Ultimate scones

Ultimate scones

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(81 ratings)

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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29th Jun, 2015
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
3rd Apr, 2015
Just had these for pudding and they are so easy to make and taste great too
27th Feb, 2015
Delicious! Can't believe how easy they are to make. Making them every week now.
25th Aug, 2014
Quick to make, easy and delicious. I didn't have any buttermilk so used yogurt instead. Still resulted in light and fluffy scones.
17th Apr, 2014
Brilliant and easy. Made them with half-half whole wheat flour/plain flour and added some bicarb of soda. Delicious!
1st Apr, 2014
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 :)
23rd Feb, 2014
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.
22nd Jan, 2014
A really easy recipe to follow with great results. A great one to cook with the kids.
10th Jan, 2014
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.
23rd Dec, 2013
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


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