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 (122)

roosty's picture

good recipe, a keeper & will def do these again :-)

theByrdScale's picture

Have always had trouble with scones...made these today & was careful to follow the recipe and they were delicious, with lemon curd and cream : )

FabFive's picture

Best scones I have made. Ran out of SR flour, so used some wholemeal SR flour in second batch - seem fine, just needed a couple of extra minutes in the oven. One batch just wasn't enough - so I'd say double it!

dysphoria's picture

Great recipe, used gluten free flour :) with no troubles, can always knead more with gluten free, but stuck to the recipe. Rolled the circles out by hand that worked fine.

parker-chops's picture

Actually, Cornish people put the jam on first and then the cream....the other way round just makes no sense! How can you get traction and a good spread if putting jam onto cream?!

julia@'s picture

What a great recipe. And foolproof. I had a sticky blob that I could not control. Realised I had no cookie cutter (?) at last minute so used a glass which was a disaster so ended up throwing lumps onto the baking tray and they STILL turned out great !!! What a luxury to have freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam :0)

chrissieeeliz's picture

I know nothing about baking so to everyone else this may be a extremely stupid question, but what is buttermilk ?? and do I make it or buy it ?

well_preserved's picture

Buttermilk is a cultured milk. You will find it in the dairy chiller cabinet in yer average supermarket , next to the various creams. I believe that plain yoghurt makes a suitable substitute, although I have never tried that myself.

bowdenei's picture

You buy it in cartons like milk.

mrpastry's picture

Use Elmlea buttermilk it works well for me..

ansconio-flanderas's picture

Really looking forward to making this recipe. :)

adelekoortzen's picture

Best scones ever. I am not much of a baker but this recipe NEVER flops.

kiwisaver's picture

I was keen to find a foolproof scone recipe, so that I could make some good scones to go with our new found treasure of clotted cream in New Zealand - woohoo! These, whilst not the best scone I ever had, were probably the best I ever made. Shame there are only six of them! Best of all I liked the fact that they didn't have that horrid salty tongue tingly baking powder taste.

ylmokjenni's picture

The last time I baked scones was during domestic science class way back in my teens. I will definitely try out the recipe judging from the great reviews given! TQ.

shell-mcmillan's picture

So easy! And delicious! My first attempt at scones and they turned out perfect! :) made 1 batch with fruit and 1 without!

handsonpaws's picture

Delicious! I put a tea towel on them while they're still warm to keep them soft, so good with clotted cream and blackberry jam.

erinkirby's picture

Oh my word, superb! I didn't have buttermilk so added some lemon juice to semi skimmed milk and it worked out just fine. I also added a handful of sultanas to the mixture. I made quite large scones - 4 large and 1 smaller with the leftover dough - so they needed a little extra cooking time. Soft and fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Pure bliss with jam and clotted cream. Very happy!

proofofthepudding's picture

Vickyvp, if you go to www.convert-me.com there you can convert Metric/U.S./U.K. measurements with 1 click! Easy. Hope that helps, Lorraine.

proofofthepudding's picture

I have a terrible track record with scones. Always, ALWAYS a disaster. HOWEVER...this time, I have ended up with the most perfect scones EVER!!! Only got 6 (and a scrappy "cook's" one) out of the mixture at the quantities listed - but they rose, they are golden, they are light, fluffy and absolutely delicious! Like some others, I didn't have buttermilk, so added the dash of lemon juice (from a bottle!) to the milk, also made a point of aerating the flour/fat mix by lifting it several times and allowing to drop through my fingers back into the bowl; used a palette knife to stir and was careful not to over-mix. My end result mixture was quite "wet" though, had to add a little flour so it would keep its shape. Very pleased with end result! Definitely 5 stars!

vickyvp's picture

can someone convert this to standard cups? I can't figure out metrics


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