough was WAY too sticky. I had to add more flour than expected. They also spread much more than other scones I have made. I did chill in freezer for 15 min like the recipe called for. Taste is fine but I don’t think I’ll be making this one again.