Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scones

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!

caramel apple cinnamon scones

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 mastered chocolate chip scones, cinnamon scones, and blueberry scones. I use the same basic scone recipe for each flavor.

By the way, I wrote an entire post devoted to my favorite base scone recipe. 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 scones with salted caramel drizzle

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scone Ingredients

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Baking Powder: Adds lift.
  4. Salt, Cinnamon, & Vanilla Extract: These 3 ingredients add flavor.
  5. Cold Butter: Besides flour, cold butter is the main ingredient in apple scones. It adds flavor, flakiness, crisp edges, and rise.
  6. Heavy CreamFor 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.
  7. Egg: Adds flavor, lift, and structure.
  8. 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 butter shreds

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.

apple cinnamon scone dough cut into triangles on a baking sheet

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.

apple cinnamon scones on a baking sheet

The scones are INCREDIBLE right out of the oven, but taste even better with salted caramel on top. 🙂 What doesn’t?!

caramel apple cinnamon scones on a white plate

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caramel apple cinnamon scones

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) 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*

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your fridge has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Leftover iced or un-iced scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

  1. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Box Grater, Pastry Cutter, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Pastry Brush
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

151 Comments

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  1. Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) says:

    i hate eating caramel apples; how are you supposed to eat such a thing (not the type to go at it), and i never seem to have a knife handy. so this sounds perfect- the flavor of caramel apples (plus cinnamon!), without the hassle (:

  2. As with everything you post, these have gone straight onto my must bake list. If only I had the time to make everything!

    1. Let me know when you try these Laura!

  3. Hmmmm… I know the feeling 🙂

  4. Lovely, one to try for the weekend. x

  5. Butter, cream, caramel – seem like a trio made in heaven. I actually never made scones in my life, I tackled many other baking challenges, but scones never seem to come on my list. These ones sound like a perfect place to start. 

    1. Kristina, I promise they are not hard at all! They come together so easily and are quick, too.

  6. Your scones always look amazing! I’m definitely getting excited for fall baking…these sound just perfect with tea 🙂

  7. It’s not ironic at all. Scones are the perfect antidote to a gym date. 😉 Seriously, I would’ve gone nuts, too. This is the best scone flavor! And salted caramel is TOTALLY a love language. The best one out there!

  8. These look seriously delicious! Can’t wait to try them out 🙂

    Jessie
    www.dressdinedwell.com

  9. Lynn @ Fresh April Flours says:

    You had me at “apple.” I mean “cinnamon.” I mean “caramel…” Ok, reallyyyy you had me at “FALL.” Basic b*tches unite!!

  10. Hii! Is double cream okay? Or is that the same thing?
    Thanks!

    1. double cream has a slightly higher fat %, but will be absolutely fine

  11. Kara @ Just A Canary Bird says:

    OMG! These posts are NOT good for my low carb diet…. I feel like my eyes are popping out of my head! I’ll let people keep their pumpkin flavored stuff for Fall, give me caramel apple all day long!

  12. Ana | Espresso My Kitchen says:

    These are sooo fall appropriate! These look and sound delicious! can’t wait to try them! 

  13. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This flavour is fabulous Sally!! Really love that caramel sauce!

  14. Cate | Chez CateyLou says:

    I forced my house into fall this weekend too with pumpkin!  It was like 95 degrees outside, but smelled like fall inside!  These scones look dreamy – the texture is perfect and that caramel drizzle just make them so incredible!  Yum!!

  15. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    Oh these scones look like they are going to be a fall favorite Sally! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I was just dreaming about caramel apples before I went to bed last night. And this morning, these pop into my inbox! THANK YOU!!!

  17. Michelle @ My California Kitchen says:

    I don’t make scones enough!! I also am dangerously close to forcing fall into my home (even though yesterday was the hottest day of the year…) These scones are exactly what I need in my life right now!

  18. Just look at that caramel… These scones look so scrumptious!

  19. Natalie Munroe says:

    These sound (and look) delicious! Can’t wait to try them in a few weeks (I’m currently hoarding recipes for all sorts of autumnal and Halloween-inspired treats because for the past few years I’ve done something new each day of October). At our house, we herald fall with the burning of fall candles (but we typically don’t start burning the fall candles until we have a 3-day streak of 65 degree weather) and drinking our fave seasonal coffee. No, not pumpkin spice, but chocolate cranberry from Fresh Market which is only sold from late August until around early November when the holiday blends start getting released. (I know way too much about the seasonal coffee scheduling). This year we’re relying on the candles because last year I may or may not have bought 13 bags of the chocolate cranberry blend and kinda played it out. (Lesson learned: some things ARE worth the wait!) Coffee obsession aside, we’re certainly more than ready for fall weather (and recipes!) to start in earnest. Bring on the colorful leaves, crisp air, apple and pumpkin flavors, and OREO FUDGE recipes in soon-to-be-released cookbooks. What? How’d that get in there? hahahaha.

    1. Ahh! The Oreo fudge is so close you can just about taste it! And that chocolate cranberry coffee? What? I need to try. I need it. NEED it. Your fall traditions are fabulous because it really makes you appreciate the season.

  20. Neeli @ Neeli's Unique Creations says:

    I really miss scones. I used to make them all the time about 7 years ago. I’ve never made them with heavy cream, though, and I bet these are awesome. I made some homemade biscuits a while back with shredded butter, and was so happy with how tender those biscuits turned out. I made some biscuits recently, and I used a pastry cutter to cut in the butter, and I was disappointed in the texture. Shredded butter all the way.
    I have a lot of peaches and I am making your recipe for the peach bars today. I’ve been wanting to try your recipes for a long time now and I’m finally going to make one. I’ll let you know how my family and I liked them.

    1. Enjoy the peach bars. And I couldn’t agree more about the shredded butter.

  21. Sally these scones look so dreamy! What a wonderful treat to celebrate fall! Also, scones with crunchy tops are the best! 😉

  22. Your salted caramel is BOMB diggity (yep, went there) and super easy to make! These look SOOOOOOO good. I’m all over fall already. Screw the haters, gimme my PSLs and s’mores!

    1. Love the attitude!

  23. Amazing! These scones look incredible…now to see if my momma will let me in the kitchen to try them. Fall is in the air all right. It’s still in the eighties down here in the south, but there’s just something about the smell in the air…pumpkin and spices haven’t entered the kitchen yet, but will soon. I’m a real caramel person, so I can’t wait to give this a try! 

  24. Hazel Sutherman says:

    You guys are so lucky you actually have a fall! Today in LA it was 95 degrees!! Summer weather hasn’t left us yet, but school has started 🙁

    1. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Still in the 90s in Philly this week!

  25. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    That caramel drizzle is everything, gorgeous scones!

  26. I had never made scones until I started following your blog, and now they are one of my favorite treats to bake!  Your recipes are always a hit in my house and when I share them with friends.  Thank you for the consistent high quality!

    1. I just started loving scones early last year and they’re now one of my favorites too! Thanks Angela.

  27. Sally I love the way you make scones and these look so delicious!

  28. Jessie @ Chasing Belle says:

    Yay to fall recipes! These look amazing and I can imagine would be so good with a warm latte or apple cider even 🙂

  29. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says:

    Sally – These scones are really getting me in the mood for Autumn. It actually cooled off last night and today’s weather is ALMOST LIKE FALL! <3

  30. Well, we are getting a slight cool front here in Texas on Saturday, so, this will be perfect for our Saturday morning breakfast & lattes. I can always depend on you for a new, awesome recipe that I’m ready to try. Plus, I figured, what with the cool front, I’ll decorate for fall this weekend too. AND– college football!! I really, really love this time of year! (I might get really adventurous and make the salted caramel too! )

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