Ultimate scones

Ultimate scones

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(83 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
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • 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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19th May, 2013
Really looking forward to making this recipe. :)
13th May, 2013
Best scones ever. I am not much of a baker but this recipe NEVER flops.
26th Apr, 2013
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.
25th Mar, 2013
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.
9th Mar, 2013
So easy! And delicious! My first attempt at scones and they turned out perfect! :) made 1 batch with fruit and 1 without!
16th Jan, 2013
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.
23rd Dec, 2012
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!
22nd Oct, 2012
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.
22nd Oct, 2012
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!
21st Oct, 2012
can someone convert this to standard cups? I can't figure out metrics


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