British scones are a classic treat to enjoy as part of a ‘cream tea’ with jam and cream – easy to make, soft and buttery, they’re delicious in every bite.
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We’re a little unusual in our house: I’m a Brit, the home of tea drinkers, but have always drank more coffee than tea, and my husband is American and the reverse. Actually not even the reverse as he never drinks coffee, but he is at least more American in that he drinks more ice tea than hot.
He has got me into it now and then too, especially on a warm day. In fact, it even goes well with that very British of things – a ‘cream tea’ of British scones with strawberry jam and cream.
Although they are usually served with hot tea, they go just as well with iced, perfect on a warm day. British scones are soft and buttery, similar to American biscuits, and just as delicious.
I’ll admit right now, British scones are not the healthiest of things in that they really should be made with both white flour and butter. But they bring back so many memories of eating them as a child that I can’t resist them now and then. I at least made some lower-sugar strawberry chia jam to go with them to balance things out a bit.
British scones are very easy to make, being only a few ingredients and I admit to cheating a bit by using the food processor to mix it all up rather than rubbing the butter in by hand. Personally I don’t tend to make them sweet since they are being topped with jam, but you can add a little sugar if you prefer.
Tips for making scones
- use cold butter, it makes for better scones, and cut it into small chunks before mixing in.
- handle the dough as little as possible – if you overwork it, they won’t rise properly. This means stopping mixing as soon as it all comes together. Personally, I don’t even knead it just press it together before rolling out gently, but not too thin.
- try to cut them out straight rather than twisting the cutter – you can dust your cutter with flour to help avoid it sticking – then carefully remove them and place on a lined baking sheet.
These British scones are lightly flaky, soft and buttery and the perfect vehicle to top with jam and cream. Traditionally it would be clotted cream, but whipped cream makes a decent alternative. Then sit back, take a bite and enjoy, washed down with your Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea.
For me, enjoying a buttery scone takes me back to enjoying them with my parents, usually when friends were visiting – who would you enjoy tea and scones with?
Like scones? Try these!
- Apple and bacon cornmeal scones
- Hawaij coffee scones
- Cranberry orange scones
- Gingerbread scones
- Plus get more snack recipes, both sweet and savory, in the archives.
Tools to make these scones (affiliate links)
See more of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline’s Cooking Amazon store.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 350g plain flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter 90g, cold
- 1 cup milk 240ml
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C and prepare a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a cookie sheet.
- Put the flour, baking powder and salt in the food processor and pulse a couple times to mix.
- Cut the butter into small chunks, add it to the food processor and pulse until it is the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the milk and give just a few short pulses so the mixture comes together but no more.
- Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and press it together into a ball. Roll it out to around 2/3in/2cm thick (slightly thicker or thinner is fine too) and cut out rounds, trying not to twist the cutter as you cut (a crinkle cutter avoids this; recipe used with a 2 1/2in/6cm cutter but you can make smaller if you prefer) then carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for around 10-15minutes until gently brown on top.
- Note if you don't have a food processor, you can rub the butter into the four mixture by hand, then stir the milk in with a spoon but again taking care not to over-mix.
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