British scones are a classic treat to enjoy as part of a ‘cream tea’ with jam and cream. They are easy to make, wonderfully soft and gently sweet. 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, these scones are not the healthiest of things in that they really should be made with both white flour and butter. Not to mention, topped with jam and thick clotted cream. But they bring back so many memories of eating them as a child that I can’t resist them now and then.
British scones are very easy to make, being only a few ingredients. The trick is to work relatively quickly to help the dough stay light so that your scones get a good rise.
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 flattening 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.
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
See some 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
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter 75g, cold
- 2/3 cup milk 150ml
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C and prepare a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a cookie sheet.
- Put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir to mix.
- Cut the butter into small chunks, add them to the flour mixture and rub them in with your hands by tossing the butter in the flour and rubbing the butter between your finger tips to break it into small pieces. Alternatively, use a pastry cutter. Either way, make sure you don't overwork the dough. You are looking for a breadcrumb-like texture.
- Save 1 tbsp of the egg and combine it with 1 tbsp of milk. Add the remaining egg and milk and mix in to the dough, ideally with a blunt knife or a spatula to just combine everything.
- Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and press it together so it sticks. Flatten it out to around 2/3-1in/2-3cm thick and cut out rounds, trying not to twist the cutter as you cut (around a 2 1/2in/6cm cutter is good but you can make smaller if you prefer). Carefully transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the top of the scones with the reserved egg and milk.
- Bake for around 10-12 minutes until gently brown on top.
This post was originally a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Snapple. The opinions and text are all mine.