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Using my perfected master scone recipe, build your own scones with a variety of add-ins like chocolate chips, berries, or cheese and herbs. These better-than-the-bakery treats are flaky, flavorful, and moist with crisp crumbly edges. There’s a lot of helpful information and step-by-step photos, but feel free to jump right to the recipe!

Mixed berry scones and chocolate chip scones

Scones are sweet or savory, perfect with coffee and tea, welcome at baby showers, bridal showers, brunch, snack time, bake sales, Mother’s Day, and wherever muffins or coffee are appropriate. (All the time!)

But depending on the recipe and technique, scones can be dry and sandpaper-y with flavor comparable to cardboard. They can also over-spread and taste pretty boring. However, boring isn’t in our scone vocabulary!! My basic scone recipe promises uniquely crisp and buttery scones with crumbly corners and a soft, flaky interior.

I have several scone recipes that begin with the same basic formula. Let’s review the fundamentals so you can learn how to make the best scones. Sit back because there’s a lot to cover in this post!


What are Scones?

Depending where you live, the term “scone” differs. English scones are more similar to American biscuits and they’re often topped with butter, jam, or clotted cream. American scones are different, but different isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Today’s scones are sweeter, heavier, and aren’t usually topped with butter because there’s so much butter IN them. Sweetness aside, there’s still room for vanilla icing or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top. By the way, here’s my favorite recipe for traditional scones.

Scones are leavened with baking powder, so making them is generally quick. Blueberry scones are my favorite variety, but that quickly switches to pumpkin scones in the fall months! (Here are all my scone recipes.)

No matter which flavor you choose, these scones are:

  • Moist & soft inside
  • Crumbly on the edges
  • Buttery & flaky
  • Not sandpapery 🙂

Video Tutorial: Scones

Let’s start with a video tutorial.

stack of blueberry scones with vanilla icing

Only 7 Ingredients in this Basic Scone Recipe

You only need 7-9 ingredients for my master scone recipe.

  1. Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is my standard amount, but set extra aside for the work surface and your hands.
  2. Sugar: I stick with around 1/2 cup of sugar for this scone dough. Feel free to slightly decrease, but keep in mind that the scone flavor and texture will slightly change. Reduce to about 2 Tablespoons for savory flavors. Brown sugar works too. However, if using brown sugar, whisk it into the wet ingredients to get out all the lumps. For example, see my caramel apple scones.
  3. Baking Powder: Adds lift.
  4. Salt: Adds flavor.
  5. Butter: Besides flour, butter is the main ingredient in scones. It’s responsible for flakiness, flavor, crisp edges, and rise.
  6. Heavy Cream or Buttermilk: For the best tasting pastries, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream or buttermilk. I usually use heavy cream, but if you want a slightly tangy flavor, use buttermilk. Thinner liquids change the flavor and appearance. You’ll be headed down a one way street to dry, bland, and flat scones.
  7. Egg: Adds flavor, lift, and structure.
  8. Optional: Vanilla extract adds necessary flavor to sweet scones, but skip it if you’re making savory scones. Depending on the flavor, cinnamon is another go-to ingredient.

And don’t forget about the add-ins! Scroll down to see all my favorite scone flavors.

Blueberry scone with vanilla icing on a white plate

How to Make Scones from Scratch

So now that you understand which ingredients are best, let’s MAKE SCONES!

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Use a big mixing bowl because you want lots of room for the mixing process.
  2. Cut in the grated frozen butter. You can use a pastry cutter, 2 forks, or your hands. A food processor works too, but it often overworks the scone dough. To avoid overly dense scones, work the dough as little as possible. Messy and crumbly is a good thing!
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together.
  4. Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients. Mix together, then pour out onto the counter.
  5. Form into a disc and cut into wedges. Wedges are easiest, but you can make 10-12 drop scones like I do with my banana scone recipe.
  6. Brush with heavy cream or buttermilk. For a golden brown, extra crisp and crumbly exterior, brush with liquid before baking. And for extra crunch, a sprinkle of coarse sugar is always ideal!
  7. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Keep scone dough as cold as possible. To avoid over-spreading, I recommend chilling the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. In fact, you can even refrigerate overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning!
  8. Bake until golden brown. Scones bake in a relatively hot oven for only 20-25 minutes.
Frozen butter shreds

Cold Ingredients & Frozen Grated Butter

Keeping scone dough as cold as possible prevents over-spreading. When scones over-spread in the oven, they lose the flaky, moist, and deliciously crumbly texture. In other words, they’re ruined. But the easiest way to avoid disaster is to use cold ingredients like cold heavy cream, egg, and butter.

But frozen grated butter is the real key to success.

Like with pie crust, work the cold butter into the dry ingredients to create crumbs. The butter/flour crumbs melt as the scones bake, releasing steam and creating air pockets. These pockets create a flaky center while keeping the edges crumbly and crisp. Refrigerated butter might melt in the dough as you work with it, but frozen butter will hold out until the oven. And the finer the pieces of cold butter, the less the scones spread and the quicker the butter mixes into the dry ingredients. Remember, you don’t want to over-work scone dough.

2 images of dry ingredients for scones in a bowl and wet ingredients in a glass measuring cup
2 images of blueberry scone dough in a glass bowl and dough formed into a circle
2 images of blueberry scone dough cut into wedges and brushing heavy cream onto scones before baking

3 Tricks for Perfect Scones

If you take away anything from this post, let these be it!

  1. Heavy Cream or Buttermilk: Avoid thinner milks which yield a flatter, less flavorful scone. Canned coconut milk makes a wonderful nondairy option!
  2. Frozen Grated Butter: See above!
  3. Refrigerate Before Baking: Remember, cold dough is a successful dough. To avoid over-spreading, I recommend chilling the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking.

How to prevent flat scones: See #2 and #3. 🙂

Blueberry scone wedges on baking sheet before baking

How to Freeze Scones

I used to be totally against freezing scone dough. You see, the baking powder is initially activated once wet and if you hold off on baking, the scones won’t rise as much in the oven. However, the decrease in rise is so slight that it doesn’t make a noticeable difference. In fact, you can even shape this scone dough into wedges and refrigerate overnight before baking.

  1. Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time in the recipe below. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.
  2. Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones before topping with icing or confectioners’ sugar. I usually freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container. To thaw, leave out on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
variety of scones forming a circle shape

15+ Scone Flavors

Using the master recipe below as a starting point, toss in your favorite add-ins like white chocolate chips, toasted pecans, sweetened or unsweetened coconut, dried cranberries, peanut butter chips, etc. If it’s a particularly wet add-in like chopped peaches, blot them with a paper towel before adding to the dough. Top with lemon curd or any of the suggested toppings below. Above all, have fun finding your favorite flavor!

Blueberry scone with a bite taken from it

Look At All Of Your Scones!

Many readers tried this recipe as part of a baking challenge! Feel free to email or share your recipe photos with us on social media. 🙂

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Mixed berry scones and chocolate chip scones

How to Make Perfect Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 large or 16 small scones 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Use this basic scone dough for any sweet scone variety. See blog post for a couple savory scone options. Feel free to increase the vanilla extract and/or add other flavor extracts such as lemon extract or coconut extract. Read through the recipe before beginning. You can skip the chilling for 15 minutes prior to baking, but I highly recommend it to prevent the scones from over-spreading.




  1. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. See video above for a closer look at the texture. Place in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, the egg, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the flour mixture, add the add-ins, then mix together until everything appears moistened.
  3. To make triangle scones: Pour onto the counter and, with floured hands, work dough into a ball as best you can. Dough will be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1-2 more Tablespoons heavy cream. Press into an 8-inch disc and, with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges. For smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 wedges. To make 10-12 drop scones: Keep mixing dough in the bowl until it comes together. Drop scones, about 1/4 cup of dough each, 3 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. To make mini (petite) scones, see recipe note.
  4. Brush scones with remaining heavy cream and for extra crunch, sprinkle with coarse sugar. (You can do this before or after refrigerating in the next step.)
  5. Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your fridge has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini or drop scones, use 2 baking sheets. After refrigerating, arrange scones 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).
  8. Bake for 18-26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top. Larger scones take closer to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before topping with optional toppings listed in the ingredients.
  9. Leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.


  1. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Box Grater, Pastry Cutter, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Pastry Brush
  2. Freezing Instructions & Scone Flavors: See blog post above.
  3. If adding fruit, use fresh or frozen. If frozen, do not thaw. Peel fruits such as apples, peaches, or pears before chopping.
  4. Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
  5. Over-spreading: Start with very cold scone dough. Expect some spread, but if the scones are over-spreading as they bake, remove from the oven and press back into its triangle shape (or whatever shape) using a rubber spatula.
  6. Mini/Petite Scones: To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Keywords: scones

Scones on white plates

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Love this recipe! Added 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and mixed berries. They turned out pretty and purple and not to mention delicious!

    1. I LOVE this recipe! I’ve made cranberry, blueberry and strawberry versions. All a success!
      I’ve even substituted gluten-free flour!
      Perfect every time!

  2. I followed the recipe to the letter, and it was a great recipe. (I’m going to freeze & grate my fat into frozen flour from now on whenever I’m making scones, biscuits or pie crusts) The one note I’d make is that 1/2 cup is a lot of sugar. They are nice on their own but a little too with more than just a smidge of jam. The sugar also makes them brown more quickly than other scones. I’d recommend cutting the sugar to 1/4 cup (or if you’re making savory scones 0 cups & 0 vanilla) and/or lowering the heat by 25 degrees and/or checking them at 18 min.

    1. I mixed all dry ingredients I like King Arthur bread flour and than put the cold butter, till I had it finely mixed , put in the freezer overnight , than added wet ingredients and blueberries , I like to get a whole block of cream cheese and cut pieces dip in sugar and mix in with the blueberries ,also I brush them with cream sprinkle sugar on top, it’s so good

      1. First time making these and they turned out great!

        Followed the recipe and used grated Cheddar, green onions and a spice medley. (1tbsp sugar.only)

        Family loved them! Said they werr better than the ones at the specialty bakery. Wow. Next: blueberry lemon. Yummm.

  3. My scones came out so yummy. I I enjoyed the sweetness. I made a practice tray today before making them for a tea party this weekend. My 6 and 8 year olds have decided we need to have tea every afternoon with these scones! They did rise a lot more than other recipes I’ve tried and ended up being huge. For my next batch I will divide the recipe into equal parts and then cut into 8 pieces for a total of 16.

    1. Can you tell me how long to bake the scones if making 2- 5″ disks and cutting into 8 pieces each? This will be my first time making them ( for a bridal shower next week! ). I want to make certain I do not overbake them….ty!!

      1. Hi Bonnie, I’m glad to help. To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

  4. These scones are too big, too sweet, and too fatty. They are more cake than scone.

  5. I followed this recipe twice to the letter and both times the scones became one flat liquid mass at the bottom of the pan. The second time the dough turned to liquid and boiled over the pan onto the bottom of my oven. Needless to say the house filled with smoke with alarms and all. In the past I’ve made scones and Irish Soda bread with no issues. Help, I want to learn to do this right.



    1. Hi Jim, Did you use heavy cream (thinner liquids can change your results)? Make sure all of your ingredients are very cold. You can even place your bowl of flour in the refrigerator if needed. 15 minutes is the minimum we recommend chilling the dough but you can chill it longer – up to overnight. Expect some spread, but if the scones are over-spreading as they bake, remove from the oven and press back into its triangle shape (or whatever shape) using a rubber spatula. Thanks so much for giving these a try!

      1. I followed the recipe and all ingredients were ice cold. I’m thinking either instead of 2 cups of flour it should be 4 or if my double acting baking powder was a year old would that make a difference. At this point I’m afraid to try this recipe again. Thanks for trying to help and the quick response!! I’ve lost too much time and expensive ingredients on this recipe so I’m making my tried and true Irish soda bread today as an alternative to save our St Pats celebration.



    2. Scones are messy, that’s why you have to be quick , once you get the dough out of the freezer, once I mix everything in, put flour on counter and on dough to keep together , form it and then cut pie slice , and put on cookie sheet , I like to use a glass pan , I feel they come out flakey and better on glass or cast iron

  6. Whatever you do – do not use frozen berries. My batter was a purple gloppy over wet mess. I would try this again without frozen berries to give it a fair review, but honestly, I am so annoyed frozen berries were suggested and they were a disaster.

    1. It sounds like you overmixed your frozen berries. I bake with frozen berries all the time and the key is to not overmix them into the batter.

    2. I have had exactly the same problem every time I’ve tried to use berries: frozen or fresh. I end up with Play-Doh on my hands. Such a goopy mess with colored dough as well. It’s very difficult to work with and therefore discouraging! I can’t figure out how to incorporate the berries into the rather firm dough, without the mess! Any type berries add so much water that I have Play-Doh on my hands as I gather the dough together. I’ve even tried to poke holes in the dough to put the berries in. This was a suggestion by Sally herself. In the end they came out OK but not like they do if I use raisins or Cran raisins. I’ve tried probably seven times with different berries and no luck! But without the berries the recipe is delicious!

      1. As much as I love fresh berries, I only use dried blueberries in scones for this reason. They come out perfectly every time. Good luck!

    3. I used frozen raspberries and they turned out fine. I think if you used fresh berries it would have been a mess worse than you had.

  7. I made the savory ham, cheddar, scallion version but used bacon instead of ham. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to make scones and they turned out delicious. I followed the recipe instructions exactly — and appreciated the note to add more cream if the batter seemed dry. I would say these tasted a bit more like biscuits than scones (light, fluffy and crisp flakey edges instead of dense) but they’re delicious so no complaints. Excited to try a sweet version next.

  8. I love this recipe. Made it with dried cranberries. So delicious and easy to make. The whole family was impressed with the flakiness and taste. Thanks for a great recipe

  9. To all of the people that say the scones came out flat, or something like that, it’s not the recipe. The baking powder may be old, which can cause the scones to not rise.
    To check, put a little bit in some hot water. If it fizzes, then it’s still good, but if it doesn’t do anything, it’s probably bad.

    1. Thanks so much for this info! I’ve wondered about my baking powder at times.

  10. This recipe has become a family favorite! Our favorite varieties are Cranberry Walnut with Orange Glaze and the Triple Chocolate. I usually reduce the sugar to 1/3c for my taste, increase the baking powder to 1tbsp. because I can’t be bothered to measure out 2.5 tsp, and I usually have to add a couple extra Tbsp of cream. DO NOT OVERWORK THE DOUGH! Biggest mistake for new bakers is kneading baking-powder dough like yeast bread dough. This develops the gluten, which is the opposite of what you want in baking powde-dough. This will most certainly result in flat, hard sadness. Push the dough together with your hands just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Definitely chill the dough and dont forget to brush with some cream before baking!

  11. I need to print off this recipe. It’s a keeper! I made it last night, froze it overnight, and baked it this afternoon. So delicious! I plan to have another scone later and watch “Pride and Prejudice.” I think Jane Austen would approve!

  12. I LOVE this recipe and have been using it a lot. Made snickerdoodle scones and blood orange ones most recently. I like the tang and moisture is the buttermilk. Thanks so much! (Do you think I could use buttermilk in the triple chocolate recipe, or would it not taste good?)

    1. Hi Lisa, so glad you love these! Buttermilk should work in the triple chocolate scones too. Enjoy!

  13. Made the cranberry orange scones. Outstanding. Used craisins instead of frozen cranberries. Turned out great. Dough was pretty dry but they turned out great. Definitely a keeper.

  14. These are perfect! They come out great every time. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  15. Be careful what you get good at! That is my stepdad’s number one advice! I violated his advice when I made these. Now everyone wants me to make these scones? They are so good! Thanks for sharing this recipe! They are delicious!!

  16. Today was my second attempt and I feel like I’m just getting better and better. This recipe is lovely to make on a Sunday morning. Last week I used chocolate chunks and a pinch of fleur de sel on top and this week I used frozen organic blueberries. I thawed them mostly but will try with frozen next time. They did spread a bit so I will try to reform them next time but it did not affect the texture or flavor. I still wound up with a light and airy inside and crispy, delightful outside. YUM!

  17. I love this recipe so crisp and delicious and just sweet enough, I added dried cherries and roasted walnuts.

  18. I absolutely love this recipe. I tried it for the first time last spring, and made a ton of scones within a very short span, I was just so obsessed. I used this recipe as a base and improvised my own mix-ins– bacon cheddar chive, brown sugar chocolate chip, lemon-lavendar, goat cheese with herbs and scallions, and strawberry basil (can’t wait for strawberries to be in season to make this one again!).

    I recently recalled my 2021 “scones era” and revisited this recipe to great success. Sally’s lemon-blueberry and classic chocolate chip have been big hits with my roommates, and today I returned to scone improv. I split the dough batch and did half Italian-inspired (chopped sundried tomato with fresh basil, parmesan, and crumbled feta) and the other half cheddar jalepeno (chopped pickled jalepenos and grated sharp cheddar, with a little cayenne powder for extra kick). Both were excellent.

    If you love this recipe but want more mix-in ideas, especially for savory scones, do a bit of googling with key words or ingredients you want to use (this is how I stumbled upon strawberry basil scones) for other recipes. Pull info on how to use mix-ins (how much and if they need special handling, such as freezing, blotting moisture, etc), and then incorporate them into Sally’s base dough. For savory, I do 2 tsp of sugar and no vanilla extract, and instead of crunchy sugar, I add Maldon flaky salt on top. Like others on this thread, I also reduce the sugar for sweet scones to about 1/3 cup.

    The grated frozen butter trick is absolutely where it is. I also freeze or refrigerate all of my ingredients as I’m mixing others. After I’ve shaped and cut the scones, I always freeze them for minimally an hour before baking. They’re perfect every time.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful feedback, Elizabeth. We’re so glad this recipe has been a success for you!

  19. I did not notice any comments about gluten free. Has anyone tried making them that way?

    1. Hi AL, we haven’t personally tested this with an alternate flour but have heard from others who tried an all-purpose gluten free (1:1) flour with success. Let us know you try it!

    1. Hi Bela, absolutely! See section titled “How to Freeze Scones” in the blog post.

  20. How would I incorperate raspberries into these scones? Raspberries are a pretty soft fruit, so should I use fresh or frozen?

  21. These scones are insanely good and super easy to make! Like many other readers, I’ve been avoiding scones because I thought they would be difficult, but they were not hard at all. Sally’s recipes are always so easy to follow and delicious, thank you for all of your work and sharing it with us!

  22. I’ve been making scones for many years but never felt I’d mastered them until I tried this recipe. I followed as written, using frozen blueberries which I carefully folded in at the end. They were delicious with lemon glaze. Can’t wait till I make them again! Thanks!

  23. Tried it…and it was delicious!! We finished it in one sitting. I have a question though, according to your experience…which one yields better scones later on..frozen before baking or after baking?


    1. Hi Sisca, we’re so glad you enjoyed these scones! Both methods work wonderfully — it really just depends on your preference and how much time you have to “prepare” them later on (i.e. do you just want to be able to thaw them or have to bake them as well?). It’s truly up to you!

  24. I made this recipe a few months ago for a tea party and it was a wild success, so much so I was asked to make them again for a friend’s bridal shower… tomorrow. I’ve made 2 of 5 batches so far and I’m giving up until the morning. Both have come out burned on the bottom. I only baked them for 20 minutes. I don’t know what I did wrong. The second batch, I pulled it out at 15 minutes and the tops were undercooked and the bottoms were black. I’m very confused.

    1. Hi Marion, maybe take a look at the cookie sheets/pans that you are using. Dark metal sheets typically over-bake bottoms and thin flimsy cookie sheets = burnt bottoms. You can also try moving your pan to a different position in your oven – away from the heat source, or turning your oven down a bit. Hopefully this helps for next time — thanks so much for giving these scones a try!

  25. Just made these scones. Came out excellent. Grated the frozen butter. Reduce the sugar a bit. Added TBS of ground chia seed and flax and also a dusting of ground cloves and nutmeg. Quickly chopped 1 cup frozen cherries in the chopper. Mixed all with my hand. Was extremely cold. Will use mixer next time. Flaky, light, tasty, nicely browned. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Deno.

  26. I’ve done 3 versions of this – the cinnamon, orange-cranberry and lemon-blueberry. Particularly love the citrus-flavored ones. They freeze beautifully after baking. My hands are a bit too arthritic for grating butter to be easy, so I mix my dry and wet ingredients, put the flour mix into my food processor, then pull the butter out of the freezer, cut it into tablespoon-size chunks, cut those pieces in half, throw them into the flour mix in the processor, and give it 12-15 seconds. Then I finish mixing everything by hand in a bowl. Everything is mixed up just right and still ice cold, and keeping the ingredients cold seems to be the Big Trick with this recipe. They are so incredibly tender and tasty!

  27. These scones are fantastic and are a great way to impress houseguests! There are few things in life better than one of these fresh baked with a cup of coffee.

  28. I’ve made the blueberry lemon scones multiple times and they always come out great. Light, buttery, delicious. Even skeptics who expect a brick-like scone experience are converts. I follow the recipe exactly , and use a scale for measuring where indicated. I use frozen berries, but only those that I have frozen from fresh, never freezer-aisle frozen berries, and I have never had a problem with bleeding or discoloration of batter; they stay in the freezer until ready to be mixed in. Keys to success: frozen butter, chilling dough, working quickly, not over handling. Yep, the process is messy and not pretty, but the results make this a repeatable treat.

  29. Love the recipe but I really would like to know where can I get the apron you are wearing in your scone making video? I absolutely adore it and can’t find anything similar online.

    Thank you!

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