English Scones with Sweet Whipped Butter

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!

English scones with light and tender, cake-like crumbs is incredibly quick and easy to make. You only need 30 minutes of your day! It's our family's favorite! #englishscones #scones

Confession…

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!

There's nothing better than a freshly baked English scones with tender, light crumbs! It's perfect with a smear of butter and sweet jam! #englishscone #scones

But before we dive into the recipe, let’s rule out a few things.

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.

Now that we have a full understanding of what we’re getting, let’s talk about how to make english scones. I learned the technique for these scones on Cook’s Illustrated and slightly adapted their recipe. I’m using buttermilk/milk mixture in my batter for the lightest and moistest scones. In a pinch, you could use all milk, but use whole milk for the best flavor and richness, as there is not much fat going on in the batter.

My family loves these tender, light English scones warm with butter and jam. It's so easy to make these scones too! #englishscones #scones

Unlike biscuits, or American scones, we don’t need to use cold butter to create flaky scones. Instead, we will thoroughly incorporate softened butter into the dry flour mixture. This method minimizes the formation of gluten, as fat in the butter coats the flour proteins. Hence, tender, crumbly and light scones are born!

The batter will be a bit sticky, but don’t fret. It’ll be work out beautifully!

English scones- step by step photo instructions

Enjoy these light English scones with a smear of butter and sweet jam. You'll love the light cake-like crumbs and how easy it is to make! #Englishscones #scones

I loved serving my scones with sweet whipped butter and jam. My favorites are raspberry jam and apricot jam. My husband prefers strawberry jam though. Either way, they are great!

Super easy English scones with sweet whipped butter and your favorite jam! Brunch made right. #brunch #scones #englishscones

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!

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English Scones

English scones with light and tender, cake-like crumbs are incredibly quick and easy to make. You only need 30 minutes! It’s our family’s favorite!

Yield: 16 scones

Prep Time:15 min

Cook Time:10 min

Total Time:25 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups (435gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (65gr) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (75gr) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
Sweet whipped butter:
  • ½ cup (115gr) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons raw honey

Directions:

  1. To make the scones, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line the baking sheet with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
  2. In a medium jug, beat the eggs, buttercream and milk. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of mixture.
  3. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Gather the remaining dough and repeat the step #5, until all the dough is used.
  8. 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.
  9. Cool the scones on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with sweet whipped butter.
  10. To make the sweet whipped butter, beat the butter, heavy cream and honey in a mixing bowl with whisk attachment until nice and fluffy.

Freezing Instructions: These scones freeze beautifully. Simply place the baked scones in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, or bring it to room temperature on counter.

Video: I’ve made this recipe on my Instagram stories. If you’d like to see the recipe in action, check out my Instagram and find the featured story for English Scones.

Slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

All images and text ©Shinee D. for Sweet & Savory by Shinee

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 scones, Serving Size: 1 scone

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 167 Calories
  • Total Fat: 4.9g
  • Cholesterol: 34.2mg
  • Sodium: 102.5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 26.6g
  • Sugar: 4.9g
  • Protein: 4.2g

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All photographs and content on Sweet & Savory by Shinee is copyright protected, unless otherwise noted. Please do not use any of my photos without my authorization. If you would like to share my recipe, you may re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the full directions. Thank you for your cooperation!

This recipe was originally published on April 22, 2015. Updated with new photos in May, 2018.

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