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)

caledoniangirl's picture

Light and fluffy every time. Perfect.

cowen84's picture

first time making scones since i was a child and making them with my gran, these were amazing, tasted delicious, made the house smell divine and also froze well! simply heated them back up in the microwave and tasted just as good as straight out the oven!

whoneedsramsey's picture

Does the nutrition list include the jam and cream?

trow1961's picture

Ultimate Scone recipe? I don't think so! The second worst I've tried!!! And I've tried quite a few.

Try finding one that uses Bi-carb and cream of tartar - I've had far better results.

tadhghobbs123's picture

I am in my late 60s and being a Yorkshire lass, I have been making scones from being very young but these have to be the best scones I have ever made!! My Husband and I have have just eaten them with Mrs Bridges Strawberry Preserve with Champagne ( Lakeland) and clotted cream, absolutely delicious!!! we are sat at home watching Wimbledon, perfect!
Don't look at the calorie count, they are a treat!!
I don't have a problem getting buttermilk ( St Ivel ) I can buy it in Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco in my area of East Anglia.

jenniferwillgerod's picture

very tasty, used the milk with a squeeze of lemon as i didn't have any butter milk, also added some raisins :)

kaydeeme's picture

Very easy but with excellent results.

claudmc's picture

I've never been able to make decent scones until I came across this recipe. they turned out amazing and are so light and fluffy. I make a double batch of these once a week and they don't last long in our house!

joannaruthdingle's picture

Cornish woman here. By gum, I didn't know we did the cream differently, but we do. Spread a bit of jam and a big dollop of cream on top. Personally think it is silly to do the other way round as can see how you could spread jam onto cream. Maybe we are just prefer a bigger dollop of cream and the Devonians are more healthy :-)
Look forward to trying this recipe and thanks in advance for the tips about milk and lemon juice.

I too am living abroad (Hungary) and intend using Mascarpone instead of clotted cream. Its thick and rich (over here at least) so I am expecting good, fattening results LOL.

barbaram13's picture

First time luck? No...I have used this recipe twice although with a slight change as I didn't have buttermilk at hand.

I simply used 100ml milk (indeed semi-skimmed), added a tablespoon of yoghurt (I used 0% fat, so not Greek Yoghurt). At the end I also added 75 g raisins and it worked perfectly well. I baked them in ca. 205/210C and only for 12 minutes, which was enough.

Simply Lovely, I will never buy scones ever again. These are soooo much better.

paulsimonriddell's picture

I'm a culinary disaster, but these scones were easy to make and impressed my family enormously. Delicious!

alirodgers's picture

Less rich but possibly lighter than the scone recipes which include egg

liniann's picture

In the past Ive had great results from the scones recipes I already have. Always eager to find another good recipe for scones, decided to give this recipe a go - made a batch but found the recipe not as good as others I use. My friend also tried it but found it not as good as the simple recipe she has from her school days. I gave it a fair shot and tried it again but was still disappointed in the texture
Pity as the ingredients in this look good. I did stick to the recipe but now Im back to my old tried and tested recipe

Foodmonster2's picture

Can't get enough of these! They are delicious and so easy to make. I always have mine with whipped cream though, little less fat and don't taste so heavy.

alexis15's picture

I added 50g of sultanas that I'd soaked in boiling water for a few minutes to make them soft. The scones are good but I would make them with a larger cutter, they were a bit small for me. Like all scones they're best eaten on the day.

annecouperwoods's picture

My scones have always been a failure and turned out flat and heavy but this recipe worked like a dream and created light scones which had risen well and were delicious. I now get regular requests for scones from my daughter Emily.

Buttermilk seems to make the difference and is widely available in the Isle of Man as it is produced by the local creamery.

Perfect for summer days and has inspired the plans for my parents' Diamond (60th) wedding anniversary later this year - afternoon tea and a string quartet - perfect!

bayleaf1963's picture

Oops forgot to rate this recipe.

bayleaf1963's picture

Fantastic - made these for the first time and they came out perfect. Took a couple around to my elderly neighbours - they have now put an order in!
Simple and quick

ukcmf2's picture

The lighest scones I've ever had...superb

nickygooii's picture

I used soya milk as an alternative - great results


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