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Classic English Scones. Quick and Easy to make, moist, light, and fluffy! Perfect for High Tea or Afternoon Tea. This is a very popular recipe and for those searching for a good, reliable English scone recipe, this won't disappoint!

Classic English Scones. Quick and Easy to make moist, light, and fluffy! Step by step instructions to make perfect scones. Serve for High Tea or Afternoon Tea

I first learnt to make Classic English Scones when I was 11 years old, in Hong Kong. Back in those days, Hong Kong was a British Colony, and was very 'British', so my school was English as were the teachers.

We would learn to cook all kinds of recipes that English people would eat, and with my mom being Chinese and cooking mainly Chinese food at home, my dad, being English was very happy when I would bring home my cooking creations from school as they would be all the things he missed from home.

Classic English Scones.  Quick and Easy to make moist, light, and fluffy! Step by step instructions to make perfect scones. Serve for High Tea or Afternoon Tea

I learned to make scones, proper English Cucumber Sandwiches, Scotch Eggs,  Toad in The Hole, Spotted Dick, Jam Roly Poly and all kinds of English recipes.

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From there, I have obviously built up my range of English recipes and developed the ones I really love the most.

This scone recipe I would say came from my English Cookery teacher back in 1970..something! I don't know where she got it from, but I remember her name as Mrs Petrie.

Classic English Scones. 
Quick and Easy to make moist, light, and fluffy! Step by step instructions to make perfect scones. Serve for High Tea or Afternoon Tea

Many of the English dessert recipes you see here originate from Mrs Petrie and my Father's mother, 'Mam'!

Classic English Scones are traditionally served with tea, and you would have jam and clotted cream spread on each half of the scone.

Classic English Scones. 
Quick and Easy to make moist, light, and fluffy! Step by step instructions to make perfect scones. Serve for High Tea or Afternoon Tea

In some parts of England, it is known as a 'cream tea'. Watch out for signs along the road saying there is Cream Tea available!! It's worth stopping and having one!

These scones are the softest, lightest and fluffiest, moist and flavourful, and remember when you make this recipe, light hands make a light scone!

Be sure to follow my tips and you too will love this recipe. So let's see how you make this lovely Classic English Scone.

Prep Time

10 minute

Cook Time

10 minutes

Yield

8

You will need

A baking tray & a 5 cm / 2 inch round cutter

INGREDIENTS

350g self-raising flour (US Measure is 2 cups and 13 tablespoons) *** Please sieve
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp caster or regular sugar
3 oz or 85 g butter, cubed
3/4 cup or 175 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
A squeeze lemon juice
beaten egg, to glaze
1 cup or 200 g raisins, dried fruit etc of your choice. (I used raisins)

NOTE: Please ensure you use Self Raising Flour for this recipe and not All Purpose / Plain Flour.

I cannot say if making your own mix of Self-raising will work.

The best scones need to rise properly and not taste of soda or baking powder, and so the above ingredients are what I can advise for best results.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 220C/ 425 F / Gas 7. Also, preheat your baking tray.

2. In a mixing bowl, add the sifted flour, salt and baking powder, and combine.

3. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.

Rubbing butter and flour together

Using a flat bladed knife, stir in the sugar. Then add the dried fruit if using.

Adding dried fruit to flour and butter

4. Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot.

Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for 2 minutes.

milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract resting for 2 minutes

5. Make a well in the dry mix.

Make a well in the flour

then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a flat bladed knife.

Pour milk mixture in to well
Bring mixture together using flat bladed knife

Once combined, place it on a well-dusted work surface.

Bring mixture together using flat bladed knife

When it starts coming together, I use my hand to gently gather the dough around the side of the bowl so it's nice and smooth.

gather scone mixture with hand

It will be quite a wet dough at first.

Dust some flour on the work surface and place the dough on the surface.

Shake some more flour on the dough and your hands, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it's a little smoother.

Showing thickness of scone mixture

Pat into a round about 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) deep.

**** Please, the thickness is VERY IMPORTANT so measure if you are not sure!

Showing thickness of scone mixture

TIP:
When you turn the dough out onto the work surface, it will be sticky and a little wet at first.

Don't worry about this as you need to dust your hands and dough. Try to handle the dough as little as possible, and not be heavy-handed. This will cause the scones to be heavy and tough

6. Take a 5cm (2 inch) cutter -( Plain cutters cut more cleanly and give a better rise than patterned edge cutters ) and dip it into some flour.

Showing cutter to make scone shape

Plunge in a single movement into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones.

Showing cutter to make scone shape


See tip below for cutting.


By this point, you'll probably need to press what's left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.

Try not to overwork the dough, be light with your hands when reshaping.

To ensure your scones rise vertically in the oven, when you use your cutter, be sure to cut the scone in one vertical action straight down through the dough.

When removing the cutter, DO NOT do a twisting action, but remove the cutter straight up.

If you twist the cutter, this will destroy the structure of the dough and you will not get the scones to rise properly with the classic break apart in the middle look.

7. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.

egg glaze on scones before oven

8. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top.

Classic English Scones. Quick and Easy to make, moist, light and fluffy!


These scones will freeze very well once cooked in an airtight bag, just defrost and reheat if you want them warmed through.


Serve with whipped cream and jam, or as I have done in the pictures, served with butter and some Home Made Lemon Curd. See HERE for the recipe for Lemon Curd

Classic English Scones. Quick and Easy to make, moist, light and fluffy!
Classic English Scones. Quick and Easy to make, moist, light and fluffy!

Recipe Card

Classic English Scones. Quick and Easy to make, moist, light and fluffy!

Classic English Scones

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Classic English Scones.
Quick and Easy to make moist, light, and fluffy! Step by step instructions to make perfect scones. Serve for High Tea or Afternoon Tea

Ingredients

  • 350 g self-raising flour *** Please seive, US Measure is 2 cups and 13 tablespoons
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp caster or regular sugar
  • 3 oz or 85 g butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup or 175 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A squeeze lemon juice
  • beaten egg, to glaze
  • 1 cup or 200 g raisins, dried fruit etc of your choice. (I used raisins)

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 220C/ 425 F / Gas 7. Also pre heat your baking tray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the sifted flour, salt and baking powder,and combine.
  3. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Using a flat bladed knife, stir in the sugar. Then add the dried fruit if using.
  4. Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for 2 minutes.
  5. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a flat bladed knife. Once combined, place it on a well dusted work surface.

Try to handle the dough as little as possible, and not be heavy handed. This will cause the scones to be heavy and tough

  1. Take a 5cm (2 inch) cutter -( Plain cutters cut more cleanly and give a better rise than patterned edge cutters ) and dip it into some flour. Plunge in a single movement into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones.

*** See tip below for cutting.

  1. By this point you'll probably need to press what's left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. Try not to over work the dough, be light with your hands when reshaping.

To ensure your scones rise vertically in the oven, when you use your cutter, be sure to cut the scone in one vertical action straight down through the dough. When removing the cutter, DO NOT do a twisting action, but remove the cutter straight up. If you twist the cutter, this will destroy the structure of the dough and you will not get the scones to rise properly with the classic break apart in the middle look.

  1. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 600mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 6g

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69 thoughts shared

  1. Made these twice now are they are just the best ? I even started them off at the wrong temperature today and they still turned out perfect. Thanks so much for sharing xxx

  2. I made these but forgot the sultanas as not listed in the instructions. I will next time. They turned out beautifully anyway. I think I will use a smaller cutter next time. The way the men wolf them down, two minutes and they have all gone!

  3. These are fantastic. They were so easy to make and looked just like your pictures! I made them for an afternoon tea I hosted for some family and coworkers and they were a big hit. My Mom complemented me several times on them as well! I will save this recipe and make them again and again. Thank you!

  4. Love your scones, but if I may … The US measure would be 2 1/2 dip-and-sweep cups (12.5 ounces). And I loved reading your story! What lovely memories. All MY best childhood memories seem to be FOOD memories! :-)

  5. I just made these scones. Great recipe. I used a small cutter to make a large tray full. Also, made 2 large ones for my hubby and he loved them and rolled them out to make scrolls. Really good recipe to use for all of them.

      1. Hi Hazel, with scones, we need to keep everything as warm as possible so, the milk and the baking tray are preheated which helps with them rising and having a fluffier texture. It helps once they’re in the oven so the scones don’t have to work so hard to come up to temperature if everything is warm. Hope that helps!

  6. My Nana always made spotted dick (she called it dog) for us growing up. My sister and I would love to try, but the recipe we have calls for suet. Can’t find it. Is there a substitute, that works?

    1. Amazon your best bet unless you find an international shop, some Walmart’s have a good international section tho small, I’m in Canada ten years an still have trouble finding this … but yes i HAVE to have atora beef suet for my dumplings too lol … don’t taste the same otherwise! There is a veggie version too but I’ve never tried that, My son orders it from Amazon for me

    1. Hi Jin,

      I would leave the milk quantity as it is, because that is needed to make the scones soft and fluffy. I suggest you add the zest of half to 1 orange (depending on how strong you want the flavour). In addition, replace the vanilla extract for 1 teaspoon of orange extract. If you add orange juice on top of the liquid amount, I think it will be too ‘wet’, so I suggest extract. But please do keep the milk and lemon quantities the same.
      I hope this helps!

  7. Comment author image

    needler529@aol.com

    says:

    I’m going to try these scones this weekend. I have a question that is not related to the scones. My Grandma was from NorthEast England. She used to make teacake. Not the cookie kind of teacake. This was 2 round loaves, made with currents. A tab bit sweet but not as sweet as a pastry. Grandma never wrote the recipe down and I was too young at the time to ask Grandma years earlier. I’ve ended up buying more cookbooks, trying to find this recipe. Unfortunately for me, I have a few relatives that wouldn’t share this recipe for a million dollars. Would love to find this recipe again.

    1. Hi there! I’m glad you like the recipe for the scones! Thank you.
      As far as the teacakes go, I know the ones you mean, they are a bread, I lived in Yorkshire for many years ago and we would have toasted teacakes with butter on them. Those ones came in round bread rolls, with raisins and a hint of cinnamon. Not a particularly sweet bread, but great with a cup of tea! I have a few recipes, this fist one, is a cinnamon & raisin Loaf, which you can make in the bread machine or the regular way, in an oven. When I make this bread, it comes out soft and quite light, i.e not dense in texture. You could try this one and see if it is what you had in mind. https://lovefoodies.com/cinnamon-raisin-bread.html#.U7hGKfmSzhR

      If you are looking for a very light soft roll texture (like a bap or burger bun texture) I would suggest this soft roll recipe, and add double the sugar quantity and add 200 g of raisins, and brush with milk or egg wash before baking.
      https://lovefoodies.com/simones-soft-bread-rolls.html#.U7hGrvmSzhQ

      I hope either of these help, if not, let me know and I’ll give you some other alternatives to look at. (I have some great cinnamon & Raisin English Muffins too!!)

    1. I usually soak the raisins in hot water for 10 minutes first, then drain and add to the mix after the breadcrumbs stage and BEFORE adding the milk. Give it a stir so they’re distributed then carry on with the recipe.

    1. Hi Anne, the butter should be cold so you can cube it. If it is melted or really soft you wont be able to get the breadcrumb texture when you rub it in with the flour :) Hope you enjoy them!