These English scones with light and tender, cake-like crumbs are incredibly quick and easy to make. It’s practically impossible to mess up. You only need 30 minutes!
I’ve never liked scones. American scones, that is. They look fantastic, loaded with nuts, fruits and glazed, but they definitely don’t deliver the moist, flaky promises they make. At least, the ones I’ve tried. Granted, I’ve never tried making them myself. Afraid of disappointment, I guess.
Anyway, when we had an Afternoon tea at Savoy in London, we enjoyed the most deliciously moist and tender English scones for our first course. Oh my goodness, I was in love! They were super tender, cake-like and light! We actually had to ask for more scones!
Since then, scones shot right up to the top of my to-bake list. After a few batches of trial and error, I’m finally ready to share with you my findings!
What’s the difference between British and American scones?
Well, first, the amount of butter. English scones use way less butter than american version, but they are meant to be served with whipped butter, or clotted cream and sweet jam/jelly. And unlike american scones, British scones are smaller in size and doesn’t have hundreds of varieties. You’ll only see plain scones, or with raisins/currants.
Sounds a lot like biscuits, doesn’t it? But there are some differences too.
Biscuits are flakier and crumblier than scones. English scones, on other hand, are quite light, but most importantly, they have delicate cake-like crumbs, that sets them apart from American scones and biscuits.
The batter will be a bit sticky, but don’t fret. It’ll be work out beautifully!
So have you tried English scones? Which one do you prefer, American scones, British scones, or biscuits?
If you have a trusted recipe for tender (not dry) american scones, please share it with me in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 ½ cups (435g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
Sweet whipped butter:
- ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 tablespoons raw honey
- To make the scones, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line the baking sheet with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
- In a medium jug, beat the eggs, buttercream and milk. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of mixture.
- In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add butter and mix until nice and smooth. (Tip: Thoroughly coating the flour with butter minimizes the formation of gluten creating tender and light scones.)
- Add egg mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be quite sticky, but don't worry. Transfer the dough onto well-floured surface.
- With floured hands, knead the dough to smooth out the surface and flatten it into 1-inch thick disk. Using 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many scones as you can.
- Gather the remaining dough and repeat the step #5, until all the dough is used.
- Arrange the scones on the prepared baking sheet, brush on the reserved egg mixture on each scone and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cool the scones on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with sweet whipped butter.
- To make the sweet whipped butter, beat the butter, heavy cream and honey in a mixing bowl with whisk attachment until nice and fluffy.
Tips & Notes:
This recipe was originally published on April 22, 2015. Updated with new photos in May, 2018.