Use this basic scone dough for any sweet scone variety. See blog post for a couple savory scone options. Feel free to increase the vanilla extract and/or add other flavor extracts such as lemon extract or coconut extract. 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
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream or buttermilk (plus 2 Tbsp for brushing)
- 1 large egg
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1–1.5 cups add-ins such as chocolate chips, berries, nuts, fruit, etc
- optional: coarse sugar for topping
- Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder 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, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the add-ins, then mix together until everything appears moistened.
- To make triangle scones: 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. For smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 wedges. To make 10-12 drop scones: Keep mixing dough in the bowl until it comes together. Drop scones, about 1/4 cup of dough each, 3 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. To make mini (petite) scones, see recipe note.
- 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(s). If making mini or drop scones, use 2 baking sheets. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
- Bake for 18-26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Larger scones take closer to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes. Feel free to top with any of the toppings listed in the recipe Note below.
- Leftover 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 in the recipe below. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.
- Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones before topping with icing or confectioners’ sugar. 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.
- Scone Flavors: See blog post above. If adding fruit, use fresh or frozen. If frozen, do not thaw. Peel fruits such as apples, peaches, or pears before chopping. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with the flour. I usually add cinnamon when making chocolate chip scones.
- 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.
- Mini/Petite Scones: To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Optional Toppings: Vanilla icing, salted caramel, lemon icing, maple icing, brown butter icing, lemon curd, orange icing, raspberry icing, dusting of confectioners’ sugar.