Homemade scones, dripping with strawberry jam, are a favourite British tea-time treat. I’ve been making this recipe for years, and it never fails. They are fluffy and delicious, and with ony 4 basic store cupboard ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time you could be enjoying your own homemade scones today!
I remember my mother, who must have had the patience of a saint, trying to teach me to make scones when I was six or seven years old. She’d place me in front of a bowl of flour and butter, with instructions to ‘rub it all together until it looks like breadcrumbs‘. And I’d stand there rubbing away for what seemed like hours, until the butter had been rubbed in to my mother’s satisfaction and the kitchen and I were both covered in flour.
Then she’d mix in the milk and I’d measure out the currents from a brown paper bag (because they were sold loose, by weight, in those days) and we’d get on to my favourite bit – the rolling out.
I’m sure I rolled them too thin ‘but mummy if I roll them thinner we’ll get more out‘ and handled the dough far too much. And they probably turned out more like crispy current biscuits than light, fluffy scones. But I do remember the sense of achievement when they were removed from the oven and I could see the results of what I’d made. I think the fact that I was allowed to make a ‘scone man’ out of the trimmings, with currents for eyes and buttons, added to the enjoyment.
These days though, my technique has improved somewhat. My homemade scones are gently pressed out, rather than being vigourously attacked with a rolling pin. The dough is handled as little as possible and left much thicker, to give the scones a fair chance of rising. And my trimmings are carefully pressed back together to form a final delicious scone 🙂 (albeit a bit lopsided).
How to make homemade scones
You only need 4 main ingredients to make your own scones at home. See the printable recipe card at the end of this post for exact measurements and instructions.
Flour -you will need self-raising flour. I you don’t have self-raising flour you can make you own. Just add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to each cup (125g) of all purpose or plain flour.
Butter – you can get away with using brick margarine instead, but butter gives a much better flavour.
Sugar – not too much sugar, you don’t want the scones to be too sweet. 1 tablespoon per cup of flour will be sufficient.
Milk – It doesn’t make any difference whether you use full fat or semi-skimmed milk.
Currents, raisins or sultanas – these are optional. If you want to make fruit scones you can just add a handful of dried fruit before adding the milk.
Salt – also optional
Mix the scones
- Place the butter into a mixing bowl, add salt if using. Add the butter and rub with fingertips until the butter is all incorporated and the mixture resembles find breadcrumbs.
- Mix in the sugar.
- If using fruit, add it at this point.
- Add the milk and mix lightly with a flat-bladed knife until just combined.
- Tip out onto a work surface, knead lightly until it just comes together in a soft ball.
- Press out to flatten, approximately 2cm thickness. You can use a rolling pin if you prefer, but I find that just pressing out with my hands works perfectly well.
- Try to handle the dough as little and as lightly as possible.
Cut out and bake
- Using a fluted cutter, cut rounds from the dough. If you don’t have a cutter you can use a glass or a cup.
- Do not twist the cutter. This is important. If you twist the cutter you will tear the edges of the scones and they will not rise evenly.
- Once you have cut out as many scones as you can, gather the trimmings together and press out again. You should be able to get another 2 or 3 scones from the trimmings.
- Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. If you don’t have baking parchment you can just grease the baking tray lightly with oil or margarine, or spray lightly with a cooking oil spray.
- Brush the top of the scones with milk
- Bake in a preheated oven (200C / 400F) for 20 minutes until well-risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- To serve, split the scones, spread with butter and your favourite jam, and optionally top with a spoonful of thick whipped cream.
- You could try topping them with homemade strawberry jam, or homemade orange curd.
- These scones are best eaten fresh. You can keep them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- You can also freeze these scones. When you are ready to eat them, just defrost in a hot oven until they are warmed through.
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Recipe – Quick and easy homemade scones
Quick and easy homemade scones
- Mixing bowl
- Baking sheet
- Baking parchment
- 4 cups self-raising flour 450 g / 850 ml
- ⅓ cup butter 75 g 1/3 cup
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar 50g / 55 ml
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk 180 ml
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 400°F
- Sift flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt.
- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Mix in the sugar.
- Add the milk and stir with a knife until just incorporated.
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until the mixture comes together in a soft ball.
- Press out into a flat circle or rectangle to roughly 2 cm thickness.
- Cut circles with a fluted cookie cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment
- Brush the top of the scones lightly with milk
- Place the tray into the centre of a pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes until nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Serve spread with butter and strawberry jam. You could also top with a spoonful of whipped cream.
- Best eaten fresh.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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