These raspberry scones are wonderfully soft, packed with juicy fruit and topped with a bright lemon drizzle. While that may sound fancy, they're actually really easy to make. A delicious treat, perfect with coffee or tea, as a snack or whatever the excuse.
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Growing up, scones were definitely one of the baked goods we had most often for quite a while. The old cliche of British scones with jam and cream maybe wasn't entirely true in our house, but there was often at least jam.
The scones I had then were the more classic plain or with dried fruit, and that was as varied as they went. It is only as an adult that I came across more varied flavors and have experimented myself. And I'm glad to say, with some tasty results.
One of our all-time favorites is my coconut mango scones, but these are definitely high on the list. The juicy berries, the bright freshness of the lemon and the soft, buttery scone base are such a great combination.
Yes, they can be a little messy as you mix them into the dough but stick with it (excuse the pun) as it's worth the effort.
Top tip: Use enough raising agent
Scones are highly leavened which is part of what makes them rise. In the UK, you often use self raising flour then add additional raising agent. Particularly with fruit scones, the fruit weighs the dough down a little so don't skimp on the raising agent to help them still rise nicely.
This recipe (as with all of my scone recipes) starts with plain/all purpose flour and adds the full amount of raising agent to allow for when self-raising flour isn't available or can vary.
Tips for making scones
You only need a handful of ingredients to make scones, and they are quick to make too. However, there are a couple things to keep in mind to help them work out well:
- Handle the dough as little as possible - scones work best when you handle them the least. Yes, you want the ingredients mixed, and in particular you want the raising agent mixed through the flour. But you want slight lumps of butter, to help give lightness and add layers. Chunks of raspberry also taste better, in my mind, than lots of fleks throughout (that would also make the dough too wet).
- Use cold butter - cut it into small pieces, then your hands will warm it slightly as you mix. But if it's too warm, it won't rub in properly to give those lumpy crumbs you are looking for.
Different sizes for different occasions
You can make these scones either as large scones, as in the pictures above, or as smaller bites, as below. I quite like the larger size when it's to serve guests for a mid-morning snack, while the smaller size is more convenient for snacks on the go or if you are having other treats as well.
One other thing to note between the two different sizes you see here - the larger ones are a little darker in color partly as they were probably cooked ever so slightly longer but mainly because I brushed with egg wash before baking.
The smaller scones, I didn't brush at all so they are slightly paler. You can also brush with milk which is generally somewhere in between - really it's up to you what you prefer color-wise.
Can you make scones ahead?
Scones definitely taste their best the day they are baked, but you can prepare them ahead. The best option is to freeze scones before baking and then bake from frozen, cooking them a couple of minutes longer than you would normally.
If you have leftover cooked scones, you can store them at room temperature in a sealed container for a day or two. They will lose a bit of their light texture, but will otherwise be fine.
I like to gently re-heat scones to improve the texture (plus it means butter melts on them, if you are adding a little!). You can do either a really short burst in the microwave, say 15-20 seconds or so, or warm in a low oven.
With these particular scones, just be aware the lemon glaze will likely melt when you re-heat it. You can either just accept that the lemon-y flavor will sink in (and it's good!) or else mix up a little extra drizzle to add after re-heating.
These raspberry scones are deliciously fruity and bright, with a wonderful soft texture and touch of tartness from the berries and lemon glaze. A tasty treat, whatever the excuse to make them.
Try these other teatime favorites:
- Bakewell slice (a British classic with pastry, raspberry jam and an almond sponge topping)
- Cheese scones (a tasty savory take on scones)
- English tea sandwiches (perfect for an afternoon tea, or any excuse as they are so easy)
- Plus get more snack recipes in the archives.
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour plain flour
- 1 ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter cold
- ⅔ cup milk (or cream for richer scones)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 cup raspberries
- ½ lemon zest optional
- 1 egg or around 1-2 tablespoon milk for egg wash/milk brushed on top, optional
For the glaze
- 4 tablespoon confectioner's sugar icing sugar
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice or a little more as needed
- ½ lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C and prepare a baking sheet/tray with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- 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.
- Add the egg and milk (or cream, and vanilla, if using) to the flour-butter mixture and mix in to the dough, ideally with a blunt knife or a spatula to just combine everything. Add the raspberries (and lemon zest, if using) and carefully fold through the dough so they are reasonably well distributes but still stay in large pieces.
- Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and press it together. Flatten it out to around ⅔-1in/2-3cm thick. You can either cut the dough into 8 large square/rectangular scones, or 16 small scones (or triangles/ in-between sized as you prefer. I don't think this dough works as well with a cutter so just cutting shapes from the dough is best). Carefully transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the top of the scones with egg wash or milk, if you like (it will help them go slightly browner on top). You could also sprinkle some sugar on top, though not really needed with the glaze.
- Bake for around 10-12 minutes until gently brown on top. Allow to cool.
- Once cool, mix together the confectioner's sugar, lemon juice and zest to form a smooth paste. Drizzle over the top of the scones.
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