Ultimate scones

Takes 25-35 minutes


Serves 5 - 6
Learn the secret of making perfect scones every time, with Angela Nilsen's ultimate recipe

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze only after baking

Nutrition: per scone (without the trimmings)

  • kcal262
  • fat9g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 225g self-raising flour, preferably organic
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g slightly salted butter, chilled, cut in small pieces



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • a little extra flour for dusting



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • strawberry jam and clotted cream, to serve



    Once available in Britain for just a brief period during the summer, strawberries are now a year…


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C and lightly butter a baking sheet (unless you’re using a non-stick sheet). Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt. Shoot in the butter, then rub together with your fingers to make a reasonably fine crumbed mixture, lifting to aerate the mixture as you go. Try not to overrub, as the mixture will be lighter if it’s a little bit flaky. Now stir in the sugar.

  2. Measure the buttermilk, then mix in the milk to slacken it. Make a bit of a well in the middle of the flour mixture with a round-bladed knife, then pour in most of this buttermilk mixture, holding a little bit back in case it’s not needed. Using the knife, gently work the mixture together until it forms a soft, almost sticky, dough. Work in any loose dry bits of mixture with the rest of the buttermilk. Don’t overwork at this point or you will toughen the dough.

  3. Lift the ball of soft dough out of the bowl and put it on to a very lightly floured surface. Knead the mixture just 3-4 times to get rid of the cracks.

  4. Pat the dough gently with your hands to a thickness of no less than 2cm and no more than 2.5cm. Dip a 5.5cm round fluted cutter into a bowl of flour – this helps to stop the dough sticking to it, then cut out the scones by pushing down quickly and firmly on the cutter with the palm of your hand – don’t twist it.You will hear the dough give a big sigh as the cutter goes in. Gather the trimmings lightly then pat and cut out a couple more scones.

  5. Place on the baking sheet and sift over a light dusting of flour or glaze if you wish. Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack, uncovered if you prefer crisp tops, or covered loosely with a cloth for soft ones.

  6. Serve with strawberry jam and a generous mound of clotted cream (Cornish people put jam first, then cream, Devonians the other way round). Eat them as fresh as you can.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (122)

Christine Quach's picture

Great recipe! I have tried 3 times already and they are always perfect. Only small thing is I have put 1/4 tsp of bicarbonate soda before put in buttermilk, add some frozen fruits lastly and cover the top with some eggs. The scones look nice, being lighr and very soft, sweet enough and go well with butter and jam. Thanks for a good protocol.

stacey.louise's picture

Fist time making scones and I picked this recipe as it seemed to be the most simple one I could find. The method was really easy and they were so quick to do. They turned out really light and flaky. They were lovely with jam and cream. I will be making more of these again soon.

Nicslittlesister's picture

Lovely easy recipe with outstanding results, make double as you'll be really pleased with them !

newtoonquine's picture

I make scones regularly and often take in to work and share. I like to try different recipes in the quest for the perfect scone. These were chewy and flat (and I followed the recipe). I definitely wouldn't give them to anyone to eat. I'd recommend the classic scone recipe on here instead.

Jay-77's picture

I agree, Mine just out the oven much flatter than I expected with not much inside. Disappointed and followed the recipe!!

greedy guts's picture

Very disappointed, rather claggy, not as good as my usual recipe - Delia Smith's Devonshire scones. Think I'll try that recipe next time and substitute some buttermilk if I've got it to use up.

eliz19's picture

do you have on your site; conversion measures for grams to cups, for ex?

sabrinaduck's picture

Followed the recipe to the letter. Tasted beautiful, not dry at all and with the right texture. Tasted even better with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

PHinch94's picture

4.5/5 rather than 4 really.

Always received very well, but a crumblier and larger scone size (!) is better in my opinion.

joanneflynn's picture

I have struggled to find a recipe that gives me what I consider the 'perfect' scone. Just found it. Absolutely delicious. So light and fluffy.

georgie249's picture

Gorgeous. Followed to the letter and they were perfect. Such fun to make too, I loved the little sigh as you cut them out! Took them in to work and everyone was so impressed, and yet it was the work of minutes to make.

jul34es's picture

Just had these for pudding and they are so easy to make and taste great too

marta121286's picture

Delicious! Can't believe how easy they are to make. Making them every week now.

debandlola's picture

Quick to make, easy and delicious. I didn't have any buttermilk so used yogurt instead. Still resulted in light and fluffy scones.

CharlieSt.'s picture

Brilliant and easy. Made them with half-half whole wheat flour/plain flour and added some bicarb of soda. Delicious!

Looney76's picture

I made scones for the first time and they went down a treat. I'm going to make them again next weekend and I'm going to add some sultanas :)

ruthy10's picture

I doubled the recipe and used a small cutter to make lots of small scones, brushed them with with milk and they came out lovely and golden. Served them with some thick double cream polish raspberry moose that my husband brought back from Poland, just lovely. Will definitely make again and possibly add some dried fruit next time.

ceegat's picture

A really easy recipe to follow with great results. A great one to cook with the kids.

emcooper's picture

I have had some disasters with scones in my time, but this worked really well. I added one and a half teaspoons of ground ginger (after reading the mixed comments on the ginger scone recipe on this website). I'm planning to adapt this to add fruit next time.

rexlavaflow's picture

I never considered myself very good at scones because they were always too compact and hard.
I followed this recipe to the letter and they were light and delicious. I'm now going to try my hand at a savoury version, using the same technique


Questions (4)

krumbly's picture

Why do you add the sugar last in step 1?

goodfoodteam's picture

You rub the butter just with the flour for the best concentration and reaction of the fat with the flour before adding the sugar. Angela who wrote this is a stickler for finding and devising the best recipes, so give them a try!

gwen007's picture

Hi I am unable to find buttermilk so how much milk and lemon juice should I use to replace the buttermilk and is uht milk ok ?

telthepensioner's picture

I found buttermilk in Tesco in the cream and milk section...

Tips (1)

ecollins's picture

Lovely recipe. Very light and fluffy scones. I found that at 200c Fan they needed longer than the 12 minutes. I did mine for about 16 mins in total. I have put an egg wash on them and when this was a good golden colour I took them out, about 15/16 mins though.